An excellent collection of photographs of fascinating places with informative captions. The book is an overview of natural wonders, ancient civilizati...moreAn excellent collection of photographs of fascinating places with informative captions. The book is an overview of natural wonders, ancient civilizations, and monuments/buildings carved from rock. If you want more than basic stats and background, you'll need to investigate further, but this book is a fun introduction to a lot of amazing places on Earth.
I was familiar with many of the locations, but there were several that were new to me which was cool. There's a handy index of the sites at the back.(less)
Fantastic collection of paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe. Really a beautiful book.
Of the essays, I liked the first best. So if you're interested in knowi...moreFantastic collection of paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe. Really a beautiful book.
Of the essays, I liked the first best. So if you're interested in knowing more, I'd suggest reading that one, looking at the pictures in the other two, and then reading the chronology at the end. Also be sure to read the quotes by some of her paintings, well worth it and have pointed me to another book I want to read.(less)
An excellent reference book for the business side of photography. Loads of examples and resources throughout. That said, it's also a bit overwhelming...moreAn excellent reference book for the business side of photography. Loads of examples and resources throughout. That said, it's also a bit overwhelming for someone who isn't already in business as a photographer. I think the book contains a lot of great advice for getting things set up the right way from the beginning though.
For the non-pro reader, I would start with the chapter that walks you through copyright registration (chapter 17). It's followed by what to do when you're infringed in chapter 18 with a handy step-by-step to getting an ISP provider to remove your images from a site violating your copyright according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) starting on page 329 ("Case Study: a DMCA Violation").
Then I would read chapters 6 and 7, "Setting Your Photographer's Fees" and "Pricing Your Work to Stay in Business" to remind yourself what your work is really worth.
Then I'd look at the chapters on contracts which include many examples of what clients expect/demand and what you can counter with. Harrington also discusses what the contract language means. There are several ways the language can be phrased so that it says you retain your copyright while you're actually giving all those rights away. Watch out for "exclusive," "transferable," and "sublicensable" rights. Completely avoid "work made for hire" if at all possible.
From there, I might go to chapter 26 "Licensing Your Work." It just depends on what applies most to you. There's a chapter on IRS audits that has tips that would be useful for anyone. Other chapters cover more of the nitty gritty business stuff: lawyers, accounting, insurance, staff, dealing with clients, etc. Make use of the contents and index.
I really appreciated how Harrington shared his correspondences with clients, and examples of invoices and licenses. "It's not our policy to..." is one of his great ways to say "No" to an unreasonable client request. There are a lot of examples in the book of what you can say to a client who insists on something (often all the rights to your image forever everywhere for one fee) or one who objects to the estimated cost you propose.
I hope Harrington writes a 3rd edition to keep the information current.
The allure of science fiction for me is its imaginative answers to so many questions: What's out there? Who's out there? What would it be like if time...moreThe allure of science fiction for me is its imaginative answers to so many questions: What's out there? Who's out there? What would it be like if time travel were possible?
Most of the answers seem so remote, but time travel? That we can do.
A TARDIS you can hold in your hands,
Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle by Michael Benson (5/5)
At first, I paged through the photos of stars, skipping the text, but then I saw the Horsehead Nebula and had to know if my identification was right. It was. I started over, reading Far Out from the beginning.
Each chapter has two to three pages of text plus captions in which Benson describes the phenomena pictured, how they interrelate or were formed, and how far away they are. The text illuminates the photography without bogging it down.
The book is arranged spatially/chronologically, starting with near and recent and progressing to the farthest reaches of space and beginning of the universe. It's designed so that it can be read front to back or back to front.
Brief looks at what was going on in Earth history at the same time as the photographed light was transmitted from distant galaxies help keep the scope fathomable. Since the speed of light is finite and the photographed stars, nebulae, and galaxies are 450 to 12.8 billion light years away, all of the photos are of the past even though they were taken recently*.
When you have a bit of context (read the captions!), the multitude of photos become mind-blowingly awesome. I knew a few things about the universe going in, but in my daily life I'd lost sight of the universe's vastness. This book not only restored but deepened my understanding of it. And made me want to be an astrophotographer.
In case you're unfamiliar with my rating system, a 5 out of 5 is super rare. I reserve it for my absolute favorite books. So check out Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle!
*Time travel, baby! I frakkin' love this stuff. (less)
A friend at the library set this book aside for me, but I confess my first thought was Another Katharine Hepburn biography? I've read both books by He...moreA friend at the library set this book aside for me, but I confess my first thought was Another Katharine Hepburn biography? I've read both books by Hepburn and several biographies of her over the years, so I wasn't convinced I Know Where I'm Going would contain anything new to me.
However, the cover is particularly awesome with its black & silver photos of Kate in her prime, and I felt obliged to at least give the book a cursory look before returning it. The book begins with Kate describing her brother's death when they were young teens, an event she almost always declined to discuss, and I was hooked.
