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Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Criticism & Essays > 1937538516
  1. The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity
    The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity
    The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity
    The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity
    Image(s) provided for illustrative purposes and may differ from the actual product
  2. The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (25 reviews)
    Price R922.00

Additional Information

There is a lot more to photography than simply picking up a camera, pointing it toward something, and tripping the shutter. Achieving a great photograph requires thought and preparation, an understanding of the photographic process, and a firm grasp of how light and composition affect a photo. There must be personal involvement and personal expression. There must be experimentation, with the recognition that only a small percentage of experiments end successfully.

In this book, best-selling author and world-renowned photographer and teacher Bruce Barnbaum explores these seldom-discussed issues by drawing upon his personal experiences and observations from more than 40 years of photographing and teaching. In addition to photographs, Bruce also uses painting, music, and writing, as well as the sciences and even business, to provide pertinent examples of creative thinking. These examples serve as stepping-stones that will lead you to your own heightened ability to see and be creative.

Creativity is a topic that is almost wholly ignored in formal education because most instructors think that it cannot be taught or learned. To the contrary, Bruce has proven that photographic seeing and creativity can be taught, learned, and improved. This book expands on the ideas that are central to Bruce's method of teaching photography, which he has used in workshops for the past 41 years.

Included in the book are in-depth discussions on the following topics:

  • Defining your own unique rhythm and approach as a photographer
  • How to translate the scene in front of you to the final photograph
  • The differences and similarities between how an amateur and a professional approach photography
  • The differences between realism and abstraction, and the possibilities and limitations of each
  • Learning to expand your own seeing and creativity through classes, workshops, and associating with other photographers
  • Why the rules of composition should be ignored
  • How to follow your passion
  • When to listen to the critics and when to ignore them
The book is richly illustrated with over 90 photographs taken by Bruce as well as other photographers.Seeing and creativity are difficult to teach, but not impossible. This very different, perhaps groundbreaking book is sure to inspire photographers of all skill levels-from beginners to seasoned professionals-to think deeply about the issues involved in creating successful photographs.

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Bruce Barnbaum
Rocky Nook
Rocky Nook
Rocky Nook
Rocky Nook
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Most photo books describe how to take photos under varying conditions. Bruce Bamabum goes into making personal images, not by learning new techniques but by learning our own inclinations and, to use a currently trendy term, voice (my term - not the author's). Techniques and composition are mentioned throughout but not as ends in themselves. Rather both are put in service to personal vision and voice. As a friend of mine, Ray Ketcham says, "Anybody can learn your technique. Only you can make pictures that reflect your voice." For instance, we don't need to learn the rule of thirds to make "properly composed" images but because photos composed that way have certain impacts on the viewer. Is that what we want from a particular photo? Composition rules become composition tools in the service of how we want the image to display. Technical knowledge is always put in service to improving our craft not as an end in itself. Throughout the book Bambaum repeats the notion that photography is a... Read more
This is a hard one to review. The author is an acknowledge master of fine art photography, and if you aspire to improve your own fine art photography, there are some excellent tips in this book. In my opinion, however, it is a niche book. It details the author's story of how he got into photography, and why he prefers large format cameras (4X5 sheet film). Notbing wrong with that. He also details his preferred methods and techniques for taking/making fine art photographs, and his pictures are beyond reproach. What let's it down a bit is his obvious distain for any other form of photography. Not everyone is going to shoot scenics or abstracts, and haul around a van full of equipment, and take the time to set up each and every photograph with care and precision that the author feels is necessary. It is excellent to be reminded to check everything with extreme care, but most of us will shoot (and should shoot) more than the 3-4 snaps a week or whatever.

I began years... Read more
Immediately after I finished reading "The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity", I turned to the copy of "Visual Symphony", an early book by Bruce Barnbaum that has graced my coffee table for more than thirty years, and paged through it. I was heartbroken.

I had hoped that "Essence" would give me an insight into Barnbaum's creativity that would allow me to give further life to my own photography. It did not.

The photographs in "Essence" are wonderful, and a careful perusal of them will give the viewer great pleasure, and hopefully extend the vision of a viewing photographer. If you don't have a book of Barnbaum's images, their inclusion here would justify purchasing this book. They are in the style of the f/64 school, which included Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, but with the author's own individual stamp. On the other hand, one may be better off just skipping the text.

I blame myself. I see how many of the arts use the same techniques: focus... Read more
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