Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography by Brenda Tharp
This new book aims at the advanced photographer and doesn't bother with basic discussions like exposure or equipment. Tharp believes that the secret of photographic creativity is learning to see (shades of Freeman Patterson!) After discussing seeing, Tharp focuses on a number of more advanced subjects like light and composition and shows how she has applied her creativity in these areas. Her photographs are quite good, if just a little snappy.
For me the book raised a couple of questions. Can you teach photographic creativity, by book or otherwise? For those of us who might feel that there is no field of human endeavor that can't be taught and learned, we'd be disappointed if this was not possible. But I'm not certain every one agrees with me.
The second question is whether Tharp's approach works. There are many books out here by a number of different artists who purport to teach photographic creativity (Niall Benvie, Tony Sweet, Freeman Patterson) and each of them takes a different approach. Photographers probably are not a homogeneous group in the way they learn, and therefore, one author may be better for a particular photographer than another. Most of us probably don't know which one will be best and so we have to try a number of different authors before we find which one fits our learning style. (You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.) Tharp is certainly worth a try.
For a little more information see my review on Amazon. Com at
#1. "RE: Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography by Brenda Tha" | In response to Reply # 0bbillbs Nikonian since 06th Jan 2003Sun 28-Sep-03 01:41 AM
>For me the book raised a couple of questions. Can you teach
>photographic creativity, by book or otherwise? For those of
>us who might feel that there is no field of human endeavor
>that can't be taught and learned, we'd be disappointed if
>this was not possible. But I'm not certain every one agrees
Teaching creativity is probably more about opening the mind to the possibility of being creative. However, teaching photographic creativity could lead students into a quagmire of strange and mannered techniques. As an example, experimenting with filters to distort colors or image shapes, or moving the camera to blur a subject,worthwhile things to experiment with, but not to be limited by. I'm not sure I'm expressing this accurately, but often when teaching photographic creativity people think they are being creative because they used some bizarre distortion of the image without regard to the subject matter.
Are there any other thoughts on the idea of mannerism in photography?
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