Review: Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images

Posted by Gary Ramey on December 6th, 2011

Summary: Buy Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images (the Kindle version or the Printed Version) now! David duChemin has written a fantastic book that clearly examines what it takes to make photographs that communicate. If you are serious about photography, read this book!

Perhaps the steepest learning curve in photography is learning to see as the camera sees.

Review: David duChemin has his own way of talking about photographs. Rather than using standard vocabulary of art criticism, he prefers to talk about the Message, Elements, and Decisions.

The camera will create an illusion the moment we release the shutter; if we want a hand in creating that illusion, we need to understand it.

He states that first you have to see the 2-D image that the camera will make when you shoot a 3-D subject. By seeing and detecting the lines and shapes that the camera will record, you will be better able to control what the photograph will communicate. The Message is what you intend to say, the Elements are what is within the frame, and the Decisions are the choices made for aperture, speed, ISO, point of view, etc.

This is not a book for everyone. If you shoot intuitively and don’t want to think, this book isn’t for you. The book covers a lot of the same territory that I cover in my beginning lectures. My approach is that you need to learn as much as possible about your tool, the camera, to improve your skills. The process is probably going to be painful but it is the best way to improve your photography. In my mind, if you don’t know anything about how a camera works, you are using your lizard brain to take photographs. This is the part of our brain that we share with reptiles. Unfortunately,our lizard brains don’t want to take photographs. Mainly, our lizard brains want to eat and have sex. If you don’t believe me, next time you are confronted by an alligator, give him your camera and see what happens.

 

Leave a Comment





*