I actually found out that my friends Darwin Wiggett & Samantha Chrysanthou had released two new eBooks on oopoomoo.com back in March, I’m finally getting around to reviewing both of them. Although, ostensibly the books are aimed at a beginner audience, Composition Basics and Learning to See are valuable for more experienced photographers as well.
Composition Basics gets into detail on tone and color, under the heading of Primary Elements. Secondary Elements covers Line, Shape, Texture, Pattern and Perspective. They also cover Weight and Tension, both concepts that I need to work with more. Visual mapping is something new to me as well. I haven’t gotten as far as actually marking up copies of my images, but that might be next. In workshops that I’ve taken with Sam and Darwin, I’ve been lectured on Pokies, Blobs and Mergies (you’ll find out). Examples is something of a study in exploration. How you could get past viewing an icon and find more.
Learning to See is more of a companion book to Composition Basics. I see it as “get over yourself, shut up and shoot”. It’s full of Self-Assignments; which I will get around to eventually. Learning to See is a much harder book to describe. You’ll want to read it with a notebook nearby to jot down ideas from Self-Assignments to complete in the field. If you’ve ever thought about “your own style” this is a book you should study thoroughly
Composition Basics is for sale at $15 and Learning to See is $10. The best deal is to buy both eBooks at the same time for $20 and save yourself $5. They are a must have in the library of anyone learning photography. A dynamic duo of photographic education from a dynamic duo of authors.
In the best light…
I first met Dave Brosha last year at a lighting seminar put on by oopoomoo.com. I had been following him on the Internet for a couple of years and had missed a connection in 2010 at the Joe McNally workshop in Calgary. He messaged me later on the web asking why I didn’t say hi. I told him the only picture I’d seen of him was his Twitter avatar. He had on a balaclava with only his eyes showing, so needless to say I didn’t recognize him. Fast forward to 2013, I got to spend more time with Dave at the Persistent Vision weekend, even riding around Banff with him all day Sunday from 6AM. I got to know him a little better. He’s a pretty quiet guy, who knows his stuff, and is serious about his photography.
Did I mention he has a new eBook out? Well actually it came out at the end of February and with everything that I’d been doing, I only now finished reading it. Not that it is really long nor is it hard to read, but it is packed full of valuable information that nearly everyone who takes a picture of someone else will find useful.
The eyes being the windows to the soul, Dave Brosha is masterful at recording a connection to the camera. He naturally starts out with “Where do I begin” and takes you through a progression of location, lenses and light. There are also some of his outtakes, some not ready for prime time pictures.
Dave lets you know that not every picture is a winner. You start out and learn from the last picture you took and improve from there. Connecting to the subject is an important aspect of photography that many don’t or won’t practice. It shows in Dave’s work because you connect to his subjects while viewing his images.
Dave came to my attention with his aurora images (which are world class BTW) but I came to know and love his environmental portraits. He generously shares his techniques for shooting in natural light that’s well worth the small asking price for the download.
All pictures ©Dave Brosha.
In the best light…
Yoho National Park is the latest in Darwin Wiggett’s best selling series How To Photograph The Canadian Rockies. Darwin and Samantha have collaborated on this, the newest. The eBooks are now being published by their website oopoomoo.com .
Yoho is one of the least known yet heavily trafficked of Canada’s Rocky Mountain National Parks. The Tran-Canada Highway bisects the entire park. Safe pullouts are few and many have no good view. Darwin and Sam point out the the best photographic locations from their extensive travels in the park. They detail the sights on each of the few roads within the park.
Nice image, too bad it’s not mine. The above image is ©Darwin Wiggett, is of Pyramid Mountain from Patricia Lake and is on page 73 of his newest eBook. It’s the latest in the How To Photograph The Canadian Rockies series by Darwin Wiggett.
Darwin Wiggett’s little paperback travels in my pack all of the time. One of my favorite books, it’s long been out of print, but about to have a new life, as an eBook!