How to Photograph Your Favourite Books

We all like to take time out and submerge ourselves in a good book. So at iPhotography this got us thinking, is there any way we can show our appreciation to our favourite books by photographing them?


Here’s a few handy hints, tips and creative ideas to get you on your way.

1. Never take photographs in artificial light.

Just don’t do it guys. Even if your camera allows you to change the ISO and aperture and shutter speed settings, it’s something we wouldn’t recommend doing. Why I hear you ask? Well what’s the rush? The book will still be there tomorrow, unless your library rental is close to expiry. Do the book justice and photograph using natural light.

Using artificial light can cause several problems:

– It makes your book pages look yellow.

– The surface of your book will cause you to get those ‘blinding’ yellow/white spots which is caused by the reflective surface, which will effectively ruin your photo.

– colors of the book will not be true to their color and shade.

– Using a flash/ artificial light will make you photographs look almost unprofessional, the background will be took dark and the book will look fake. Make use of the natural light to make the background look white and clean.

2. Angles are key.

As we know angles are vital when shooting anything and can really affect the overall shot. There’s nothing wrong with taking a birds eye view of a book or even straight on, but sometimes it can look slightly amateurish.

If you don’t get the alignment or position off the book right, it throws everything off and causes the image to look wonky.

Take photographs from as many different angles as you can, like you would normally. The angle is vital when photographing books and you want it to be as visually exciting as possible and not just an unappealing heap of old books.

If your photographing several books, instead of taking pictures of them individually why not pile your books up, (not too many or it will be to chaotic, and look more like a game of Jenga) Place the books in a stack at different angles so it creates more dimension within the images.

3. Color coordination.

If you have a series or collection of books you wish to photograph, really think about the placement and order of them before you start shooting. So why not start by sorting them into piles in order of color: this will help bring together the entire photograph collectively so it doesn’t look messy and helps balance out the finished image.

4. Background is everything.

So after you’ve arranged your books you need to find a background that is simple and not too distracting. White or cream, something soft or light should do it! Although you can use any color in your shot as long as it’s one base color, no rainbow prints please. This is because you need to make sure your viewers get the instant ‘color pop’ from the books and not the background, kind of defeats the point if your eyes are drawn to the background and not the books, doesn’t it?

Of course, if all your books are monochrome, you may choose to get your fix of color in the background and incorporate it that way so the image isn’t bland and boring.

5. The edit.

Editing is entirely up to yourself and what you feel comfortable doing. With this type of photography it doesn’t require heap loads of editing anyway. Think of it like someone who’s pretty without make up and they use a little bit of mascara and blush to enhance the beauty without taking it too far and looking like there preparing for a beauty pageant…overkill.

It’s the same with editing, just simple steps like adjusting the brightness if the natural lighting wasn’t strong enough that day or vice versa if you get a really sunny day and need to dim the lighting slightly. Or possibly adding a filter or playing with the saturation, little steps to give your image a nice finish.

So now you know the basics start to think about how you can really get creative with photographing your favourite book. Here’s a few examples of how you can creatively photograph you book or simply use the book as a central object or point of focus within your images.

Maybe you love a good romance novel. Why not add flowers to enhance this? Or try creating heart shapes with the pages? You could even arrange your book stack and create heart shapes, really simple and effective!

Maybe you’re a big Harry Potter fan. Add a touch of magic to your images, try throwing books around and adjusting your shutter speed to give the illusion your books are truly magic.

On the topic of shutter speed, why not try playing with the pages to see what shots you can capture? These types of shots work really well with plenty of light and shade to add those key lines in your images.

 

Perhaps you have some old vintage books. Well, why not enhance them with a filter such as Sepia? Or add vintage objects within your shot to enhance the theme.

Consider yourself a regular Mary Berry or Gordon Ramsey. Who says your favourite book can’t be a cookbook. Get cooking and creative at the same time, two birds and all that.

As mentioned before, creatively stacking your books, using a mix of colors, and a combination of creative lighting can be really powerful and striking.

Reading books with your children, an everyday must. Why not capture that magical atmosphere and get your children involved?

Whether you’re a book worm or not, you can use old stacks of books as objects or create new exciting ornaments, play around with composition and lighting to create new shapes… it may become a permanent household feature, you never know.

What’s a good book without a drink to go with it. After all it’s tradition isn’t it? Whether that be coffee or wine, why not photograph the environment in which you choose to read?

Are you partial to a read before bed?

However you choose to read or whatever genre you enjoy, try capturing the essence of that book and do it justice! Don’t forget to upload your images to the gallery photographs at iPhotography. We look forward to seeing how creative you bookworms have been.

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