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Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by RalphLambrecht, Sep 3, 2010.
What is roughly the ratio of how-to vs picture books in your photographic library?
The only how-to book I have is Alfred Eisenstadt's "Eisenstadt's Guide to Photography" which I received as a present, when I was still in high school. I keep it, not solely for its content, but because it came from a dear family friend, who has since passed. I've looked through many others, in bookstores, in the the past, but never was much interested in purchasing the how-to category. I have about 50-60 monographs, history, and criticism books (combined). Currently purchasing some books through Steidl.
Heaps of how to books/chemistry texts.
Fewer image books; I tend to rotate through the image books, and often look to more periodicals for images, and might cut the odd image out before the magazine or newpaper gets tossed.
The how to books I am more selective with now, although if I find a good one for others at a garage sale I will buy it and donate it at the next camera club meeting I attend.
Very many image vs very few how-to.
Very many how -to compared to image books. It will get worse soon because I have purchased Way Beyond Monochrome Edition II. Looking forward to early October
The poll options don't work, do they?
Poll thingy not working for me, 1:10
Bug report sent to Sean.
I include books on theory, chemistry and encyclopedias in my 2:1 vote.
When I try to vote, all I get is the following message:
You did not select an option to vote for. Please press back to return to the poll and choose an option before voting.
Le Poll isn't working.....
For every how-to book I have 50 or more picture books and combined 45 how-to-picture books.
I'll know soon when the library is finished.
So ya know, Sean. It worked on mobile access.
Some one pulled the handle down to hard,could not vote,must be a chad problem.
Worked fine on Google Chrome.
Worked fine for some people so it must work fine, perhaps I pushed the ENTER button too hard.
In the beginning I had a lot of how-to books -- I was living abroad in a foreign country (wait! I still am!) and trying to teach myself everything about film photography with a manual SLR as I had no other resources to draw from, and the internet was slow and expensive and not easily come by (this was Japan c.2001). But as I got better and more confident in my skills I realized the content of my photographs needed work, and as such, I drew much more inspiration from picture books and those books tend to be the type of photo books I buy now. Even so, the ratio of how-to books still outnumbers the picture books, probably somewhere around 2:1.
That being said, in my recent move back to Japan, the majority of books I brought with me were how-to books, mostly alt processes books, Anchell's darkroom cookbook, and all of Rudman's books, because I know they'll be valuable resources for me here. I didn't bring Way Beyond Monochrome because it's such a heavy book and I knew the second edition would be out this year (which I can't wait to get!). I also brought some 'process/philosophy' books (for lack of a better word since they are not how-to or picture books), like Art and Fear, the Tao of Photography, etc. which tends to me interest me more now as well.
The question "in your library" I took to mean "in my local public library". In that case it is 1:10. In my own library it is more like 1:1.
I use LibraryThing for my photography book catalogue: 62 technique books out of a total of 315. Most of the technique books I bought a long time ago and rarely look at - they really need a new home. That said, I've recently found some interesting old how-to books - for example Abney & Clark's Platinotype from 1898 and a book on negative retouching from 1914. It's fascinating to find out how much we've forgotten.
Probably about 2:1 or 1:1.
i actually thought this was about THE library
like a social commentary thing
i have the time life set that i think of as picture books and other books not about photography but with great photography in them
I'd say its 5:30
3 people 100:1
im calling BS
pics or it didnt happen
Some people don't like looking at small pictures printed badly in too expensive books, and spend their money sooner on going to see large pictures hanging on walls.
The ratio of how to vs pic books then becomes much much bigger than 100:1 as soon as they have only 1 cheap little how-to booklet.
Strangely, it doesn't grow when they acquire more how-to books.
The poll offers 100:1 as the 'nearest' (though still far far removed) option.
I think the issue is that some buttons work while others don't.
In my learning days I collected many how-to books and read them. I find that, as with almost all learning from books, eventually every concept begins to be repeated and then from that the core principles can be distilled. I have many how-to books on photography, but it is only the very few that I refer to any longer. 'Light: Science & Magic' is one, Szarkowski's 'The Photographer's Eye' another. Oh, and of course St. Ansel's Trilogy, more recently ...I once enjoyed reading "National Geographic's Photography Field Guides" and others of that ilk, but those have collected a lot of dust on the bookshelf.
My collection also includes some critical books, How to Read Photographs, Theory of Composition, etc. I suppose these could be considered how-tos as well. I'm not much for spending big bucks on photographer books. I look at them at the bookstore from time to time (when they're not wrapped in plastic), I just can't bring myself to spring the eighty or a hundred bucks when that could buy some film or paper.
I buy a lot of magazines like Focus, B&W, Silvershotz, to see what's going on out there in our little corner of "The Art World" as I see it. Whether those magazines are any indication at all, I don't know. I do a prodigious amount of online viewing of the photographers I admire and occasionally go to the museum when there are photographs there.
The voting button didn't work, so I had to do an essay instead (to get my answer in there)
I think it's about 1 : 5 (1 how to for 5 pictures book). Used to be the reverse but I got rid of many "how to" that did not teach me anything, and bought more picture books that teach me a lot...
I could probably get rid of some more "how to" ones though.
BTW I was unable to vote anything but 100:1 or 10:1, the browser won't let me choose anything else !!!