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The Soul of the Camera: The Photographer's Place in Picture-Making Hardcover – June 14, 2017
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"If you want to get in touch with the inner game of photography, you can do no better than to read The Soul of the Camera. David duChemin, photography's Thomas Moore, puts soul into everything he does; never more so than in this book."―John Paul Caponigro
"I’ve long been a fan of David Duchemin. Not just for his photography, but also his dedication to photographers everywhere―mentoring them to become the best they can be. And after reading his many books (I own them all), I know he’s a kindred spirit. David’s messages are aligned with mine but I still learn from him; lessons transmitted through a poetic prose uniquely Duchemin. David admits he’s written more books then he ever imagined, each one a refinement of ideas. The Soul Of The Camera strips down and distills all the best and most useful information from his previous works in a sophisticated yet easy-to-digest way. Only essential and practical core messages, inspirations, and advice remain. This is something only a photographer who has pursued mastery for 30 years is able to do. Thankfully for him and us, that journey never ends, and this book is as good a travel partner as I could imagine." ―Steve Simon, author of The Passionate Photographer
"The Soul of the Camera inspires the artist through compelling writing, impactful imagery, and reference-friendly bits of wisdom placed throughout the book. David is highly quotable throughout, but he is also highly thought-provoking. Loved this book." ―Tamara Lackey
"In reminding us that 'it is we who put the humanity, the vision, and the poetry into our photographs,' photographer and humanitarian David duChemin is right on point. The Soul of the Camera issues an urgent call to self-awareness and a willingness to embrace our inner poet warrior. In a world that is increasingly unstable and where heroes are needed, his eloquent words and photographic sensibility remind us that 'our photographs won’t speak to anyone if we ourselves, the life and soul of the camera, have nothing to say.' Well said, David duChemin. You are, indeed, a poet." ―Cristina Mittermeier
"David nails what is often elusive―the 'certain something' that some images have that others simply lack―not only through his images but through his understanding of photographic, artistic, and personal craft. This book is an intimate look into the workings of someone who puts tremendous soul into his work, but it is also a guidebook, written ever so poetically, about the pivotal role the artist plays in what an image says and does to the person viewing it. I recommend anyone, even outside of traditional artistic crafts, read this book to put the soul back into your work and life." ―Brooke Shaden
"David duChemin understands an important truth about photography: as photographers, what shapes our craft is how we see the world as humans, not the equipment we use or the situations we find ourselves in. The soul of the camera resides within our humanity, and duChemin does an amazing job of communicating how to access it." ―Paul Nicklen, National Geographic photographer
“The Soul of the Camera is a long-overdue and much-needed book. David's words and images speak not only to his love of photography, but also to the great joys and meanings to be found in creative expression, in mindfulness and in living an artist's life. In a world rife with images and clatter, David offers one of the clearest, most thoughtful, and most inspiring voices among today's photographers.” ―Guy Tal, author of More Than a Rock
“The Soul of the Camera: The Photographer’s Place in Picture-Making will bolster your courage and determination as you work to improve your images by adding more humanity, more soul, and more of yourself into your work.” ―PhotoLife Magazine
About the Author
David duChemin is a world and humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, and international workshop leader whose spirit of adventure fuels his fire to create and share.Based in Vancouver, Canada, David chases compelling images on all seven continents. When on assignment, David creates powerful photographs that convey the hope and dignity of children, the vulnerable, and the oppressed for the international NGO community. When creating the art he so passionately shares, David strives to capture the beauty of the natural world. Find David online at davidduchemin.com.
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The Soul of the Camera is duChemin at his best. He begs us to stop listening to the dopamine dealers who have built their empires on our backs by pushing techniques, plugins, golden rules and the latest shiny new thing. David urges us to look deeper and to ask the questions that truly matter.
I won’t lie. It is painful.
This book asks, cajoles and even pleads with us to explore our inner truth - to develop something worth saying and then to toil and burn in the creative fires for no other purpose than to touch ourselves and perhaps another with what we see or feel or fathom.
It is inspiring.
David urges us to confront what makes us tick - our vision, our intent, and to worry less about sharpness and settings and far more about manifesting who we are into the work we produce. This books is the single, clearest call to the path of craft and meaning that I have ever read. But craft as defined as self-awareness and even soul-making.
It is beautiful.
The photos in this book are whimsical, challenging, deeply human and introspective. David ponies up. He walks the talk. He shoots what he sees. He shares images that made me laugh, cry and contemplate my humanity.
It is relentless.
This book punches, dodges, rallies, supports, urges and shouts. David will nibble at the edges of our fears and insecurities even as he is readying a haymaker blow.
I had the pleasure of traveling thousands of miles to walk with David on cobbled stones and to raise many a glass of prosecco with him. David never held back. He pushed me to dig deeper and to let go of my fanciful notions of “professional” and “photographer.” He wanted to know what I believed, what interested me and why.
But his greatest gift was to believe in myself again - to be able and willing to yearn for personal meaning in my work.
This book is your chance to hang with David and to find a mentor who yearns for you to find YOUR joy and to develop and expose your soul in your work. No matter what you may fear or believe, you are worth it. And this book will help you find your way.
What makes this book different from others in the genre is that it is thankfully free of abstract, mystical, or hippie-esque “let’s dance in the rain and embrace our inner child” nonsense. The book is written in chapters that read like individual essays on things that are real and meaningful for anyone who is interested in developing as a creative person. For anyone who has struggled with the lack of a roadmap for getting there, or feel that they’ve stalled along the way, or have been told too many times that what they’re doing isn’t good enough or isn’t the right thing…this book is for you.
David writes with wit and warmth, and in a conversational tone that makes you feel like you’re sitting down over a nice glass of wine together and chatting about art without it feeling pretentious. It’s an “eyes to the stars but both feet on the ground” approach that is quite unique and really defines his voice among authors who write about the creative process. I wholeheartedly recommend “The Soul of the Camera” to any photographer (or really any creative person more broadly, because so much of the content is not about the camera) who is looking to become a better artist.
When I read one of David’s books, there’s a sense of intimacy; like we are in a small café in one of his favourite exotic locations, sharing deep thoughts (and laughs) over coffee. And every so often, I know he wants to grab me by the arms to shake some sense into me. He is so earnest, and his desire for the rest of us to share his incredible zest for living is palpable through the pages.
David always describes himself first as a humanitarian. In this book, he talks about the soul of the camera, but ultimately, I think the book is more of a metaphor about the soul of humanity. I really felt his theological background coming through to me in this one. There are times when I’m not sure if he’s talking to us, or musing to himself about living a more “meaningful” life. He prods us to dig deep into our own hearts and souls, and find the meaning in our photography. If there is no meaning, then what value do we bring to the shot, to the world? Produce less, but create more. Be critical of our shots, not so much as “failed” shots but rather as sketches that are building toward the final, finished print. I liked that concept a lot.
David DuChemin evidently believes that we, as artists, can cure the ills of this world, one photograph at a time. I’m good with that. I'm with him.
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