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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and very useful book, 17 May 2009
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This review is from: Take Your Photography to the Next Level: From the Inspiration to Image: From the Inspiration to Image (Paperback)
I give 5 stars for the text alone, which is unique and extremely useful. It goes way beyond the average Photoshop books which tell you "move this slider here, set that value there" without explaining why. It is also different from most books on composition and design. It is more philosophical in nature, discussing where and when to search for interesting images, framing and cropping issues, how to assess your photographic skills, etc.
But at the same time it is very practical. It contains loads of tips, e.g. what photographs well, how to create a portfolio, how to deal with disappointment and how to increase your technical and aesthetic level.
The author has a fluent writing style. Every topic is explained very clearly. No superfluous words, no silly jokes.

In my opinion, the photographs in the book are a mixed bag. Some are wonderful, some are too abstract for my taste. The author insists that you have to "convey a message in your images". I certainly agree on that, but for some of his images (e.g. various rock surfaces, fragments of clothes etc.) the message remains totally unclear to me. Yes, the compositions are strong... but as the author explains himself, that's not enough.

I would judge myself a mediocre photographer. Honestly, I learned a lot from this book - I can already see some improvement in my images. I guess that beginner and advanced (even professional) photographers would equally benefit.

A word of warning. The author is specialized in still (mostly lifeless) objects. No people, no animals (at least in the book). This is reflected in the text. The author describes a process called "working the scene" which consists of carefully examining a scene, walking around it, searching for the optimal background and lighting, etc. I assume when you photograph children, pets, wildlife etc., these tips are of little or no value.

Other than that... a great book and a joy to read.
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