books

Photography book – thoughts and questions

I recently told my Facebook friends that I was thinking of writing a book to help people get better photos with their fancy cameras, and received a lot of positive feedback.

Jansen Baby Birthday
Getting consistently sharp, vivid, interesting photos doesn't have to be hard.

Some of the things I want to write about include:

  • Getting photos that aren't too bright or too dark.
  • Getting photos where people aren't blurry.
  • Making people look great.
  • Taking pictures that are beautiful, more often.

I don't want to be technical in this book, other than introducing people, slowly, to important concepts in photography. I want to show people through example and experience exactly what's going on when they snap a picture that they later find to be ugly, horrible, or too blurry or bright/dark to use.

The Church and New Media - Book on Catholic New Media use

The Church and New Media

I've heard about this book here and there the past few months, but it's getting all official now, with a spiffy website, a trailer (hey, I thought only movies had those!), and A-list endorsements.

From the endorsements:

“This book demonstrates how New Media is already impacting the Church and outlines many practical steps for dioceses, parishes, and individual Catholics to embrace it more broadly…Everyone involved in Communications and Evangelization ministries for the Church should read it.”  (–Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap.)

On Writing Documentation

I've been slowly reading through "Coders at Work," an excellent book in which Peter Siebel interviews many different programmers on their work and craft, and I hit a great little snippet of advice from Peter Norvig:

"The overall design of what's going to do what, that's really important to lay out first. It's got to be something that everybody understands and it's also got to be the right choice."

Basically, before you start doing some huge project, have a bit of a meta discussion about what you're trying to do. Document the process / steps, make sure it makes sense, and code to that process. You don't need to necessarily comment on every little tidbit of code you write—code should be somewhat self-explanatory if written well—but you should at least document what your functions do, and what kind of idea you're trying to implement.

Plus, if you document beforehand, you'll be able to conform code to documentation, and at the end you'll have a framework of your docs already complete!

Dr. Scott Hahn - Apologetics for the 21st Century

Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2009The following is a blog post I've written as part of the 'Support a Catholic Speaker' month, sponsored by the excellent Fallible Blogma, run by Matthew Warner (also founder of FlockNote.com).

Dr. Scott Hahn, a distinguished professor, father, husband, and convert to Catholicism, is arguably one of the greatest apologetical Catholic writers of the late 20th and early 21st century. Practically every book authored by Scott Hahn has been listed in the bestseller lists for Catholic books, and his frequent talks never fall on deaf ears.

He speaks and writes the truth and the Catholic faith. My first exposure to Scott Hahn's writing was his excellent book on the Eucharist, The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth, in which he explains the Eucharist from the perspective of a knowledgeable Biblical scholar, highlighting the significance and extreme importance of the Lamb of God throughout human history.