Photography has never been a more accessible craft. The proliferation of high-quality cameras of all types (including those in smartphones) makes it easier than ever to have the gear needed to take great photos. This is also a potential pitfall for aspiring photographers. The marketing of camera gear dominates the craft of photography to such an extent that the art of photography is often obscured by a myopic infatuation with its tools. Photography is first and foremost an art that is best mastered by cultivating creativity and vision.
In his book Advancing Your Photography, A Handbook for Creating Photos You Will Love the author Marc Silber strikes the right balance, focusing on the creative abilities one must cultivate to become a good photographer while giving necessary attention to technical acumen. He speaks extensively of visualization as the foundation of good photography. However, Marc does something rather special that makes this much more than just another ‘soup to nuts’ guide to basic photography.
Although Marc is an accomplished photographer and teacher in his own right, he gives the center stage to some of the most capable photographers of our generation, drawing from them a wealth of accumulated wisdom. Marc is an excellent listener and learner and uses those gifts to extract valuable insights from some of the best photographic artisans of our time. That is what makes this book so special. This is not one man’s vision, it is a ‘bible’ of collected photographic wisdom dispensed in an easy-to-digest compact volume.
One of the best ways to benefit from this book is to combine it with the Advancing Your Photography channel hosted by Marc on Youtube.com. The videos in Marc’s youtube channel add a powerful teaching component to his book. They feature many of the same photographers whose wisdom is shared in his book. I like to intersperse viewing selected videos with my reading of the book.
This book has helped me to think more like an artist in my approach to photography. If you are an aspiring photographer, be it hobbyist or professional, “Advancing Your Photography” by Marc Silber should be an essential part of your well-read library.