Review: The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum

by Mike on April 18, 2011

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We spend far too much money on cameras, lenses, and software, and not nearly enough on education, which is both cheap and effective when it comes in the form of a great book.

This thought is relevant today because we are in an era of skyrocketing camera and lens prices due to the destruction of Japan and the weak U.S. dollar. Nearly every lens on the market is 40-50% more expensive than it was just a few years ago.

So I’ll declare this: spending less than $30 on a fantastic book likeĀ The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum will go a lot further in terms of helping you make better photographs than dropping $5K on a Canon or Nikon pro body.

I’ve gone through quite a few books in the last few months, and The Art of Photography has been by far and away the best. It was regularly sold out at Amazon over the past few months, and now that I’ve had it for the past couple of weeks, I know why.

If I had to encapsulate this book in one sentence I’d say this: The Art of Photography was written to help you become a more mature and thoughtful photographer.

Through in-depth discussions of composition, light, color, and various elements of creativity, The Art of Photography hands you a framework for thinking about expressing yourself with a camera.

There are no pure, mindless recitations of photographic principles – i.e. a smaller f stop gives you more depth of field. Rather, The Art of Photography discusses technical issues in terms of how they impact your artistic output.

The Art of Photography is also a pretty big book at 364 pages, and it’s jam-packed with over 100 of Mr. Barnbaum’s incredible nature, landscape, and architectural photographs. It’s definitely not a quick read, but best digested one small bite at a time.

I wish I had this book when I first picked up photography as a serious hobby a few years ago – it would have saved me an awful lot of time and bad photos.

I’m not exactly where I want to be artistically, but this book is definitely pushing me in a right direction.

Buy The Art of Photography now at Amazon. You won’t regret it.


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