Creative Photo Book Ideas

Collecting and preserving photographs has been a favourite pastime with most people, young and old. Sometimes they get stuck with so many photos from various occasions and varying times in the past, they wonder how to put them all together coherently.

The most common and popular photo book themes include-

Baby Album – You could start your album with photos from various trimesters in your pregnancy and record your emotions. You could include ultrasounds and photos of the nursery too.

Family Holiday- Holiday pictures are best arranged chronologically, i.e. day-by-day. You could also theme them place- by-place, or you could simply put up your favourite pictures from your holidays and record what you liked most about them.

Graduation Day- You could make portrait portfolios of your friends and ask them to write something for you to give it the feel of a personalised slam book.

Wedding Album- A wedding is the most special and important day in a person’s life. A picture tells a thousand words and your wedding album could tell your whole love story. You could start with the ‘Proposal’ and go on to add your engagement photos, bridal shower photos, wedding photos and honeymoon photos.

But here some not so common ideas that could also be fun and entertaining:

1. Pets and Animals- Pets are part of family too and deserve an album unto them. Your pet album could include the day you brought your pet home and how you decided on a name for him/her. You could also make a portfolio of your pet.

2. Sports and Hobbies- Sports never fails to thrill and exhilarate its fanatics. You could start with a ‘Training Journal’ and go on to add photos of your teams, your uniforms, your coaches and your favourite cheers.

3. Photo Cook Book- A way to a man’s heart is his stomach, or so they say. So why not make an album to record that special dish you made for your loved one for the first time! You could also make an album of the first time your child was in the kitchen helping you or making something for you.

4. Family History Book- What better way to preserve your family heritage than a collection of photos creating your own family tree! You could go back as far as you would like and sometimes be amazed at how many people love you and care about you.

5. Road Trips- While on bikes, cars or hitchhiking on a truck, you will see many billboards, signboards and signals. Click them to create your own ‘Highway’ album.

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I got my DSLR a few years back, and for a while was desperately looking for ways to improve my photography skills, particularly in composition. Photography is such an integral part of travelling. When I come home from a trip, sorting out my photographs and picking out good ones is one of the things I enjoy most. And so I went on the hunt for some of the best photography books on composition. While there are many factors involved in creating a great photograph, I believe that composition is as important as knowing all the dials on your camera and when or how to use them. After all, a great photograph that evokes strong emotions is most powerful, thus the image has to be something special that tells a story too.

Knowing how to compose a good photo is a priceless art and I have never been convinced it could really be taught. I strongly believed at one point that composition had more to do with the sheer talent and imagination of the person behind the lens. That is, until I read Bryan Peterson’s book, ‘Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color & Composition in Photography’, which happened to be on a few professional photographers’ reading lists. All the components that go into a well composed photograph is covered here, such as design, shapes, lines, colours and patterns. Subject placement and focus is one of the most important elements in designing a photograph. He invites readers to think critically when composing, so as when to realise that it is acceptable to ‘break’ basic compositional rules, such as the times when it is wise to place the subject in the centre of the photograph as opposed to following the common ‘rule of thirds’. The bonus is that he includes many fabulous images from his portfolio.

Peterson further shows readers how to work with, and get the best out of different lighting conditions. He also writes on the various types of lenses and how to select the appropriate one to use on the field.

A highly regarded professional photographer, teacher and author, Peterson’s writing style is engaging and his book is highly readable and easy to digest without being too wordy. While seemingly elementary, budding photographers and more advanced ones alike will likely find Peterson’s book a great source of reference. I did find this book highly readable and a worthy investment in helping me improve my own photography skills. I do habitually try to visualise a powerful image in my mind’s eye first before I release the shutter these days.

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Origami Book Reviews

There are a number of origami books available which provide beautiful pictures, easy to follow guides and design ideas for all your origami decoration occasions. Origami books range from beginner origami difficulty with simple creations to advanced and expert design books incorporating mathematics and intricate detail into origami decoration production. To decide which book is best for you, here are my recommendations for which origami book you should choose depending on your skill and experience level:

Beginner – For beginners, the best origami book to get you started is the Absolute Beginner’s Origami book by Nick Robinson. If online articles or other books with complex diagrams and confusing fold lines have previously deterred you from making origami decorations, then this is definitely the book for you. Featuring colour photos and a simple three step system, Absolute Beginner’s Origami teaches even the most amateur of origami decoration makers to make some fantastic sculptures and models. The book can be purchased from Amazon with 20% off it’s retail price, and is a great start for origami beginners.

Absolute Beginners Book
Intermediate -If you have some experience with making origami decorations, or want to challenge yourself with some trickier designs, then Ornamental Origami: Exploring 3D Geometric Designs is the book for you. Featuring beautiful colour images on glossy high quality pages, Ornamental Origami: Exploring 3D Geometric Designs has 40 projects for origami enthusiasts to create, with structured advice making creation as easy as possible. This book is best purchased off Amazon, where it can be picked up with a saving of over 10% on it’s original price.

Ornamental Book
Advanced – If you are experienced with making origami decorations, and want to make some designs that really will impress and dazzle your friends and family, then Advanced Origami: An Artist’s Guide to Performances in Paper is the book for you. This book goes beyond basic “how-to” origami guides, and looks into advanced techniques in origami paper and visionary art needed to make truly spectacular origami decorations. There are ten unique origami designs in the book which cannot be found elsewhere, with complete instructions, photographs and advice on advanced techniques such as wet folding. This book can be purchased for cheap on Amazon, with a 33% saving on it’s RRP.

Advanced book
Expert – If you are a master of origami or want to become an expert in the art to produce spectacular origami decorations, then Origami Design Secrets: Mathematical Methods for an Ancient Art is the book for you. Origami Design Secrets is written by Robert J. Lang, one of the world’s leading origami artists, and in the book you will learn to make your own unique and expert origami designs and origami sculptures. Techniques are explained in great detail using some fantastic diagrams, and include expert origami methods such as combining uniaxial bases, the circle/river method and tree theory. This expert origami book can be purchased most cheaply from Amazon, with a saving of 16% on it’s standard price.

Origami Design Secrets Book
So whatever your origami skill level there is a book for you, each of which will give you the information you need to make some impressive origami decorations for all occasions.

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