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Bowl of tiny tomatoes in red and yellow.
Tiny tomatoes, summer 2013

Summer Learning Track: Picture Perfect

Ah, those long hot days of summer. There is no better time to pick up your camera and get down to some serious picture taking. Happily, you don't even need a big, serious camera to get great photographs of your summer days. Your favorite camera may be the one in your pocket right now. Yes, I'm talking about your smart phone, that handy little computer that is, among other things, a pretty darn good camera with which you can also edit and share all of your summer pictures while you are on the go.

Before you head off for your summer adventures, near or far, take a little time to become familiar with the features of your camera. Whether you are a complete novice or more experienced, there is always something new to learn, always the challenge of taking better photos. The library has a wonderful collection of books, in both print and digital format, that provide instruction and inspiraton for your photographic adventures. Don't just read about it, get out there and practice. You will be glad you did when you have a collection of summer photos to share and enjoy.


Melissa T. Says: Learn more about your camera phone and how to use it.
Amazon Says: Marketing experts predict that by 2009, nearly 90% of all cell phones will contain a camera, as manufacturers race to create cheaper, easier-to-use models with more sophistica more...
Amazon Says: Marketing experts predict that by 2009, nearly 90% of all cell phones will contain a camera, as manufacturers race to create cheaper, easier-to-use models with more sophisticated cameras, more pixels, flash units and even multiple lenses. Already revolutionizing audiovisual communication, it's a trend that will only grow more explosively—and who better than National Geographic to create a how-to book aimed directly at the millions who carry a camera phone everywhere and want to make the most of it? Created by two top professionals, this generously illustrated nuts-and-bolts guide is the first of its kind to treat these units as genuine cameras instead of novelties, and the only one to include a full-color photo-essay demonstrating the full capabilities of the latest camera phones. In five easy-to-read chapters, the book explains how to choose good equipment; take better pictures; and store, print and send the best images. Readers will find practical tips on preventing or repairing water damage, protecting easily-scratched lenses inside pockets and purses, and retrieving accidentally-erased images. They'll also learn to access the events, advice, and opportunities of the burgeoning camera phone community, from film festivals to news organizations, moblogs, and more. Featuring the technical savvy of CNet.com's Aimee Baldridge and the creative skill of National Geographic photographer Robert Clark, a camera phone pioneer, this compact yet comprehensive reference combines up-to-the-minute expertise with superb examples, at an inexpensive price that makes it a perfect gift book—or an ideal impulse buy. less...
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Melissa T. Says: For iPhone owner, this is a comprehensive guide to using your phone for photography and videography.
Amazon Says: Offers unique advice for taking great photos and videos with your iPod or iPhone! Packed with unique advice, tips, and tricks, this one-of-a-kind, full-color refer more...
Amazon Says: Offers unique advice for taking great photos and videos with your iPod or iPhone! Packed with unique advice, tips, and tricks, this one-of-a-kind, full-color reference presents step-by-step guidance for taking the best possible quality photos and videos using your iPod or iPhone. Top This unique book walks you through everything from composing a picture, making minor edits, and posting content to using apps to create more dynamic images. You’ll quickly put to use this up-to-date coverage of executing both common and uncommon photo and video tasks on your mobile device. Presents unique advice for capturing the best possible photos and videos with your iPod or iPhone Shares tips, tricks, and techniques on everything from composing a photo, making edits, posting content, and using applications Full color throughout, Capturing Better Photos and Video with Your iPod or iPhone gets you well on your way to making the most of your mobile device’s photo and video capabilities. From the Author: Tips for Using the Hipstamatic App for iPhone Bar none, this is probably the coolest app available for the iPhone if you’re into photography. Hipstamatic is a camera app that lets you choose different lenses, “film”, and “flash” combinations to create truly unique images. This app gives your images the appearance of analog photo prints right from your iPhone in a cool retro square format. Even professional photographers have started using this app for serious work! Hipstamatic images were recently featured on the front page of The New York Times. The Hipstamatic app provides you with three lenses, two flashes, and three different films, but you can upgrade with a number of different “hipstapaks” some of which are available only for a limited time. I must admit, I am totally addicted to this app. Here’s a list of my 5 favorite lens and film combinations. Salvador 84 Lens and DreamCanvas Film Inspired by surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, this lens randomly does cool double exposure effects and split mirror images for a weird, well, surreal effect. The DreamCanvas film overlays the image overtop of a canvas texture with rough edges, giving the photo a painted quality which works very well with the Salvador 84 Lens. This is a limited edition hipstapak. John S Lens and Ina’s 1969 Film The John S Lens gives your images a blue-green color cast reminiscent of a cross processed Lomo image with high contrast and nice, sharp details. This a cool dark vignette around the edges so it’s best to keep your subject in the center of the frame. Ina’s 1969 Film is my favorite; it’s a retro Polaroid effect with rounded edges on the image and a cool textured border. It looks almost like the real thing. You can use this film with any of the different lenses for a cool picture. Kaimal Mark II Lens and Blanko Film This lens adds a warm red-orange tone to your photos. I prefer to use this lens indoor under incandescent lighting for a real warm tone. This lens tones down the contrast and introduces a slight blur for a plastic lens look. The Blanko Film is the perfect film to use with this lens. Blanko has simple thin white border which helps this rather low contrast lens to “pop”. Helga Viking and Pistil Film The Helga is a throwback to what else? The ever-popular Holga plastic camera. This lens is pretty neutral, adding a slight purple-blue to the shadows but leaving the highlights relatively untouched. Helga adds a substantial amount of blurring to the photo for that super plastic camera vibe. The Pistil Film looks like a contact print from an old medium format film negative. This film definitely gives your photos a cool darkroom appeal. This lens and film are available only with the Williamsburg hipstapak. Jimmy Lens and Kodot XGrizzled Film The Jimmy gives your images a nice warm yellow glow with a medium contrast. I like using this lens for outdoor shots the most. The XGrizzled film gives your photos the look of being carried around in a wallet for a few decades, a nice effect especially for portraits. Keep in mind that you can use any lens with any film, which gives you hundreds of different combinations so you can make your images completely unique. Salvador 84 Lens John S Lens Kaimal Mark II Lens Helga Viking Jimmy Lens less...
