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Tao of Photography

This title, The Tao of Photography, Seeing Beyond Seeing stood out when I was at the bookstore the other day, and I had to purchase it. I was looking for a book about how to see beyond seeing and there it was right in the title. I had to buy it! This book goes beyond the rules of thirds instead it helps you find that emotional connection with your photography. There are exercises to improve your ability in photography and just great tips life.

This book does not go down any sort of technical path. No this book is exactly what you might think a very balanced and calm reading. I don’t think it’s meant to pick up and read cover to cover, but instead read a section and let it sink in what was said. It’s the perfect book to read right before bed or when you have time to head to the cafe for a little bit.

This particular passage struck me! I have asked photographers before how they see. We can be looking at the same scene and their picture will come out so much better. Why can’t I see it….

“One does not think during creative work, any more than one thinks when driving a car. But one has a background of years – learning, unlearning; success, failure, dreaming, thinking, experience, all this – then the moment of creation, the focusing of all into the moment. So I can make “without thought,” fifteen carefully considered negatives, one every fifteen minutes, given material with as many possibilities. But there is all the eyes have seen in this life to influence me.”

The teenager with their learners permitĀ  doesn’t automatically see everything around them. No matter how much they read the car manual and study for the exam. It’s not until you get out there and practice it everyday in big cities, small cities, icy road and holiday madness that you can drive without thinking. You don’t even think about it when your eyes scan a turn defensively looking for pedestrians, people etc. The only way to see in photography is to practice it all the time. In this book their are things to contemplate about your photography experience and exercises to help us see. The book has the perfect title!

The Official Book Description:

This provocative, visually stunning volume draws upon Taoist teachings to explore the creative and spiritual dimensions of the art of photography. Excerpts from the Taoist classic the Chuang-tzu and the writings of Western aesthetes are complemented by over 60 photographs from the work of such canonical photographers as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Stieglitz, and Dorothea Lange. Lucid instructional text and enlightening exercises assure that photographers of all levels will be able to incorporate the lessons of the Tao into their own work.

DSLR camera deals isn’t just about gear… It’s also about finding the right books to help us along this journey!

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