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First Light: A Landscape Photographer's Art Hardcover – 24 Oct 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Argentum; First Edition edition (24 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902538242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902538242
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 1.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Joe Cornish is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest contemporary landscape photographers. He has lectured and exhibited in Britain and overseas, led workshops and written a number of successful books, including Scotland’s Coast and Scotland’s Mountains, both published by Aurum, and Joe Cornish: A Photographer at Work and First Light -both published under the Aurum photography imprint Argentum.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is not the usual coffee-table book of inspirational, technically perfect, evocative photographs. Neither is it an effective how-to manual full of tips and tricks. This book is both! Page after page of fantastic photography, accompanied by thought provoking text. The text is not simply dry, technical detail, rather a more mental approach to mastering the craft. Joe explains how knowledge of timing, light and composition, can aid in capturing the feeling experienced at the moment of taking the photograph.
This book will be a great inspiration to the both the expert and the novice. It will help you capture mood rather than just images.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
First Light is not only an inspiration to all budding landscape photographers but is a beatiful record of the wonderous world around us. It screams quality when you hold it, from the heavy paper, the luxurious binding and the superb print quality - Joe Cornish's obvious demands for perfection can be seen throughout.
It is written in an enjoyable, conversational style which encourages you to continually turn another page. The author's comments serve to add context to the already stunning photography as well as the occasional touch of humour. If you like the natural world, enjoy photography or simply enjoy seeing the work of a true master - First Light is a must for your bookshelf.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Fanta on 1 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
There are several elements making this book outstanding. It shows 60+ photos from the author printed as big as one page, beautifully reproduced, that make many of us, I believe, look in wonder and also feel... miserable (will I ever take such a picture?). For each big picture, there is also a smaller one on the opposing page, of the same subject or location, but taken at a different time and possibly with a different composition. In the text accompanying each pictures pair, Joe Cornish describes the taking of them, the challenges, why he believes one is better than the other. He also addresses and illustrates his, how can I call it, philosophy and techniques of landscape photography, which I believe are lessons and inspiration to anybody interested in the subject. It struck me how he can achieve impeccable color balance with filters and film, no digital camera and RAW converter. Writing is terse, the tone is humble but you feel how passionate he is about photography, a pleasant reading.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely inspiring book by, I believe, Britain's finest landscape photographer. So many of Joe Cornish's photographs have what I can call that 'extra element' or 'other dimension' - almost impossible to define - which makes them not just beautiful, but transcendant. Through his viewfinder a landscape is transformed from the merely 'pictorial' into what we recognize as ART. The book is so wonderfully well produced in every way, and out of the fifty or so glorious images the unforgettable ones, to me, are: all the Antelope Canyon ones(the striated rock seems to flow, like Fortuny silk in a wind machine) Paria-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness (also in Arizona), Falling Foss, North Yorkshire Moors, Dunraven Bay (the contrast of the blue stone and pools of golden water!)and the shells of Clifton Beach. In addition to the wealth of wonderful images, Joe Cornish's text is lovely to read, informative and clear. Whether or not you take photos yourself, this is a book to treasure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Piotr Szymczak on 11 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Joe Cornish's "First Light" is more than a collection of visually stunning, atmospheric images. The photographs are wonderful and the print quality is impeccable but the book shines on two more important counts.

1. The book discusses at length Cornish's work philosophy which is encapsulated in the book's title: "First, light". There is the old but true adage that amateurs care about the gear, pros care about the money, and the masters care about the light. To a good photographer, the right kind of light is always first in the list of priorities. Many of Cornish's images in this book rely on capturing some special moment of absolutely magical light, and his comments help a budding photographer to realize this important truth.

2. Cornish's commentary is also useful in including discussion of less successful shots taken in the same locations. Those more pedestrian shots are included in the book (they're small-sized) as an aid to exploring what is actually excellent about the truly successful photographs. Those cautionary examples are not bad photographs - many of them are technically immaculate - but nonetheless they miss the magic that only special light may provide.

For budding photographers, an important note. Cornish's images were captured on medium-format film. So don't fret about not being able to ever produce the same level of foreground detail or subtle tonal ranges with your SLR camera - you're playing in a different league. The technical details of each shot (camera, lens, focal length, aperture and shutter speed settings, film, filters) are all included at the back of the book.

Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ian W. on 30 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover
A beautiful book of landscape photographs, quality printing on glossy, heavy-weight paper stock. Many of the pictures are from the wilder locations around the UK and some from other countries, particularly the USA. The pictures are of natural landscapes, not mand-made objects reflecting civilization, often surrealist in colour and form.

Each photograph is presented on a 2-page spread, Joe talks about how or why he came to take this photograph, one large image and one smaller image to illustrate a point in the text.

It is moderate on technical details but does contain an "index" with the principal exposure information for every main image.

Joe is a skilled, larger-format (5 inch x 4 inch) with some tilt and shift, transparency film photographer but, from time-to-time, gives the 35mm equivalent for the lens that was used. The book was first published in 2002, before digital photography really came-of-age, but Joe continues to use film and the results in this book show why. Most of his pictures are straight out of the camera, no Photoshop manipulation. Joe knows his film and knows the exposure and filters required to achieve a brilliant picture in one shot.

This is a book that cannot fail to impress and encourage the landscape photographer.
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