George Barr Take Your Photography to the Next Level, From Inspiration to Image is a book about improving yourself as a photographer to create better images. Like Alain Briot’s Mastering Landscape Photography is puts the photographer, the artist ahead of the equipment and the technique.
Barr starts with seeing and moves on to finding images in what we see. He then explains how to compose the images found and how to assess the images captured.
An interesting chapter deals with all the obstacles to seeing and being creative: being stuck in a rut, balancing family, career, and photography, money issues, and more.
The rest of the book provides hands-on advice and exercises for improving your photographic skills.
George Barr clearly works deliberately and by putting a lot of thought into his pictures. This is quite different from what I do: I like to work off the cuff, snapping away at what strikes my fancy. Simply put, Barr has an image idea and then makes the picture while I like seeing something and taking the picture.
Barr’s approach was difficult for me to get my head around, I had to work at and with the book to absorb a completely different way of doing things. i am not sure how much of this was due to the subject matter (and my aptitude for the subject matter 😉 and how much of the difficulty arose because of the presentation. However, the effort was clearly worthwile, teaching me to make instead of take some of the picture ideas that I have.
This may not sound like a big deal, but it was definitely eye-opening for me. Highly recommended with the caveat that you may have to work with and at this book.