From Basics to Fine Art – Book Review by Martin Wolfert
Another review of the book From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography, that I wrote together with Joel Tjintjelaar, has been recently published by Martin Wolfert on his blog Lichttrauemer. This time it is a review in German and it will help the German speakers get an idea of what they can read in the book and why Martin concludes:
“From Basics to Fine Art” is a highly recommended book and a standard for digital black and white fine art photography. In my opinion, this book should be in every photographer’s bookcase.”
“George DeWolfe was not exaggerating in his preface. “From Basics to Fine Art” keeps its promises in his preface: in my eyes, “From Basics to Fine Art” by far the best book on photography, which I had the opportunity to read so far. Julia Anna and Joel have managed to write a terrific book that also appeals to beginners and the experienced photographer.”
Here is where you can read the book review in original on Martin’s site.
You can purchase FROM BASICS TO FINE ART from our webstore.
If you’d like to read the review in English, you can have a look at the translated review at this link or read it in the capture I made below.
If, by any chance, the link above is not working, here is the direct transcription of the translated version (translation Google Translate).
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE REVIEW (Google Translate)
“From Basics to Fine Art,” an ebook about “black and white fine art photography” by Julia Anna Gospodarou and Joel Tjintjelaar.
A Basic Overview
The ebook – subtitled “Black and White Photography Achtitecture and beyond” is Two Thousand Fourteen published in English and do not want a book about black and white Architecture / Fine Art Photography in the usual sense, but a guide for your own creative visions to be.
The two authors, Julia Anna Gospodarou and Joel Tjintjelaar the reader want to further familiarize yourself with the following new concepts:
- Photography Drawing (PhtD)
- The Rule of Grays
- B & W processing method ISGM
The e-book is also an extensive introduction to the long-term photography.
The ebook includes Four Hundred Forty-two pages, and, after the purchase as a PDF file to be downloaded.
George DeWolfe and Charles Paul Azzopardi, both well-known black and white fine art photographer, accompany the entry in the ebook, each with its own preface. Especially the words of George DeWolfe build at the beginning of a tension. Quote:
Outside of Ansel Adams’ basic photo series, From Basic to Fine Art – Black and White Photography – Architecture and Beyond, by Joel Tjintjelaar and Julia Anna Gospodarou, is the best book on black and white photography written in the past40 years. it is with delight and privilege that I wrote the foreword to a book that not only appeals to very advanced black and white photographers, but to beginners as well. In Maine, USA, where I live, we have only two ways of expressing our opinion of something: it is either “pretty good” or “almost there”. This book is pretty good!
Whether “From Basics to Fine Art” can be this early praise just, I’ll tell you at the end of this review.
Then run Julia Anna and Joel, why “From Basics to Fine Art” sets itself apart from other photography books; We introduce themselves before each with a brief CV.
Summary and Overview of chapters
In the first five chapters leads “From Basics to Fine Art” information on the following topics:
- what is a good picture?
- What is Fine Art Photography
- Architecture and Photography: similarities and differences
- Lighting and composition
- Long Exposure and architecture
- Visions and Fine Art Photography
Here visions play – and the explanation of the term (s) Visionography a very important role.
(en)VISIONOGRAPHY IS THE WAY ONE CAN TRANSFORM HIS VISION INTO IMAGE BY USING A CAMERA AND A PROCESSING SOFTWARE.
Julia Anna shows in detail in Chapters Six and Seven rules for artistic visions, a personal visual language, as well as targeted ways to achieve their own “Fine Art imagery – from vision to own style” on.
In another central chapters image structure and composition are discussed in detail. In addition to the “usual” Information about the golden section, the rule of thirds, leading lines and the light guide, get the interested reader information about converging lines, repetition, pattern, reflections, materials and the fundamental importance of light, each taught with meaningful image examples.
In Chapter Ten of the concept of “Photography Drawing” (PhtD) is presented. Here Julia Anna builds a bridge between drawing and photography; both genres therefore have the same principle in the interaction between bodies and light.
THE METHOD OF DRAWING PHOTOGRAPHY – PARALLELISM BETWEEN LIGHT AND SHADOW IN CREATING A BLACK AND WHITE CLASSICAL DRAWING AND IN A BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPH, USING THE SAME PRINCIPLES OF HOW VOLUMES INTERACT WITH LIGHT.
In detail in writing and also in image leads Julia Anna through this quite complex topic:
- Eight steps to see light and shadow as an artist
- Ten rules for “Photography Drawing”
- The “Photography Drawing” process in ten steps
In this case, their statements are free of dogmas or boundaries, but a way to show that you can go – but is not required.
In addition to this, the next chapter connects across the zone system.
The Rule of Grays
Finally, Joel comes with “The Rule of Grays” to speak. In this chapter he explains the terminology created by the:
IN BLACK AND WHITE OTHER RULES APPLY AND I CALL THEM THE RULE OF GRAYS
Joel explains why the black and white is not an anachronism in our digital world, and why a strong image composition is essential for a good result, especially for the black-and-white photography.
For ihnl the black and white photography is a game of light, a “Game of Light”.
“Game of Light”, therefore, is light in its pure form on one side and dark on the other side; unlike colors … that are just plain colors.
Joel lists it on its Ten Commandments, “THE 10 COMMANDMENTS Monochromatic FOR GOOD BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY”, executes them in detail in order to complement these end up with an eleventh commandment.
