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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs

Book Description

Simply having a certain camera or lens isn’t going to make you a better photographer. So, what will? Understanding your camera. Thinking differently. Studying photographs and knowing what they provoke in you, and why. Giving the craft time to grow. Looking to painters, designers, and others who work in two dimensions and learning from them. Relentlessly looking for light, lines, and moments. Making photographs–thousands and thousands of photographs. There’s no magic bullet to achieving success, but in these pages you will learn the value of studying, practice, and remembering that your most important assets as an artist are imagination, passion, patience, receptivity, curiosity, and a dogged refusal to follow the rules.

THE VISUAL TOOLBOX is photographer David duChemin’s curriculum for learning not just how to use a camera–but how to make stronger photographs. He has developed 60 lessons, each one a stepping stone to becoming more proficient with the tools of this art, and the means to create deeper visual experiences with your images. David introduces you to the technical side of the craft but quickly moves on to composition, the creative process, and the principles that have always been responsible for making great photographs; he shows you these principles and invites you to play with them, turn them on their heads, and try a different approach to create beautiful, compelling images with your camera.

  • Features action-oriented micro-chapters designed to improve your photography immediately

  • Includes explanations of 60 concepts with an assignment for nearly every chapter

  • Covers such topics as balance, using negative space, exploring color contrast, waiting for the moment, learning to incorporate mood and motion, and much more

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication Page
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. About the Author
    6. Contents
    7. Introduction
    8. Lesson 1. Consider Your Vision
    9. Lesson 2. Ask Better Questions
    10. Lesson 3. Manual
    11. Lesson 4. Exposure: The Zone System
    12. Lesson 5. Exposure: Optimize Your RAW Exposures
      1. The Histogram
    13. Lesson 6. Master the Triangle
    14. Lesson 7. Use a Slower Shutter Speed
    15. Lesson 8. Learn to Pan
    16. Lesson 9. Use Intentional Camera Movement
    17. Lesson 10. Use Wide-Angle Lenses to Create a Sense of Inclusion
    18. Lesson 11. Forget the Camera
    19. Lesson 12. Learn to Isolate
      1. Point of View
      2. Optics
      3. Motion
    20. Lesson 13. Isolation: Use a Longer Lens
    21. Lesson 14. Isolation: Use a Wider Aperture
    22. Lesson 15. Use Tighter Apertures to Deepen Focus
    23. Lesson 16. Use Focus to Abstract
    24. Lesson 17. Consider Your Color Palette
    25. Lesson 18. Explore Color Contrast
    26. Lesson 19. Try It in Black and White
    27. Lesson 20. Point of View: Control Your Lines
    28. Lesson 21. Lines: Use Diagonals to Create Energy
    29. Lesson 22. Lines: Patterns
    30. Lesson 23. Lines: Lead My Eye
    31. Lesson 24. Lines: Horizons
    32. Lesson 25. Learn to Sketch
    33. Lesson 26. See the Direction of Light
    34. Lesson 27. Light: Front Light
    35. Lesson 28. Light: Side Light
    36. Lesson 29. Light: Backlight
    37. Lesson 30. Quality of Light: Further Considerations
      1. Reflected and Transmitted Light
      2. Intensity of Light
    38. Lesson 31. White Balance for Mood
    39. Lesson 32. Light: Reflections
    40. Lesson 33. Light: Shadows
    41. Lesson 34. Light: Silhouettes
    42. Lesson 35. Light: Lens Flare
    43. Lesson 36. Moments: Timing
    44. Lesson 37. Moments: Patience
    45. Lesson 38. Moments: Await Your Foreground
    46. Lesson 39. People
    47. Lesson 40. Understand Visual Mass
    48. Lesson 41. Experiment with Balance and Tension
    49. Lesson 42. Use Your Negative Space
    50. Lesson 43. Know Your Subject
    51. Lesson 44. Juxtaposition: Find Conceptual Contrasts
    52. Lesson 45. Telling Stories
    53. Lesson 46. Think Cinematically
    54. Lesson 47. Orientation of Frame
    55. Lesson 48. Choose Your Aspect Ratio
    56. Lesson 49. Use Scale
    57. Lesson 50. Explore Possibilities
    58. Lesson 51. Get Closer, See Differently
    59. Lesson 52. Slow Down
    60. Lesson 53. Use a Tripod
    61. Lesson 54. Understand Optical Filters
    62. Lesson 55. Stay Present
    63. Lesson 56. Simplify
    64. Lesson 57. Shoot from the Heart
    65. Lesson 58. Print Your Work and Live with It
    66. Lesson 59. Listen to Other Voices (Very Carefully)
    67. Lesson 60. Study the Masters
    68. Conclusion
    69. Index