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Art of Photography -- Book Review

Updated on January 9, 2011

Revised from 1994

Updated from the 1994 edition.

The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum has been updated. First published in 1994, there's a new edition now available. The author has over 35 years experience as an educator and working photographer. He is frequently mentioned as one of the world's best landscape and architectural photographers.

One of the chapters of particular interest to me is the one titled, "Photographic Techniques and Artistic Integrity" wherein he addresses the legal, moral, ethical and philosophical boundaries that limit the degree or extent of manipulation of images. [Everyone can easily see when an image as been "Photoshopped-to-death"!]  The image posted with my review is a good example. Some may be surprised that the image in question has not been altered with photo editing software on a computer. Rather, it was created by combining two negatives -- in the dark room. Yes, Virginia, people still use film!

Architectural photography at it's best!

Shown below is York Minster at sunrise. This is one of northern Europe's greatest gothic cathedrals. The church's website states that traces can be seen of every age from the Roman occupation of York onwards to the future of this working and worshipping church. It is located on the east coast between London and Scotland. This print is dated 1983 and is available for purchase via Barnbaum's website.

Notice the detail in the darker areas as well as the lightest. Also, note that this image has a complete range of light from pitch back to bright white.

In spite of the tree in the foreground and the other building, the cathedral dominates this image. Since it's also the brightest object in the frame, our eye is naturally drawn to it. Very effective composition!


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    • GPAGE profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Hello fellow photographer FC! Something told me to stop by so here I am! I love architectural photography and I still use film and natural lighting when I shoot. Infact a lot of my published photographs of celebrities were never altered on the computer! Imagine that! Real lighting techniques and awesome backgrounds! I also shoot digital too cause some people request it. Everyone is in a hurry these days! Anyway, I will order this book! Thank you for writing about it. Best, GPAGE

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      7 years ago from USA

      FC - Another fine book review. You selected some appealing images to go with your review, too. Thanks.

      Gus :-)~

    • myawn profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      nice book will look for it at the bookstore

    • arthurchappell profile image


      7 years ago from Manchester, England

      on my list of photography books to look out for now - thanks

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Glad to be made aware of this book. Landscape and architecture are my favorite subjects.


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