- Also check our best rated Photography Book reviews
Art of the Photograph, The Paperback – 7 Jan 2014
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Art Wolfe is a virtuoso."
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.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.
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.
A more experienced photographer might gain more inspiration from other books by either author. I was somewhat disappointed at the sparse comment on Art's images by Rob; the reader is left with a lot of work to do in critiquing the majority of images on his/her own. Of course I'm being unfair - Art's collaboration with Martha Hill sets an unsurmountable bar on composition and critique and I had hoped for more Rob Shepard the editor and less the photographer.