Review based on Bruce Barnbaum – “The Art of Photography” 1st edition, 2012
Bruce has been a photography enthusiast for over 40 years now. He doesn’t advocate himself as a “professional photographer” and that is a huge bonus in my books (pun intended). Remaining a hobbyist in your field leaves you with certain freedom for your expression. You carry no restrictions on what is wrong and what is right, unlike when you are commissioned by one of your clients. You can certainly see that in over a hundred photographs present in his book.
Author begins with a short introduction to photography as an art form and from there gets down right to business. He thoroughly explains composition, visualisation, light and colour. He then goes on to teach the reader about the techniques used in image making. From use of filters, through zone system all the way to image printing. Everything is written in a simple enough language, but this does not take away the extensive knowledge author presents you with. He then moves on to few chapters on creativity and visual arts in general, which concludes the book.
The Art of Photography feels like a breath of fresh air between today’s publications. When every other book one the subject of photography focuses mainly on settings for your DSLR, mastering menus and makes you buy more equipment that you could ever need, this book relates to far more important aspects like light and composition (Bruce also goes way beyond your usual rule of thirds), zone system and most importantly the art and heart behind it all. “The Art of Photography” is full of beautiful imagery and illustrations designed to help you get the ideas presented there.
It is a rather pricey book, but after all, you might find that it will be the only book on the subject of photography you will ever need. Seriously. Skip everything else and get a copy, especially that lately this book becomes more rare as Bruce self-published it. I’m lucky enough to have a copy and keep reading it through at least once a year.
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