“Reading makes you less of a jerk. So, read often.”, is what an article suggests quoting a recent research. But when I suggest reading, I mean reading books. In the time, when almost everybody seems relying on internet, books have become important more than ever. It is true for photography books as well.
Though I value internet and its importance in communication. It has revolutionized the world of learning. As I’m writing here, you would be reading this post on a digital devise but internet is not enough, it is not all, especially if you are a serious learner. The other day while reading an article I clicked a link to read details of Courbet’s 1869 painting The Wave but couldn’t access. The page was unavailable. In web world, this is not surprising that sometimes millions of pages wouldn’t furnish the content you desire. Any website or page existing today, may be off the web world when you need it in future. That is the limitation of web.
The other aspect is quality, authenticity and update of content available in web, where anybody can write anything and you have no means to cross check it. Here a book proves more reliable and authentic. You may find lot of content describing technical aspects of making photographs and how to do but do you think it may equip you to appreciate a photograph, knowledge of visual grammar or history of photography! These aspects definitely help you in better understanding of the subject and improve your skills.
‘The Making of 40 Photographs’ is a book in which Ansel Adams shared the making of many of his most celebrated photographs and narrated reminiscences of people and places with precise recall of technical details and aesthetic consideration. If you admire his work and wish to read his experiences, internet can help only in ordering a copy of the book. Raghubir Singh, known for his pictures of streets and commoner’s life in India, authored 12 books but you will find only a few of his pictures in web, used with reports of his exhibitions, interviews or articles. And what if you are interested in history of Indian photography! I bet web is least helpful.
So guys, if you have kept yourself away from books. It’s worth giving a try.