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iPhone Artistry by Dan Burkholder
Melissa T. Says: Take your iPhone photography to the next level with this inspirational and instructional book.
Amazon Says: There's no doubting how popular the iPhone is, or how impressive its imaging capabilities are--both with photos and video. That's why it's now the most popular camera on Flick more...
Amazon Says: There's no doubting how popular the iPhone is, or how impressive its imaging capabilities are--both with photos and video. That's why it's now the most popular camera on Flickr. iPhone Artistry shows users how their phone can be a powerful, fun, and serious photographic tool, with techniques for getting the highest-quality images, using their hardware to the fullest, and experimenting with a multitude of the most creative apps available from the Apple store. less...
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Melissa T. Says: Take your iPhone photography to the next level with this inspirational and instructional book.
Amazon Says: The Art of iPhone Photography explores how 45 of today's best iPhonegraphers from around the world conceived, composed, and created some of their finest and best-known pieces more...
Amazon Says: The Art of iPhone Photography explores how 45 of today's best iPhonegraphers from around the world conceived, composed, and created some of their finest and best-known pieces - all in their own words. Through a step-by-step presentation of each artist's vision, creative decisions, and techniques, beginning through advanced iPhoneographers will immediately be able to apply what they learn and take their own photographic art to the next level. Key features of the book include: A wide variety of styles and subjects: Landscapes, street photography, abstracts, architecture, portraits, collages, concept pieces, etc. Detailed tutorials: Example artworks from authors and contributing photographers accompanied by descriptions of how each piece was created from both a creative and technical standpoint Explanations for practical use of nearly 100 apps, including BlurFX, Camera+, Iris Photo Suite (now Laminar), Juxtaposer, Photogene2, Pixlr-o-matic, ScratchCam FX, Snapseed, Superimpose, and TouchRetouch iPhoneography gallery: A stunning showcase of works by notable iPhoneographers Always on, always at hand, and inconspicuously deployed, today's smartphones empower us to record the world in ever newer and more personal ways. By leveraging the photo-editing applications found on the iPhone, professional and amateur photographers alike are able to create not only editorial imagery, but also creative art. "Nicki Fitz-Gerald and Bob Weil, at iPhoneographyCentral.com, have built a community dedicated to the burgeoning collaboration between art and technology that is iPhoneography. Their site, and now this book, offer extensive, in-depth tutorials both for budding iPhoneographers looking to advance their craft, and professionals attempting to harness a new toolkit in service of their vision. What they bring to the table is their belief that 'revealing the man behind the curtain' does not diminish the teacher. Technique does not the artist make, but it does enable the newcomer to find his or her own voice. With thousands of apps available and more flooding the market daily, every new iPhoneographer wonders, What apps should I use? The answer to that question is so complex, with so many variables, that an illustrated tutorial such as this becomes an invaluable tool. There is really nothing like it. It does not offer the advice of a single artist or showcase images from a small artistic segment. Indeed, it offers up stories, knowledge, tips, and secrets from many of the key players in the formation of this movement, showcasing more than 40 artists and tutorials and 80 pages of iPhonic art." - Daria Polichetti, Co-Founder of Los Angeles Mobile Arts Festival less...
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Melissa T. Says: Want more apps? The sky's the limit when it comes to iPhone creativity.
Amazon Says: Obsessed with the instant gratification of taking pictures with his iPhone, designer-photographer Dan Marcolina dedicated an entire year to a series of mobile image experiment more...
