This month we bring you four books to consider for your holiday gift list.
Photographs of the Extraordinary
from National Geographic
All you have to see is the front cover of this new book from National Geographic to be able to tell what is waiting you inside. National Geographic has been known for decades for the most magnificent photography in the world, and this book’s 400 pages are filled with the kind of images that few of us will ever get the chance to see. I lost track of how many of them are full two-page spreads. The book is divided into 5 sections, Phenomena, Life, Places, Objects, and Moments. I will describe just one image I still can’t get over looking at. A lone Elephant walking through a thick forest that is lit by the suns rays shinning down from above. That is the best I can do for a photo that you have to see to believe. Each photo is well captioned and there are quotes thrown in throughout the chapters by many well known photographers, such as Frans Lanting. I will tell you this much, if you are going to buy just one book for a holiday present (or gift yourself) this is the one to get. It is already a permanent member of my library.
This book is about 10x11 inches, with 400 pages, and retails for US – $40.00 and if a local bookstore does not have a copy you can order it from the NG web site at www.nationalgeographic.com.
- - - - - - -
Fifty Paths To Creative Photography
by Michael Freeman
Over 100 years of photography is used in this new book by the man who is probably the most published authority on photography in the world, Michael Freeman. Freeman takes all those images and presents his lessons on how to see and how to creatively photograph what you see, to have that subject reveal its true nature. 50 paths to get to that final goal and the successful images they will produce. Besides Freeman, featured photographers range from Eugene Atget to Frans Lanting, and also includes quotes from each. My favorite is “I didn’t write the rules—why should I follow them.” by W. Eugene Smith. (My kind of guy!) The photo subjects that the lessons cover really don’t matter all that much since it is only the techniques “paths” to shoot them that matters, but the subjects cover just about anything you could name, including a herd of sheep. Each image is fully captioned, with before and after shots that shows how Freeman works his subjects. (the best way to learn composition as far as I am concerned - do it and do it again) This is a great how-to book for learning from and will be a great reference book for others.
This soft cover book is about 9x10 inches, with 224 pages, retails for US – $24.99 – and is published by Ilex Press.
- - - - - - -
Photography as Meditation
by Torsten A. Hoffmann
There are all kinds of different forms of meditation and having used a few myself I know that they are most bennificial for becoming more relaxed and less stressful. I do not know how well they work in regards to photography but I do know that a more relaxed photographer is a better photographer. For many people photography itself is a form of meditation away from the insane world we live in. This new book covers meditation as an aid to improving your creativity, composition, and the way you look at the world around you. It has many varied subjects with Hoffmann’s analysis of how he took them, and offers suggestions as to how you too can create better photographs.
This soft cover book is about 8x10 inches, with 250 pages, retails for US – $39.95 – and is published by www.rockynook.com.
- - - - - - -
Intimate Encounter with Wild Nature
by Julianne Skai Arbor
This is an interesting new book about “trees” but with an added feature. That being a nude model posed with each tree. These are not just any old tree. They are a select group of the most magnificent trees from all over the world that the author was able to find on trips she started in 1995, and the model is the author herself, taken as self-portraits. 150 photographs, with some trees that are so huge they don’t even fully fit in the photo frame. All model poses are “tastefully” done on and in all parts of the trees. Each photo comes with a personal comment, information about the natural history of each tree, and even how people use each kind of tree.
This canvas-type hardback book is about 11x11 inches, with 192 pages, retails for US – $45.00 – and is distributed by TreeGirl Studios,and distributed by Midpoint Book Sales & Distribution. The book can be ordered through Julianne’s website at www.treegirl.org.