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The Art of the Photograph: Essential Habits for Stronger Compositions Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Description


Art Wolfe is a virtuoso. Morgan Freeman"

About the Author

Art Wolfe's stunning images are recognised throughout the world for their mastery of colour, composition and perspective. Wolfe is a recipient of the coveted Alfred Eisenstaedt Magazine Photography Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Nature Photography Association. He is also a popular speaker for such companies as Microsoft, IBM and Sheraton Hotels. He can be found at artwolfe.com. Rob Sheppard is the author and photographer of more than 30 books and hundreds of articles, and is a well-known speaker and workshop leader. He was formerly the long-time editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine. He can be found at robsheppardphotography.com.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 230471 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books (3 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DAD26SI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #430,448 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for photographers who have started to master the basics of how their camera works and want to think about how images are composed. It includes aspects such as design and composition as well as lenses, equipment and workflow. The images are beautifully chosen to illustrate the points made and there is literally a worthwhile idea on every page. The usual metadata (lens, shutter speed f-stop) is included with each photograph so you can analyse how the image was made and try something similar yourself. For me, the way the author describes his workflow on a shoot, by thinking about light, angles, composition etc before even taking the camera out of the bag was almost worth the price of admission alone but there is a wealth of other excellent advice here. I thoroughly recommend this book and would say that it perfectly complements The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos. If you are looking to take your pictures up to the next level, from well-taken photos to something creative, thoughtful and yes, even artistic. buy this book. In fact buy them both.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant book, practical AND inspirational! Highly recommended to those who wish to improve their photography.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Too elementary.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x936219a8) out of 5 stars 61 reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9363a540) out of 5 stars Average general purpose photography book 25 Mar. 2014
By bg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book based on the many positive reviews, but was underwhelmed by the generalized content and lack of detailed instruction. The book has some beautiful photographs and the text is well-written, but I expected more depth considering the subtitle is "Essential Habits for Stronger Compositions." This book covers everything from light and color theory to camera types, lenses, filters and software – all of which can be found in greater detail in other photography books. Most of the sections fit on one or two pages, which severely limits in-depth discussion of the subject. Many sections seem like filler, and others just barely touch on important photographic elements (e.g., spirals — the author introduces Fibonacci spirals but provides no real application other than to "look for spirals"). As well, there are typos and technical errors like pg 243, where deep depth of field is stated as f/2.8 and shallow depth of field for the same image as f/7.1. While there are some fantastic images in the book, others are curious like pg 82, where the trident is not even in sharp focus. I think more experienced photographers will be disappointed by the generic content and lack of deeper discussion around composition.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9363a78c) out of 5 stars This is THE book to have 2 Feb. 2014
By N. M. Deflon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you were to buy only one book to inspire your photography and take it to the next level, The Art of the Photograph is the book to have. This magnificent book was created by the unbeatable combination of master photographers Art Wolfe and Rob Sheppard—specifically, it offers you photos by Art Wolfe and his stories about how he learned and now approaches his craft, along with Rob Sheppard’s text. Having had personal experience of Rob’s thorough and enthusiastic teaching, I can say that he is up to form in this book.
What makes Art Wolfe’s photographs the ideal visual material for this book—aside, of course, from his being one of the most outstanding photographers in the world today—is the amazing variety of subjects he captures. He travels the world, photographing everywhere from the Palouse to Antarctica, photographing people, landscapes, even abstracts. In fact, he advises you not to limit yourself by self-identifying as a particular type of photographer but, instead, to be open to everything. One of the valuable concepts I’ve learned from the book is to be looking for the photograph, not for the subject.
The chapters are titled “Finding Inspiration,” “Discovering the Subject,” “Constructing the Image,” “Camera and Lens,” “The Elements of Design,” “Color and Black-and-White,” “Light and Composition,” “Creative Solutions,” “The 10 Deadly Sins of Composition,” and “Equipment and Workflow.” The chapters offer springboards to help you formulate your own philosophy of and approach to photographing; this is not a “how to” book of the technical aspects of photography.
One of the great strengths of The Art of the Photograph is that it is conceived, in part, as a dialogue between the authors and the reader. This is vitally important. If you’re going to teach something as complex as Essential Habits for Stronger Composition (the book’s subtitle), you have to provide the opportunity for the student to appropriate the material for themselves, to reflect on how it applies to them. This is achieved by questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. So, do keep a notebook as you make your way through the book, not only to jot down your reflections but also to make a note of concepts that pop out at you as particularly important.
One of my favorite parts of the book (as well as the most challenging) is Chapter 9, “The 10 Deadly Sins of Composition.” Here is your moment of honest reckoning, as you acknowledge which of these sins you are guilty of. Come to terms with those “sins” of yours, improve your work accordingly, and you’re well on your way.
One word of caution, and I highlight this because inevitably someone is going to criticize the book for something it wasn’t intended to do: Aside from basic exposure information, Art does not go into detail about how he captured and processed each photo. That’s not the point of having the photos in the book: the point is deftly expressed by another master photographer, Dewitt Jones, in his foreword: “Don’t analyze them, just experience them. You are in the presence of one of the finest photographers of our time; let his images instruct you. Let your eyes understand the lessons that the text will eventually teach your brain.” In other words, make the photos and their individual elements your own; let them help you to be an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information.
Not only is The Art of the Photograph an indispensable resource for the individual learn-on-your-own photographer, but it would also be an invaluable text for a college-level course on composition for photography majors. Professors in art programs, take note.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9363a750) out of 5 stars Top of the List 7 Dec. 2013
By Conrad J. Obregon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Sometimes the credentials of authors are as important as the content of their works. Art Wolfe is one of the great outdoor photographers, and in recent years, he has been working wonderfully in other genres. Rob Sheppard, an excellent photographer and former editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine, is a keen wordsmith. Any photography book coming from these two is worth the attention of other photographers.