Amazon Says: Obsessed with the instant gratification of taking pictures with his iPhone, designer-photographer Dan Marcolina dedicated an entire year to a series of mobile image experiments. His amazing results and the post-processing steps on the iPhone to achieve them can be found in this gorgeous four-color photography guide. Part inspiration and part how-to, iPhone Obsessed is filled with eye-popping images and coverage of 47 of the best iPhone photo applications. Without ever leaving your iPhone, you learn to create artistic effects such as blurs and vignettes, high dynamic range, film looks, black and white, and more. Marcolina takes you through the construction of his images, explaining which apps he used and why. You’ll not only be inspired to create hang-on-the-wall art with your iPhone, but you’ll know exactly what apps to use and where to get them. iPhone Obsessed also interacts with your iPhone. In the introduction, the author explains how to scan one of the 75 custom Microsoft Reader Tags in the book using a free iPhone tag reader (http://gettag.mobi). These tags uncover another virtual layer of information, including four hours of bonus video tutorials, app developer Web sites, and links to the iTunes Store for app purchase along with inspirational image galleries to swipe through. He also includes several bonus textures that he created for you to download and use on your images. For Apple iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4G, and iPod touch 4 users, this guide will raise the standard of iPhone photography and show how the combination of picture choice and multiple app processing can turn an ordinary image into a work of art. Readers of IPhone Obsessed can also join the iPhone Obsessed flickr group to share their works of art as they go through the apps in the book: http://www.flickr.com/groups/iobsessed/ To coincide with the launch of iPhone Obsessed, Marcolina plans to release a tablet companion version for the iPad, featuring interactive demonstrations from the book and new app formulas. Learn more at http://www.marcolinaslate.com/iphoneobsessed/. less...
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Melissa T. Says: You can learn a lot by using these ideas as a jumping off point for your photography practice this summer.
Amazon Says: This invaluable treasure trove includes: shooting for online auctions; recording home contents or luggage; creating your own version of Google Maps, and more. Also includes cl more...
Amazon Says: This invaluable treasure trove includes: shooting for online auctions; recording home contents or luggage; creating your own version of Google Maps, and more. Also includes clever ways to share your photos including using Facebook and Flickr effectively and creating web galleries and slideshows. less...
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Melissa T. Says: More inspiration for your summer photo adventures.
Amazon Says: Go ahead, have fun with your photography. Creative Photography Lab is a collection of fun and silly photography exercises designed to teach you something about your camera (an more...
Amazon Says: Go ahead, have fun with your photography. Creative Photography Lab is a collection of fun and silly photography exercises designed to teach you something about your camera (and yourself!). Whether you're rockin' a digital SLR, a point and shoot, or even a phone camera, this book will:- Provide easy exercises to help you discover your own personal style.- Tackle the technical stuff.- Explore a new way of seeing.- Turn your camera into a powerful tool of self-expression.- Help you capture amazing shots for your blog, social media, photo albums, your wall at home, or just for yourself.You don't have to be a professional photographer or own expensive cameras and equipment to get inspiring shots. If you've ever taken a picture, this book is for you. Warning: once you get started, you'll never want to stop. less...
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Melissa T. Says: Looking at the world with a minimalists eye can take your photography to a new level. This book will make you think differently about what you see through the lens.
Amazon Says: This book covers photography from a minimalist perspective, proving that it is possible to take very good photographs with relatively cheap equipment. The minimalist process e more...
Amazon Says: This book covers photography from a minimalist perspective, proving that it is possible to take very good photographs with relatively cheap equipment. The minimalist process emphasizes the importance of first knowing what you want to achieve as a photographer and then choosing the most effective equipment, subject matter, and general approach to meet your goals. The minimalist photographer works with the idea that the brain and the eye are far more important than the camera. Author Steve Johnson begins by asking you, the reader, to look inward and make the connections between your nature and your photography. Why do you want to take photographs and what subject matter are you attracted to? What type of photographer are you now and what type of photographer would you like to become? These are important questions to consider when deciding what approach works best for you. In subsequent chapters, you'll learn about the equipment and workflow of a minimalist photographer as Johnson discusses the strengths and weaknesses of various types of cameras and explains why the biggest or most expensive piece of equipment is not always the best. He also addresses the importance of lighting and teaches you how to achieve effective lighting without spending a lot of money. Also included are discussions about aesthetics and composition, as well as a brief history of photography and the future of the art form. less...
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Melissa T. Says: Create a series of photos around one type of object, location or idea for a different kind of challenge.
Amazon Says: One of the most promising ways to improve as a photographer is through the use of serial photography - a method that author Harald Mante has used and taught throughout his car more...
Amazon Says: One of the most promising ways to improve as a photographer is through the use of serial photography - a method that author Harald Mante has used and taught throughout his career.In Serial Photography: Using Themed Images to Improve Your Photographic Skills, Mante explains how to focus your photographic work on themes, objects, shapes, colors, and moods, rather than randomly searching for that one great shot. After putting his methods into practice, you will soon notice that you are able to train yourself to look at things in new and exciting ways. And by continuously adding new images to your collections, you will improve the quality of your photographic work.In this beautifully illustrated book, Mante presents many of his own photographic series and gives thorough explanations of the concepts behind each series, providing motivation for readers to pursue their own serial projects. Serial Photography can be used as a guide or textbook by both amateur and professional photographers, as well as by students. less...
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