How To Write A Photography Book - Part 2

I'm writing a book! Join me as I share everything... how to write, photograph, market and publish from start to finish!

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The Premise

Time to start getting into the nitty gritty :) 

In this post I'm going to cover more of the specifics of the book and show you some of the work I've done so far. 

  • My book will be an absolute beginner's guide to photography
  • It will cover everything a new photographer would be able to do with their first camera
  • It will be targeted at both adults and children
  • The style & tone of the writing will teach fundamental techniques of photography in a fun, easy to understand way without being patronising
  • Technical jargon will be minimised wherever possible
  • As well basic principles it will include examples/how-to guides for the most common questions I get in my teaching workshops
  • It might cover things like composition, colour theory etc. but I'm not sure - I don't want to overcomplicate things
  • It will cover the basics of camera technology but not gear - remember, basic principles!

That's what it will be, but where did it come from? What's my inspiration?

My Muse

A very, very dear friend of mine bought a camera, the venerable Canon S100. She was not a photographer but knew she had a good camera and wanted to know just a bit more, to get the best from their camera. She asked me to go through the basics, explain the different setting then set her up with a "cheat-sheet" she could refer to later.

This was quite a few years ago, back before starting teaching. Let's just say that my explanation of pixels, collecting light, aperture & ISO didn't work. Too techie, too dry. Boring. 

You can explain how a modern digital camera has a sensor, how that sensor creates an image when light hits it, how we as photographers control the light to produce the image we want. How the lens interacts with the sensor, how shutter speed controls or causes blur. ISO, f-stops, focal-lengths, aperturrrraargh!  No, just no. Needless to say this was just a hopeless way. In other words, I took the convoluted, years long process I took to learn and tried to condense it down. 

Learning this lesson taught me how best to  tailor your teaching to the student. I think the way I taught THIS student might just appeal to more and the idea for the book was born!

The McGuffin

To teach my beginner friend I replaced all the electronics, physics and jargon inside a camera with... a pixie. 

Abstracting away the technical side of things teaches the underlying concept in a very easy-to-understand, relatable way. You can always explain the techie jargon when someone understands broadly how they can take a photograph and understand how it came out the way it did.

What's Next?

This post has basically brought us bang up to date. Everything I've described so far is stuff I'd already started over the last couple of years. From here on in, everything is new. Every page I write, every photo I take will be brand new...

I'm really excited with how it's going so far. I've poured more time and energy into the book in the last few weeks than the last two years!

Join me next time when I go into more detail about how I am designing the lead character for the book. But for now, here's a quick preview...

Click here to see all posted parts of this series.



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