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On Being a Photographer: A Practical Guide Paperback – 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1888803068 ISBN-10: 1888803061 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Lenswork Pub; 3rd edition (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888803061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888803068
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By John Jennings on February 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Upfront, I want to say that this is an OUTSTANDING book!
Any self-help book makes assumptions about what hang-ups the reader is dealing with. It sometimes happens that a book is useless to a given reader, because he is so perfect he has already transcended the problems the authors deal with.
But for me, the authors of "On Being a Photographer" precisely target the questions I have struggled with.
Just to name a few (addressed in this book):

1) Yeah, subject IS more important than technique!
2) Am I the only one to shoot reams of film and never quite get the perfect shot?
3) Does luck has a lot to do with it? But can I make my own luck?
4) Exactly HOW does a top photographer approach taking the single picture?
(And much more!)
Since this book has no photographs, it is very reasonably priced. It is not very long, but neither is the Constitution of the United States.
Both authors spent some time in academia, and there is a certain amount of high-toned discussion, but they cut rapidly to the core principles. Stylistically, there is a bit of the mutual admiration society, but this serves the question and answer format that reinforces the classic points they make. I have found that the concise chapters aid easy rereading of specific topics in coffee shops or chores like jury duty. I will reread this book many times.
Since this book has no photographs, it is very reasonably priced. It is not very long, but neither is the Constitution of the United States.
David Hurd's core experience base was back in the classic days of Magnum, which may be a problem for some who may feel that nothing important happened before they were born some sixteen years ago. But a camera is still just a box, whether you are using a Leica M3 or a plasma camera in the thirty-watt range. And single images are as powerful as ever.
This is a great book. Buy it. Read it. Read it again.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David Enzel VINE VOICE on October 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
If I could only recommend one book about photography, this would be it. The book explains what it means to be a photographer. This is the book to read before you buy equipment (or more equipment). The book is a road map for developing into a photographer. The book will help you decide what to photograph. The equipment, technique and images will follow.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Dalrymple VINE VOICE on September 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is written for lovers of photography. Not only does it discuss the romance of camera and film, it has good information, it is motivating and it reminds those of us who have developer, stop and fix in our veins why we fell in love with the art.

Motivating, educational and a good read. Don't miss this one.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
David Hurn and Bill Jay converse about the philosophy of photography. This, of course, says little about the book. The wit and wisdom held in the banter between these two provides an invaluable reference for any photographer. This is one book you will never regret buying.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Richard Drdul on June 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a "must have" for anyone who is serious about becoming/being a photographer. The majority of the discussion relates to the creative process, with a small amount of discussion of equipment and technique. I bought my copy (third edition) direct from LensWork for US $12.95.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Hall on October 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The introduction is long but sets up the credibility of the two main people and their background. Basically two professionals at the very highest level of the game discuss some useful concepts that I have not seen elsewhere.
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By Butter on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I bought this book I didn't realize how it would actually be exciting to read! I mean, I love photography, but usually reading about boring photo-jargon can get old; however, I couldn't put this book down. Neither speaker focuses much on the technical side of photography, rather the more abstract, yet practical, ins-and-outs of their business.

Besides the fact it is easy and fun to read, Bill Jay and David Hurn's advice is concise and based on their many years of experience in the field. Even though it is a tad outdated (I believe it was published in '98), the information is still generally relevant to the struggles of beginning photojournalists.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn the ropes of the business side of Photography, specifically becoming a photojournalist.
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