Contemplative Photography

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Perito Morano Glacier in Argentina. Captured in 2007 using a Canon 400D.
Perito Morano Glacier in Argentina. Captured in 2007 using a Canon 400D. This is an immense slab of ice that is hard to appreciate from the picture. This section of the glacier face is probably a couple of hundred feet tall.

For some reason, quite often when I tell people that I am reading a book on photography they appear surprised. I don’t know why but it’s just the general impression I get. I start by saying this as I am about to discuss a book I have purchased.

Anyway, I was recently browsing the photography section of Waterston’s (for readers not in the UK, this is about the only remaining high street bookstore chain left). There seemed to be a plethora of new titles released for no doubt Christmas. Most of them were very similar and featured what I would describe as over processed images with impact but no lasting appeal. I then happened across a book titled “The Practice of Contemplative Photography” by Michael Wood and Andy Karr (link for amazon.co.uk and amazon.com).

From the cover I wasn’t expecting much but then you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover as the saying goes. Inside what struck me were the images. They were incredibly simple and the processing so subtle. A lot were by the authors but there were also some great images by people you are unlikely to have heard of. The authors had clearly spent a lot of time collating the images for the book.

Did I buy the book? Well, not from Waterston’s as they wanted £24.99 for a copy that was looking a little too worn. In the end I bought it from The Book Depository using Amazon Market Place (which was much better value) and it arrived this morning.

Now I have to say at this point that I haven’t read the text so as an instruction book I have no idea how good it may or may not be. What I know is that looking at the images it will make me contemplate my own work more.

4 thoughts on “Contemplative Photography

    pjs28jack said:
    January 18, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Please let me know your opinion after you have read it.

    Lisa Gordon said:
    January 18, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I read this about 6 months ago.

    Like you, I thought the photographs were just wonderful.
    Once I began to read the book, I had a very hard time “following” it. Now don’t get me wrong here, I must have “followed” it enough to want to go back and read it a second time! 🙂

    I LOVED it. It was not the book that was “difficult,” it was the thought process that the book attempts to teach you. It’s definitely not something that happens in a short period of time, quite simply beacuse I don’t think the majority of minds are trained in this way.

    Since I do not “know” anyone who has read it, I would love to hear your thoughts when you finish it.

    Thank you!!!!

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      January 18, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks for your comment Lisa. The images in the book are exellent aren’t they. I’m pleased you shared your thoughts about the process the book describes. I will do another post when I have found some time to work through it.

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