Item description for Landscape Within: Insights and Inspirations for Photographers by Joe Cornish David Ward...
While no photographer would deny the importance of mastering the technicalities of the craft, most would agree that true satisfaction comes from using technique to realize more profound, creative goals. In Landscape Within, distinguished landscape photographer David Ward investigates the goals of photography and how they can best be achieved. He is concerned, primarily, with the nature of creativity as it is experienced and practiced by photographers, and with the thought processes that go into making an image that aspires to be a work of art. In exploring these issues, and in drawing on his own superb work, he has produced a book that goes far beyond the "how-to" manual, addressing questions that, though rarely asked, go to the heart of every photographer's ambitions. David Ward has been a fine-art landscape photographer for more than 20 years; his work has appeared in many publications, including Outdoor Photographer and Amateur Photographer.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 8.82" Height: 0.39" Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2004
Publisher Aurum Press
ISBN 190253834X ISBN13 9781902538341
Reviews - What do customers think about Landscape Within: Insights and Inspirations for Photographers?
Excellent book Mar 28, 2008
This is an extraordinary book. It covers so much and pushes the reader to a deeper understanding of the creative process.
For the Photographer's Mind Aug 30, 2005
Even though this book has weaknesses, I feel that it's an important book for any advanced landscape photographer to read, and perhaps other advanced photographers as well.
The book has two different parts that are only vaguely related. One part is a collection of Ward's landscape photographs. The other is a philosophical examination of creativity and vision in landscape photography. It is this series of essays that I find most intriguing.
The author initially discusses the nature of photographs; that they are not real and that they capture time. He suggest that while most landscape photographers are interested in the grand vistas, most might be better served by concentrating on the intimate landscape because there are more opportunities there for discovery. He also suggest that one of the best procedures one can follow in landscape photography is to go slowly and delay taking the photograph as long as possible to let your vision crystallize. Eventually the author takes a semiotic approach to landscape photography. (Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols as means of communication.) Ward notes the importance of realizing both the connotation and denotation of photographs as signs or symbols. Along the way, Ward provides a history of landscape photography, with particular emphasis on developments relating to creativity and vision.
One of the main problems of Ward's essays is that they never do reveal to us what the nature of photographic vision and creativity is. That may be because this is something unknowable and ineffable. Yet thinking around the edges of these profound ideas may help the photographer to develop them, and that makes this book worth reading.
It's a sign of the difficulty of the subject that I often felt Ward had not made the right choices in the design of his book such as leaving the discussion of how we perceive things to the last rather then presenting it in the beginning of the book.
Turning to Ward's pictures, which are scattered throughout the book, they are terrific. They demonstrate a vision and beauty we could all emulate. I have said elsewhere that editors feel that books of great pictures do not sell, and so they ask great photographers to write "how to" books. That conclusion was too focused. Books of great pictures do sell, provided that the pictures tell a story, or that there is a synergistic effect in the way that the pictures are presented. But Ward seems to reject that approach. Although quotes from the text appear alongside his pictures, the pictures do not illustrate the text, except in the broadest possible way. And Ward refuses to provide technical data on his pictures, saying this is a "why book", not a "how to book". He seems to be challenging the reader to construct his or her own book!
The bottom line on this book is that there seems to be no silver bullet for creativity and vision. Perhaps the author should have called this a workbook, because even after reading the stimulating ideas, one will have to do plenty of psychological and, dare I say, spiritual work to develop the landscape within.