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The Art of Photography: A Personal Approach to Artistic Expression 2nd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 631 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


I would urge every photographer who sees himself or herself as more than a technician but as an artist to devour this book and immerse oneself in what it is trying to communicate and think about it. It really will help you see like you never have before. ~Walter Pike, Amazon.com

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

Bruce Barnbaum, of Granite Falls, WA, began photography as a hobbyist in the 1960s, and after five decades, it is still his hobby. Photography has also been his life’s work for the past 50 years.

Bruce’s educational background includes Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in mathematics from UCLA. After working for several years as a mathematical analyst and computer programmer for missile guidance systems, he abruptly left the field and turned to photography.

Bruce is recognized as one of the finest darkroom printers on this planet for his exceptional black-and-white work. He understands light to an extent rarely found and combines this understanding with mastery of composition, applying his knowledge to an extraordinarily wide range of subject matter.

Bruce has authored several books that have become classics. The first edition of The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression was released in 2010 by Rocky Nook. After having sold over 100,000 copies, it is now in its revised second edition. This book became an instant bestseller and is sure to remain a classic for years to come.

The Essence of Photography, released in 2015, is now in its second printing. This non-technical book delves deeply into the heart of turning photography from an instrument of recording images to one of making artistic personal statements; progressing from the scene you encountered, to how you feel about the scene you encountered, and then onto how to express that feeling to others.

Bruce’s two Tone Poems books are a collaboration of photography and accompanying music. On musical CDs packaged with each book, pianist Judith Cohen―performing solos as well as with other musicians in duets and trios―matches the mood of the imagery found in each book with carefully chosen classical music. Book 1 contains 90 black-and-white images; Book 2 delivers another 91 images. These books, which were magnificently printed in Italy, come in large 12˝x12˝ format.

Bruce’s Plateaus and Canyons is an all-color book that displays the wonders of the Colorado Plateau of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah with its varied plateaus, canyons, and unique slit canyons.

Bruce has been an active environmental advocate for five decades, both independently and through his involvement and leadership with organizations such as the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, the Mountain Loop Conservancy, Futurewise, and the North Cascades Conservation Council.

Product details

  • 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
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 631 ratings

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Reviewed in the United States on October 29, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

M. A. Camacho Quesada
5.0 out of 5 stars The title (full title) could not be more accurate.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 20, 2018
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Martin C
4.0 out of 5 stars Doorstop full of knowledge
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Doorstop full of knowledge
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2020
Bought this on recommendation of a certain famous photography blogger with the claim that it was the best book about photography ever written. Well it is big and heavy (pictured with a pair go glasses for size) so won't be going on holiday with me as planned. It covers a lot of material from composition through to printing. The main drawback is that in trying to cover so much material, a lot is in insufficient detail to be useful as either a how-to manual or a more philosophical work on photographic art. Useful, but anyone who can use the internet can probably find most information elsewhere. I do not see the point of the all to brief inclusion of material on digital in a book so clearly written towards the analog photographer. If you are doing digital, you can go elsewhere. Very good but certainly not up there with the Ansel Adams trilogy. Carson Graves probably does a better job for 35 mm analog how-to (exposure and printing in two separate books)
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Dougal Melrose
3.0 out of 5 stars This is for the advanced amateurs once they have got ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2017
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Roland Herrera, Bristol UK
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good but...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 28, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best i read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 9, 2013
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