I’ve picked up numerous books from the library on photography and most haven’t been much help. They either talk about film concepts, which I could care less about (I don’t know film and don’t want to learn it), or they talk about concepts and things which either don’t make sense or aren’t explained very well.
This book I really like so far. Bryan Peterson does an excellent job of helping you to see things in a creative way to improve your photography skills. He doesn’t go into the technical matter of photography as far as exposure and lighting and aperature. To me these concepts are better learned by practice than a book. But he gives great advice on composition and color and point of view.
For example here is an exercise in learning your lenses. Take one of your lenses that is capable of viewing at 35mm. Pick a subject and get far enough away from the subject that it is in the center of the view finder with alot of space on all sides. Take 5 steps forward, re-focus and snap, take 5 steps forward, re-focus and snap. Keep doing this until you get so close to the subject that you can’t focus on it any longer. Now go back to where you started and do the process again, this time on your knees. Now go back to where you started and do it again, this time on your belly. Do this process at 35mm, 50mm, 60mm, 70mm, 80mm and 105mm. He says if you do this once a week for 3 months you will gain a knowledge of your lenses that 90% of photographers do not have.
I ordered the book from Half.com for $15.00 used and think it’s one of the few photography books that really will help in shooting. One of the other things that impressed me was that the examples in the book truly are good shots that I would love to be able to capture. So often you look at a photography how-to book and the person telling you how to shoot better has crappy shots.