Photo books are definitely among the non-gear things that will greatly improve your photography. They may not be instructional, but each page will take you deeper into the creative mind of a photographer. That, in turn, will equip you with the ideas and better understanding of how to craft an effective visual narrative.
There are plenty of learning resources out there about photo books. Among the latest is the video above by Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography. As he mentioned, these books are an art form unto themselves. Using some books from his collection, such as John Free’s latest book, he explains how the sequence and layout of photo books bring forward a theme that encompasses all the photos. Together, they create an experience similar to an exhibit in art gallery.
The slight difference, however, lies in how the viewer interacts with the entire collection of photos. In a gallery, both the space and the arrangement of photos affect the way a viewer would look at the photos individually, and the exhibit as a whole. With a book, the viewer is focused on the narrative told through the sequence or flow of the photos per page. Each photo leads towards the next through a thematic context. The photographer’s choice of images may seem less obvious for some. It all depending on how the viewer experiences or interprets each photo.
Do you have some tips in photo book making or appreciating it as an art form? Share your insights with us in the comments below, or in our group discussions if you’re already part of the Photofocus Community!