Architectural photography in general and specifically
In the following chapters we read about
- interesting subjects in architectural photography
- Details in architectural photography
- Camera settings in the traditionellen- and architectural photography
- Equipment and accessories in architectural photography
- Rules for “Shooting on Location”
- why a tilt-shift lens is the means in architectural photography
- abstract architectural photography
- Cityscapes and Skyline Photography
- Night Architectural Photography
- Street- Architectural Photography
- Classical- and real estate Architectural Photography
- High Dynamic Range and Exposure Fusion in architectural photography
- Infrared Architectural Photography
Another great and central chapter in “From Basics to Fine Art” is the topic of long-term exposure.
Joel leads to the basics of a long exposure, what equipment is needed to do so and as a long-term exposure should be prepared.
Julia Anna complements the issue of long-term exposure in a further chapter on “Fine art image of language with the help of long-term exposure”
Detail and with many examples lead Joel and Julia Anne the reader step by step to the goal of optimal (Fine Art) long exposure. Will be discussed:
- Camera Settings
- Exposure tables
- external conditions
- ND-filter selection
- Filter Accessories
- Image noise
- the five-minute rule
- Long exposures and Fine Art
The ISGM method of Joel
In two further chapters the reader is a post-processing workflow, “Iterative Selective Gradient Mask” – short ISGM presented.
Derived from a quote Ansel Adams said Joel, why post-processing is such an important aspect in the (black and white) Fine Art Photography:
“YOU DO NOT TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH, YOU MAKE IT.”
– ANSEL ADAMS
Thus, every photographer should use stringent in its digital darkroom every opportunity to express his artistic visions.
Joel takes the reader in detail in words and pictures by his ISGM workflow that at the beginning quite tools such as Silver Efex Pro 2 or Topaz B & W Effects 2 slipstreams, but quickly turns into the credo of a full inspection of the imagery using selective response masks in Photoshop.
Price lists, pictures and final information
At the end of Ebooks you will find lists of prices, professional Fine Art photographer should provide guidance for their own pricing.
Many incredibly expressive images of Anna Julia and Joel as a picture gallery form with information about tools, equipment and helpers the end of the ebook.
My testimony about “From Basics to Fine Art”
George DeWolfe was not exaggerating in his preface truly. “From Basics to Fine Art” keeps its promises in his preface: in my eyes, “From Basics to Fine Art” by far the best book on photography, which I was allowed to read in the past. Anna Julia and Joel have managed to write a terrific book that also appeals to beginners and the experienced photographer. Here, Anna Julia and Joel take the reader through consistent and highly structured in the hand without spoon-feed him there.
The book offers this many ways and means of their own visions, interpretations, to be able to develop their own visual language.
Anna Julia and Joel enter in “From Basics to Fine Art” not only a lot of knowledge, information in an intelligible form further, but especially a lot of soul and emotional insights into their interpretations and visions of black and white fine art photography.
Really refreshing I find Julia Anna’s approach (s) Visiongraphy and Photgrapic Drawings. In addition to the detailed workflow of Joel’s ISGM these two issues are the icing on the cake for me. They make for me “From Basics to Fine Art” into something special. Although the road is sure to be rocky, again and again in order to confront Julia Anna’s visions implement for yourself – worth going to celebrate this way, it is definitely.
CONCLUSION: “FROM BASICS TO FINE ART” IS A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED EBOOK. A STANDARD DIGITAL BLACK AND WHITE FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY. THE EBOOK IN MY OPINION SHOULD BE IN EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER’S BOOKCASE.
This was the transcription of the English translation. If you read German better go to Martin’s site and read the review in original.
You can purchase FROM BASICS TO FINE ART from our webstore.
Julia Anna Gospodarou – (en)Visionographer
Julia Anna Gospodarou is an internationally acclaimed photographer, architect with a Master degree, author and highly sought-after educator, teaching workshops and lecturing around the world. Founder of (en)Visionography™ and creator of Photography Drawing™, author of the best-selling book From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography , with high distinctions in the most important photography competitions worldwide (International Photography Awards IPA Photographer of the Year, World Photography Awards SWPA and Hasselblad Masters finalist, as well as 80+ more awards), widely published internationally in books and magazines, Julia is passionate about the art in photography and striving to spread it into the world.
FURTHER STUDY RESOURCES
FINE ART BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY, ARCHITECTURE PHOTOGRAPHY, LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY
You can find more resources about fine art black and white photography, (en)Visionography, long exposure photography and architecture photography in my extensive collection of photography tutorials. To receive my future tutorials directly via email you can subscribe to my website.
Learn more about how to create fine art photography, from vision to processing and the final image in my video course From Vision to Final Image – Mastering Black and White Photography Processing, in my video tutorial Long Exposure, Architecture, Fine Art Photography – Creating (en)Visionography, in my book From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography, or by attending one of my workshops.
To study with Julia Anna Gospodarou personally, find out about our
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Julia Anna Gospodarou is an internationally acclaimed award-winning photographer, an architect with a Master’s degree, a best-selling author, and a highly sought-after educator, teaching workshops and lecturing around the world. Founder of (en)Visionography™ and creator of Photography Drawing™, author of the best-selling book From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography, multiple times awarded in the most important photography competitions worldwide (Two-Time International Photography Awards IPA Photographer of the Year 2016 & 2021, World Photography Awards SWPA Top 10 Finalist, and Hasselblad Masters Top 10 Finalist, as well as 100+ more awards), widely published internationally in books and magazines, Julia is passionate about art and photography and striving to spread the ideas of fine art photography and (en)Visionography all over the world.