navy photography

There was a time when the Navy would train photographers, journalists, lithographers, and draughtsmen. Since 2006, those roles have all been combined, and all the armed forces train their communication teams from a single school, but before that there were generations of servicemen who trained as Photographers’ Mates, and these are the textbooks they used.

Fresh from the film-using days of 1993, the Photography (Basic) guide is an introduction to all the things you’d expect to see in a photography textbook. There’s discussion about formats and film, composition, lighting, optics and more. It even delves into different photography types and techniques, like how to vignette a headshot, developing your film, or using reproduction cameras — there are even quizzes to make sure you paid attention. While much of the technology used for photography has changed in the 20 years since this guide was published, the fundamental basics of how to take a good photo remain.

If you don’t want to wade through Scribd’s version of the document, you could always just download it and the more advanced followup directly. And these old textbooks aren’t just limited to learning photography. If you want to learn another language, you can always use the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) courses which were released into the public domain.

[via Reddit]