Yesterday, I was sitting in B&N for what felt like hours digging through digital photography books, trying to absorb as much information about manual settings, f-stops and the like as I could. I even got in a cool conversation with another guy who needed some help with macro shooting (and I actually helped him!). When I spend time at B&N, I usually pick up 5 or more books on the same subject so I can compare and contrast their awesomeness. And this book won. People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs by Chris Orwig. This book contrasted greatly from the other textbook-like books I had in my pile. Instead of the usual objective approach, Chris uses one that is meant to touch the heart, to humble us as photographers, and to help us use our photography to enrich our souls and the souls of others.
This book is, as you may have realized by the title, a book of exercises that are meant to help photographers take great “people pictures”. Chris Orwig’s main focus is honesty, creating photos that capture the truth about a person. He writes this book in a humble and realistic style, far from that of your usual photography instruction books. I have the impression that he wants his readers to not only grow as photographers, but as people, and I really appreciate that.
There are five main sections of the book:
- ” Section I – The Foundation begins with discussing the thoughs, ideas, and concepts that develop the groundwork and set the stage of your photography practice.
- Section II- Tell as Story focuses on how we can create pictures that have substance and are filled with a narrative arc.
- Section III- Connect explores the importance of makin ga personal connection with the subject of your frame.
- Section IV- Practice Makes Perfect is where you will put your shoulders to the grindstone to hone your skills and try out a variety of formats and techniques.
- Section V – Making it Your Own provides you with an opportunity to develop your photographic voice by working on more challenging and rewarding projects. “
I’m excited about starting this book, I do the first exercise, Three Chords and The Truth, today with my sister. It’s a pretty simple exercise that is meant to go back to basics and use as little gear as possible. He puts a lot of emphasis on simplicity, which is probably another reason I’m really excited about this book–the other photography books were overwhelming.
So, I am going to try to blog about every exercise I finish as I go. Keep me accountable! I’ll let you know how the first exercise went soon!