On Photography


The Life of a Photograph, Sam Abell

A beautiful book, very well complemented by his presentation at B&H. Some notes:

Compose the picture, and wait.

The photograph should seem inevitable.

Setting first, subject second.

Compose back to front.

Head & shoulders above the horizon.

Get the Photos Others Can't

The best part of this book is the case studies and examples.

  • Spend the time and plan out photographs.
  • Gain acceptance with the subjects first, without necessarily starting with taking photographs. Be invisible and don't pollute the scene.
  • Immerse yourself in the subject: work over a long period of time and actually understand a subject deeply.
  • Go deep into the subject matter: learn from the best work that's ever been done. Research and understand the subject well, and push the boundaries of technology.
  • Do the unexpected: Photographs thrive on curiosity.

Photographers I would like to learn more about:

  • Perhaps obvious, but I should watch Barry London by Kubrick, and probably every movie by him – and take notes.
  • Thomas Joshua Cooper
  • Guy Bordin
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