I've looked at a lot of photography instruction books over the years - both in classrooms and in my own personal time. While all are informative some do a better job of translating technique into actual photographs. Henry Carroll's "Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs," makes the reader want to go out with the camera and start shooting. That's because the reader isn't sitting there rereading the same chapter and scratching their head. His book is a simple, raw, and to-the-point translation of "this is a great photograph - this is what the photographer did." Technique is also written in a no nonsense and easy to understand method with the best graphical representations of camera functions that I've seen. Its simplicity of explanation leaves plenty of room in your head for the imaginative process to start working its magic.
I reached out to Mr. Carroll and told him I wanted to use his book for instruction with my students in the College Mentors Photography Project. In great generosity, he got his publisher, Laurence King, to send me books for the kids at no cost. These kids are growing into photographers and are using his book as their text of inspiration and education. I thought this book was the best place for them to start with a photography text. I'd recommend it to anyone else out there looking for that photo first book. I'd also recommend it to the well honed and seasoned photographer looking for continuing education or inspiration. It's that good.
Luckily for all of us, Mr. Carroll has another book releasing later this month titled, "Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs of People." We all want to take great photographs of people and I expect this text will be just as good as the first in his "Read This" series.
Thank you Mr. Carroll.
More on Henry Carroll's books: http://www.henrycarroll.co.uk/books/