You are previewing The Minimalist Photographer.
O'Reilly logo
The Minimalist Photographer

Book Description

This book covers photography from a minimalist perspective, proving that it is possible to take very good photographs with relatively cheap equipment. The minimalist process emphasizes the importance of first knowing what you want to achieve as a photographer and then choosing the most effective equipment, subject matter, and general approach to meet your goals. The minimalist photographer works with the idea that the brain and the eye are far more important than the camera.

Author Steve Johnson begins by asking you, the reader, to look inward and make the connections between your nature and your photography. Why do you want to take photographs and what subject matter are you attracted to? What type of photographer are you now and what type of photographer would you like to become? These are important questions to consider when deciding what approach works best for you.

In subsequent chapters, you'll learn about the equipment and workflow of a minimalist photographer as Johnson discusses the strengths and weaknesses of various types of cameras and explains why the biggest or most expensive piece of equipment is not always the best. He also addresses the importance of lighting and teaches you how to achieve effective lighting without spending a lot of money.

Also included are discussions about aesthetics and composition, as well as a brief history of photography and the future of the art form.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Chapter 1: You
    1. So You Want to Take Better Photographs
    2. Why Do You Want to Take Photographs?
    3. What Type of Photographer Are You Now?
    4. What Type of Photographer Will You Become?
    5. Gallery 1: Only the Essential
  8. Chapter 2: A Minimalist Approach
    1. Equipment
    2. Workflow
    3. My Workflow
    4. Subject Matter and Composition
      1. Seeing
      2. Framing
    5. Gallery 2: Surfaces
  9. Chapter 3: The Basics
    1. What Is Photography?
    2. Exposure Explained
      1. Aperture
      2. Shutter Speed
      3. ISO
    3. How Does the Camera Know How Much Light to Let In?
    4. The Importance of Tone in Relation to Exposure
    5. Light Metering Methods
      1. Averaged Metering
      2. Spot Metering
      3. Center Weighted Metering
      4. Matrix/Evaluative Metering and Others
    6. A Practical Demonstration
    7. Exposure Basics from a Minimalist Perspective
    8. Gallery 3: Railroad Tracks
  10. Chapter 4: The Camera
    1. The Photography Equipment Industry
    2. Camera Reviews
    3. Choose Your Camera (Don’t Let it Choose You)
    4. Types of Cameras
      1. DSLRs
      2. Point-and-Shoots
      3. Micro Four-Thirds System
      4. Other Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras
      5. Rangefinder Cameras
      6. Toy Cameras
      7. Cell Phone Cameras
    5. Gallery 4: Building Blocks
  11. Chapter 5: Light
    1. Harsh Light, Soft Light, and Shadows
    2. Some Cheap Studio Equipment Alternatives
      1. The Lights
      2. A Simple Diffuser
      3. A Simple Reflector
      4. A Cheap Tripod
      5. Tabletop or Product Photography
    3. Color Temperature
    4. Gallery 5: Into the Light
  12. Chapter 6: Composition and Aesthetics
    1. Composition
      1. Rule of Thirds
      2. Leading Lines
      3. Balance
      4. Positive and Negative Space
      5. Scale
      6. Line, Shape, Tone, and Color
    2. More Thoughts on Composition
    3. Minimalism and Composition
    4. Aesthetics
    5. The Difference Between Art and Design
    6. Gallery 6: Window Blinds
  13. Chapter 7: Photography Philosophy
    1. Making Use of the Wisdom of Others
    2. Toward Minimalism via an Assessment of HDR
    3. Gallery 7: Out of Context
  14. Chapter 8: A History of Photography
    1. A Selective Timeline
    2. Early Advances
    3. Film Cameras
    4. DSLRs
    5. Digital Point-and-Shoot Cameras
    6. Camera Phones
    7. Computers and the Internet
    8. An Aesthetic History
    9. Pictorialism
    10. Modernism
    11. Postmodernism
    12. Alfred Stieglitz
    13. Further Reading
    14. Gallery 8: Pick a Color
  15. Chapter 9: What Next?
    1. Change
    2. The Facebook Effect
    3. Who Will Be the New Gatekeepers?
    4. How These Changes Will Affect You
    5. The Future
    6. The End of the Decisive Moment?
    7. The Online World
    8. The Biggest Change of All
    9. Gallery 9: The Hot Dog Diner