This book is a compilation of 15 steps Zuckerman feels necessary to take great pictures: Finding a Great Subject; Infuse Graphic Design; Use Color for Impact; Shoot into the Sun; Get Up Close; Wait for Twilight; Capture Motion; Thinks as the Lens Sees It; Control Highlights; Avoid Blurry Foregrounds; Compose Classic Landscapes; Beware the Background; Seek Unique Perspectives; Convey a Mood; Take the Flash off the Camera. Phew! That seems to be the whole game, as far as I can see it.
To begin with, the author feels graphic design and lighting are the prime ingredients that give photos visual impact. The key is to look for simplicity, curves within the picture that take the viewer’s eyes into the frame.
Take note of the way that different colours affect viewers; some are calming, some provoke excitement. To some it will be a surprising admission that bright sunlight does not make for bright colours in photos: the extreme contrast often dulls the effect of colour. Shaded light can often make bright colours seem more intense.
When shooting into the sun, assessing the correct exposure can be a real challenge: a camera’s internal metering system will misread the exposure. What to do? Take a sample reading away from the sun. Or take a series of shots with varying and increasing exposures … two to three f stops should handle it.
Moving into macro mode has its rewards, not least of which is the opportunity to limit focus to essentials. An out of focus background is a near-essential to successful nature subjects; the longer the lens focal length the softer the background will be.
The book contains practical advice and explanations of why certain approaches can work wonders. It helps to pre-visualize shots the way that different lenses capture them: see the world the way your lenses do. A wide angle exaggerates perspective; a telephoto lens compresses perspective, giving the effect of less space between distant objects.
The book does not so much give technical details about how to take a photograph (f stop, shutter speed etc) as offer a rationale as to your approach to a subject.
Good head food for the eager photographer! Another top book by Mr Zuckerman!
Authors: J Zuckerman.
Publisher: Lark Books.
Length: 176 pages.
ISBN: 978 1 60059 638 54.
Price: Get a Price on Pro Secrets to Dramatic Photos at Amazon (currently 35% off).