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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Book Review: Photographs from the Edge

Photography has been a hobby of mine for quite some time.  I've spent time learning how to use my camera and how to use the different modes.  I know what all the settings mean and how and when to use them.  I've learned the basics of Lightroom and use it with Photoshop Elements.  I really enjoy any time spent with my camera, I just wish I had more time to practice!  As a busy mom, my children are usually my subjects.  When we go hiking or on vacation I get to try out landscape and nature photography.  But I always feel like I'm lacking ideas because this is not what I usually photograph.

Photographs from the Edge by Art Wolfe is an amazing book that gives me insight into a true professional photographer's mind.  Art Wolfe wrote the introduction to his book and described his background in art.  He describes his desire to work alone rather than for a large company or magazine, and his reasons for shooting at the locations he does.  He says he is often asked why he doesn't have photos of the pyramids in Egypt, to which he describes his desire to explore new locations.  His art education and time spent painting his early photographs have given him an incredible grasp on light and color, both of which are quite evident in his style and throughout the book.  Rob Sheppard is the coauthor of the book and provides more insight into Art's work.

The book beings with some of Art's photographs from the 1980s and continues to more recent work in 2015.  Because of this range of time, there are many photographs shot with film and many that are digital.  Art describes the differences between the two types of SLR cameras and made me think about things I've never considered, since I only own a digital SLR camera.  I appreciate photographers who use film even more now.  But I've also learned many things from this book that will help my digital photography.

Each image in the book includes information about the camera and lens it was shot with, the camera's settings, as well as what film was used (where applicable).  But these bits of information become less important as you read the background and details about each image.  There is a small paragraph titled "The nature of the photo" and another called "Photo tip".  The first shares an interesting fact or two about the subject.  The second provides important things to consider when composing a shot.  Then you find where the photo was taken and when.  There are multiple paragraphs that the author wrote describing his memories of each particular image, including what he was doing at the time and why he created the photograph.  It's like getting inside his mind and understanding his reasons for setting up his camera the way he did to capture the perfect scene.  This advice is invaluable and has provided me with so much to consider not only when practicing photography but also when observing the work of others.

Photographs from the Edge is a wonderful book.  It is a treasure trove of knowledge as well as beautiful images.  This book would be a great gift for any photographer!

This book was sent to me by Blogging For Books for the purpose of review but the opinions are my own.


  1. I didn't read any of the text, but the images I saw when I glanced through the book were amazing!

  2. I didn't read any of the text, but the images I saw when I glanced through the book were amazing!