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The Art of Photography: A Personal Approach to Artistic Expression 2nd Edition
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The Art of Photography is a must-have book for any photographer, whether starting out or veteran. It certainly is a must for photographers who have never shot with film. The book discusses everything there is to know, from technical to art related. …[It] is a book that makes you think. …every serious photographer who isn’t afraid to question his own skills should buy and read this book. ~Erik Vleitnch, IT Enquirer
Barnbaum is successful in bringing the title to reality for the conscientious student: when a person with a camera can express themselves with their work and truly communicate with the viewer, he or she will have discovered The Art of Photography. ~Frank Etier, Technorati Media
There are many ways to improve your photography. Most take years and many are hit-or-miss. If you want to move quickly to the front of the class, you’d do well to spend some time with this newest release from Bruce Barnbaum. Having spent years combing through photo books at the Cleveland Public Library back in the 80’s, I wish this one had been there when I started. …I can’t tell the number of people I know who could have been great photographers, but thought they needed to be something they were not. If you internalize most of this book, you’ll have the best style of all…“someone who just takes really good photos.” ~Doug Bardwell, Examiner.com
The reader, whether a beginning film photographer, a digital photographer, or an advanced photographer who has begun the intense analysis of their work in their attempt to move from technical competence to truly artistic vision, will find something of value in this volume. I found it a seriously interesting read with parts I kept returning to after some thought on the processes discussed. ~Michael N. Roach, DigitalAppleJuice.com
Bruce Barnbaum’s The Art of Photogrpahy is the best book I’ve read in over 40 years of reading about photography. Bruce Barnbaum goes further and deeper into explaining the intangibles that make a great photograph than anyone else ever has. If you want to learn how to create powerful photographs instead of just snapping away and hoping something turns out later in your computer, this is the one book you must read. …It is the best book for people willing to invest the time and effort demanded to create brilliant photographs. ~Ken Rockwell
An amazing book on the art of photography. It challenges one's personal focus and passion about practicing one's own art - be it photography or in some other medium. ~Patsy R. Richardson, Amazon.com
This book has made me a better artist. Mr. Barnbaum, I will be forever in your debt. This book almost immediately made me a true artist who can now consistently and deliberately create the exact message I want to communicate. ~Andrew M., Amazon.com
If you would like to find a book that will take you into a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of what makes for a great photograph then this book does that and more. ~Lloyd M. Bentsen, Amazon.com
About the Author
- Item Weight : 3.65 pounds
- Paperback : 408 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1681982102
- ISBN-13 : 978-1681982106
- Dimensions : 9.9 x 1 x 9.9 inches
- Publisher : Rocky Nook; 2nd edition (April 12, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #24,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Mr. Barnbaum, I will be forever in your debt. This book almost immediately made me a true artist who can now consistently and deliberately create the exact message I want to communicate. I take about 1/10th of the photos I once did. I know where to position myself, and most of all, I know what I want to say before I say it.
I rarely write amazon reviews, though I should more often. I simply had to say something about this book. Ignore that some of this book is about film and darkroom techniques. READ THE TITLE. This is about the ART of photography, not the process or the medium involved.
Mr. Barnbaum not only is a great teacher and that's obviously immensely helpful. What makes him the best I have read is that his images are phenomenal. Not only that, his images are completely different than anything you have ever seen. They will bend you as you try to understand them. Then you realize that this is what art is all about.
Buy this book if:
- You care about being an artist with real ability to express yourself.
- You are already technically proficient and comfortable with your equipment and want to take photographs people NOTICE.
- You care about being the best.
Don't buy this book if:
- You want to learn technical how-to information about how to formulate a particular shot (like aperture settings, etc)
- You want to stay mediocre.
The book is surely long & the author sure repeats his ideas several times but it is clear he wants you to improve rather than shoot for short cuts & boring clichés.
At a glance, it looks like it’s going to be interesting read. If you’re looking for a “how to book” then this book is not for you. If you’re looking for a photographer’s work and insight as to the wondrous images he took then buy this book. I’m suffering from photographers block right now and this just maybe the inspiration I need.
I liked the sections about art more than those about technique, which I find too narrowly boxed in the Zone System. I know that this is a long tradition but I feel it is overstated - the zones are just a quick reference to areas in the density-exposure curve, and that's it. I find the continous references to Zone XXX quite tiresome. That said, the printing technique explanations are awesome.
The book covers very well both film and digital technique; the film section (on which I feel entitled to give an opinion) is superb, especially the printing examples.
I would have loved to see more on film scanning, which is not covered in nearly enough depth. I do hope that the author can make a follow-up edition once technology gets more stabilized.
The picture examples are oriented towards landscape and portrait subjects; this is fine if you keep in mind that there are other subjects and styles. In any case, it is wonderful that the author is ready to comment on stellar examples of his own work. Style is personal, but techniques and concepts may be widely applied.
I would also have liked to see more about composition elements, and stronger examples of how composition works (or not), since composition is a defining element of photography. But there are already good works on photographic composition. I love the author's stand on composition rules, too.
On the whole I find this a very useful work. I wish I had this book available when I started on photography as a hobby, so many years ago!
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2020
It is quite profound and well thought out.
The author covers in depth discussions about the true nature of photography
The text is very well written, and points well argued.
I would have liked more street photos and portraits.
That said, I really appreciate the work that went into this
Review update: I have read quite a lot of it now, and find the thought process and concepts very solid.
This is a serious work on the subject, and I might easily have rated it 5 stars, not 4.
It proposes you to stop shooting a lot and quickly hoping to be lucky an get some nice picture, and instead of that, to begin having control of the photographic process and shoot knowing what you will get.
Even though some chapters are dedicated to film and most of the time it talks about black&white, the book is equally useful for digital users, and both colour and B&W photography. (I shoot colour digital pictures).