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The Light and the Life: Field Notes from a Photographer

Book Description

I've gotten a lot of requests the past few years to make a keepsake, a compilation if you will, of the favorites from the blog. It’s easy to miss a blog post—anyone’s post—because the rush of day-to-day life intercedes. This book gives me a chance to put some favorite posts together in one place, and to collect a lot of thoughts, feelings, and lessons into something coherent. It’s humorous, educational, and most of all, real. Editing for this book was like editing pictures. You pick the ones that resonate, have the potential for memory, and possess some sort of emotional or stylistic connection. 

The following 25 stories are a cross section of the most popular, educational, and madcap posts from the blog. The ones that have struck a chord with readers. The book has two sections—“The Light” and “The Life.” The Light section deals with the nuts and bolts of using flash and crafting light. There's a bunch of techniques, strategies, truisms, and gear talk. The Life section is about a photographic life, about being a shooter—which is sometimes painful, sometimes humorous, but hopefully, at the end of the day, anecdotally educational.

Writing the blog has been different from writing a book because it’s less formal, and a little more raw. I have occasionally written about times gone by, and events I've had a chance to reflect on. On other occasions, a blog has spontaneously sprung from the events in the field that day, from the frustration of getting on an airplane with a lot of photo gear to dealing with a difficult subject or client. It’s the unedited rushes of the photographic experience. It veers from considered commentary, to technical lessons, to quick, funny riffs about the exasperating, goofy stuff of any given day in the field. It's quick off the mark, and an honest account of just how wonderful, amazing, crazy, sad, frustrating, rewarding, disheartening, and ultimately glorious it is to be a visual storyteller.

- Joe