Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Style gets in the way of the message, 20 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression (Photographic Arts Editions) (Paperback)
I didnt like his pictures and I didn't enjoy the writing style. There were places where the author's opinions just grated. If you write your own book, you can say what you want, but if it gets in the way of the message, it defeats the purpose of writing a book in the first place. I decided to take a quick look online about the author, (after reading a passage where he was berating someone for conventional photographic wisdom on the zone system I think), and found that in the photo forums he draws heavy criticism for his style of teaching.

I could not believe how unprofessional it was to see on the inside cover of this book a quote of a review from a member of the general public to the effect that BB's book is better than Way Beyond Monochrome, or Elements. The point being that such self agrandissement is distasteful.

If you want to look at technically beautiful photos, pick up a copy of the out of print Elements, and if you want a book on technique, get an Anchell book, or better still, a book by Henry called Controls in Black and White Photography. I also like Les Mclean or Blakemore for inspiration and technique.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Mar 2014 11:56:21 BDT
PDM says:
This reviewer goes against the grain. Something that I do occasionally, particularly when I see reviews that are just so wrong. So I'm prepared to take notice of this reviewer particularly as he has mentioned other books that I have not heard about before, and I can now compare to before committing to a buy.

Posted on 30 Mar 2014 12:13:02 BDT
PDM says:
This reviewer goes against the grain. Something that I do occasionally, particularly when I see reviews that are just so wrong. So I'm prepared to take notice of this reviewer particularly as he has mentioned other books that I have not heard about before, and I can now compare to before committing to a buy.

However, having looked at his suggestion to get 'Controls in Black and White Photography' by Richard J Henry I can not agree with this reviewer. Henry's book is all about film processing, and does not relate anyway to the book being reviewed here. While Henry's book is very good it is from a bygone era and has no relevance at all if you do not do any darkroom work. And I suggest accordingly that this reviewers comments are as irrelevant as his suggested book.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2014 21:03:08 BDT
Dummyrun says:
Circa 200 pages of the Barnbaum book relate to film and analogue printing. The Henry book recommendation still stands as an alternative presentation of information for this section. As would the other 4 or so books I have recommended. To add to this list, I see I missed Way Beyond Monochrome, which also covers digital technique, or something by one of Ephraums, Graves or Bartlett. I don't see why other readers should just discount my opinion because you ask them to, especially when you announce that film discussions are irrelevant in a digital age, when half the Barnbaum book relates to analogue processes.
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