In Bruce Barnbaum’s book, The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity. he takes the reader through many personal experiences of not only why he made specific images but the personal reasons for doing so. From his work in architecture, landscapes, and abstracts, Bruce describes his work as an ongoing journey of how he sees the world and the visual elements that inspire him. This combined with advice from years of teaching workshops along with a lifetime of making art.
I found his writings, advice, and images chosen, to be of great interest in allowing one to begin to understand the inner workings of a great photographer. Nothing extraordinary or even surprising and that seems to be where the impact prevails. Most of the images chosen were due to personal reasons. Be they of visual interest, intrigue, or to make a personal statement.
A very enjoyable and enlightening book that seems to deviate from many if not most photography books in that it is not a book about “Greatest Hits”, which personally I find almost completely lacking in helpful thoughts or ideas. Not so with the images and shared experiences Bruce presents in The Essence of Photography.
Even though I have not spent much time with black and white photography I found myself enjoying each image for how it is presented regardless of if it was black and white or color. I think that says much for the power of the images as personal creations of art rather than simply photographs of any specific subject.
A beautiful high quality book by Rocky Nook. It can be purchased directly from Bruce’s website or from the Rocky Nook site. I’m thinking “The Art of Photography” may be my next Bruce Barnbaum book.