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Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing Paperback – January 9, 2001
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Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book does this by outlining some of the principles of Taoism, an ancient Asian philosophy of life, and then drawing parallels to the teachings of great photographers, like Minor White, Henri Cartier Bresson, and Ansel Adams. Taoist philosophy states that, to be a sage (and, by extension, a creative photographer), a person must harmonize Great Understanding and Little Understanding, that is, the open mind and the discriminatory or constricted mind. What the photographer must do is live in the moment and open his mind to the possibilities in the world. One should escape from the state of constricted awareness. Technique is seen as a possible barrier to better photography.
It has been said that the most important tool of a photographer is the mind. One's philosophical approach to the world may indeed affect the quality of the images that one captures. If, as I believe, this is so, a book that suggests an adjustment of that approach is worth consideration by the serious photographer.
This book convinced me that adopting a Taoist view of the world might improve the quality of the pictures I take. However, my complaint with the book is that having created a desire to explore Taoist doctrine, there were no guide posts as to how to incorporate those principles into my photography or my life.Read more ›
The authors suggest a variety of exercises to improve one's ability to be in the present moment, fully receptive and aware. Obviously, this practice can create a profound shift in one's approach to life.
Therefore, photographers and non-photographers beware: if you follow the suggestions in this book, your life will greatly improve. I highly recommend reading The Tao of Photography, Seeing Beyond Seeing and giving it to everyone you care about. The world will be a better place.
It is filled with great black and white photographs by some of the greats such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Weston, in addition to the author's own photographic examples. The book is a relatively short and easy read and the photographs take up many of the pages.
1. The size of it is like a coffee table book but paperback. Since there is a lot of text to read, it can be a bit uncomfortable to read (but great to look at the pictures).
2. There isn't really much direct photographic, picture-taking techniques discussed. The book more makes parallels between the Tao philosophies and applies them to photography, but it doesn't outline enough photographic examples of this.
In all, it is a good book however dwells too much on the purely Tao teachings, without providing enough relevant direct examples to photographic techniques and practices.
It did however aid in changing my view of photography and the way in which I photograph now with a very observant, open mind. I did that before, but this book helped remind me to keep on doing it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an interesting philosophical dissertation. If you are looking for actual advice on photography, you won't find it here.Published 2 months ago by Jerry K. Snyder
I have read this book multiple times and each time I have gained new insight into my personal vision as a photographer. This is not a book about technique - quite the contrary. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Fred A. Wertheimer
It should be obvious that there is a profound connection between Zen and Photography. You just have to let it go and it will come. Read morePublished 5 months ago by John Simpson
The perfect book to read, full of wise things to consider. It's photography related, but its content is universal. Simply loved it, and recommend it to anyone!Published 6 months ago by B. Boros
How little about photography. How very California woo-woo. One hand, not clapping, grasshopper. Buy another book on either topic. Namaste.Published 13 months ago by Richard Beban
My favorite book about photography is one of my favorite books about life. Let your work flow, let your life flow. Beautiful.Published 18 months ago by jimstoic