This and That

Random bits of my life

My Amazon Order Arrived

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 18, 2009

I went to the post office this morning and picked up the photography book I ordered from Amazon.

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The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

I’ve only skimmed it, but now I see why it is considered a leader in the field.

This book’s focus is composition — how balance and tension, foreground, perspective, and a host of other factors can make the difference between a compelling picture and a flat snapshot. It’s beautifully illustrated, as one would expect from a photographer who has worked for The Smithsonian, Time-Life, and National Geographic.

I particularly like the case study of the Japanese monk outside a Tokyo subway station. Freeman shows 15 different photos of the monk and passersby, the times of the photos, and the questions that were running through his mind while he was taking the pictures. It’s like looking over the photographer’s shoulder while he’s working and hearing him think aloud.

The book is professionally indexed, with the emphasis on artists and concepts, not on the subject matter of the photos themselves. The book is primarily about composition and assumes that you already know the technical foundations of digital photography. Nevertheless, I would recommend it for any level of photographer. Books and articles that tell you about lenses, shutter speed, and aperture are all over the Web and the shelves of your local bookstore, but very few books will tell you what makes a great composition, great.

This isn’t meant to be a book review, because I’ve only skimmed it. It’s an impressive work — and it’s only $20!

Me x 9

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