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February 25, 2008


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I picked up Scott's books the same time I picked up my first low-end DSLR and it was an incredible jump start. Good synopsis of his hallmark works.

By the way, very cool to see you're keeping such a high quality blog. I went to Kansai Gaidai for a spell in the spring of 2005 and though I never had a class with you, I definitely recall seeing you around the building. Hope Japan continues to treat you well!



Excellent post. Thanks for the links. I am currently in the same position as you looking to buy an SLR. I was wondering which one are you going to buy?

Brian Reyman

Both great books - Scott and Joe are a few of the better authors out there.

I've written reviews of the books:

For Garrett, the Rebel series from Canon is great - the XTi and XSi are both solid entry level cameras.


My college roommate has a Canon XTi and has produced some incredible work with it. Personally, I chose the D40 as I prefer it's kit lens and other available lenses. It makes a fantastic beginner to intermediate camera, which should last me a long while.


Nice post, Garr.

I would have to agree that photography is definitely a great supplement for anyone interested in visual design.

I do have a SLR camera (Canon Digital Rebel XTi), and I simply love it! I brought it with me to Japan on this last trip. It was very intimidating to learn all the controls at first, but I was lucky to have photography enthusiast friends. I also recommend watching DVDs by Blue Crane Digital. http://www.bluecranedigital.com/dvd.htm
I prefer DVDs for disciplines where "doing it" is the key. But, I have heard of Scott Kelby's name, so I'll go and check it out!

As a newbie photographer myself, I think doing photography parallels and exercises many of the principles you describe in your book, particularly the last chapter. You may already know this, but the "Rule of Thirds" mentioned in the book is one of the first things photographers are taught about composition and how to "frame" a photograph. So, as you said, looking for as well as composing good shots is great practice for not only for assessing good images, but also creating your own visuals.

Along with identifying with simplicity, I think that photography complements visual design by:

1. Being in the present and connecting
Going out for a shoot helps you be in the moment. You're absorbing in your environment, looking for that particular image (or emotion) you want to capture. You feel "it" around it. As you take pictures, you begin to realize and identify with what connects with you. Why do you feel the way you do? This awareness can translate into effective design when trying to create visuals to connect with the audience. I believe that much of the psychology in why certain colors, shapes, and lines affect us they way they do is because we've been trained by nature to associated certain emotions or responses to those elements.

2. Aiding in the "Journey"
The last chapter of the book is truly inspirational. Photography is a great way to "just do it," "exercise your 'right brain'," "get out," and increase your awareness to the "lessons" around us.

3. Saving some money
I wish my company would give me a personal budget to buy stock photographs. But, the paradigm that believes in the importance of great visuals in a presentation is just not there yet. I love iStockphoto, but downloading lots of high quality photos can take a toll on my wallet. So, learning photography is a great way to create your own images! The resolutions of today's cameras can create almost print quality images (at least 250 ppi). I like to capture pictures in RAW, as to minimize image quality loss.


Excellent post. Like the previous ones! I just recently discovered your blog in an attempt to find ways to improve my presentations and those of my colleagues.

I just bought Jon Steel's "Perfect Pitch". I can only recommend it to anyone new to improving her presentations.

To GarrettB: I am in the same situation of needing stock images but not getting the necessary funds. So I will follow your actions and try to do my own stuff.

On a different matter, some nice photos can be seen here www.palindromy.com



Nice Post...Scott's Books aid the catalyst in your to be look for the nuances better when trying to capture it. I also liked the books from National Geographic on Digital Photography.


Thanks for sharing your feedback about the book. I wanted to get a copy of it, and am searching for some reviews of the book. If you said it's good, I'm sure it's pretty useful since I've been reading Presentation Zen for some time and trust your words...... :)

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