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 Post subject: duChemin, "The Soul of the Camera"
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:44 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles
Every now and then I roll down the hill to the Sunset Strip and give the shelves at Book Soup a look. The stock has a strong emphasis on the arts and is refreshed with new titles on an ongoing basis, so it is a convenient and enjoyable place to keep up with what's new in the photo book world. I was doing just that last week and ran across The Soul of the Camera - The Photographer's Place in Picture-Making by David duChemin. In 273 pages, illustrated by several dozen black and white photographs, the author muses on themes which he believes are at the core of making better photographs (with "better") defined as resonating, or connecting with ourselves and others. Some of these themes are patience, respect for the creative process, authenticity, discipline, and the pursuit of mastery. Overarching his discussion of these and related themes is the notion that the photographer's approach to each photograph (in the sense of investing the work with "soul") is more important to it's success ("resonance") than the photographer's choice of camera model, or lens, or even the technical specifications of the exposure (ISO, film or digital media, shutter speed, f-stop). It is duChemin's elaboration on "soul" and "resonance" in photography that is the crux of this book. You could say that it is not a "how-to" book in the traditional sense; it would be more descriptive to call it a "how-to book for the photographer's frame of mind." As I read through each thematic section of the book, I got the sense that some of duChemin's points are rather obvious, but thinking about my own efforts to improve I had to acknowledge that those points really do need re-emphasizing now and again. Other points the author raises are less self-evident (a "willingness to surrender" in the sense of being receptive to the unexpected and serendipitous), and some rather subtle. The Soul of the Camera is published in hardcover by Rocky Nook.

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