Experimental Digital Photography (Lark Photography Book)
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
I was given this book as a gift from a family member who thought I might find it interesting. She knows that I am into photography and thought I might enjoy something a little off the beaten path. Not wanting to waste a gift, I put it in the only place where I knew it would get read; the bathroom. After forgetting to grab my iPad on the way in one day, I decided to actually open it up and take a look. Oh dear lord.

If you've ever taken a camera out of Auto mode, you probably figured out in a few minutes that you can leave the shutter open for more than 1/60th of a second and make some neat trails with the available light in the room. Maybe you played around with the fireworks/night mode at a concert, or maybe you just have even a passing understand of how a camera makes an exposure and were able to put 2 and 2 together. Either way, the author figured this out as well and decided to make a book about it. It is page after page of long-exposure hogwash partnered up with self-congratulatory text wherein the professor explains the inspiration and technical breakdown behind his art. If you're into colorful shiny things, this might be a good book for you, but so would many Dr. Seuss books, which I can handily recommend, as they are full of actual art.

"But random internet guy, don't you see, man... it's about the art and the experimentation, it breaks all the rules! Don't be such a square!" one might say. Well, in order to fly the pirate flag over Rulesville, it is a good idea to first take a stroll through town. There are plenty of opportunities with long-exposure photography to convey things that are more difficult in traditional photography. None of that is present here. Setting your camera to a 10 second exposure and then shaking it angrily at the VCR is not groundbreaking or entertaining unless I get to watch and possibly play along.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2010
All the techniques in this book are already fairly well-known, and you can find much more books on the individual techniques that are more in-depth. This book helps one learn how to play with the camera and create different effects, but it would be much better to simply play with your camera and learn on your own. I found this book to be a waste of time and utterly useless to anyone with minimal photographic experience.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2012
I was excited at the chance to see what other photographers are doing with DSLRs. I have longed to become more acquainted with the techniques for taking infrared, HDR, tilt-shift, time-lapse, ets. photos and I thought that since this was a book on "experimental photography" that this would cover such techniques

Alas, after having received the book today and giving it a thorough look through including reading several chapters, I'm convinced that the title for this book should instead be "How to Take Blurry Photos" since that is really the only examples the author has presented here. How to drag your shutter, how to use ND filters to extend your shutter time, how to shoot in the dark, etc., all with the purpose of coming up with blurry photos that the author deems "art".

While I agree that some of these photos are quite attractive, devoting a whole book behind the history and science of long exposures is quite overkill. A single chapter would easily have been sufficient.
Hardly "experimental photography" and more of a single technique in the wide range of "experimental" or "artistic" techniques available to the digital photographer, this book is not for those looking to expand their horizons with their camera.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
For the content covered, it should be a pamphlet, not a 150 page book. The only thing worse than the pictures is the text that goes along with it. You can boil the entire book down to one sentence: Leave your shutter open for several seconds (maybe while panning around?) and see what happens. I hope I get this book back to the library on time since it's not worth the late fee.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2012
My mother got this book in the bargain bin at B&N and paid a dollar for it...and quite frankly she spent more than it's worth. There is not one well executed photograph in the entire book. I know you don't have to be a professional photographer to write a book, but you should probably be better than average. Don't waste your money!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2011
Traditional photographers beware that this book may disappoint you. It disappointed me. I failed to find a single image in the book that was either inspiring or interesting. While the author wants to make experimental digital photography "a riveting, even surreal, art form" I find it difficult to believe that this kind of "art" will ever get widespread acceptance especially within the photography community. I strongly encourage potential buyers to check out this book in the book store or library before purchasing.
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on May 21, 2015
I recently had the good fortune of picking up this book while visiting a friend. I LOVE IT!! From the first photo, I could not put the book down. The beauty, sensitivity and creativity in this collection of photography parallels the work of the great masters from the Impressionist period through the works of the great artists of today! Yet these beautiful works were not created with oil on canvas, but with modern photographic technology.

Thank you, Rick Doble, for sharing your collection of lovely photos and for sharing your techniques. I will be purchasing several of these books for my photographer friends.
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on June 24, 2015
I had already started to experiment so this book reinforced some of what I had already discovered and gave me many more avenues to explore,develop and make my own. It is well written with techniques explained and dotted with inspirational quotes. If you are creative, imaginative and approach this form of photography (camera painting) with an open mind, you will find this book very helpful in enabling you to explore all the possibilities that the new digital age offers.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2010
Well, I had just got this book as a gift before I read that ugly book review and began to have my reservations about using my new book. Then I though she may be in a whole other category of digital camera then the average "Joe" like me. So, I started reading this beautiful book and found out it was made just for all of us who can't write this book. I was doing things with my camera I didn't even know I could, and yes I could have read the instructions (I tired), but I always feel so lost and confused by the time I am done.
Oh, by the way I am an artist with a Master's degree in Art Education hence why I wanted this book when I saw it on the Amazon site to help students. I also have learning disabilities of ADHD and Dyslexia, so everything is that much harder to learn; as I read books upside down to force me to understand the material read (college was a struggle, but loved it).
I believe that any person beginning to learn digital photography that does or does not have a learning disability should invest in this book as the book is visual as well as informative giving anyone an ease of understanding. For students or just those who want to learn to have fun with their camera will really find this great book an asset in its ability to enhance your everyday shots. I plan to share this book with the local schools to help students who may want to be photographers, or just be able to use their camera for computer arts (as well as taking the shots that get them juried in to that "Show") will find some parts to all of it as a great reference and learning experience!!
This is not one to miss and no I couldn't write this one and most people I know can't. I was so glad I did not take the review as the "Word" and not read this book; it would have been my loss. So, Rick Doble thanks for writing this book I had the most fun in understanding a simple "layman terms" book that would be usable for all in enjoying the use of their camera!!! Oh, yea I took some great shots of my three granddaughters, Leonna, Caselyn, and Kaylee as they moved at the speed of light I finally got great pictures!
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2010
A professional photographer/film maker for 25 years, I've examined, read and purchased more than my share of books on art and photography not only out of a professional and personal interest but also in preparing a reading list for a survey course on visual expression I taught at Warren Wilson College several years back. Wish this book had been available then. It is a nice mix of technical information, art theory, history and practical how-to exercises all in one package. I especially like the section on night photography. Full of interesting quotes and observations (I'll never watch Shane the same way again) that go beyond the usual "tech wienie" orientation of a lot of photography books. For that reason alone it is interesting reading. Many of the images are stunning - worthy of book of on their own merits. But what really sits this book apart is the same qualities I've admired in Dobles work (images and essays) on the internet for years now; those being his relentless exploration and the capacity to see the everyday world through the eyes of a child delighting in its shapes, colors and textures. I imagine the constant searching and experimentation is his way of strengthening and refreshing that way of seeing. This book opens up the same possibilities for anyone with a camera, be it $12.00 disposable or a $2000 plus Nikon. Great gift for a young person just setting out with a digital camera.
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