The light is mesmerizing this time of year. I cannot soak up enough of the colors and ever-changing afternoon light during these early days of autumn. This experience is bittersweet as I know that these moments will not last much longer. Winter follows autumn and with a long, cold season predicted once again I do what I can to prepare for achromatic, snow covered landscapes.
Recently I treated myself by ordering two stunning books from National Geographic. “Dawn to Dark Photographs – The Magic of Light” is a superb compilation of stunning photographs taken anytime from pre-sunrise to post-sunset. Nearly 400 pages of color and texture have drawn me in, each time fully capturing my attention.
From a photographer’s perspective I treasure each image with location and the artist’s name provided. While I am disappointed that not more information is available I consider this a learning opportunity in analyzing the possible settings of the camera.
The second book I purchased is “”Life in Color” also by National Geographic. This book is divided into sections by colors, including silver and gold. A captivating coffee table book that provides not only inspiring images but also offers insightful quotes by scientists and poets.
The cover image is a good indication of how the viewer is drawn in by the individual photographs so carefully selected by the editor. Once again my only criticism with this book is the lack of technical information, however much like in “Dawn to Dark” I carefully examine each image trying to learn from the composition by applying principles and elements of art and design.
Books are a passion of mine, these two additions to my photography library will brighten many upcoming grey winter days.
The Rules of Photography & When to Break Them by Haje Jan Kamps; Focal Press Publishers, 2012. ISBN 978-0-240-82433-8
Photography is the number 1 hobby worldwide – we have all read this statistic and still we welcome new photographers into the fold every day. With so many images and books flooding print media and the internet a photographer must have sound technical knowledge, a creative approach to making images and stay open to new approaches.
This book is a great resource for honing one’s skills in seeing the world uniquely. To be different one often has to break the rules. In life, photography and in art rules are made to be broken. Breaking with convention generates a response, good or bad – a response is the ultimate goal.
Photographers are highly visual. This book delivers! Unique, captivating pictures are presented with short captions to introduce new concepts, suggestions for changing direction and best of all, breaking with conventional restrictions.
Each chapter covers a specific topic. Technical information is reviewed in “Exposure” which moves seamlessly into the comprehensive sections of “Composition” and “Advanced Composition Techniques”. “Photography Concepts”, “Lighting” and “Rules of the Digital Darkroom” complete this book.
As each “rule” is introduced it is followed by “break the rule. ” Great example are “The Rule: Keep the horizon straight” which is immediately followed with “Break the Rule: Wonky horizons” or The Rule: Don’t crop heads” versus “Break the Rule: Crop heads & move in close.” This concept carries on throughout the book. It is always supported by fitting examples in image and with short captions.
I picked this book up at the local book store last week, a completely impulsive purchase. I am not sure I would have ordered it without flipping through it from front to back. Every time I hold it in my hand I cannot put it down. Every page has a wealth of information, ideas and tricks I am yearning to try. This book has secured a place on my “favorites” shelf.
Do you have a favorite photography book? Why not share the title and reasons in the comment section?