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Photographing the Female Form with Digital Infrared Paperback – July 15, 2014
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About the Author
She is known today as both a successful photographer with a signature style, and an instructor of healing workshops that celebrate women by helping them re-discover their core purpose, strengths, passions and joys.
Her life long commitment to the art of photography began 41 years ago in high school. "I didn't really discover my passion, my passion discovered me." Laurie said.
Turning from just taking pretty pictures, Laurie sought to perfect her craft by attending the photography program at R.I.T. and then getting her M.F.A. from Ohio University.
Later, Ansel Adams became one of her heroes and mentors. He taught her that discovering her own artistic voice was the gateway to becoming a fine artist.
Today, she is recognized mostly for her signature infrared photography. Her work is held in private collections and museums. She is sought after for her exclusive commissions and extraordinary creativity workshops.
Laurie's unique way of using infrared photography, and the caring, personal way she captured her subject's innermost emotions almost always became a transformational experience for both photographer and client. Today, she calls that "The Laurie Klein Experience." As time went on, she added to her shoots, the wisdom, ritual and spirituality that only 30 years experience can gather.
Sitting on the deck of her lakeside studio, she watches the clouds and their reflection in the water below. She is preparing for another Bodies in Water workshop. Nine women, all very accomplished in their own careers, will be coming for The Laurie Klein Experience. Laurie will begin with a ritualistic time of self-discovery and sharing. Each will have brought a camera, so that they may photograph one another and be photographed by Laurie.
Laurie conducts a variety of workshops with different themes: Celebrate the Feminine, The Artist Seeing, Jambalaya, Sparkling Water - Creating Visual Journals, The Goddess Athena Playdates, Lets Play Dress Up. For many years Laurie has been mentoring young people in order to give them the encouragement to follow their creative dreams. Laurie also authored Hand Coloring Black & White Photography, published by Rockport 1999.
Today, you could find Laurie winging her way to destinations across the United States and Europe.
"Empowered, successful women hire me to commemorate and celebrate where they are in their lives now. I offer them something special called My Muse. I develop a trusting environment that allows them to give themselves over completely to a transcendent photographic experience with me. Out of this usually comes a series of fine art portraits or a substantial book for them to enjoy, share and pass on through the generations.
As for the future, I am so grateful to have the life I do. I wake up every day and spend a little sacred time communing with my mother Source, Goddess in all her guises, asking for her help to empower, heal and guide others with my gifts."
Top customer reviews
My one complaint? Klein's style is generally monotone, almost exclusively a soft, low-contrast black-and-white with a few mild false-color images thrown in on occasion. There's a sameness throughout, which, while not necessarily bad, is limiting the full potential of infrared. There are no deep (~830nm) high-contrast black-and-whites here, nor are there any dramatic, channel-swapped false-color images. That narrows the appeal some, but is not a deal-breaker.
Overall, Klein's book is a solid work, but one that will appeal to a mostly niche audience.
I, admittedly, expected a number of images that were more-or-less accidently good enough to construct a printed book. I expected more teaching text than exists due to the book’s promotion with phrases like “Compose more powerful images”, “Smooth or enhance textures” and others. Naturally, I expected to be taught photography within the digital infrared arena. I was wrong on both accounts – Klein’s images are by no means accidently good and this is not a technical book on digital infrared photography. But this is a case where my incorrect expectations were a good thing.
Klein did something I’ve never seen before in photography books (and I buy many), let alone in photography education. Absent are long text dialogs of every detail of how to do this or that. Absent are lectures on technical subjects that pull the reader away from the subject images and into some word-fantasy that “you can do this too”. Absent are gear and software reviews, post-processing techniques and the other stuff that, ironically, can easily detract from the point of photography. Yet, without all of the supportive “text teaching” in Klein’s book, I learned a great deal about digital infrared and photography in general. The learning came from viewing Klein’s images, supported with just enough text to give context to her choice of composition and her artistic intention for the images. This, in my opinion, is a brilliant way to construct a photography book because less text leaves more time to study the subject image. At least in my case, that gave me the leeway to teach myself through image observation. Imagine that – a book that actually honors its images with just enough supportive text to launch self-learning by giving some context to the image yet not stealing the reader away from the image. Indeed, had Klein’s images been any more explained than they were, her readers would have been robbed of self-discovering the meaning and mystery of her images.
There is much more to this book than digital infrared. So much more that I suspect that the term digital infrared in the title was a publishing ploy that capitalizes on the lack of current books that address digital infrared photography. But that seems to be window dressing, because it’s clear that Klein has moved well beyond any infatuation with digital infrared and has attained the coveted place of utilizing it for its artistic power, not because of its technical mystery or even its challenge. I needed that lesson, because it’s easy to delve deep into the technical which can have the negative effect of forgetting (or never attaining) digital infrared’s artistic and creative use. To illustrate her mature attitude about digital Infrared, Klein occasionally mentions in passing the photographic effects of infrared, such as water bodies tending to be black. And when such attributes are mentioned, it is only in the context of her artistic intention for the image. This, for me, was powerful learning because Klein’s book invits me to put aside my appetite for the technical and actually look at images to learn from them, not just about them.
Klein manages to visually convey concepts such as innocence, ephemeral and tension to name just a few, using female models in settings that support her photographic intention. I greatly enjoyed storylines such as “Gifts from the Goddess”, “Vortex” and “The Door”, to mention only a few. I can only hope for such story-telling skill as I progress in my own photography. What an adventure this book is! All of the author’s images invite the viewer into them because they always have a story to convey, yet leave much room for the viewer’s imagination. Klein’s skillful use of infrared aids her story-telling because infrared changes the appearance of visually common elements that are too easily taken for granted. Yet the use of infrared is risky due to its technical challenges and risk of creating a visually misunderstood image. However, I believe that Klein understands what she is doing fully and deeply on the creative, artistic and even technical levels, making this an excellent photography book on several fronts.
Prior to purchasing “Photographing the Female Form with Digital Infrared” I had two photography books that I would not part with for anything. Now I have three.
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