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Heh, I think it's funny you and I are in disagreement...I see myself as being on the opposite end of the "artsy" spectrum since that wasn't highly valued at the newspaper.

Obviously, photos I take on my own are loosened up but I lean towards realism. Not using a flash is a deliberate decision to preserve as much of the lighting in a dark scene, even at the risk of underexposure or excess ambient light from a slow shutter speed. Anyway, the book you recommend is not a bad one, but on a brief skim, it's more about the history and place of photography than snapshot technique. I don't disagree that that has worth, it's just not what I'm aiming for in my admittedly brief guide.

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