My friend Angela Faris Belt has just published the second edition of her book The Elements of Photography – Understanding and Creating Sophisticated Images. What I like about the book is that it addresses both the technical as well as the creative components of photographic art. Too often as photographers we focus on the technical at the expense of the creative; probably because it’s much easier to master the technical. Here is the publisher’s description of the book:
Photography is a complex craft. Some excel at the technical side of image-making, focusing perfectly on the subject, releasing the shutter at just the right moment and making exposures with the precise amount of light. Others are artists and storytellers, capturing a fleeting moment in time which inspires a viewer to gaze upon an image and ponder its meaning.
The best photographers are masters of both.
In the book Angela features 40 artist’s work including my portfolio “The Ghosts of Auschwitz-Birkenau.” Here is what she had to say about the series:
These images made in former Nazi concentration camps speak of a specific genocide, but Cole Thompson’s approach really speaks to the ghosts of all genocides. They were created using 10 to 30-second long exposures during daylight hours using a tripod and stacked Singh-Ray ND filters totalling 13 stops of light reduction. The challenge of making images reflective of the enormity of his subject was made all the more difficult by casually dressed tourists sporting cell phone moving all around, and that’s where Thompson’s understanding of photographic language came in. He solved two visual problems at once using shutter speeds and time. By adding neutral density, he was able to negate the rather irreverent scenes of tourism, changing them to scenes of ghosted figures haunting the history of these places.
I’m honored to be featured in Angela’s book and appreciate her analysis. You can read more about the book and take a peek inside at Amazon.com