I love books. As much as I’m immersed in technology and want to be green, there is something about holding a physical book that has yet to be rivaled by electronic book-like creations. I have a theory that college life gets you accustomed to lugging around big books and, more relevant, to reading more than one book at a time. I’ve gotten several books in the last couple of weeks (adding to my tall stack of books with active bookmarks in them) and here are my initial thoughts about them.

“Photoshop LAB Color: The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace” (Dan Margulis)

I’ve finally gotten a copy of this book and I’m very excited. I’ve heard from several folks say that this is the best reference out there for Lab color space theory and practice. After looking around, it may also be the only one out there. I’ve read enough of this lengthy book to realize that it’s going to be a (Photoshop) life-altering experience.

Dan’s unique writing style is consistent with his speaking style, conversational and sprinkled with non-technical content (Shakespearean quotes and the like) to contrast and enhance the heavy technical issues. I’ve already fixed a few of my bad Lab habits and will be sharing some of the new wisdom on this subject in the future.

“Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition)” (Bryan Peterson)

I have always had a hunger for understanding the things I do at their most basic levels, so I tend to amass a lot of books with short names and lofty goals. I haven’t had time to do more than flip through this book yet, although I believe it will be a worthwhile read. For me that means I have at least one “Awww, yeah!” moment where something old and hazy becomes clear or I get to meet some completely new concept. I get the feeling from my multiple thumbings that I’ll have more than one of these moments when I do read it through.

“The Moment It Clicks: Photography secrets from one of the world’s top shooters” (Joe McNally)
I read a lot of buzz preceeding the release of this book but didn’t order it in time to get one of the first printing run which sold out quickly. I finally got my copy of it a few days ago and have also only had time to thumb through it and read a few pages along the way. In this book, Joe shares his vast experience as a photographer in a way that seems novel. It’s also brimming with gorgeous photographs from his career. I believe it will be a wonderful read.

“Flickr Mashups (Programmer to Programmer)” (David A. Wilkinson)
A slight departure from the previous three books, the company has bought me this book to help me buff up my code-fu for an upcoming project (stay tuned for details). I’m into chapter three — the first two chapters were mostly “mmm hmm” and a quick read. The remaining chapters will be more interesting, getting into the meat of hacking flickr into new websites in interesting ways. I’ve spent months digging around the flickr API and my respect for their code and architecture has flourished. Flickr has long been my favorite website, so I’m excited at the prospect of building applications that integrate with it.

  • shamanstears

    Holy cow! Where do you find the time to do that much reading? :)

    As much as I love technology, nothing beats a good book.

  • http://pinchmysalt.com Nicole

    Understanding Exposure is a great book. Looking forward to checking out the McNally book!

  • qmchenry

    @shamanstears – I seem to spend more time collecting than reading, but these are books that are definitely more likely to keep me reading.

    @Nicole – Glad to hear you liked Understanding Exposure. It has impressive user ratings at Amazon. And I’m sure I can never know enough about photography. I didn’t see any food-specific content in McNally’s book, but what I do see in it is compelling and high-yield.

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