Tag Archives: #hobby

The best books on photography

While we are all staying safe at home, many of us have been working on our hobbies. At Booko HQ we really enjoy taking photos. Thankfully there are a number of great tools available online to help you take your photography skills to the next level. But if you are looking for a little more inspiration, or want to take some time to flick through an actual book then look no further. We have rounded up some of the greatest books on photography to inspire you. 

Studio Anywhere by Nick Fancher

What’s your definition of a photo studio? Is it a room with a white seamless backdrop? Maybe it’s simply anywhere you’re in control of the lighting. But the reality is that you may have an outdated DSLR with two decent lenses (which took you several years to save up for), and all you have at your disposal is an unfinished basement, your garage, or the empty conference room at your office. That’s where Studio Anywhere comes in. With photographer Nick Fancher as your guide, you’ll learn how to get portfolio-ready photos while working in some of the most problematic scenarios imaginable. Whether shooting a corporate portrait, a test shoot with a model, or a promo shoot with a band, you’ll discover that most of the time, there’s no need for an expensive studio, you just have to get creative. Studio Anywhere is a resource for photographers to learn through behind-the-scenes photos and lighting diagrams from a range of photo shoots but it doesn’t stop there. Because directing a photo shoot involves more than simply knowing how to wield a camera or process a raw file, Nick also lets you in on the aesthetic decisions he makes in his signature photos, inspiring you to develop your own vision.

Photographers on Photography by Henry Carroll

Think you know photography? Think again. Through a carefully curated selection of quotes and images, this book reveals what matters most to the masters of photography. With accompanying text by Henry Carroll, author of the internationally bestselling Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs series, you’ll learn what photography actually means to the giants of the genres and how they developed their distinctive visual styles. Divided into clear sections, quotes offer intimate insights into “the camera”, “the photograph”, “taking pictures”, “style, subject matter and technique” and ultimately answer that all-important question-“what exactly is photography?”.

Zen Camera by David Ulrich

Zen Camera is a photography and mindfulness program that guides you to the creativity at your fingertips, literally, requiring nothing more than your smartphone or any other type of camera. Over the course of six lessons gleaned from the author’s 40 years of teaching photography, you’ll learn how to use the camera in your pocket to explore self-expression as a photographer and produce photographs that are both wildly beautiful and uniquely your own. Gorgeously illustrated with 60-75 full-colour photographs, David Ulrich’s lessons combine mindfulness principles with concrete exercises and the basic mechanics of taking a good photograph. He guides you through a program of taking photos every day (called your Daily Record), similar to a journaling practice. He also offers profound insight into the nature of seeing, art, and attention, pushing you to live more authentically.

The Social Photo by Nathan Jurgenson

With the rise of the smart phone and social media, cameras have become ubiquitous, infiltrating nearly every aspect of social life. The glowing camera screen is the lens by which many of us apprehend and communicate our experience. But our thinking about photography has been slow to catch up; this major fixture of everyday life is still often treated in the terms of art or journalism. In The Social Photo, social theorist Nathan Jurgenson develops bold new ways of understanding the transformations wrought by these image-making and sharing technologies and the cultural objects they have ushered in the selfie, the faux-vintage photo, the self-destructing image, and the food photo. Jurgenson shows how these devices and platforms have re-made the world and our understanding of ourselves within it.

Annie Leibovitz at Work by Annie Leibovitz

Leibovitz addresses young photographers and readers interested in what photographers do, but any reader interested in contemporary history will be fascinated by her account of one of the richest bodies of work in the photographic canon. The subjects include photojournalism, studio work, photographing dancers and athletes, working with writers, and making the transition from shooting with film to working with digital cameras. Originally published in 2008, this revised and updated edition brings Leibovitz’s bestselling book back into print.

Midlife by Elinor Carucci

From acclaimed photographer Elinor Carucci, Midlife is a vivid chronicle of one woman’s passage through aging, family, illness, and intimacy. It is a period in life that is universal, at some point, to everyone, yet in our day-to-day and cultural dialogue, nearly invisible. Midlife is a moving and empathetic portrait of an artist at the point in her life when inexorable change is more apparent than ever. Elinor Carucci, continues her immersive and close-up examination of her own life in this volume, portraying this moment in vibrant detail. As one of the most autobiographically rigorous photographers of her generation, Carucci recruits and revisits the same members of her family that we have seen since her work gained prominence two decades ago. Even as we observe telling details, graying hair, the pressures and joys of marriage, episodes of pronounced illness, the evolution of her aging parents’ roles as grandparents, her children’s increasing independence, we are invited to reflect on the experiences that we all share contending with the challenges of life, love, and change.

