One of the best tools that every photographer can always look back on are eBooks. And in the case of Shaun Hines, he’s back again with a brand new eBook for street photographers. The author of Unravelling the Mysteries of the Little Black Box has decided to make his talents much more specialized and in a very bite sized package. In fact, we’re talking about two chapters and a very rudimentary introduction to street photography.
A Street Photographer’s Notebook is short introduction to the art of street photography that doesn’t spend too much time getting its rocks off on gear–instead it focuses on the thought process from a very personal view.
And like many personal views, we don’t agree with all of it.
Ease of Use
Shaun has made improvements to the way that his ebooks function given what he’s learned from his first release. Like other interactive books, he spends a bit of time explaining how you can use it. You can zoom in on images through gestures or even interact with yellow highlighted text. Like his other book, Shaun goes for a very creative and visual aesthetic with this book–making it seem like it’s an actual notebook that you’d be paging through.
With that said, you won’t be paging through much. The entire book is probably two chapters with the second one really hitting home on concepts and philosophy.
While Shaun does a great job explaining lots of the basics to street photographers, the more intricate details aren’t ones that we would personally go for. Then again, to each their own. For example, he talks about how basically anything can be categorized as street photography where as we believe that anything in public or not shot in a dwelling area of some sort can included in the street photography category.
Hines gets into more juicy details like avoiding confrontation and explains what happens through a first person account. Shaun spends a bit on battling self-consciousness and also goes on a bit about commitment; but our problem is that he doesn’t quite fill it out enough. Indeed, these are sections that could be very useful to newbie shooters and finding ways to motivate readers would have made this book much more valuable.
Shaun spends a sufficient amount of time covering the most basics of the basics: like attire, manual mode, and gear. In today’s day and age though, the best camera is arguably the one that you’ve got on you.
While we really like the work that Shaun does, we’re not sure that he went deep enough for us given the audience that he’s targeting. To be fair, the best way to become a better street photographer is to get off sites like ours, get your butt out there and go shooting. Then given the mistakes you made, you learn, adjust, and figure out another way to approach the problems after some reflection.
If you’re still looking to get into street photography and give it a try, we recommend just going out there and shooting. But if you’re considering getting into it, Shaun’s eBook is a nice read that gives you a fair introduction to the genre.
For the rest of us though, just get out there and shoot.
We give Shaun Hines’s A Street Photographer’s Notebook three out of five stars. Check it out in the iTunes store.