I am drawn to macro photography, and I have also spent a good amount of time doing photography through a microscope. I am no good at it. I admire those who have not only the focus but the equipment to pursue it. I spent a year or so doing Underwater Photograhpy, and I have a (broken) underwater housing for the Canon SD1100 IS; underwater photography, like fishing, is a pursuit requiring many unproductive hours to produce a single fish, or a single good photography. The camera of my cell phone is fun to play with, but not a serious tool by any means.
A few books stand out as exceptional. For one thing, the techniques they discuss are themselves out of the ordinary.
- Alfred Blaker's books on Scientific Photography and Field Photography.
- Mertens: _In Water Photography_ is a highly technical text delineating a few techniques that are a far cry from the mainstream howto books. It is worth reading, even if most of us could never even begin to pretend to apply these techniques.
- Ansel Adams's books on the Zone System
Using Canon PowerShots, the Canon Hacker's Development Kit (CHDK) is interesting and useful. I have found that my PowerShot is too unsophisticaed to support most of the CHDK features, since it does not have an iris, and is less capable in almost all respects than higher end PowerShot cameras.