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Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images (Voices That Matter) 1st Edition

74 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321750440
ISBN-10: 0321750446
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Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images (Voices That Matter) + Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision + The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs (Voices That Matter)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

An assignment photographer specializing in humanitarian projects and world photography, David duChemin has been creating compelling stories with a camera in hand for over twenty years. A passionate contributor to the international photography community, duChemin's first book, Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision, received worldwide acclaim for its vision, passion, and depth. David has shot on five continents for assignments and projects covering places as diverse as Paris, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, India, Nepal, and Mongolia. Find David online at

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Product Details

  • Series: Voices That Matter
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (October 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321750446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321750440
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David duChemin is a humanitarian photographer, best-selling author, adventurer, and advocate of the intentional creative life.

David duChemin is a world & humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, digital publisher, and international workshop leader whose nomadic and adventurous life fuels his fire to create and share. Based in Vancouver, Canada, when he's home, David leads a nomadic life chasing compelling images on all 7 continents.

When on assignment David creates powerful images that convey the hope and dignity of children, the vulnerable and oppressed for the international NGO community. When creating the art he so passionately shares, David strives to capture the beauty of the natural world.

David's travel has taken him through winters in Russia and Mongolia, a summer on the Amazon, spending time among nomads in the Indian Himalayan and remote Northern Kenya. He's done assignment work in Ecuador, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Ethiopia, Malawi, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Bangladesh, among others, and pursued personal work in places like Iceland, Antarctica, Tunisia, Cuba, Vietnam, Kenya, and Italy.

David's work and blog can be found at David's latest book, A Beautiful Anarchy, When the Life Creative Becomes the Life Created, is available from or as a Kindle version here on Amazon.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By DanielJGregory on October 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the fourth book of David's that I have purchased (not counting his ebooks over at craft and vision), and it is probably my favorite. I have been teaching an intro to photography course using his within the frame book, but next time I teach this class, I'll be using this book instead. It does a great job of focusing on a something that matters more than f/stops and shutter speeds---the vision of the artist and the grammar to talk about it with others.

On of my biggest frustrations as a photographer when talking to others about their work is how little they are able to discuss why they like certain photographs and what it is about those photos that make them unique to their vision. With so many people creating and showing great images, it is not enough to just be a good photographer. You have to be a creative photographer whose work stands out as different from others. I have found that to understand how your work is different and what your sense of aesthetics are requires a vocabulary/grammar to discuss the work so that you can continue to push those elements in your work that are unique to your vision.

David does a good job in this book by helping the visual artist begin this process. The book starts with some background on how David came to this book and what to expect. He spends some time discussing vision and intention in photography; and how vision is often times lost in conversations of gear, technique and tangible skills. In these early pages, much of the conversation is about the nature and intention required in the building of a "good photograph"

The second part of the book looks at two critical components of a photograph. The first is the elements within the image and their impact on the viewer.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Steven Shepard on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
David DuChemin doesn't write about photography so much as he does the philosophy, the soul, the love, and the power of photography. His commitment isn't to the mechanics of the craft so much as it is to the link between photography and its impact on the world. All of David's books are inspiring and powerful, but this one goes to another level. Reading the book is like having a conversation with the author, a conversation that leads the reader to a new level of thinking about what it means to be a photographer. As someone who travels to 70 countries every year, I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. Run, don't walk, to buy it. You will NOT be disappointed.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Anyone who has read David duChemin's other books will know why I regard him as a thoughtful photographer. In this book he returns to the starting place, discussing composition.

The beginning of the book talks about photography as a means of communication of the photographer's vision, and defines a few concepts that the author uses throughout the remainder of the book, particularly "Message, Elements and Decisions". The selection of an Element or Decision should enhance the Message. Next he discusses what he calls Elements, like line, light and moment. For Decisions he considers topics like framing, placement and exposure. Finally he presents twenty of his own photographs, explaining how the Elements and Decisions explicate the Message.

Early in the book the author discusses photographers who say they don't need to understand what he means by Message, Elements and Decisions because they say they shoot intuitively. DuChemin charitably suggests that the best of these have probably internalized those elements. The remainder are probably just lazy photographers who would probably most benefit from duChemin's analysis but are those most unlikely to try to understand it. (This harsh conclusion is mine, not duChemin's.)

This is an excellent book and the author's analysis of his photographs will prove useful to readers in trying to internalize the concepts of Message, Elements and Decisions. Sometimes I disagreed with the author's conclusion that a particular technique had enhanced the meaning of an image, but even in those cases, I believed the examination of the technique would ultimately improve my own photography.

The concepts presented are not new and have been presented in many other photography books.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Christopher B Reese on January 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am always looking for insights that help me to improve my photography and was expecting David Duchemin's Photographically Speaking to do just that. I think photo critiques are an invaluable tool in teaching photographers what makes or breaks an image and helps to identify pitfalls made when framing or processing a photo. So I was eager to purchase this book when I read that David would be reviewing 20 photographs and discussing what makes them work and assumed he would also point out what doesn't work.

The majority of the book is about the philosophy of photography with the image reviews towards the end. Now, I think this is beneficial to those recently entering photography but for those of us who have been enthusiasts or professionals for some time we already have an understanding of this aspect of the field. I have a hard time believing any photographer who is putting their images on public display didn't think about what the message/point of their image was or why they decided to make that specific photograph, yet David spends a lot of time discussing this very topic. He does touch upon some of the technical factors involved in making a good image, but a lot is left out and if you're already versed in this area David's book won't add any new information. One thing he does mention a lot is image ratios (2:3 vs 5:6) and I've never really seen a photographer spend much time talking about this and I'm not sure what restricting myself to specific ratios adds to my images but I am interested to see how it changes the feel of them.

David's writing style is very verbose and descriptive and is very similar to how I end up writing, that being said he spends a lot of time repeating the same points over and over while taking a great deal of time to get to the point.
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