Monday, October 31, 2011

Understanding Exposure - Review

I purchased Understanding Exposure from a book catalog to which I subscribe. I have a small collection of photography books, mostly information-related, and this seemed like a good one to add to the shelves.
This is Bryan Peterson's Revised Edition, with the subtitle of "How to Shoot Great Photographs with A Film or Digital Camera." I shot film for many decades, and switched to digital just a few years ago; I was ready for some more tips on how to get the best from my pixelated (maybe pixilated :-)) pictures.
The book didn't disappoint. Peterson presents fine examples with well-written text. I also liked that he stressed how to get the picture right when you take it, and not rely on photo-manipulation programs to make corrections. Although some of the information seemed very basic, I appreciated getting the information I already knew (or thought I did) from a new perspective--part of the learning process that I crave.
Recommended for both photographic newbies and experienced shutterbugs.

My Photo Art

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Only Witness - Review

I purchased the electronic edition of Pamela Beason's book after reading an online interview by the author.

Story: A young mother, Brittany Morgan, leaves her sleeping infant in a locked car, only to return a few moments later to find the baby gone. Most of the town thinks Brittany killed little Ivy. Detective Matthew Finn sets out to discover the truth, but evidence to charge Brittany is nonexistent, clues are slim, and there were no witnesses. He expects this will become another Cold Case. Then he hears from Dr. Grace McKenna who claims her charge, Neema, saw what happened. Neema? A gorilla with the mind of a five-year-old and adept at sign language. Could this truly be the breakthrough he needs to solve the case?

When the opening of The Only Witness was told from Neema's point of view, I was concerned there would be too much animal "thought," but that wasn't the case. The action picked up and I was totally caught in the agony of the grieving, beleaguered mother. McKenna's interaction with her sign-language-speaking animals was believable. By the time McKenna decided to tell Detective Finn what she knew, the well-crafted story had me reading straight through to the end.

The end was the only place I felt let down, and I know this is because of my personal preferences. Nearly everything was wrapped up with neat solutions. I won't give spoilers, but for those who like rosy ending where you say, "aww" with a smile; you won't be disappointed.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Anonymous - Does It Matter?

With the movie due to open this month, I've given thought to the anonymity or not of writers--more specifically, the works they create. "A rose by any other name..." Is that true? Or does it matter whether the person listed as the author really wrote the piece?

This smacks of some sort of heresy for me to even think this, but don't the written tomes stand for themselves with their engaging manner or philosophic overtones--creative word usage, and mind-challenging presentations?

Ach! No. It can't be that simple. I'm a writer and a photographer, and it is very disturbing to think that someone else would take credit for my creative idea and the hard work of developing its presentation. But it happens...unfortunately more often than we know...and it's not just the creative spirit of an artist (writer, lyricist, painter, photographer, et. al.) that is being stolen, but the monetary rewards for the original thinker.

Plagarism is a reality, and not restricted to overwrought college students trying for a good grade. It flourishes in the broader scheme of the consumer public. It's a subtle form of identity theft. A nationwide effort is currently underway to curtail the blatant money-making plagiarism of one person, David Boyer. Although reported several times over that last few years, he still grabs up writings of others and republishes them under his name. I lend my support to the effort to get him stopped and hope that you will, too.