- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1st edition (May 11, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321605020
- ISBN-13: 978-0321605023
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 150 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision 1st Edition
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“If the book simply stayed right there in the realm of how-to, go-to advice, it would be a wonderful book indeed. But it crosses the line from useful to inspire because David opens up much more than his camera bag. He opens his considerable heart and mind, both of which belong to a masterful storyteller driven by an acute sympathy for the human condition, coupled with an intense curiosity and respect for both the differences and the sameness of the world.”
-Joe McNally, photographer, author of The Hot Shoe Diaries and The Moment It Clicks
"David does something here that few have ever done—he not only shows his absolutely captivating images, he shows the thought process behind those images, as well as how to start capturing the types of images we all long to take. People will be talking about this book for years to come. It’s that good!"
-Scott Kelby, photographer, author, President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals
From the Back Cover
"Within the Frame" is a book about finding and expressing your photographic vision, specifically where people, places, and cultures are concerned. A personal book full of real-world wisdom and incredible images, author David duChemin (of pixelatedimage.com) shows you both the how and the why of finding, chasing, and expressing your vision with a camera to your eye. Vision leads to passion, and passion is a cornerstone of great photography. With it, photographs draw the eye in and create an emotional experience. Without it, a photograph is often not worth-and can't capture-a viewer's attention.
Both instructional and inspirational, "Within the Frame" helps you on your photographic journey to make better images of the places and people you love, whether they are around the world or in your own backyard. duChemin covers how to tell stories, and the technology and tools we have at our disposal in order to tell those narratives. Most importantly, he stresses the crucial theme of vision when it comes to photographing people, places, and cultures-and he helps you cultivate and find your own vision, and then fit it within the frame.
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Top customer reviews
I am happy when I am thinking about and practicing photography. When I really think about it, it is not about the equipment or technique. It's about satisfying my soul and capturing something that moves me. I love creating something I am proud of. For me, taking pictures is a means to an end, and that end is artistic satisfaction. If you are looking for inspiration for your artistic soul, then look no further. If you are looking for equipment or technique, you should look elsewhere.
This book was on my wish list for a long time. I finally got it, sat down with it at the start of a weekend, and couldn't put it down until I finished it Sunday evening. Obviously, it was about something I was interested in, and it kept my attention to the exclusion of everything else. This book spoke to me. Whether it speaks to you is a very personal thing.
My photographic journey has ebbed and flowed between focusing on creativity and learning all the mechanics...sort of a back and forth rhythm of learning, discovering, and processing. When I first began dabbling in photography, the only tools I had were my eyes and my creativity because I had no idea how a camera formed a photograph, nor how light interacted with the film. Disappointed with the fact that many of my images didn't turn out the way I had envisioned them, I began down the road of learning mechanics and all things "technical." As with any new thing, the scales tipped in the direction of perfecting the image for quite some time. I became focused on light, sharpness, shadows, focus, quality of lenses--and the idea of vision was buried deep in my creative mind, somewhere behind thoughts of gear and aperture and off camera lighting.
And as with any tide that ebbs and flows or scale that gets tipped to one side, I began to yearn for balance. I wanted to create something deeper, something creative and an expression of myself. Around the holidays, I stumbled upon David duChemin's blog and began poring over his posts. I loved his writing style and connected deeply with the content and humanitarian work he does. I began to take a look at some of the books he has written, and I chose Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision to dig into first.
As soon as it arrived, I began reading, and underlining, and reading more. I devoured every chapter. I was reading so fast that even in the first few chapters, I had already begun thinking about rereading it. I was coming from a place of knowing a good deal of the "technical" or "how-to" information, but my soul was longing to go deeper, to use these tools I've learned and go back to my first love: having a vision and expressing it creatively. Within the Frame connected with me exactly where I was at in my journey and began to tip the scales back towards creativity. The goal is be able to live in the tension between the two and to find balance between technical perfection and creative expression of my vision.
"It's as though photographers are afflicted with a chronic split personality. One personality is the Artist, the other the Geek. One is Vision, the other Craft...and in the middle where they meet is the art of photography--the expression of our unique vision through practiced technique. Great photography happens where craft and vision meet" (p. 38).
What I enjoyed about this book most was David's ability to discuss some technique and technical aspects of photography within the context of beginning with your vision. He stresses that this is not a how-to book, but rather a why-to book. The book is written from the perspective of traveling and photographing in other places and cultures, but I think the content is applicable to doing work in your own hometown as well. "The art of expressing an encounter with people, places, and cultures remains the same whether or not you get on a plane" (p. xvi).
This is a book I'll be going back to many times. I'll take it with me when I do travel work. It is truly a great reference and one I'll be keeping in my library for many years. I would recommend it to anyone, whether you're just starting out or have been on your journey for years. However, I doubly recommend it to those that are at a place of knowing your craft pretty well, knowing how to wield your tools, understanding light and the mechanics of your camera (although, if you're like me, with plenty still left to learn), but perhaps the scales have tipped and you've buried a bit of your inner creative. You've practiced your technique, but as you perfect your craft, you want your images to say something, to mean something and connect with your audience.
"Vision is everything, and the photographic journey is about discovering your vision, allowing it to evolve, change, and find expression through your camera...It is not something you find and come to terms with once and for all; it is something that changes and grows with you...Finding and expressing your vision is a journey, not a destination" (p. 4).
Yes, you can read this like a manual if you want. However, DuChemin's engaging style and self-effacing humor makes it hard to read this chapter by chapter like a serious student. Instead, you find yourself reading ahead or dipping into any chapter at random for months and years on end. The topics he covers include composition, seeing the light, storytelling, street photography, etiquette, timing and humanity. There is so much more, but it's his confessional style of writing that really draws you in. To use another analogy, any semi-professional guitarist will happily buy a book from their favorite axeman, especially if it includes inside tips. The narrative may be rambling or personal in places, but this only adds to the appeal. That's exactly how I feel when I read this book.
Just a quick word about the Kindle edition. Yes, the monochrome photos are annoying. But not as annoying as you may think. It's often been said that a truly great image can still be effective if you remove the color. This is true for almost all photos in this book. The stand-out exception is when DuChemin refers to a woman in red, hiding in one of the photos. But let's be honest: if you want to be a great photographer, you need imagination.
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