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Virtual photography book club...anyone interested?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by DeeJayK, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    As I've been getting into more deliberative photography lately (as opposed to just taking snapshots), I've read a number of books which have helped me along. I feel like I've gotten a pretty decent grasp on the technical side of things (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc.) and I'm now to the point that I feel like I need to develop my "eye" to take the next step. Tackling a "picture a day" challenge has lead me to carrying my camera more and shooting more which has markedly improved my ability to envision and capture an image.

    Lately, to push myself along, I've started reading some books that include photo assignments, and I feel that having some feedback would be really helpful. While I guess I could just post my images here and ask for comments and criticism, I had the thought that it would be more valuable to have input from someone else who was reading the book as well. So that's where I got the idea of starting a sort of virtual book club.

    The idea is that we each borrow or buy a particular book and read it and discuss a chapter at a time in this forum. Each time there's a shooting assignment we post our images in a single thread and provide C & C for each other's work. I imagine it would be somewhat like a sort of self-taught (hive-taught?) online photography class. If we find that it would be valuable we could probably even set up some sort of online video chat (like Google Hangout) at some point.

    Anyway, I realize this is sort of an odd idea, but I was just curious if anyone on here would be interested in participating in something like this. I'm going to be going on vacation next week, so we probably wouldn't really get started until around the first of September. I just want to judge if there is any interest.

    Here are some possible ideas for the first book (although I'm open to any suggestions):Just reply to this thread if you think you might be interested in trying something like this. Feel free to throw out any book suggestions you have as well. If there's any interest we can perhaps settle on a book to start with in the next week.
    • Like Like x 4
  2. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Hey, I'm in. No particular care as to which book (I feel the technical stuff is my weakest suit ... I'm sure many will argue differently, lol.) But if I had a choice, the words Zen, Magic and Poetry sound a lot better than Photographer's Eye and Practice, (Contemplative is a good word but has too many letters making enunciation tough).

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member


    Thanks for this brilliant idea. I am also in .Lets be constructive and learn something more . I have started to feel that only we one thing we learn here is how to gather gear ...lol
    Its good to discuss about gear but ultimately we have to enhance our photography skills as well.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. KH74

    KH74 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 11, 2012
    Western Australia
    I'm definitely interested.

    I also think this could be a good book: The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great.

    I think once a book is decided upon, there would need to be a period of time for those of us who are not based in the USA to source the book and have it shipped to us (I end up ordering most of mine from Amazon as they are hard to find in Australia).
    • Like Like x 1
  5. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 22, 2010
    I really like the idea.. although I'm not sure I can commit to it
    Have a few books in my shelf, but often too lazy to remember the instruction :p 
    • Like Like x 1
  6. whatisinthebag

    whatisinthebag Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Central California
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Uwharrie

    Uwharrie Mu-43 Veteran

    May 10, 2012
    North Carolina
    Lynne Ezzell
    Sounds like a great idea. School starts back for me today and with 22 credit hours ( and the suggested 3hrs/ credit hr study time) not sure I will have time for photography but if I do I bet this will be a welcome diversion!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Buddy

    Buddy Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 27, 2012
    I'm definitely interested. I'm just getting started and trying to get my head around the technical side of things (aperture, shutter speed,etc) as you mentioned as well as everything else and just been winging it taking shots with no end in sight :)  , but having fun - I have picked up already the "Understanding Exposures" and "The Digital Photography" books as recommended from folks here and they have been helpful. I like the idea of having a commitment/schedule in place for a goal in mind. Thanks for posting and looking forward to it. :2thumbs:
    • Like Like x 1
  9. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I'm really encouraged by the response here. Maybe my harebrained idea could work. :smile:

    Thanks for the book suggestions. I'd love to start off with a book with a practical bent (i.e. one which contains explicit shooting assignments). I know that Visual Poetry does this as does The Passionate Photgrapher (good suggestion, KH74), but I'm mindful that these are not cheap books and I'd like to avoid alienating folks from participating because of the cost of the materials. The links above go to WorldCat which should direct you to a nearby library which shelves these books. I'm leaning toward nominating The Passionate Photographer to be our first title.

    The HCB book that was suggested looks like a good one to pursue when (if?) we get into the flow of things a bit more. At that point we may be able to come up with our own shooting challenges to go along with each chapter.

    Once we decide on a title, we'll give everyone a week or two to procure it and then we'll get underway.
  10. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    For those with a hardship ... would it be a copyright infringement to scan and email those members the chapter we're working on? Okay, dumb question of course it is ... I'm willing to contribute a few extra books to those with hardships ... lets do this right and with the right book.

    • Like Like x 2
  11. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    That's a very generous offer, Gary!

    No one has yet expressed that they can't/won't participate in this due to funds, but I realize that US$20-30 is not an insignificant sum to some. If anyone has concerns over the cost of the book, please PM me and we will work to come up with a solution.
  12. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I'd be interested... I've got a copy of The Photographer's Eye already so that'd be cool but I'm up for whatever I guess. Might not be able to start next week but I'd most likely be in on such a project :smile:
    • Like Like x 2
  13. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    • Like Like x 1
  14. KH74

    KH74 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 11, 2012
    Western Australia
    My first vote is for: The Passionate Photgrapher (enjoyed the sample preview on Amazon).
    My second vote is for: Visual Poetry.

    But I will probably order both books at the same time as the reviews for each book are very positive.
  15. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
  16. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    I'll keep an eye on this. If my library has the book, I might join the conversation.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'll likely join in the fun unless I sell of my remaining m43 camera. I've given up the idea of a becoming a good photographer, but that doesn't mean I can't try to get better.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    i'll do the same thing! so I'm sorta in :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  19. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The first step of real progress is letting go of your desire.

    Zen enough Gary?
  20. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    I will join at least when you read The Photographer's Eye, I already have a copy I have been meaning to read but just haven't had the time. Maybe this will make me more motivated to find the time and shooting assignments that go along with the book would be fun/challenging.
    • Like Like x 1
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