The Essence of Photography
Seeing and Creativity
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 richly illustrated book, best-selling author and world-renowned photographer and teacher Bruce Barnbaum explores these seldom-discussed issues by sharing his personal experiences and observations from more than 40 years of photographing and teaching. In addition to photography, Bruce draws upon painting, music, and writing, as well as the sciences and even business, to provide pertinent examples of creative thinking. Bruce's anecdotes and examples serve as stepping stones that will lead you to your own heightened ability to see. They will strengthen your personal intuition and creativity.
This book expands on the central ideas of Bruces methods for teaching photography, which he has used to lead workshops for the past 42 years. The goal of this book is to encourage readers to look inward and to examine the passions and motivations that drive their own photography.
Included in the book are in-depth discussions on the following topics:
Defining your own unique rhythm and approach as a photographer
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 creativity and photographic eye 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
'I offer no formulas for success because none exist. This book is not meant to be followed in a step-by-step manner, as would be the case with a camera manual or instuctional book. Instead, my hope is that the ideas discussed within the book may stimulate further thought on your part that can lead to new, creative approaches." - Bruce Barnbaum
Bruce Barnbaum, of Granite Falls, WA, began photographing as a hobbyist in the 1960s, and after four decades, it is still his hobby. Photography has also been his lifes work for the past 44 years.
Bruces educational background includes Bachelors and Masters degrees in mathematics from UCLA. After working for several years as a mathematical analyst and computer programmer for missile guidance systems, he abruptly left the field and turned to photography.
Bruce is recognized as one of the finest darkroom printers on this planet, both for his exceptional black-and-white work and his color imagery. He understands light to an extent rarely found and combines this understanding with mastery of composition, applying his knowledge to an extraordinarily wide range of subject matter.
Bruce has authored several books, some of which have become classics. His early publication of The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression (first published in 1994 and going out of print in 2002) was updated, revamped, and newly released in late 2010 by Rocky Nook. This new book became an instant bestseller and is sure to remain a classic for years to come.
Bruce has been an active environmental advocate for more than three decades, both independently and through his involvement and leadership with organizations such as the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, the Mountain Loop Conservancy, Futurewise, and the North Cascades Conservation Council.