A few weeks ago in one of my posts, I lamented the fact that I could find few recent photo books for young people.
But Joe Courneya, Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension 4-H, saw my post and shared information on two more photo books, including one written by a former 4-H member. While checking out these books on the Internet, I discovered a third.
Wisconsin 4-H ordered copies for my review. Here’s what I found.
4-H Guide to Digital Photography is a 176-page book by Daniel Johnson, published by Voyageur Press (2009). According to the back cover, “Johnson is a professional photographer. As a 4-H alumnus, he enjoys helping young photographers with their projects. Dan lives on Fox Hill Farm in northern Wisconsin.”
I don’t think I’ve ever met Daniel, but I would like to. He’s created a clearly written and nicely illustrated book filled with helpful tips, techniques and photo samples. He covers the basics of good photography, lighting and exposure, and managing digital files with a warm, personable writing style.
I highly recommend this book as a supplement to the national 4-H photography curriculum. The strength of the national workbooks is not their subject matter, but their fun photo activities for kids. Johnson’s book provides some of the substance missing in the national pieces, especially information on digital photography.
Click: The Ultimate Photography Guide for Generation Now was created by 17-year-old English photographer Charlie Styr, along with photo editor Maria Wakem (144 pages, 2009, Amphoto Books). This is truly a book written by a teen for teens. As it advertises, this book showcases photos taken by teens from around the world. It opens with the basics of photography then looks at the most popular topics, from taking photos of people and nature to action, macro and documentary photography.
This is the kind of book that older teens would really enjoy for its more off-beat, quirky look at the world and I would recommend it. Used copies are available on Amazon. Styr also started flickr.com’s Teenage Photographers site, which is loaded with youth photos.
Digital Photography for Teens was created by Marc Campbell and Dave Long in 2007 (286 pages, Thompson Course Technology). It takes a step-by-step approach to photography, from setting up the shot, taking the picture, transferring it to the computer, editing it, and getting it ready for the screen or print. I like the book, except that the extensive photo editing portion of the book (over 150 pages) is becoming dated, unless you’re using an old version of Photoshop Elements.
So, I can’t recommed it. Still, there is some helpful basic photography information in this book that never grows old and might interest some 4-H photo leaders. If you can find a copy in the library, check out chapter 4, “Expressing Yourself,” an interesting section on creative photo techniques. Used copies are also available on Amazon.