There is certainly no shortage of photography books out there. From thick hardcovers to ebooks, they cover every topic and genre, and often focus on the technical part, such as gear, camera settings and how-to’s.
But few books talk about what fuels our passion and what vision drives us forward. I know I hit that wall during my earlier days in travel photography, when I became good enough to capture technically correct images, but realized that they still lacked that extra element that made them memorable.
Within theFrame: The journey of Photographic Vision by travel photographer David duChemin was one of those rare books that I’ve discovered and it changed the way I see photography, which is less about technique and more about vision.
The book focuses on ideas, feelings, and questions. It covers the how and more importantly the why. It doesn’t tell you how to take good pictures, it teaches you how to think before you take your pictures. It’s the equivalent of the “show, don’t tell” for photography.
The book is written in raw and honest words. The author describes how to cultivate your vision and develop your storytelling by focusing on what’s within your frame.
It taught me how to pause before pressing the shutter button, check what should be kept and what should be cropped out.
I learned how to slow down, observe and be curious. And, more importantly, it taught me to care about what I was photographing, whether it’s just a landscape or a person I met during my travels.
I personally found the book to be engaging, visually inspiring, and instructional. There are still some technical guidelines and lens reviews to help you decide what tools are best to create your story. No check-lists here though.
It’s also filled with stunning travel images and the stories behind them. For those curious about settings, the EXIF data is also included on each image.
Ultimately, I found that it’s a good reminder that photography isn’t just about shooting gorgeous images, but shooting with a purpose.