MacDirectory Magazine

Fall-Winter 2010 (#43)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 49 of 147

48 MacDirectory BOOK REVIEWS MASTERING PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION, CREATIVITY AND PERSONAL STYLE REVIEW BY RIC GETTER The Zone System, a technique created in part by one of the most brilliant photographers in the history of the craft, changed the way nearly every adherent of the craft approached it. In a series of three fairly short books, it quantified a critically important aspect of capturing and reproducing a black and white image. The system itself was deceptively simple, but its application could be as complex as the craft itself. In Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style, photographer, author and instructor Alain Briot takes on a significantly greater challenge, yet one that is targeted and a considerably narrower audience. In spite of its fairly broad title, the book is narrowly tailored to fine art landscape photography, a realm where he is easily qualified as a master. And, even though he makes it clear from the outset that great tools do not automatically yield great photographs, he constantly stresses that they are as essential for landscape photographers, as Ansel Adams's storied 8x10 view camera was the cornerstone of his work. Briot's dissertations are deep, detailed, dense and occasionally profound. It is copiously illustrated with examples from his vast library of landscape masterpieces, often offering views of variations of his images to illustrate the impact of different approaches to composition, cropping and color. Even though there is a very good section on black and white photography (in the digital realm, now an after-the-fact option), his book provides an in-depth study and analysis of color, particularly how it lends itself to composition, mood and the overall impact on the viewer. Even though there is an interesting discussion of color theory, Briot makes the assumption that the reader already has complete control of color rendition in his or her digital darkroom workflow. As implied earlier, his is a money-is-no-object approach to photography. The great strength of the book lies in the author's wide-ranging discussions on how to think, see and work. An entire section of the book is dedicated to training and developing the creative process of visualizing, recognizing and making superb landscape photographs, and doing the hard work needed to expand your vision. The book may not have the impact of Adams and Archer's renowned trilogy, but it is a worthwhile addition to the serious landscape photographer's bookshelf. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style by Alain Briot; $44.95, Rocky Nook (; 351 pgs. ISBN 978-1-933952-22-2

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MacDirectory Magazine - Fall-Winter 2010 (#43)