Enjoy!

Need a hobby? Books that help us learn something new

It’s midway through the year, and Team Booko is checking out new hobbies to try, as we prepare for more indoor-time during the winter months.  But hobbies are not limited to the winter – and as summer holidays beckon to our Northern Hemisphere friends, perhaps you are looking for new pastimes as well?  To spare you the hard work, we’ve rounded up six hobbies that are fun, creative and rewarding (and even delicious!)

The Home Distilling and Infusing Handbook (Second edition) by Matt Teacher

The popularity of boutique beers and spirits – think craft gin, infused vodka and spiced rum – really encourages us to embrace variety and experimentation, as we discover tastes that we truly love. In The Home Distilling and Infusing Handbook, Matt Teacher shows us how easy it is to create uniquely flavoured spirits even without special equipment.  Try one of the included recipes, such as horseradish vodka or cucumber gin, or learn how to combine fruit, herbs and spices to impart flavours to alcoholic bases such as gin, vodka, bourbon and tequila.  And for the more adventurous, Matt Teacher also shows how to blend whiskeys and bourbons.

The Smart Phone Photography Guide by Peter Cope

Smartphone cameras have transformed the way we record our lives – but do you know that, not only are they convenient, many also rival “proper” digital cameras in terms of quality and features? The Smart Phone Photography Guide aims to help users take, create, manipulate and share images and video taken with smartphones and tablets.  Packed with “Pro tips”, explanations and “Try this” exercises, Peter Cope will improve your photography skills in no time.  Make your memories even more beautiful by realising the full potential of your phone camera – whether they are small-but-precious moments, stunning holiday vistas or artistic compositions.

Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara

Sewing in a Straight Line is the most morale-boosting and innovative sewing book ever!  Brett Bara has devised a whole range of projects – from accessories to homewares to chic skirts, tops and even dresses – that only require sewing in straight lines.  With the help of some stylish fabrics, anyone can achieve results that look way more impressive than the effort required.  I love this book because normally, clothes have complex construction and require at least intermediate skills to make; instead, Sewing in a Straight Line has shown us how even total beginners can quickly learn to make attractive pieces that they would be proud to wear or use.

Making Pottery You Can Use by Jacqui Atkin

There is something very satisfying about making objects you can use everyday – and Jacqui Atkin’s new book can help you do just that. Making Pottery You Can Use bring some super-useful advice to our rediscovered love of handmade ceramics.  Not only can we enjoy the tactile lushness of shaping wet clay, now we can also turn our creations into functional objects – pieces that stack well, with lids that fit and handles that stay on.  The combination of clear, beautiful photos and succinct but informative text makes Making Pottery You Can Use a valuable reference for beginners through to professional ceramicists.

Ferment for Good: Ancient Foods for the Modern Gut by Sharon Flynn

Our interest in fermented foods shows no signs of abating – not only do we enjoy the amazing flavours of foods such as kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut, we also appreciate how they can improve our gut health; while others are also keen to perpetuate this ancient skill.  Sharon Flynn is a former English teacher whose interest in fermentation grew from a hobby into a successful business.  In Ferment for Good, she shares her deep knowledge through recipes, anecdotes and tips.  With recipes ranging from kombucha to pickles to miso to relishes, Ferment for Good is a friendly and informative overview for anyone who wants to try fermenting their own foods.

Ikeahackers.net: 25 Biggest and Best Projects by Jules Yap

When Jules Yap started the ikeahackers blog in 2006, she simply wanted to create a place to showcase IKEA Hacks – the repurposing or modifications of IKEA products.  Little did she know that it would grow into a thriving community of DIY enthusiasts who enjoy personalising their IKEA pieces, sharing their skills and ideas in the process.  Now the essence of Ikea Hacking has been revealed in a book.  Ikeahackers.net: 25 Biggest and Best Projects offers step-by-step instructions on how to transform common IKEA items into stylish, functional and unique objects.    Fancy embellished drawers, or a coffee table made from magazine holders? The options are only limited by your creativity and skill.  Pre-order for a July release.