How can you learn from photography books?
These techniques had probably the greatest impact on my photography. Recently, I realized that I had a problem with my bookshelves. I own too many photography books. These are not the cheap kindle books. They are expensive printed books that end up decorating my walls or my coffee table, and in my case, my coffee tables.
Learning is an active process. You can’t expect to improve if you have the books on your bedside table. Let’s not waste the lives of beautiful trees that died for our books on photography and instead use them well. After much research, I have created my ultimate guide to Photography books. Here are the lessons that you can learn from them. Maybe not the ultimate guide, but a guide or tip.
SET A GOAL
Set a goal. Your mind is an instrument for goal-seeking. It doesn’t just need to serve a purpose, and it also uses it to its greatest advantage. A goal can help us absorb more information consciously and subconsciously. Did you ever decide what kind of car, phone, or dog you wanted to purchase and then suddenly they were all around you? They were more visible than ever before. You are unlikely to find more cars of the brand or colour you want, but you become more aware of them. They were not something you were interested in before, so your mind wasn’t paying attention.
Sometimes you can look at photos and go. That’s okay. But let’s say that you have a goal. Before you open a photography book, you take a moment to think about what you want to learn.
It’s easy to buy a Paris photography book before you go. What if you cannot travel or don’t want to live in Paris? You don’t have to stay in your hometown, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be inspired and creative. This shot was taken by Elliott Erwitt, my hero. I’ve been admiring it for some time, but it was far from Paris, where I live. You can probably find similar shots in other places, just as I did. You can also be inspired by other things such as angles, colours, and themes. Do not be afraid to copy your heroes, as they may have learned photography from copying other artists or photographers.
ACTUALIZE WHAT YOU LIKE
There is a good chance that you will like and dislike many of the photographs in various photography books by different photographers.
This is very useful as you can find out what you like and dislike about a particular photo. This happened to me when I read Joel Meyerowitz’s book on photography. This photograph caught my attention, but it wasn’t something I liked. Joel’s photographs were my first thought. It was a constant thought process, and I kept comparing the photographs until I finally figured it out. The only thing I didn’t love about this shot was the missing part.
When I looked at Mayerowitzs photographs, I realized that his frames are often so well-composed that I can almost look anywhere to find something. My Lightroom catalogue confirmed this. I found this visual noise annoying and why I couldn’t “keep” many shots. However, my keepers had one thing in common. It was obvious. You can see that I have removed the visual noise and cropped it out during the post-process. While I don’t claim that this will make me a great photographer, actively considering what you like and dislike about the photograph can help you improve your photography. You only need to ask yourself: Do I like this photo? Is there a similar theme to this photograph?
EVERY PROJECT IN PHOTOGRAPHY IS DIFFERENT
You will be amazed at the variety of photography monographs that you have. Even if you own two photography books by the same photographer, each book will express a different theme, idea, or style for each project. It is possible to see the photographer’s vision and how he presented it. This should be your goal. It is important to share what you saw and why you took the photo. Unlike Instagram and other social media networks that seem to favour single images without context, photography projects should guide you through the topic chosen by the artist. What inspired the photographer to choose these subjects, angles and locations? Was it in colour or black-and-white? What size format? 35mm or large format? How about sequencing? These are the questions I ask every time I have a photography monograph.
Retrospectives offer something different. These retrospectives show the evolution of an artist and the progress of their art. They can both be very useful, but it all depends on what you’re looking for.