Title: The Photographer’s Eye: Seeing with a Camera
Author: Arthur Wenk
Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
Date of Publication: 11 August 2017
John Keats notes in his 1818 poem Endymion: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. If it can be summed up in a line then this truly is the ultimate aim of photography. As exciting as it sounds, it is a very arduous task to capture the inner beauty of any particular object. In this brief and informative guide, photographer Arthur Wenk lays bare the basics of taking a good photograph.
Arthur Wenk presents the basis of his explanations on years of meticulous study and experience in a lucid and simple manner. The book dives into the technical aspects of an otherwise artistic endeavour. A good photograph has a lot of elements which become the embodiment of the pictures imagined up in the mind. It is an external manifestation of the photographer’s vision. Being able to take a good photo has a lot to do with owning a good camera but it also involves a proper knowledge of the technicalities and a clear vision of what is to be produced in print. It includes the ability to envision a good shot of a particular scene.
The book is well illustrated with large photographs of landscape, wildlife and portraits taken by Arthur Wenk. Most of them are shots of and around Toronto, Ontario. A variety of pictures are provided under each subheading that makes it easier to understand the topic discussed and adds a livelier touch to the book. The different aspects include form, color, texture and setting. It is ultimately all a matter of persective. Perspective can be altered by the use of different lenses that give wide angle views. Zoom is another interesting feature in many digital cameras that allows for a deeper perspective without having to move closer and be able to see things from far. The book is a concise and good introductory lesson on the points that amateurs need to keep in mind during photography sessions. He makes some very important and interesting points: “Seeing the world through a photographer’s eyes often requires thinking like a camera instead of like a human being” and “A photograph is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world.” Wenk gives ideas on how to create filters for abstraction patterns by using the camera’s effects. It is important to keep in mind to fill up the entire frame instead of taking cornered pictures or having objects in a frame pushed to one side. Also nothing makes a photo worse than improper lighting.
At the end of the book Wenk provides some tasks for the application of these skills which make the book more interesting and give a clearer idea. The book showcases the idea that a lot of thinking actually goes behind every single photo and without this kind of understanding of the subject good photos will be difficult to produce. Wenk ends the book by introducing and recommending the editing software ‘Picasa’ that he personally finds very useful. The illustrations are a treat to the eyes. Though short, the book is very formal and to the point. Readers may find the written material a bit too brief and not descriptive enough. Yet, it is a good read for anyone who takes interest in photography or wants to improve their photography skills regardless of whether they own a DSLR or have attended photography crash courses.
Click the book cover to grab your copy. Happy Reading!