A worthwhile insight into a photographer's philosophy,
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This review is from: Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity, and Personal Style (Paperback)
Rocky Nook produce high quality books and this is beautifully printed with excellent illustrations. There's a lot here and it's good value. While Alain Briot is a landscape photographer living in the American West - and all the photographs are from his own backyard - his reflections on issues like photographic vision and personal style are relevant to any photographer in any genre - I'm a documentary and street photographer but found much of interest here.
The book combines philosophical musings, practical advice on looking, seeing, taking, processing, marketing etc - it adds up to an extensive insight into the mind and working methods of an accomplished and passionate photographer. It is certainly a bit rambling as other reviewers point out but the author has a clear written style and the different chapters are extremely well laid out and split into small sections to enable the reader to read the book in bit-sized 'chunks'. I found myself returning to little sections of the book to read them again and again. Although there is little here that I haven't read elsewhere, the author often says things in memorable phrases that stick - for example, his explanation/definition of photographic vision is excellent.
The central idea running through the book is that of developing a personal style - why it is important, what it means, how the author has developed his own style, how readers might go about developing theirs. The extent to which Alain Briot himself has a distinctive personal approach might be questioned by many as his images look pretty much the same as the multitude of photographers who have 'worked' Briot's territory and the vast majority of his advice and observations - wise as it is - hardly breaks new ground. As someone who makes his living selling prints and running workshops an element of self- promotion can be understood and I suspect that he is an engaging and inspiring workshop leader.