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Visual Poetry: A Creative Guide for Making Engaging Digital Photographs

Book Description

A great photograph has the potential to transcend verbal and written language. But how do you create these photographs? It’s not the how that’s important, but the who and the what. Who you are as a person has a direct impact on what you capture as a photographer.

Whether you are an amateur or professional, architect or acupuncturist, physician or photographer, this guide provides inspiration, simple techniques, and assignments to boost your creative process and improve your digital images using natural light without additional gear.

Chris Orwig’s insights—to reduce and simplify, participate rather than critique, and capture a story—have made him an immensely popular workshop speaker and faculty member at the prestigious Brooks Institute. His engaging stories presented as lessons follow his classroom approach and highlight what students say is his contagious passion for life.

In this accessible and beautifully illustrated four-color guide you will:

  • Discover visual poetry in the creative process

  • Use less to say more with your subject matter

  • Learn to see light, color, shape, and expression

  • Understand what gear is essential

  • Create compelling portraits

  • Make lasting memories of your family and kids

  • Capture the outdoors and adventure

  • Begin the transition from amateur to professional

Chris also includes exclusive interviews with such photographers as: Steve McCurry, Chris Rainier, John Sexton, Rodney Smith, Joyce Tenneson, John Paul Caponigro, Marc Riboud, and Pete Turner.

Share your work with the author and other readers at www.flickr.com/groups/visual-poet and visit the Web site: www.visual-poet.com.

