THE UNFORGETTABLE PHOTOGRAPH: 228 Ideas, Tips, and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life
Grandma and Grandpa, uncles and aunts, the grandkids and kids…are all getting to get together this holiday season!
Think for a moment about one of your favorite photos. Is it the one where everyone is posed, sitting properly with a perfect smile, all eyes on the camera? Or is it the one where you caught an unexpected laugh? Shooting what a moment feels like, rather than what it looks like, is the secret behind famed photographer George Lange’s success, and the idea behind THE UNFORGETTABLE PHOTOGRAPH. Written by Lange with Cooking Light magazine editor Scott Mowbray, inspires any photographer—beginner, avid Instagrammer, serious amateur—to see, not just shoot. It walks readers through ideas, techniques, and projects, all laid out in an instructive, beautiful way that will make better pictures inevitable for every reader. Organized around six key ideas, this breakthrough book focuses on taking chances, pushing boundaries, breaking down barriers and achieving intimacy with subjects, and presents ways to behave, move, think, and see how every life is special and can be shot in a special way.
THE SIX KEY IDEAS:
1) Idea: Shoot the Moment, Not the Subject – Fight the impulse to take a picture designed to memorialize something that you’re already projecting into the future with nostalgia. Instead, be in the moment, shoot in the moment. Example: Moments You Stumble Upon (Tip #3, page 5) George’s home and backyard are among his most important canvasses, places where everyday moments happen all the time. And your backyard—or your street corner, or your front porch—will reveal the same moments if you look.
2) Idea: Keep It Real – The everyday photographer—as much as the pro—needs to bring out the camera (or the iPhone) when most people simply don’t, and that way capture honest, raw emotions. Example: The Reality of Love (Tip #30, pages 38–39) Go up to almost any stranger and show genuine interest in who he or she is or what they’re doing, and the door flies open. It comes down to trust. This photo is powerful because you are wondering about the state of his heart—yet you understand the state of their hearts.
3) Idea: Embrace Intimacy – Photographing the intimate moments of your life, and those of others, may take you to the edge of your comfort zone, but that’s where emotional creativity lives. Example: Half-Hidden Intimacy (Tip #42, page 57) Often showing only part of what is going on allows you to tell more, or create mystery.
4) Idea: Move Your Eye – Move your feet, bend your knees, get your pants dirty. Get low. Climb above. Don’t zoom the lens unless you have to. Push your camera right into things. Example: Move Underneath (Tip # 60, pages 80–81) This shot was taken at a community pool. George lay under the diving board and waited for divers to plunge by. Moving your eye changes the entire quality of a picture—but many shooters plant their feet in one place and miss the real picture.
5) Idea: See the Light – Light is the photographer’s palette and toolbox, a kind of visual thesaurus that offers a thousand ways to portray the same scene or subject. Learn to play with it. Example: Know Where the Best Light in Your House Is (Tip #84, page 112) There is no perfect amount of light, and rarely too little light for a picture. Keep your eye out for little sources, like the glow of an iPhone or the candlelight in a dark bar. In this photo the light was coming through an attic window and bouncing against a low-angled white ceiling.
6) Idea: Feel the Rhythm – There’s a natural rhythm to life. Outside the studio, every scene has its own rhythm, every place its beat. Listen for that. If you’re in sync and just a little bit lucky, the shutter will open at just the right beat. Example: Fall into the Rhythm of Walking (Tip #104, page 139) When you shoot people walking, a foot or arm often gets frozen in an awkward position, something out of place, and the picture just feels a little wrong. One way to get into a groove is to just fall in step behind your subject, move in the exact same rhythm, and shoot as you go. Lange’s “just do it” approach avoids most photography jargon, and applies to point-and-shoots, DSLRs and smartphones. Readers will be inspired to just get out and start shooting, exploring, and—with the tips from the book—learning as they go.
Here’s a chance to learn how to take the best photos….whether it be with your Iphone or your camera….just in time for the family gatherings this holiday season!
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