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Light, Space, and Time : Essays on Camera Craft and Creativity - David duChemin

Light, Space, and Time

Essays on Camera Craft and Creativity

By: David duChemin

Paperback | 5 November 2024

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A book about the craft of camera-using and the creative struggle of picture-making.

Learning how a camera works is not difficult. Once you understand how to focus and expose, the rest are details. So why is it such a challenge to make photographs that feel like they do what we hope for? Could it be we're asking the camera to do the work that all along has been ours to figure out? Is it possible we've been thinking too much about the camera and not enough about our own creativity? In an industry that obsesses over the gear and all too often ignores the deeper questions around creativity and expression, this should come as no surprise.

It's true, the camera sees differently than we do. As our creative collaborator it can do things that we simply cannot. It can see much faster (1/8000 of a second) and much slower (8 seconds, or 8 minutes) than we can. It can cut the light in half, or double it. It can magnify, compress, and otherwise transform our field of view through lens and aperture choices. Learning to see as the camera does is, itself, an exercise in creative thinking and imagination.

The journey of mastering this craft is not so much about bending the camera to our will, but working with the many different ways the camera is able to see the world in order to create photographs that express the way we see and feel about it. That effort is more creative than it is technical. Crucially, this journey is also about learning to give ourselves the permission to create photographs that are truly our own, to risk and experiment, and to explore and play. Too often we hold ourselves back.

In Light, Space, and Time, photographer, teacher, and author David duChemin helps you learn to look in the same way as the camera does, and to think in the same language as the camera speaks. In 20 powerful essays, and featuring more than 100 beautiful photographs, David explores the place of the human behind the camera in the act of picture making, and he does so with the same inspiring heart, soul, and voice that he has brought to his previous best-selling books. Books that teach not only how to make photographs, but how to think like a photographer. Throughout the book, David encourages you to move beyond the functions of your camera to embrace the creative choices those functions make possible. This exploration provides new frameworks for thinking about your decisions, presents new ways to see and look, raises new questions about the challenges we face in being creative, and offers new answers as you carve out your own unique path forward. Most importantly, David will inspire you to head out with your camera and play with the possibilities held by every intersection of light, space, and time that eventually becomes a photograph.

The result of all this? Freedom. Freedom to find new ways of wrestling with the challenges we all face when collaborating with the camera to make something that is truly our own. Freedom to embrace your fundamental creative nature, to overcome the fear of trying something new. Freedom to work as an artist more at ease with a process that's inherently messy. And freedom to make the kinds of photographs you've always wanted to create.


Table of Contents
01 The Mind of the Photographer
02 Light, Space, and Time
03 Interesting Perceptions
04 Repetition, Risk, and Reward
05 Reaction and Response
06 The Visual and the Visceral
07 Art and Artifice
08 The Seduction of Subject
09 The Freedom of Flow
10 We're All Missing Something
11 The Power and Possibility of Constraint
12 Comparison and Creativity
13 Beyond the Settings
14 In Praise of Luck
15 Talent or Time?
16 Ever Forward
17 Imposters and Improvisers
18 Over the Shoulders of Giants
19 Starts and Stops
20 Find Your Magic

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