Discover the joy of photography at the library

Part of the mission of the Manatee County Library System is to nurture imagination and promote lifelong learning. Our collection has an impressive number of print and electronic titles related to art and creativity, and especially photography. Whether you’re an amateur photographer looking to improve your skills, or you’re interested in the works and lives of notable photographers, we have something for you. There are dozens of new selections available, and here is just a small sample.

Sarah Wilkerson’s “Capture the Moment” is a guide that will help the reader transform everyday moments into compelling images. Wilkerson and several others from Clickin Moms, an online community of woman photographers, share tips on equipment, composition, light and visual storytelling.

Pets are part of the family and in years past it wasn’t unusual to see them begrudgingly wearing a Santa hat on a Christmas card or attempting to focus in family portraits. But lately, with social media and savvy merchandising, people are building empires with the faces of their grumpy cats or surfing dogs. For tips from a professional, check out “Pet Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots” by Alan Hess. The author covers not only technical aspects of a pet photo shoot, but also advice on keeping them calm and safe. The book closes with information on how you can help local animal shelters and rescue organizations with your photography skills.

Animal lovers — and even those who are ambivalent about them — will be captivated by Joel Sartore’s “The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals.” With a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, Sartore is traveling the world with the goal of photographing 12,000 animals. He places special emphasis on the endangered ones. The Photo Ark is a collection of 400 of his stunning animal portraits — from the tiny St. Andrew beach mouse to the African elephant.

If you prefer eBooks, the library’s OverDrive database offers Jeff Wignall’s “Digital Photography FAQs.” This comprehensive guide answers 365 common questions about digital photography. The library’s database, Hoopla, holds 79 eBook photography titles with subjects ranging from underwater photography to sports photography, and even ghost photography! Hoopla also has video titles for streaming and downloading. Among them are documentaries on masters of photography including Ansel Adams and Duane Michals. All of this is free with your Manatee County library card.

Feeling the need for better self-promotion? Your Instagram account may benefit from checking out Aimee Song’s eBook “Capture Your Style: Transform Your Instagram Photos, Showcase Your Life, and Build the Ultimate Platform” also on Hoopla. Song, an Instagram star and fashion and design blogger, offers tips to elevate your social media standing. Featured in 2016’s Forbes “30 under 30” issue, Song’s style blog (created in 2008) now boasts 4 million page views per month.

Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. Mary Lysaght is the assistant supervisor at the Rocky Bluff Library in Ellenton.