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Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques 1st Edition

37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470527146
ISBN-10: 0470527145
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Editorial Reviews Review

Product Description

Sometimes you get the best results by breaking the rules, but first you have to know what the rules are! In this indispensable photography guide, renowned photographer Harold Davis first walks you through the recommended guidelines for composing great shots with your DSLR camera-and then shows you how to break free, build your own unique style, and compose beautiful images with confidence.

  • Provides practical composition basics as well as the artistic tips and tricks eagerly sought by digital SLR camera lovers, who are growing in number as DSLR camera sales continue to grow
  • Explores the fundamental rules of composition-then how to break those rules to take captivating and unique images
  • Informs and inspires you with the author's own gorgeous examples of landscapes, portraits, close-ups, and other photos that illustrate his concepts
  • Helps you jump-start your creativity by showing you new ways to see

Go beyond the basics and create a photography style that's all your own with this must-have guide.

Amazon Exclusive: Photography Tips and Techniques from Harold Davis

How to Use Shadows to Enhance Your Composition

How to Use LAB Color for Black and White Effects

Professional Photography Techniques from Harold Davis

Amazon Exclusive: Interview with Award-Winning Photographer Harold Davis

We hear you’ve written some new digital photography titles. What’s the story behind these books?
Wiley Publishing is releasing three new books of mine, Creative Close-Ups: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques , Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques , and Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques . My idea with these books was to help people become better photographers by presenting the subject of digital photography in a different way.

What’s different about your approach?
They say that cameras don’t take photos, people do. It’s really true. Someone with a great eye can take masterful photos with an inexpensive camera. Therefore, it is important to know something about photo technique, but the really amazing thing is that we can conceptualize and come up with these bits and bytes that make up a photo—and they can be meaningful to people. I try to help people come up with images that are relevant and meaningful. Cameras and hardware are just tools.

What’s with all the photos in these books?
Well, everyone likes to look at striking images, so one thing my photos do in these books is get people’s attention. However, the photos play another role as well. Each photo in my book is accompanied by the story of how the photo was made and the technical data related to the photo. That way, if you’re not ready to dive into the text itself, you can learn a lot just by browsing the photos.

My feeling is that you truly do learn about photography by looking at photos. It’s much more important to look at images you admire and try and figure out why you like them than it is to read about photography. The photos in these books are baked into the DNA of the teaching strategy. By browsing through the pages, someone can learn a great deal and have an enjoyable visual experience at the same time.

What’s the most important thing that readers can get out of your new books?
I want to inspire readers to be the most creative and best photographers they can be. If you pick up one of my books, I hope you can make use of the technical content and see how the photos relate to some of your own work. The most important thing, however, is to take the ideas in the book, get out there, and do some really peddle-to-the-metal creative photography.


"Harold Davis's Creative Photography series is a great way to start a photography library"---PhotoFidelity
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470527145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470527146
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For Harold Davis, a typical day's (or night's) work might involve photographing star trails from the top of Half Dome, investigating the close-up patterns of early morning dew drops with his camera, or finding a new location for photographing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Harold Davis is an award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of more than 30 books, including Photographing Flowers: Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis (Focal Press), Creative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley),Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Close-Ups: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing (Focal Press) and Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers (O'Reilly). Harold writes the popular Photoblog 2.0,

Harold is a popular presenter on digital photography topics. His workshops are often sold out.

Harold is well known for his night photography and experimental ultra-long exposure techniques, use of vibrant, saturated colors in landscape compositions, and beautiful creative floral imagery. He is inspired by the flowers in his garden, hiking in the wilderness, and the work of great artists and photographers including M.C. Escher, Monet, van Gogh and Edward Weston.

Harold lives in Berkeley, California with his wife Phyllis Davis, a graphic designer and writer who frequently collaborates with Harold on book projects. They have four children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By M. Denis Hill VINE VOICE on December 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a survey of technical and artistic considerations and techniques that can make novice and intermediate photographers more capable, and more satisfied with their shooting endeavors.
The promise on the back cover of "Creative Composition, Digital Photography Tips & Techniques" is that it will help you:
* Unleash the power of your imagination
* Learn to pre-visualize photos
* Find what's important about your subject
* Frame photos for impact
* Recognize powerful compositions
* Find magic in everyday objects
What it delivers is a broad, though arguably shallow, survey of enough techniques and insights to improve the abilities of many photographers.
The novice will find technical and artistic guidance that, with attentive application, can elevate his or her photos from snapshots to interesting images. The intermediate shooter will be inspired to explore new creative methods shown in the author's examples. The advanced photographer will be reminded of techniques s/he may have neglected and will gain fresh insight into principles of composition.
Speaking of composition, I selected this book based on the title: Creative Composition. It turns out that fully a third of it is a compendium of technical information, included because the author asserts that you need that knowledge to be competent at composition. In other words, he says that you can't pre-visualize an effective image if you don't have a grasp of basic photographic technique. I agree, thought might argue that this was an easy way to add bulk to the book.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jeff R. Clow on November 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have read dozens of books that attempt to deal with the very difficult subject of photograph composition. Many of them rely too heavily on the author telling the reader how to "look" at things differently. What this book does throughout is very different - it actually helped me "see" things with a much clearer eye. For example, the chapter on "Seeing the Unexpected" prompted me to go out in search of macro and abstract details after reading the author's very good advice about asking yourself the simple question: "is there another way to approach this?"

Harold Davis is an accomplished photographer and his photos in the book are great examples of how creative composition can change a dull scene into an intriguing one. But what really makes this book stand out is that he talks about HOW one goes about making better photos, and his advice on creating a game plan and using pre-visualization is really good. I also found the chapters on how to create photographs that tell stories and how one should go about researching a photo to be particularly helpful and full of good advice.

An added bonus throughout this book is the details that the authors shares on each of his photos that are utilized to illustrate a chapter - you get an insider's look at the lens length, the f/stop, the ISO and the exposure that was part of crafting the image. Very helpful and quite interesting - especially on some of the shots where he used longer exposures.

The reason I read reviews on Amazon is because I like to see what other readers thought about a book before I ordered it, and I assume that you are reading this review for the very same reason.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Weinstock VINE VOICE on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Creative Composition" is not so much a nuts and bolts tutorial as opposed to a book where he aims to get individuals thinking about what and how they shoot their images. The book is divided into 4 parts, "Cameras don't take pictures, people do; Unleash your imagination; Photography and paradox; and Photography is design. Each part makes heavy use of Davis' images which are accompanied by technical information including lens used, and exposure data which is linked to the accompanying narrative.

"Cameras don't take pictures, people do," is a concise introduction to different camera formats, exposures, depth of field and other technical aspects of taking pictures. Davis, through his concise narrative and his photos, illustrates these concepts and how they relate to the making of creative exposures. He also discusses and illustrates the use of tools such as a fisheye lens and lensbaby lenses in the context of creative image taking. Davis' discussion of a few points, such as digital asset management, is a bit too cursory.

"Unleash your imagination" focuses on having the reader think about more than taking snap shots. He mixes strong images with a discussion of visual ambiguity, and abstraction, the importance of vision as well as photography being magical, poetic and at other times narrative. This is not a subject matter that is easy to discuss or illustrate (as was showing the effects of different shutter speeds or apertures), but by discussing the choices made with respect to specific images, Davis illustrates the possibilities available to the one with the camera.

Certain aspects of abstraction and unusual ways of looking at the world is also the subject of the next part,"Photography as paradox." Here, Davis observes how sometimes the recorded image can be deceptive.
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