MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2012

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.

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Page 40 of 115

BOOK REVIEWS VISUAL STORIES: BEHIND THE LENS WITH VINCENT LAFORET REVIEW BY RIC GETTER The saying is true; though some of those stories are far more telling than others. As a Pulitzer Prize- winning photojournalist, Vincent Laforet is a master of the art of visual storytelling and, as it happens, he is an insightful teacher. His skill, his eye and his distinctive style won him a job at the early in his career and he moved up from there. His new book, , is much more than a behind-the-scenes narrative of the best examples of a brilliant career. It is the perfect guide for just with a serious desire to capture images with real meaning. Even if you never find yourself in the kind of venues where Laforet does his best work (the Olympics, war and disaster zones, hanging off of a helicopter or skyscraper), you'll have the opportunity to understand how one of the best and obviously most articulate photojournalists of our time can come back with the one image that somehow speaks louder than the hundreds of others that readers around the world have already seen. And any photographer can appreciate learning how he captures the commonplace from a new, enlightening and sometimes startling perspective. Though you can open it up almost anywhere and read a fascinating short story of a remarkable image, Laforet's book is thoroughly engrossing and provides a well-ordered narrative when you go from cover to cover. He explains that the best way to make pictures is to understand how people see and "read" them with stories of his assignments, his technique and how it developed, the basics of equipment and some of the tricks he uses to hunt down unique images. As you would imagine, the included photos are gorgeous. Some, however, demand more space than a normal-sized trade paperback can provide; they depend on a larger layout for the viewer to appreciate the subtle detail that really makes the picture work. And, as one of its true masters, he spends a good deal of time on the aesthetics and mechanics of the selective focus effect achieved with an expensive and specialized perspective-correcting lens without really letting on the same look can be achieved in software (there's even an iOS app for that). The book includes a DVD with a collection of videos of the author telling the stories behind additional images. The disc is a bit of a disappointment, however. It's a 5.5 GB collection of HD AVI files that are not particularly QuickTime friendly and most are simply a zoom out of a single image with the author talking on-camera for several minutes. So much more could have been done with the presentation and it would have been far more convenient to watch it as a conventional DVD. In spite of some shortcomings, is an essential read for anyone interested in developing the mind and the eye of a photojournalist. As a photographer, Laforet uses his pictures to tell a story. It turns out that, as a writer and teacher, he is equally skilled at telling the story of his pictures. by Vincent Laforet; $54.99, New Riders ( 2011; 223 pages, ISBN: 978-0-321-79392-8 E v e r y p it c u r e t e l l s a s t o r y . N e w Y o r k T i m e s V S t o r i e s i s u a l V i s u a l S t o r i e s V i s u a l S t o r i e s : B e h i n d t h e L e n s w i t h V i n c e n t L a f o r e t

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