The author, Charlotte Chandler, stayed with George Cukor when Kate was living in one of the cottages on his property. George trusted Charlotte, so Kate did too. Thus began a series of conversations beginning in the seventies and spanning many years.
The book gives you the feeling that during her conversations with the author, Hepburn said, "Just wait until I'm dead to write your book." Hepburn still sounds like the Hepburn I've read about all these years, but in more detail, with more insights to the person, not just the persona.
In addition to the conversations the author had with Kate, there are also many Chandler had with other people who worked with or knew Hepburn over the years. Though I tend to favor autobiographies, the interjections of third parties' perceptions give a sense of what it was like to know Hepburn.
A fascinating, well-written, and enlightening read with some cool photos.(less)
I knew Patti Smith was a rockstar who sang a version of "Gloria" that I really like. I knew Robert Mapplethorpe was a photographer who shot flowers as...moreI knew Patti Smith was a rockstar who sang a version of "Gloria" that I really like. I knew Robert Mapplethorpe was a photographer who shot flowers as well as controversial images of naked men engaging in homosexual acts that many considered pornography, sparking national debates on the funding of the National Endowment for the Arts.
I had no idea that there was a connection between these two, and a profound one at that. Just Kids is their story, of the poet and the artist and their journey to rockstar and photographer. It's a coming of age tale set in New York City in the late 60s and 70s, a raw, gripping depiction full of odd and famous people.
The community of artists who lived and passed through the Chelsea Hotel both amazes and makes me wistful for those creative connections. However, Smith makes it clear that the road to and from there was not an easy one.
What fascinates me is the creative people they were when they met. Robert made necklaces, collages, and installations of found objects for years before taking his first Polaroids. Patti wrote poems and made drawings, each inspiring and urging the other to new creative heights.
Just Kids reads like an all-access pass to their relationship and that period of time.(less)
The PreHistory of The Far Side is not just a large selection of The Far Side comics, Larson also describes his beginnings, including childhood drawing...moreThe PreHistory of The Far Side is not just a large selection of The Far Side comics, Larson also describes his beginnings, including childhood drawings. I really enjoyed his comments on mistakes he and printers made, subtle variations to his comics, public reaction, and rejected cartoons.
It was great to revisit the cartoons I loved, and to see how many of those are also Larson's favorites.
It's an excellent book to distract you in waiting rooms, because the comics are funny and outlandish in the best ways, and it's easy to stop or pick up at a moment's notice.
Highly recommended! (But if you find you don't like his humor, put it down and move on. It's not for everyone.)(less)
Y'know, I enjoy The Daily Show, but I only watch it very sporadically. I am very grateful, however, that I once again stumbled upon an episode with Da...moreY'know, I enjoy The Daily Show, but I only watch it very sporadically. I am very grateful, however, that I once again stumbled upon an episode with David Rakoff as a guest (still making John Stewart laugh I might add). I thoroughly enjoyed his book Don't Get Too Comfortable four years ago and I was not disappointed by his latest offering.
The cover of Half Empty sports the label, "WARNING!!! No Inspirational Life Lessons Will Be Found In These Pages" which is accurate, more like lessons in misanthropy. Naturally, I felt a tremendous sense of belonging as I read. I recognized so much of my own outlook in his words, have been several of the places he writes about, and grokked most of his references. For me the book is full of "YES!" moments. (This perhaps does not bode well for my mental health, but what are you going to do?)
In ten first person essays, Rakoff intelligently covers a lot of territory with wit. How can you not love a chapter title like "The Satisfying Crunch of Dreams Underfoot"? Or a sentence like, "I am in a canvas that Edward Hopper never felt bummed out enough to paint."
Having just finished reading all 782 pages of the print manual as well as all 5 appendices available online, I can safely say that I wish I had a phot...moreHaving just finished reading all 782 pages of the print manual as well as all 5 appendices available online, I can safely say that I wish I had a photographic memory. Nonetheless, I learned a great deal about what is possible in Photoshop and how to accomplish it.
I've been teaching myself bits and pieces of the program for years, but this is the first time I felt like the gaps were filled in. Snider's conversational tone is easy to read and she's very thorough when writing out the steps to accomplish various tasks. She also provides a bit of background to the tools, filters, and such, providing an idea of what settings to try and which to avoid.
The book is written for both Mac and PC users listing Mac keyboard shortcuts first (which I find a nice change of pace).
One great advantage is that you do not have to read the book from start to finish. I followed the nonlinear chapter order that Snider recommended for photographers at the beginning of the book and then went back to read the rest. If you used the contents or index to jump straight to something you wanted to learn how to do, I feel confident that you would find all of the information you needed. If she references info from a different point in the book, she includes the page number(s) on which it can be found.
