9.02.2012

A new plug for a great "how to" book.

I talked about this book last week. I'd purchased the Kindle version and was just knocked out at how great it looked on my iPad and how well written and illustrated it is. That, and a $13 price on Amazon prompted me to immediately order a printed version for myself. I found it in the mailbox today and all I can say is.....WOW!!!!!
It is so well designed, well thought out and well written that I'm going around showing non-photographers the book. The images are wonderful and ample, even better than what I saw on the iPad and, of course, much bigger and richer.

If you have any interested in food photography at all this is without a doubt the best book I've come across on the subject. The bonus is zillions of pages of really wonderfully done food.




10 comments:

nicolesy said...

Hi Kirk, thank you so much for the glowing reviews! I'm very happy you're finding the book helpful and easy to follow, and also for sharing it on your blog! :)

kirk tuck said...

It's a really nice book. Thanks for writing it.

Ron Nabity said...

I received the book last Friday and I've almost finished reading it. It reads very well - great illustrations, lots of great tips and I especially appreciate the Keep It Simple approach.

Nice job, Nicole - and thanks for the tip, Kirk!

Jan Klier said...

A very well written book about food photography, that covers all aspects of the genre in a very constructive style.

My only nit pick is, that the author often refers to her picking certain rcipes or ingredients to photograph because she enjoys working with them. That's terrific if you do this for pure entertainment. But if you shoot for clients you are often confronted with non-optimal situations and still have to make a pleasing shot. How to solve those would be a great balance point.

Jan Klier said...

So Kirk - a question for you: I was perusing the reviews on Amazon for this book, and decided not to write one but commented instead on one of the reviews. It seems that this book, and many others have a common refrain: good for beginners, falls short for professionals.

Which made me think: Are there photography books that can be written economically and that are targeted at the much smaller audience of working photographers, or do the economy of scale naturally incline the publishers and therefore the authors to write for the beginner to intermediate photographer? What are the forms of education for the working photographer - looking at portfolios of others and reverse engineering the lighting & technique, networking in industry organizations, taking master classes, assisting, or just reading blogs and maintaining a good network of peers?

I don't mean this in any arrogant way, but as an honest question. Because having a conversation about this may help position the books out there correctly with the audience and prevent a lot of disappointed 3-star and lower reviews.

Photography by the way is not the only genre suffering from this, I see the same review pattern in books on cinematography and related fields.

kirk tuck said...

Jan, so let me answer that with this.... I did my first cookbook photography for a major publisher in 1984 and it sold through five hardback printings and I don't know how many paperback printings. I've kept my hand in doing food for the Four Seasons Hotel, the Hilton Hotels and most of the higher end restaurants in our area for years and years. I've watched a few 8x10 view camera food experts on sets and even hired one or two when I ran an ad agency. I've worked with a dozen food stylist for restaurant chains as varied as Fuddruckers and Katz's. And here's what I would say... If you are working at an advanced level you learn from seeing how other people do the same kind of stuff. If I wanted to do food I'd assist for a food shooter for a year. Hard to do that nowadays. When I got the Kindle Version of this book I at first dismissed the book as a beginner book and then I got to the second two thirds and I learned new stuff in the food styling sections and I learned a new approach in the lighting sections and I learned a new point of view in the examples in the back and I learned a new approached to composition and I gleaned from the well written text a bit about her workflow and how she uses a simple steamer and how to better use window light. In short, because I knew a lot already I was able to learn a bunch of new stuff and new approaches from Nicole. Maybe you'd learn all this stuff at a day long workshop for $1200 but I doubt it because the shots and the thoughts in the book cover so much time. A lot of stuff you learn from books aimed at amateurs because pros love to show off to other pros and it's all in there. Best $13 I've spent on a book in a long time.

kirk tuck said...

I still think books are a great way to learn photography. Ask the people at the top of the game that you want to participate in, What would you read?

Just thinking about how influential Bob Krist's book on travel was on my lighting over the last 12 years. Long after I "knew" how to light../

Jan Klier said...

Kirk - a very thoughtful reply. Especially for the generation of info snackers who are trained to live by tidbits rather than reading a book end to end. Your ROI argument is most convincing, you just have to approach with that in mind. The workshops work for some of the intangible tidbits, but event then are high risk investments. Maybe one reason I haven't taken one in years, yet I keep buying books, even though I sometimes second guess those. I probably shouldn't. Thanks.

kirk tuck said...

Jan, I've taken plenty of workshops and seminars on various subjects. There are some that I found painfully obvious. And some I just found to be painful but the one time I ponied up big bucks (for me) and did a workshop that had nothing to do with technique, workflow or anything camera related I got dividends that still resonate with me a decade and a half later. It was a creativity workshop in Dallas led by Ian Summers. He got me to think way outside the box on how I think, how I saw myself, how I constricted my vision and got me focused on what I really wanted to do in my life as a photographer. One meditation exercise opened my eyes to one aspect of my mndset that turned my business upside down. For the better. Sometimes it can be powerful stuff.

If it's about lighting or technical goo gaw I think it's better to read the book, read the manual, understand the concept and then play until you make the technique your bitch.

kirk tuck said...

Einstein didn't take no stinking workshop....