Contemplative Photography

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”

  1. 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!!!!

    1. 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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