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Self-Portrait Photography: The Ultimate in Personal Expression Paperback – March 1, 2011
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The book is a combination of portfolio and instruction manual. Each teaching point is laid out on a two, or occasionally four, page spread, with text and pictures of and by the author. The text ranges from introductory matters like choosing a camera, through posing and post-processing to marketing. There is also a section showcasing the work of eight other self-portrait artists.
Dybisz's photographs are quite wonderful. One might expect self-portraits to be an exploration of the photographer's view of herself, and at least when she started, the images were. As she began to get more involved though, she seems to have pushed beyond herself into experimenting with a wide variety of photographic techniques, and did so successfully. Her pictures usually are quite dramatic, often featuring lush lighting, and frequently consisting of collages of two or more images of herself. Although I frequently felt these pictures had a meaning that I couldn't deduce, they were still a pleasure to examine.
I suspect that the instruction might have been a publisher's requirement for better marketing. In most cases I find such material to be superficial. This text certainly was at a simple level, although it did point out the special requirements of self-portraiture. New photographers may get an introduction to photographic ideas and even the more experienced may get an idea or two. But aside from that, the author's style has a youthful enthusiasm that makes it delightful to read.Read more ›
1. The photos in this book are interesting, personal, engaging, and beautiful. Natalie is very talented, and obviously has strong feelings about her art. The decision to bring other self portrait photographers into the book adds a lot too. I loved reading about the processes behind the images.
2. Much of the writing is pretty terrible, and could have benefited from some heavy editing. The book begins very slowly, with an essay about self portrait through history. This is hardly anything more than a list of artists' names, and adds nothing to the book. If this was a college paper, I would mark it C-, and comment "Trying too hard to list every example without adding any original thoughts."
I know Natalie Dybisz through her blog, and love the personal nature of her photos and writing there. By trying to be more formal for this book, much of the personality is missing. She also continually says what is coming up in the book or chapter, which seems to be nothing but padding. One sentence reads "This chapter will cover these issues." Stop saying what you are going to write about, and write about it! We are going to read it, so you don't have to tell us what we are about to read on the following pages. Full paragraphs early on in chapters are given over to what is coming up. I've never read anything like it before. It's like the text of the proposal to the publisher was left in intact.
To enjoy this book to the fullest extent, skip reading the first few chapters, and just look at the images. The chapters on gear and equipment can be summed up by "Get a DSLR, a tripod and a remote." Start reading at the Shooting chapter, as that is where the real content begins, and we, as readers, begin to learn something.
I am very happy I have this book in my library. It is certainly one of my essentials.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love miss Aniela and Her work, Her books allways help me to discover new boundries.Published 2 months ago by Valeo
Natalie shares her experiences with accuracy and reasoning. It's good when someone informs you about the reasons why they made their decisions.Published 12 months ago by Rodney Fong
Fabulous book! Love all the photographs and all the information. Big fan of Miss Aniela! Can't wait to buy her other book.Published on April 25, 2014 by Julie Brazeau
I love this book very much, can learn a lot of skill and improved my creative idea for self-portrait photography.Published on December 18, 2013 by SIMON YONG WEE HAW
This book inspired me and helped me get ideas! It also helped me build some confidence and want to pursue photography more! Good read with good advice!Published on September 15, 2013 by Victor Grimaldo
lots of tips and advice for creating your own self portraiture work. this helps you to go beyond simple snapshots in to work that is more artful and introspective.Published on October 10, 2012 by Vidalina P. Arthur-snead
This book is so great. She gives tutorials on how she created the images and introduces a few of her admirable photography friends. Read morePublished on February 16, 2012 by puddles
I haven't finished reading it, but what I have been reading it's excellent, this book it's not the artist's work, it has a lot of her work, but what it's great about this book is... Read morePublished on February 1, 2012 by Jaime