Reading has a host of benefits. In fact, it should really become a habit as common as bathing. As far as photography is concerned, there’s those that’ll tell you that you should be spending less time reading about the craft and more time doing it. Even if I think highly of Trey Ratcliff’s HDR work but if I don’t have the gear or sheer inclination to replicate similar type of photographs, then I don’t bother spending endless hours reading up on the technique.
I believe my time would be better spent either actually photographing or reading up on the type of writing that sparks ideas and feelings about wanting to photograph more. With the exception of most of David duChemin’s books, the shelf above my desk is hardly occupied with books on every aspects of photography.
How can you evaulate if what you’ve been reading lately has had a positive influence on you creatively? Mark Shead illustrates exactly what’s happen to me more than I would like to admit:
Personally, I can tell if I’ve been reading enough high quality writing based on the number of ideas I have. For example, if I sit down to write and have a very difficult time coming up with anything to write about, it is usually a sign that I haven’t been reading enough. On the other hand, if I’ve been reading a lot of high quality content, the ideas just seem to flow.
90% of photographic material relating to advice or instructional information is extracted from blogs and I wanted to share with you a couple of my favorites that have received a well deserved “Like” from me on my Instapaper queue in no particula order.
- For Love or Money? by Laurence Kim
- Some Thoughts on Photography by Sean Bonner
- Novelty of New by Daniel Milnor
- Can You Teach Yourself Photography by Virtual Photography
- Getting Close: Does It Really Make You a Better Street Photographer? by Simon Garnier guess posting on Eric Kim’s Street Photography website
- From Enthusiast to Professional Photographer by Paul Indigo
- Dear Aspiring Travel Photographer by Mitchell Kanashkevich
- Have a Purpose for Your Photoblog? by Scott Webb
As a photographer who equally takes pleasure in writing, I don’t just enjoy the sites I read. I try to pinpoint reasons why I enjoy them. Is it the narrative style of the author, their tone, their thought-provoking viewpoints? It’s all of that. Unless we can fully understand the effect that one particular article may have on us, we’ll never make sense of why we’re attracted by it. Theories and opinions come second. Experiences are first.