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on 8 April 2017
This is for the advanced amateurs once they have got the mechnical and electronic features of their camera sorted. A lot of B&W photography and some sections on colour photos. About mood, framing and lighting and making your photos into art. Read 'The 35mm Photographer's Handbook' first and do a few years of taking pictures and then come back to this...........
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on 14 September 2015
Out of all the Photography books that I have I'd be happy to say that in the few days I've had this particular book by Barnbaum it offers an insight and style of reading that is perfect. His use of English and clear and authoritative delivers an engaging read with clear advice. Maybe if you only ever buy one other book then this is the one you should have on your shelf to read cover to cover.
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on 31 October 2016
Brilliant book - probably the best photographic "how-to" that I've read. Quite intense (though no criticism of his writing) so definitely something to dip in and out of.
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on 2 June 2016
This book has helped me a great deal in being able to see as a photographer. I keep on returning to it.
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on 18 February 2017
As described thanks :)
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on 15 July 2013
I bought this book on a recommendation from Ken Rockwell, and I will be forever grateful that I did. This book is comprehensive, highly readable, and inclusive with something for everyone:
- from those of us still shooting B&W film to those who are fully digital
- from beginners to experienced photographers
- from those interested in landscapes to architectural, portrait etc.

The book covers the full photography "lifecycle" from visualising/shooting the photo to developing the negative/digital image to printing. It covers:
- visualising the end product
- composition
- lighting
- colour
- use of filters
- Ansel Adams' Zone system for film and digital (in language that I could understand, for a change)
- negative development
- printing your works of art
- preserving them for posterity
- understanding/developing your own style

So far, this sounds a bit like dozens of other photography books out there. What makes this one different is:
- the vast coverage of topics and details
- his sharing of a large number of techniques which, if followed, will make you a better photographer/artist
- the excellent use of photos to demonstrate the principles Bruce writes about
- the ability to illustrate the integration of the photography process from the moment something catches your eye up to the moment you have the finished print
- its great readability. He is able to take otherwise complex ideas and turn them into perfectly understandable ones

This book does not talk about gear, so if you're looking for information on cameras, lenses and other tools you won't find it here.

I learned a lot from this book, even though I considered myself a reasonably experienced photographer. I've had so many "ooohhh, now I see" moments. I am happy to say that this is the best photography book I have ever owned. I am about to embark on my second reading, having just finished my first reading of it.
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on 1 August 2012
I love this book. Every page breathes a passion for photography. The technical knowledge demonstrated is immense and shows he has been there. But in addition to the pure technical expertise, the author shows a deep reflective approach to creating an image that communicates what the photographer really intended. For intance, he pointed out one of my common faults in always achieving high contrast in an image, which then negates the peaceful mood I really wanted.

I get the impression this book was originally written just for black and white photography, then later updated with sections on colour photography. It still feels like 95% of thje book is based on black and white. Until I read this book I considered colour as the only way to go because the real world is in colour. But it opened my eyes to why black and white is still important and motivated me to try converting my colour images properly to black and white. I think even a dedicated colour photographer can gain from this book because of the quality of the material presented.

The front cover image gives an idea of who will enjoy this book. If you enjoy the black and white image presented and wish you could create such a compelling image yourself, then you will enjoy the book. But if the image does not move you then you may not.

The book includes a section with very detailed coverage of dark room development for specific films to get the most from a negative. As a digital photographer, this was wasted on me. But the book is so large and has so much other useful content that a few pages to be skipped did not bother me.

I probably have 70 or 80 photography books. I would consider this right near the top in terms of the help it has given me, and with something that none of my other books have. Several books are a light read and I may not come back to them because the points made are 'obvious'. This book requires more concentration and I will still get more from it when I re-read it. Excellent.
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on 12 August 2016
I certainly learned few things reading this book and my outlook has changed a bit, however the book has been written at the age of film where developing and printing film played an important role, consequently at some sections when it refers to darkroom processes, it feels outdated
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on 15 May 2017
Hard work trying to read this. It is maybe my poor reading skills but I found the book tough to read and haven't finished it. On the plus side, its a nice book to leave out as an ornament.
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on 20 September 2013
I didnt like his pictures and I didn't enjoy the writing style. There were places where the author's opinions just grated. If you write your own book, you can say what you want, but if it gets in the way of the message, it defeats the purpose of writing a book in the first place. I decided to take a quick look online about the author, (after reading a passage where he was berating someone for conventional photographic wisdom on the zone system I think), and found that in the photo forums he draws heavy criticism for his style of teaching.

I could not believe how unprofessional it was to see on the inside cover of this book a quote of a review from a member of the general public to the effect that BB's book is better than Way Beyond Monochrome, or Elements. The point being that such self agrandissement is distasteful.

If you want to look at technically beautiful photos, pick up a copy of the out of print Elements, and if you want a book on technique, get an Anchell book, or better still, a book by Henry called Controls in Black and White Photography. I also like Les Mclean or Blakemore for inspiration and technique.
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