Flower

Author: Photography by Christopher Beane; Text by Anthony F. Janson

Publisher: Artisan (Workman Publishing)

Review by Conrad J. Obregon

Every once in a long while a book of photographs comes along that provides not just beautiful images, but that makes you stop and think about the nature of photography and vision itself. “Flower” is such a book.

Christopher Beane’s images are of beautiful, voluptuous flowers, but from a viewpoint that seems to give a new meaning to the genre. The images, taken in close-up, are curvy and saturated. They are almost abstract, like modernist paintings designed not to show us the flower but the nature of color and form itself. They seem closest to the works of Georgia O’Keefe, but they are not derivative. Rather they head in a new direction. Continue reading

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2: A Digital Photographer’s Guide

Authors: Dave Huss and David Plotkin

Publisher: Focal Press

Review by Conrad J. Obregon

I suspect that as the Lightroom image processing software matures, users will be looking for different kinds of information to best use it. As a consequence, a book that may be perfect for new users may be too simple for experienced hands.

Huss and Plotkin provide us with an approach to Lightroom that may appeal to people already familiar with the software. The chapters of the book follow the format of most other authors, working the way through each of Lightroom’s five modules. When discussing the Library function they further divide the tasks into getting photos into Lightroom and organizing the photos, as well as using the quick develop functions. They examine the tools for adjusting photos in the development module, with a separate chapter on using the local adjustment tools introduced in Lightroom 2. They finish up by covering the slideshow, web and print modules. Continue reading

One of the greatest photography how-to books of all time is back. “The Art of Bird Photography” by Arthur Morris has been out of print for some time. But Artie got the rights to print the book himself and it’s available for sale through his Birdsasart.com website. If you are a photographer, you should buy […]

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Landscape Beyond

Author: David Ward

Publisher: Argentum (Aurum Press)

Review by Conrad J. Obregon

There are plenty of photography books that instruct on technique. There are fewer showing how technique can be used to disclose vision. Fewer still are those showing how to develop vision. David Ward’s first book,”Landscape Within”, is a part of this latter group.

Now Ward has returned with further ruminations upon this topic. Although Ward is primarily a landscape photographer, emphasizing the intimate landscape, all photographers can benefit from reading his books. Like the first book, this one consists of a portfolio of Ward’s photographs, which, while related to the essays, illustrate his points generally, rather then being tied to any specific point. Ward says the essays illustrate what he considers to be the three essential elements of his work: simplicity, mystery and beauty. The fourth essay, called “Questions or Answers”, suggests that there are two different types of photographs (or perhaps photographers – I’m not sure): Those that raise questions and those that provide answers. Ward also provides useful technical data on his pictures, and to appease some critics, but not me, information on where photographs were taken. Continue reading

Step-by-Step Wedding Photography

Author: Damon Tucci

Publisher: Amherst Media

Review by Conrad J. Obregon

Sometimes I wonder if wedding photography is so competitive that practitioners are always trying to get any edge they can so that they are always willing to buy new books on wedding photography. Or maybe it’s that the field looks so lucrative to outsiders that they are willing to buy wedding photography books to try and figure out how to get a piece of the pie. Or maybe it’s that so much is on the line that wedding photographers will grasp at any straw to avoid an error. There must be some explanation of why there are so many books published on the subject. Here’s another entry in the race.

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