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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 30 May 2001
This slim volume is a comprehensive guide packed with necessary information on black and white and landscape photography. The introduction to the book states, ". . . when photographing landscapes, you are at the mercy of these elements--quickly changing weather, changing and uneven illumination, poor contrast or limited tonal range, undesirable yet unchangeable foregrounds or backgrounds, and extraneous objects in the scene which may significantly detract from your composition." The challenge of creating a dynamic black and white landscape almost makes a photographer want to quit before beginning. Yet, with the help of this book, obtaining a spectacular black and white landscape seems to be within the realm of possibility. I like the book most because there is great detail in clear and understandable terms. Along with the text are more than seventy interpretive examples of black and white landscape photographs. The first section of the book discusses "The Artist's Tools." Everything from camera format to film and tripods are thoroughly addressed, including the benefits or drawbacks of various choices, prices and recommended accessories. Section two defines the art of landscape photography. Some questions answered are, "What is art?" "What makes a good landscape photograph?" and "Why black and White?" I found section 3 to be the most informative. Visual elements are explained in detail. Among some of the aspects covered are framing, vision, viewpoint, tonality and design. "Field Techniques" are explained in section four. The sometimes confusing effects of different colored filters on black and white images are explained with the help of charts and photographic examples. A condensed, but comprehensive explanation of the Zone System ends this section. The quotation, "The darkroom . . . allows you to create an image that exactly matches your artistic conception" introduces section five. This chapter takes us into the darkroom and beyond. Section six explains "Putting it all together," and section seven gives examples of field exposure, darkroom printing and Zone System field exposure records so we can repeat the perfect image every time. A list of recommended books for further reading is supplied as is a list of Internet resources. I found this book so helpful and comprehensive, I carry it with me into the field and find myself referring to it often. A definite five star addition to your library.
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