Sunday, May 29, 2011
Book Review: Photo Phonics
I am reading a lot of books right now. Thanks to the Kindle app, I am cruising through a lot of interesting stuff... at great prices!
The one I would like to talk about is a book about photography. Actually it is called '25 Lessons I've learned about Photography... Life' and it is by a guy named Lorenzo Dominguez.
The first thing that I noticed was that it sells for 99 cents. I can't think of too many things that sell for 99 cents anymore. I remember a time when it seemed like every little thing was 99 cents. You could get a hot dog for 99 cents. There was the 99 cent store. You could go to the dollar theatre and watch a movie for just over 99 cents. The big Slurpee at The Red in Stony Plain used to be 99 cents, which would be $1.06 with the GST. I remember how annoying it was to always have to carry a dime along with my loonie while I rode my bike to the store. I was always worried that the dime would fall out of my pocket.
The next thing (this is usually the clincher for me) was all of the positive reviews. People took this for more than a photography tip book. It seemed like the author told a little about his life as well. For this little Phonics hooker, this was the ticket!
Some of the reasons why I like this book included:
The man lives in New York and tells about running around the city at night to capture interesting things on his camera.
He uses a Canon PowerShot, which is just a little point and shoot guy that allows for spontaneity and convenience. I love my DSLR camera, it takes great pictures all of the time and makes me look like I know a thing or two. But it's sometimes too bulky to carry around and be spontaneous with. Kind of like George Costanza's wallet.
The guy loves taking photos. He takes photos just because it makes his life better. He talks a lot about getting out there and living while taking photos. He likes to be able to see moments and then capture them while all of the New Yorkers are busy with their lives.
He is honest and open with the struggles of his life. I won't get into the details because you can get into them yourself for the price of a Slurpee 20 years ago.
Through it all, I have been inspired. The other day I walked all the way to downtown, snapping here and there along the way. We have a smaller littler Sony camera that I have been having fun figuring out. I took it along for the day. I have to say that it was a lot of fun.
A lot of people in this city don't like getting their picture taken. I figure that they own it to me since whenever my kids go out they are usually bombarded by camera phones in their faces. But, alas, if someone refuses a photo opp then I just dust off my feet and move a long. Others love to get their pictures taken. Others wonder why I am taking pictures. I am sure that some of the back streets that I walked are foreign to picture taking. I guess I'm sort of doing my part to document this ever changing city.
Another thing about Lorenzodom's photos is that a lot of them are nothing special. He has over 30 000 photos up on his Flickr account. A lot of the photos are amazing and composed very creatively, but a good amount of them are pretty normal. I am sure that he just likes sharing the whole experience with the viewers. A lot of the photos have a little story to go along with them. A lot of his photos seem to be experiments. Sometimes they don't always work out, as he suggests in the book, but that doesn't stop him from storming out there the next day.
I think that the main thing I have learned is that taking photos is mainly for the photographer himself. If you take photos to just be awesome then you will often times be too picky to see great opportunities. Moments are happening right now that should be captured. As we sit, beautiful photos are going unclicked.
I think Lorenzo is a great example of someone who saw this and decided that he was going to do something about it. I'm going to join him, and if you like taking photos, then you should too.
To see my photos, go to my Photostream.