Table of Contents

  1. Visual Poetry
    1. Acknowledgements
    2. Introduction
      1. Fire
      2. Teaching
      3. How
      4. Workshop
      5. Structure
      6. Guest Speakers
      7. Sharing
      8. Journey
    3. I. Getting Started
      1. 1. Poetry and Photography
          1. Mystery and Truth
          2. Wise Poverty
          3. More with Less
          4. Discovery
          5. Fill in the Gaps
          6. Lean Forward
          7. Effortless
          8. Discard
          9. Inside Out
          10. Live Well
          1. Guest Speaker
      2. 2. Creativity and Photography
          1. Breathe
          2. Effort
          3. Curse or Cry
          4. Become
          5. Who
          6. Ease
          7. Factories
          8. Apple Pie
          9. Contagious
          10. Bold Mistakes
          11. Penguins
          12. Bad Art
          13. Favorite Color
          14. Draw a House
          15. The Dead Sea
          1. Guest Speaker
      3. 3. Learning to See
          1. Observe
          2. Listen
          3. Mindful
          4. Nuance
          5. Carry
          6. Filter
          7. Rainbows
          8. Naive
          9. Mystery and Truth
          10. Order
          11. Light Sings
          12. Color Dances
          13. Best Spot
          14. Two Shoes
          15. Lost and Found
          16. End
          1. Guest Speaker
      4. 4. Camera Creativity and Technique
          1. Tea Stains
          2. Blue
          3. Second Time
          4. Let Go
          5. Barbie
          6. Limit
          7. Flash
          8. Which Lenses?
            1. Fixed
            2. Zoom
            3. Macro
            4. Fish-eye
            5. Wide Angle
            6. Normal
            7. Telephoto Zoom
          9. What Exposure?
            1. Going Beyond Green
            2. Introducing Aperture
            3. Aperture and Creative Control
            4. Aperture and Shallow Depth of Field
            5. Aperture and Wide Depth of Field
            6. Shutter Speed
            7. Pan, Spin, and Zoom
            8. ISO
          10. Left Behind
          1. Guest Speaker
    4. II. Let the Adventure Begin
      1. 5. Portraits
          1. Become
          2. Ease
          3. Stillness
          4. Lady
          5. Obvious
          6. Significance
          7. Story
          8. Happy
          9. Follow
          10. Substance
          11. Good Enough
          12. Practical Tips
            1. Lessons from the Studio for Natural Light
            2. Use Window Light
            3. Use Open Shade and Move Around
            4. Shine Bright and Lighten Up
              1. Look Around the Frame
            5. Take Three Steps Forward
            6. Walk Away and Look Back
            7. Use Shallow Depth of Field
            8. Make Sure the Eyes Are Sharp
            9. Shoot Low or High
            10. It’s Just a Camera
            11. Take a Breath and Move Around
            12. Find a Complimentary Voice
            13. Be the Incurable Optimist
            14. After the Final Shot Counts
          13. Gear at a Glance
          14. Workshop Assignments
            1. Survey
            2. Shoot
            3. Share
            4. Review and Respond
          1. Guest Speakers
      2. 6. Kids and Families
          1. The Time Is Now
          2. Magnificent
          3. Approach
          4. Catalyst
          5. Affection
          6. Don’t Smile
          7. Call the Shots
          8. Dress Up
            1. Parenting 101
            2. Watch and Wait
          9. In-Between Moments
          10. Practical Tips
            1. Reunite at Sunset
            2. Find the Best Location
            3. Use Props with Kids
            4. Don’t Hide Behind the Camera
            5. Look at the Birdie
            6. Involve Others in the Process
            7. Get Your Subject to Move
            8. Have Fun
            9. Bring Families Together
            10. Isolate Your Subject
            11. Document Family Accomplishments
          11. Gear at a Glance
          12. Workshop Assignments
            1. Survey
            2. Shoot
            3. Share
            4. Review and Respond
          1. Guest Speakers
      3. 7. Wedding Bells
          1. Paradox
          2. Value
          3. Participate
          4. Story
          5. Approach
          6. Practical Tips
            1. Take Engagement Photos
            2. Photograph the Preparations
            3. Capture the Details
            4. Experiment with Perspective
            5. Go for a Walk
            6. Hang Out with the Groomsmen
            7. Photograph the Bridesmaids
            8. Capture Families and Kids
            9. Use Available Light
            10. Leave the Crowds
          7. Gear at a Glance
          8. Workshop Assignments
            1. Survey
            2. Shoot
            3. Share
            4. Review and Respond
          1. Guest Speakers
      4. 8. Travel
          1. Wind
          2. Essence
          3. Written Words
          4. Travel Talk
          5. Experience
          6. New Eyes
          7. Discovery
          8. Sharing
          9. Two Roads
          10. Postcards
          11. Monkey Paw
          12. Practical Tips
            1. Photograph in All Types of Weather
            2. Revel in Each Sunrise and Sunset
            3. Become a Night Owl
            4. Find Colors Palettes
            5. Feel Textures and Discover Time
            6. Capture Signs for Context
            7. Eat the Food First
            8. People Capture the Place
            9. Festivals as Cultural Touch Points
            10. Divide the Landscape into Thirds
            11. Architecture that Reveals
            12. New Perspective on Monuments
            13. Find What’s Most Important
          13. Gear at a Glance
          14. Workshop Assignments
            1. Survey
            2. Shoot
            3. Share
            4. Review and Respond
          1. Guest Speakers
      5. 9. Action and the Great Outdoors
          1. Perspective
          2. Grateful
          3. Tip the Scale
          4. Renewal
          5. Value
          6. Path
          7. Transcend
          8. Solitude
          9. Endurance
          10. Style
          11. Details
          12. Early Bird
          13. Suspended
          14. Need for Speed
          15. Inside Out
          16. Practical Tips
            1. Get Healthy and Stay Active
            2. Start with Shooting the Preparations
            3. Understand Time to Anticipate Action
            4. Shoot in All Kinds of Light
            5. After the Sun Goes Down
            6. Capture the People and Their Gear
            7. Photograph Athletes in Repose
            8. Frame Athletes Out of Their Element
            9. Capture Individual Style
          17. Gear at a Glance
            1. Be Prepared with Your Gear
          18. Workshop Assignments
            1. Survey
            2. Shoot
            3. Share
            4. Review and Respond
          1. Guest Speakers
      6. 10. Found Objects and Subjects
          1. Swept Away
          2. Image Maker, Image Taker
          3. Keen
          4. Green Grass
          5. Eureka!
          6. True
          7. Action
          8. Outside In
          9. One of a Kind
          10. Sideways
          11. Plot
          12. Night
          13. Practical Tips
            1. Try Simple Color Combinations
            2. Create Juxtapositions with Unrelated Objects
            3. Shoot Signs by Moving Closer or Using a Big Lens
            4. Photograph Letters and Numbers to Explore Form
            5. Step Off the Beaten Path for Hidden Gems
            6. Create Photographic Collections
            7. Get Close and Fill the Frame
            8. Mine Where You Work
            9. Show Where You Are
            10. Discover Line, Shape, and Form
            11. Create Directional Photographs
            12. Break the Rules
          14. Gear at a Glance
          15. Workshop Assignments
            1. Survey
            2. Shoot
            3. Share
            4. Review and Respond
          1. Guest Speakers
    5. III. What’s Next
      1. 11. Camera Gear
          1. Justice
          2. Old Guitar
          3. Megapixel Mania
          4. Good Enough
          5. Peace
          6. Two Halves Make a Whole
          7. How Much Gear?
            1. Time
          8. Camera Handling
            1. Hang and Hold
            2. Better Stability
            3. Transportation
          9. Camera Lenses
          10. Camera Body
            1. Digital SLR
            2. Medium and Large
            3. Odd and Old
            4. Water
            5. Deep Pockets
            6. Hang Up the Phone
          11. Insurance
            1. Splash
            2. Assurance
          12. Additional Resources
            1. Gear Reviews
            2. Vendor Information
          1. Guest Speakers
      2. 12. The Path to Becoming a Professional
          1. Your Story or Mine?
          2. The Janitor’s Closet
          3. Believe and Play Your Part
          4. Your Future Starts Now
          5. Chase Your Dreams
          6. Unique Story
          7. Know What and Why
          8. Undercurrent Map
          9. I Want to Be
          10. Humble
          11. Amateur
          12. Begin Where You Are
          13. Trash
          14. Surround Sound
          15. Sellification or Soul
          16. Savvy
          17. Unpractical
          18. Statistics
          19. Invest 315,569 Hours
          20. Unrealistic Dreams
          21. Additional Resources
            1. Photography Books
            2. Photography Publications
            3. Photography, Business, and More
            4. Photographic Inspiration
            5. Blogs
            6. Portfolio and Brand Development
            7. Photography Agencies
            8. Further Education
              1. Digital Post-production
              2. Photographic Workshops
          1. Guest Speakers