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Create Fine Art Photographs from Historic Places and Rusty Things Paperback – September 15, 2017
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About the Author
Lisa and Tom Cuchara are passionate about photography, both behind the lens and in the digital darkroom. From urban exploration shoots to HDR to newborns and nature, they appreciate the world around them and embrace the challenge of interpreting what their eyes see and their hearts feel via their photography. They have had successful gallery exhibitions, won awards at the local, state, national, and international level, and their photographs have appeared in numerous magazines―including Adirondack Life, Wild Bird, Birder’s World―in calendars, and on the covers of a paperback novel and the Wolf Conservation Calendar. They have presented many programs, classes, and workshops for the New England Camera Club Council, Professional Photographers Association of New England, Professional Photographers of America, Photographic Society of America, and numerous other organizations. They love to teach and inspire, and share what they know.
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(urban exploration) type of images. I enjoy this same genre, and so I appreciated their insight in how to find, compose, and finally process an image to tell a story of forgotten parts of American history. It is amazing how many factories, hospitals and amusement parks are still among us, hidden and disappearing.
These days, to get into these places you pretty much need to go with a workshop group that specializes in abandoned places photography, or develop relationships with the caretakers of these places. These type of workshops are getting more popular and are selling out. This book was kind of like attending a workshop. Full of ideas on how to approach a subject, how to compose, how to expose and light your subject, and some advanced techniques like HDR and focus stacking.
This book has photos on every page--something that I really appreciate. Some photo books have lots of text and few pictures--not helpful for me as much as I am a visual learner. I will say that this book is not so much an in-depth technical "how-to" book as it is an inspirational book. So be aware of that. For me, I am more interested in the context of each photo rather than the in-depth technical explanation.
The authors do address aspects of this photography that are different from others. You need to carry a flashlight. You need to be aware of areas of a building that may not be safe (often the steward of the building takes you through a place). You may want to bring a special flashlight for light painting. A tripod is often a must. Sturdy shoes or even boots if there is water in the lower levels of the building. You may want gloves and bring hand sanitizer.
One thing that did surprise me a bit is how often it is mentioned that they moved items in a building to build a more compelling composition (be it a chair, thread spools, tools, etc...). I am very sure these authors got approval before touching anything as they are very respectful of these abandoned places--but I had to wonder how much freedom we could assume to do this ourselves? (Maybe Tom or Lisa could comment?) My assumption would be that you are to leave everything in place and only touch your camera, but maybe not?
A huge value-add of this book is all the resources the authors list in the book. Whether equipment or software, I found myself looking up each resource and purchasing some iPhone apps and looking into buying another light-painting flashlight.