« Will Fujifilm Produce a Medium Format Camera? | Main | Alvin Langdon Coburn »

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Comments

Hi Mike, how do I get started with Minor White?

I'll stick to cityscapes. Being tone deaf, most waterfalls look and sound alike to me.

In my circle of friends and coworkers I'm known as "the photography guy" and people are always coming to me for camera buying advice. I never give them an exact camera choice but I always tell them to buy John Shaw's book. Even for people not interested in nature photography, John's Guide is, in my opinion, the most concise, informative, and inspiring introduction to photography available.

I agree about the John Shaw books - I loved the first one (and the second one was only an update) but there was a lot of passion.

He sounds a bit jaded in this latest one. He's still the same down to earth guy but it left me a bit cold whereas I read the first two many times over - maybe we all got older and jaded too...

You might check out the new offering from Wyoming/North Dakota shooter Chuck Kimmerle: Black & White Artistry: The Creative Photographer's Guide to Interpreting Places and Spaces.

He works in B&W and the book is a good treatment of thought and process, not formulas.

I have both Randall and Guy's books. Inspirational photography and great reading. Geoff's review is right on target.

Regarding the Chuck Kimmerle book-
Agreed!
Very nice book I have sitting on my pile. I may publish a review shortly.

The best current title on Minor White is probably Minor White : Manifestations of the Spirit, by Paul Martineau. Decent reproductions and a good review of White's immense influence as a teacher as well as photographer. Paul Bunnell's Eye Mind Spirit is beautifully made but small and a bit pricey; good if you are a bibliophile. And Minor White: Rites and Passages, the Aperture paperback volume from 1976, is still widely available and a good starting point.
White's preferred presentation of his own work is Mirrors, Messages, Manifestations, an Aperture volume from 1983 which is pricey used, but very nice.
Finally, there is a limited edition volume scheduled for release in March, The Time Between: The Sequences of Minor White, that looks promising, addressing his work as he intended, as sequenced photographs.

5 comments on this article. But 51 for Fuji vapor ware ??
The Online Gear Junky? I am sure the title said The Online Photographer

My favorite photography books are by Freeman Patterson (also one of my favorite photographers): I'd recommend Photography of Natural Things, Photography and the Art of Seeing. They are all wonderful books about visual design. I believe that Freeman Patterson coined the phrase "the camera sees both ways" --- meaning that the camera is not just a tool for making images, but the images you make are a reflection of who you are---we can learn about ourselves by examining and thinking deeply about the images that we make.

Wow!! Awesome photography. Excellent and brilliant work.

I know next to nothing about landscape photography, but I feel about it the way Mike feels about street photography: you could devote much of a lifetime to getting good at it, as some already have, and not have time for anything else. (One landscape photographer I'm familiar with whose work I love is Eliot Porter, although I'm not sure his work really qualifies as "landscape" proper. Another is Masao Yamamoto. Also, some of the work on this list I just found, 100 Landscape Photographers Worth Knowing, looks pretty interesting.)

I think if I were to devote myself to landscape photography, all concerns about portability would fly straight out the window. I'd want to use 8x10, or else the new Phase One XF camera, with either an IQ3 60MP or 80MP back for color work, and an IQ2 60MP Acromatic for black & white. Instead of an XF body, though, I might go for the new A-Series, which looks pretty interesting.

Once I'd settled on a system, then I'd want the heaviest tripod I could manage, and a mule to carry the tripod, and a barn to keep my mule in. Or I might take a page from Ansel Adams. I believe it was he who had a special roof rack made for his car, so that he could use his automobile as a tripod (making it, presumably, the second-best tripod imaginable - the best being, according to him, having your camera permanently embedded into a block of granite).

All of which explains, perhaps, at least in part, why I don't do landscape photography. I do like entertaining the idea, though.

+1 on John Shaw's original book. What I most vividly remember from it was his demonstration of how unstable 1/125 hand-held was. I also remember his judicious use of filters. Glad to see he's still at it.

Are there any books on portrait photography that are worth reading?

Beautifully written and informative reviews Geoffrey. Thank you.
For the last week we have been choking on the smoke from 80 fires currently burning the Tasmanian landscape. Thursday was so bad ones eyes instantly teared after a few minutes in the smog. So reading about mornings and the aroma of coffee on a clear day in the wilderness was literally a breath of fresh air and a one click kindle purchase. I love the printed page as much as anyone but shipping dead trees around the planet looks like part of the cause of these insanely large fires.

Paul-
Freeman Patterson's many books are wonderful, consistently embracing the aesthetic and creative approach to photography rather than gear 'n gadgets. I'm especially fond of the autobiographical "Shadowlight" and and the lovely "Embracing Creation".

Guy is a great talent in both photography and writing.

He'd be my choice for the next TOP print sale too.

Nice sample of landscape photography books, Geoff. I have a strong aversion to traditional overly pretty, technically-perfect, wide-angled, soporifically objective scenic landscape photograph. (Why not just paint it?) So among your list it looks like Guy Tal's book would be more up my own alley. (I just downloaded a Kindle sample.)

I'd like to add one more title to your round-up, if I may. Landmark: The Fields of Landscape Photography by William Ewing is not an instructional book. Rather, it's a far more interesting and very unique survey of the many sub-genres of contemporary photography that fall within the broader "landscape" bin. (William Ewing was the Director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland for 14 years, retiring in 2010.) Traditionalists devoted to scenic photography probably won't like this book. But it will be catnip for anyone looking for inspiration towards new visual "landscape" possibilities. It's also simply an excellent collection of some wonderful creative imagery that (often) integrates a horizon line someplace...somehow.

Thanks, again, Geoff.

Ken-
I have a copy of Ewing's 'Landmarks', and your assessment is spot-on. Folks interested in a survey of contemporary, post-modern photographic approaches to the landscape will like it. Not my cup of tea; I can appreciate the formalist aesthetic of Robert Adams' work, for example, and I find Jeff Brouws' photos oddly beautiful. But most of the self-indulgent or willfully unattractive stuff in Landmarks leaves me cold.
Different strokes!

The comments to this entry are closed.