The appendix on Adobe Bridge was particularly helpful. The appendices, practice files, websites mentioned in the book, and additional tutorials are all available on the Missing CD-ROM page. Definitely worth checking out.(less)
What a great summer read this was! This isn't exactly the edition I read (an illustrated hardcover from 1937), but it was the closest I could find her...moreWhat a great summer read this was! This isn't exactly the edition I read (an illustrated hardcover from 1937), but it was the closest I could find here. My copy was the book's 12th reprint in 7 years. Popular and deservedly so.
The novel is about 4 siblings who go on a proper adventure made epic with their imaginations. By "proper," I mean the characters are people living in the real world. No portals to parallel worlds, no magic. It's refreshing actually.
I hate spoilers but I will say that they are independent, capable, loyal, and kind. Their mother is also pretty awesome. And there's lots of sailing. (A young reader may need help with all the nautical terms.)
Since the book was written and set in 1929, these kids get to enjoy a freedom that I think would be hard to find nowadays. They are friends I would like to have had when I was young though.(less)
Book 6 of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series. I'm not sure how Butcher does it, but each book delves yet deeper into the life of Harry Dresden, pr...moreBook 6 of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series. I'm not sure how Butcher does it, but each book delves yet deeper into the life of Harry Dresden, professional wizard in Chicago. Some series feel the same after a while, but The Dresden Files just keep getting more intriguing. Makes me wonder how much of Harry's life Butcher had figured out before he wrote the first book.
This volume has some great payoffs to bits of information laced throughout the preceding books. Even so, you could read this book on its own and still follow the story well only missing the weight of some of the details.
A very enjoyable urban fantasy mystery. I read it in 2 days.(less)
Determined, vulnerable, tough, obedient, and funny. Tina Fey reveals these qualities and more through stories from childhood to the present. If you're...moreDetermined, vulnerable, tough, obedient, and funny. Tina Fey reveals these qualities and more through stories from childhood to the present. If you're looking for tales about Second City, Saturday Night Live, portraying Sarah Palin, or 30 Rock, they're in Bossypants. There's also musings on Photoshop, sexism, and weight; a behind-the-scenes look at a magazine cover photo shoot, tales of teen angst and triumph, wondering whether or not to have another child, and more.
The overall tone is light and humorous but there's quite a bit of depth within.
My favorite chapter is "I Don't Care If You Like It" because it just makes me want to read it out loud to people. Amy Poehler FTW!
I really liked Tina Fey before, but I like her even more after reading her book.
Bonus points: No typos! (That I saw - I'm never looking but they tend to leap out at me all too often in books these days.)(less)
It'll probably sound silly, but I wasn't quite expecting this to be a self-help book. I've read (and really enjoyed) some of his previous books which...moreIt'll probably sound silly, but I wasn't quite expecting this to be a self-help book. I've read (and really enjoyed) some of his previous books which were autobiographical. It's because of those other books and the experiences he related that I believe his insights in this book have a lot of merit.
If you're asking yourself, "What qualifications does Burroughs have to write a self-help book?" go read Running With Scissors and Dry.
Simply put, this is my kind of self-help book. A bit cynical, some tough love, and the optimism that things are actually simple (although not necessarily easy). If you've read his books before, this still contains his sense of humor; it's definitely his voice.
I wish it had a table of contents, but it includes chapters like: How to Find Love, How to Be Fat, How to Be Thin, How to Feel Sorry For Yourself, How to Feel Confident, How to Remain Unhealed, How to Be Sick, and many more.
Many may seem counter-intuitive, but he twists and flips ideas in unexpected ways that actually make sense. He's been through most of this stuff, so he would know.
Burroughs acknowledges that the same approach to a problem won't work for everyone, which is great because this book is definitely an alternative to new age-y, positive affirmation fare.
Fantastic book full of color photographs of all sorts of big cats from all over the world. Tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, lynxes, margays, ocelots,...moreFantastic book full of color photographs of all sorts of big cats from all over the world. Tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, lynxes, margays, ocelots, jaguarundis, ... You name the wild cat, it's probably in here.
The bulk of the photos are full page images. Though the captions often describe what the animals eat, there are few photographs depicting the kills.
The captions, by the way, are awesome. If you had an elementary or middle school student doing a report on big cats, this would be a great resource. They cover the sizes of the different species, what they eat, where they live, how far/high many of them can leap or jump, folklore related to some, and how many are left in the wild.
It's heartbreaking that nearly all of the species are near extinction. I knew some were endangered, but it's really all but one or two species. And that can directly be blamed on us. When you read the diminishing population numbers from decade to decade and year to year for the tigers, genocide is the word that comes to mind (at least mine). Whatever variation of that word would apply to animals would apply here. Extermination, perhaps.
The book doesn't get preachy about it. It just conveys that these are beautiful endangered animals. If we don't protect them and their habitats, more will become extinct.(less)