Wednesday, December 31, 2008

For photographers: a book worth reading

My favourite section in the bookstore or the library is the photography section. Sometimes in browsing through the pages I would come across a fresh perspective, or a new idea to try out on my camera. That's what fuels my passion in photography. I recently read "A New Manual On Photography" by John Hedgecoe. In this book, the author covers more about light and colour control, than on picture composition, aperture or focal point. He DID cover those other points too (which photography book wouldn't?), but I felt this book gave a very useful expose on a fundamental aspect of photography which is often under-addressed. He shows how one can create a lovely shot in bright light or in dull light, in high key or in low key, in harsh light or in soft light.

Composition alone does not make a great picture. I've learned that it also requires colour control in the same way an artist would carefully choose what colour goes with the other on a canvas. I've also learned to appreciate how the angle and intensity of light hitting on a subject can make a difference. It never struck me until now that tonality, or differrent shades of the same colour, is the key to giving a two-dimensional image a three-dimensional impact. That, in my opinion, is the pursuit of artists and photographers alike.

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