The Best Book I've Ever Read On An iPad. (Food Photography).

Today I'm reviewing a book that knocked my socks off.  It's a book I stumbled across on Amazon.com while looking around for books about food photography. The book is written and illustrated by an immensely talented food photographer named, Nicole S. Young. This will sound crazy but the book is accessible on a number of levels, from almost rank beginner to, well, me.

Young writes in an engaging manner, is not too technical but not to "not technical."  She writes with an inclusive voice, welcoming both the casual photographer who is interested in making snapshots of his or her restaurant meals look more polished but she provides more than enough high quality information to keep pros thoroughly engaged. And as good as the writing is the ample illustrations are even better. She has a very modern, light and airy approach to food that works very well for a wide range of food subjects.  Everything she discusses is richly illustrated and most of the "beauty shots" are supplemented with good lighting diagrams.

I bought the book because I was impressed with her suggestions about food styling and lighting and wanted to keep the book around as a reference. I have the strange habit of buying books about subjects that I've just photographed.  I recently did a job food job for one of the world's largest hotel chains and I wanted to see how my approach stacked up.  I was impressed by Nicole's approach and I'll be incorporating a lot of her tricks and techniques going forward.

This is the first book on photography and lighting that taught me valuable new tricks in a long time.

But....the thing that compelled me to write this review is how damn good the book looks when I read the Kindle version on my iPad 2. Unlike many books that seem to lose their formatting and cohesion when converted to digital this one just flat out sings on an iPad.  I bought the Kindle version because it was only $9 and I wanted to see if I liked it before I committed to the print version.  Now I'm in a quandary.  I like the way the Kindle version works so well I'd probably just be happy with that but...it's such a good book I really want to see the illustrations in all their glory. Oh, the hell with it, I'll be back in a second...

I'm back.  I just had to hit the "One Click" for the paper back. It's too good a book NOT to own.

If you are at all interested in food photography this one is a must own.

One note: Don't be put off by the first third of the book. There are very beginner sections about Raw versus Jpegs, rudimentary equipment, etc. Just ignore it. The meat of the book is worth subsidizing the front sections for rank amateurs... the good stuff is in the second half.

Full disclosure:  If you buy the book from the links here I'll get a commission from Amazon. You won't pay more. Further disclosure:  I don't know Nicole S. Young, I don't work with her publisher and we have no "quid pro quo" in place.  Final disclosure:  This book is so ragingly good that I'm jealous as both a writer and photographer. 

Here's the link for the print version: 


John Krumm said...

Might have to pick it up. I listen to Nicole occasionally through the TWIP podcast (she's a rotating regular). I don't do food photography, but it would be a fun thing to try with my students, and of course they could eat the subject after the shoot.

James Weekes said...

Between you and Mike Johnston I am the proud owner of a large bookshelf, groaning with wonderful tomes. This will probably go on another shelf, my cookbook shelf. I bought an LED light and your book and I love to shoot my meals when they look good. Thanks for the tip. It looks like a great little learning tool.

Lanthus Clark said...

Hi Kirk!

I finally found out about Amazons Kindle software for PC yesterday, (a little behind?) so I checked out your books on Amazon and finally got to purchase "Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Studio Photography". Now via Kindle's pc software I can open and read it on my laptop! Hooray!

I am already about halfway through the book and have found it to both practical and informative, written in language I can understand! Thank you so much for showing that studio lighting is not as mysterious as it can sometimes be made out to be.

Although I already employ some of the techniques you explain there is a lot of info detailing (for me) new ideas, or old ideas in a new way, or just simply ideas that make me want to kick my own butt wondering why I didn't think about that!

I look forward to reading your other books in time, and learning even more!

Have a great day!

Lanthus Clark

PS: I wasn't sure where to post this but it seemed a good idea to do it where you have a post about a book! :^)

Lanthus Clark said...

PPS: A small recommendation to buy the book on my blog: http://thephotophile.blogspot.se/2012/08/book-recommendation.html