Optimize your lighting setup with the Flashpoint Cool Light 1 and Cool Light 4 from Adorama. Cool Light 1 consists of an 11-inch reflector with one 30-watt fluorescent bulb, and Cool Light 4 features a 16-inch reflector with four 24-watt fluorescent bulbs. On the latter model, there are two switches, each controlling two lights, so you can use two or four lights depending on what you need. List Price: $34 (Cool Light 1); $99 (Cool Light 4). Contact: Adorama, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.
Keep your shot steady using the Monostat RS16SL Carbon ART monopod, which is strong enough to support heavy telephoto lenses, yet light enough to carry around. This model is longer, extending from 23.6 to 71 inches. It weighs 1.85 pounds and can support a 50-pound load capacity. Built with strong carbon-tubing construction, the RS16SL features a Swivel Toe Stabilizer that lets you shoot at up to a 60-degree angle from horizontal, and the toe provides a firm grip on wet surfaces. List Price: $295. Contact: Monostat of Switzerland (Accurate Sales, Inc.), (718) 302-7063, www.monostat.us.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: A Professional Image Editor’s Guide to the Creative Use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC by Martin Evening (Focal Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-240-52125-1). This classic reference book offers a wealth of advice, hints and tips to help photographers of all levels create pro-looking images.
Travel Photography: Tread Your Own Path by Steve Davey (Footprint, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-906098-42-1). Packed with tips and anecdotes on how photography can enhance your travel experience, this pictorial guide explores how to plan your trip, what equipment to take, how to get the most from your camera and more.
Understanding Composition: The Complete Photographer’s Guide by Steve Mulligan (Photographers’ Institute Press, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-86108-534-4). Learn how such key ideas as viewpoint, framing, symmetry, light and the rule of thirds play a part in creating great photos. The book is illustrated with beautiful photography.
Langford’s Starting Photography: The Guide to Creating Great Images by Michael Langford and Philip Andrews (Focal Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-240-52110-7). All the core basics are included, from how to select and compose a good picture to how different cameras operate and how to decipher their controls. Hundreds of images are included.
Digital Photography: Essential Skills by Mark Galer (Focal Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-240-52112-1). Let this practical guide teach you the basics on finding the right camera, managing files, editing images and more. Packed with images intended to inspire, the book offers clear explanations and activities to help you put theory into practice.