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Photo Inspiration: Secrets Behind Stunning Images Paperback – 4 May 2012
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the images are awesome and the stories behind them make it a great read. There s plenty of inspiration available here and many genres of photography are covered too, so well worth a look. (Advanced Photographer, July 2012)
Full of inspiring images to keep your creative juices flowing. (Digital SLR Photography, August 2012)
Featuring outstanding shots aspiring enthusiast photographers will find plenty of ideas and encouragement a reasonably priced and inspiring book. (Digital Camera Magazine, August 2012)
From the Back Cover
Look. Learn. Be inspired.
To be a photographer is to endlessly crave new, innovative ways to express your vision. The archives of 1x.com offer a treasure–trove of images from photographers known and yet to be known. This breathtaking, one–of–a–kind volume puts into your hands 100 of those spectacular images, each with the photographer′s personal description of the process, technique, equipment, and vision behind the photograph.
Enjoy the work. Study the stories. Here is a well of inspiration to which you can and will return again and again.See all Product description
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Maybe I'm being overly harsh; there are "some" great photos in there I like that in my opinion qualify as photographs, but they are done a disservice which adds to the overall disappointment of the book given the huge number of manufactured / graphic artist endeavours in there. I fail to see how how shooting component parts on different days in different scenes and melding them all together in photoshop is inspirational -- reading the minutiae of photoshop hours down the drain will serve me better as a cure for insomnia than a source of inspiration.
Also given the price tag I think it is very light. An hour and I was done with it. Try that with a serious photography book (of which there are many); it won't happen.
If you're looking to improve your photography you don't need this book. My advice is get out and shoot or get a hell of a lot more bang for your buck (for a lot cheaper) and read "Graham Clarkes" The Photograph or Bruce Barnbaum's "The Art of Photography", or Michael Freemen's The Photographers Eye / Mind.
In addition I was dissapointed to find that some of the "tutorials" on how the photos were made are direct lifts from the forums on the website. That content is available for free on the website, the photos can be viewed bigger online than they are printed in the book and I feel that the publishers are charging a lot of money for a printed copy of freely available web content.
I have a good understanding of the basics of photography and have an in depth knowledge of photoshop and if you want to get anything out of this book you will need both of those things too. The title of the book promises to share "the secrets behind stunning images" but I'm not sure how many secrets are given away here. The authors certainly share their stories about making trips to get photos etc but I don't feel there is any instruction going on in most of the stories. One photographer actually says he just took loads of shots without really knowing what was going on - not exactly helpful. This is on a macro shot of a bug on a leaf. His advice for getting similar shots is "get up early, don't be afraid to get wet and be lucky" hmmm I was hoping for more than that.
I was particularly interested in the gorgeous cover photo of the boat shot with a long exposure and read that page eagerly waiting to find out the "secret" to obtaining an image like that. Getting the exposure right is the trick I suspect so I was dissappointed to read the photographer saying that after fitting a dark filter to his lens he then "..worked out the correct exposure" but not sharing how this is done. A little more information would have been welcome.
The book does show the equipment used for each shot and the camera settings which can be useful but the reason I've titled this review "not an instruction book" is because of the way the post processing/image editing information is presented. On the right side of each story there is a column of text in which the photographer"shares the secrets" of their editing technique but BE WARNED if you are a beginner at Photoshop or even a competent user you will have to do a lot of reading and learning of Photoshop techniques, tool etc (from another source) before the photographers comments will make any sense to you. You can see examples of the photoshop and editing notes on the pages available on the Amazon "look inside" feature. I suggest you read through the ones you can see there and ask yourself if you understand them before buying the book.
I've returned mine because of the printing issues I mentioned at the start. If you get a good copy with no printing faults (I see another reviewer has the same problem as me) then you might enjoy the book for the images it contains and the stories shared but don't expect to be enlightened too much. Alternatively you could look at the same images for free on 1X website and read the "tutorials" for free in the forums there and spend your money on a different photo book.
There are some lovely photos which have barely received any editing and to me they're the true stars and the real talent but if you want to see unedited photographs don't buy this book!
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