“The Art of Photography” is aimed at teaching inexperienced photographers about image composition. There are chapters on inspiration, subjects, image design, equipment (to the extent it influences composition) and so forth. There is even a brief section on workflow, suggesting the order of considerations in making a photograph and then processing it in Lightroom. The book is illustrated with Wolfe’s elegant photographs and Wolfe himself has written a brief autobiography as well as short comments at the end of each chapter about particular photographs or series of photographs. Sheppard provides most of textual instructional material in a clear, easily understood manner that is practical.

The book aims at fundamentals and frankly has a lot of competition from other books that cover the same ground because most photography educators agree on the extent and content of the fundamentals. Occasionally the book strays beyond the fundamentals as when it discusses compositing pictures in Photoshop, but this seems to be more to alert the tyro photographer as to what he or she can look forward to as skills develop rather than to actually instruct. In the same vein are the discussions of Lightroom software. Even a whole book devoted to that subject would still leave room for further instruction. But be wary of the title; it will be probably be a long time before a beginning reader will be able to capture Art like Art Wolfe.

Still, for a photographer who has not yet absorbed all the fundamentals, this book ranks at the top of the list. Experienced photographers are unlikely to learn anything new, although they may benefit from the authors’ frequently repeated advice to break out of a limited view of subjects and composition.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9363ad2c) out of 5 stars An EXCELLENT book, both for technique and inspiration 21 Jun. 2014
By Gregory - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I must admit that I am addicted to photography books. I have more than my bookcases can hold, and yet I continue to buy more, in the eternal quest for the perfect book about photography, while there is no such thing as the perfect book, I am happy to report that many have come very close to this designation. Among my favorites are ALL of Joe Mcnally's books, several of Michael Freeman's (although his recent Photo School Fundamentals is NOT among them), Ansrl Adams' The Print and The Negative, and Light:science and Magic.

am very pleased to report that The Art of the Photograph is the newest addition to my list of favorites. Art and Rob cover all he usual suspects , such as use of line, color, and so on, but they do so in a way which is fresh and engaging. No significant amount of space is wasted covering the usual cliched content which is predictably found in most books (like the rule of thirds, the bigger the light the softer the shadows, the sunny sixteen rule, and so on), I don't know how to describe the approach they have taken except to say that it is profoundly different and far more effective, at least for me. Virtually every page had some nugget of information that made me slap my forehead and say, "wow."

And of course the photography is absolutely stunning. Art Wolfe is a true master, and his photos are a sheer joy to view. This is easily one of the top three books (for ANY skill level) in my library, and I am so grateful to have found it. You will be too.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9363aae0) out of 5 stars Ideal Composition Book for the Intermediate Photographer 1 Mar. 2014
By Alan Shi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"The Art of the Photograph" is an excellent collection of ideas to help the intermediate photographer learn to create better photographs. If you have a basic understanding of your camera, and are struggling with your compositions, this is among the best books out there.

Over the course of ten chapters, you'll learn about how to approach a photograph, look for and use elements of design in your compositions, identify the characteristics of light, and even use post processing tools to correct or enhance your images. Along the way, there are plenty of sidebars with useful technical tips that are relevant to the particular topic being discussed.

The writing is clear, concise, and well organized, and the sample photographs are equally inspiring as they are instructive. Each chapter ends with a summary of the topics discussed, through a list of questions to ask yourself when approaching a particular aspect of a photograph you wish to make. Between each chapter, there is a two-page segment showing a photo (or set of photos) from Art, and his thoughts about the subject, or idea from the previous chapter.

Outside of a few minor areas where a topic might be over simplified (such as on B&W conversions, where the authors describe the 'best' way of create B&W images), the book does a wonderful job presenting all major aspects of good image making. I wish this book had been available when I was starting out in photography. I've read literally dozens of composition books that always felt lacking, but this book puts everything together perfectly.

While there may be little new to learn here for the experienced photographer, if you're a fan of Art's work, you'll still likely enjoy browsing through the book for the wonderful collection of images. Some of Art's most iconic images are contained inside, and you might find some background of some of your favourites (case in point, the spread on page 168 has Art's "Sunrise on the Ganges" photograph, which is favourite of mine).

Like other Art Wolfe books, "The Art of the Photograph" does not disappoint. If you're an intermediate photographer looking to learn to improve your compositions, this is should definitely be on your short list of books to read. Highly recommended.
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