Recently one of my colleage photographers Marit Hilarius (known for her many tutorials and blogs) published her own book with the name “Let’s focus – Het niet-technische fotografiehandboek“. (Sorry guys, this book is Dutch!) Plenty of reason to check out her book.
On Marit’s website I read the following about her book:
Do you want a thick book filled with theorie and complicated rules, or a nice book that tells you how to capture that beautiful view decently? How do you decide which camera to buy? How do you use all the functions of your camera best? How do you make a good portraitphoto? What is the best time to photograph? And what can you do with your phone? In Let’s Focus all these questions get answered.
There are plenty of books and manuals about photography, but these quickly go into endless technical detail, numbers and rules fly around. In Let’s focus this is different: In this book you learn to take beautiful photographs, without it being too technical or boring. The book is written like my blog: accessible, enthusiastic and in an easy to understand language!
The book is devided into three parts.
Let’s Study!: In this part, I focus on theorie. What camera fits your needs, what do the numbers on the objective mean, and how do settings work?
Let’s go!: In this part, I focus on the practice. How to take beautiful pictures on holiday, how to capture landscapes as impressive as possible, how to make product photo’s, how to make good looking portrait photo’s of children, couples and much more.
Let’s go pro!: In this last part, I focus on what kind of career possibilities there are as a photographer. How do you take the step from being an amateur to a professional? How do you figure out your prices and you learn to say no as well?
When I open the book it immediately looks beautiful. The design is cheerful and I like how she captured the mood she has on her website(s) in her book. The book is richly illustrated with amazing pictures, the colours splash right of the pages. So even if you think the information in the book isn’t that interesting (that’s possible ofcourse) the book is still a good one to have on your coffeetable or the shelf. For the pictures alone it is already nice to take a look at the book.
The subtitle already tells this book won’t go too deeply into the technical background of photography, but I think most people photographing don’t need this technical knowhow for their level of photography, so for them, it isn’t that interesting anyway. You get guided very practical. And even for the photographer just starting out the book is very easy to understand without having to read the text three times over. This is not a book for the pro-photographer who wants to know more about the technical part of photography.
It’s good how she gives the readers of the book (the target audience are photographers just starting out) enough baggage to start photographing but not burden them too much with technical knowledge. She talks about all the important aspects to make a photo session succeed. Picking the right location, thinking of how to let your model (in the case of portrait photography) pose when to photograph, what settings are needed etc. And when she talks about the settings she doesn’t only mention what kind of settings you need in full manual mode but also the semi-manual modes that could be used.
When you are just starting out as photographer it can be quite overwhelming to have to take everything about a session into account. It can be too much to start off using full manual mode. In the beginning, it is better to concentrate on your model, see what your background looks like and all the rest that’s going on during the session. When you get a bit better and all those things go more automatically it is time to start using manual mode.
Furthermore, she makes nice mood boards in the book (see the first picture of this blog as an example). You can take pictures of it so you won’t run out of ideas during a photo session too quickly. Very handy as a starting photographer. You won’t run in a situation where your model asks: “What should I do know?” and you have to admit you don’t know. Now you can wipe out your phone, look at the mood board and continue your session.
This way a basis is created so you can get more confidence in your photography and you can build out the trait and get better at it. The book Let’s Focus can be a good guideline for this. I reckon this is a very nice handbook to grab right before or after the session. You can look up how it should be done and learn from it.
But who can tell anything better about the book than the author herself? Here a vlog by Marit Hilarius about the book (sorry again guys, this is Dutch!)
But still worth a watch just to see the inside of the book.
Have you become enthusiastic about this (Dutch) book after reading this blog or seeing the video? And do you want to buy this book? Take a look at Bol.com, you can buy the book there!
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