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Black & White Photography Paperback – May 1 1998


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Paperback, May 1 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2880463270
  • ISBN-13: 978-2880463274
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 18.8 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,608,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

The format of this book is pleasurable but different. Rather than straight text and photos the author shows you an image and then explains how he made it by explaining three steps: Seeing, Thinking and Acting. There are also handy rules of thumb and the images show Busselle to be a really good photographer. I learned a lot from the book, but don't expect traditional,lengthy text. This was fine with me. Shorter explanations often require more thought on the part of the writer.
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I expected concrete advices on exposure, lightning, how to see in black and white, specificities of b&w films, specific filters for b&w and got nothing. 90% of the book is made of generic, basic, uninteresting generalities on composition, camera, lenses... Technical details don't help at all: for each lense used, I would like to have the 35mm equivalent, shutter speed / diaphragms, paper gradations are never mention, neither the why or how of the exposure. Discussion of low key & high key is a joke. The seeing/thinking/acting structure of the book got on my nerves very fast, as is the very bad use of typography. Photos are flat and uninteresting, I don't think I saw one for which I thought "Gee, I'd like to shoot photos like that". All in all, I was completely disappointed.
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By Sirena on June 11 2001
I really like the concept in this series of photography books. Think about what attracts you about the image, then work to get that effect in the finished product. It's a very useful and systematic approach which one can follow in the field. My problem with this particular book in the series, as well as with his color photo book, is that his finished images don't move me. I kept thinking about the Ansel Adams remark, "Inside many a picture there's a good photograph waiting to come out", and I yearned to crop the image to something which had more effect.
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An innovative approach to teaching aspects of Black & White photography that works very well: Each two page spread has a main photo that is used as an example. The author sets out what he saw when he first encountered the situation; what he was thinking about how to make a good photograph; and what he did to make the photograph. There is also usually a "Rule of Thumb" sidebar on the same spread, as well as several other photos or drawings that help to make the point. The graphic design layout keeps it very interesting, all I can saw is that it is not layed out like a normal book, and the layout helps with the learning process.
Perhaps more importantly, the photographs are good. You can go back and look at this book over and over to tighten up your technique or to just admire the photos. The series title is "Better Picture Guides", and this book really will help you take better pictures, and is almost worhty as a small coffe table book.
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