Will the real Confucian author please stand up? This wonderful title has been borrowed, copied and stolen by more people than Google knows what to do with. There are two stand out books sharing the same title that are truly worthy of contemplation however.
A friend of mine showed me his copy of "Tao of Photography" years ago, and it opened my eyes to the idea that photography is not about technical stuff. The title written by Gross and Shapiro invests their intellect in connecting the pursuit of photographic excellence with the philosophies of Confucius.
Most people I've shared the book with have been reluctant to read the book in depth, because the images and quotes from master photographers that pepper the pages become a pleasant distraction. The depth of discussion about Confucian principles is thought provoking at the very least. You don't have to engage in a detailed analysis to gain something however, simply contemplating the world of photography beyond the mechanics of the camera is a valuable perspective.
Wisdom of masters and academics abound in this text. There's something for anyone, at least one treasured message for everyone. Included amongst the long list of masters quoted in the book is Elliott Erwitt, a true favourite of mine, who is credited with...
"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."
Please Share Your Thoughts
JUST THE FACTS
"The Tao of Photography - Seeing Beyond Seeing"
Authors: Philippe L. Gross, Ph.D. and S.I. Shapiro, Ph.D.
Another lovely book of the same name was written by Tom Ang. His work is exceptional in the modern realm of photography, and the books he has published are worth having on the shelf. Lookout for a review of his content very soon. www.tomang.com
"Tao of Photography" is also the name of a good blog by photographer Andy Ilachinski:
Very selected features on the hardware, software and extra wares that help me get the job done.
SD Cards Explained
Shopping for an SD card is frustratingly hard, with so many brands, standards and price points to navigate through. Especially when speed is a necessity rather than a luxury. It's also possible that the best value SD card is a MicroSD card, if you have the right adaptor.
The Worlds Worst Menu System
I'm astounded that Sony have released a camera that is so darned good, yet crippled by a user interface so completely awful. The ZV-E1 is hard enough for a seasoned professional to tame, but a potential road block to be avoided for anyone just starting their journey into photography.
Tamron 35-150mm F/2-2.8 Di III VXD
I travelled in the Himalayas for a few months in late 2023 with this lovely lens. If you're interested in more than just tech specs, and what it's like to work with this lens for an extended time then you've come to the right place.
20mm is the new 24mm
20mm is now far more common than ever for both primes and zooms, but is 18mm the better option for photographers? And why even bother with 24mm? When shooting wider than wide does it make a difference to buy an extra few mm of perspective?
Tamron Got It Covered
The Tamron 20-40mm F2.8 and 35-150mm F2-2.8 narrow the gap between primes and zoom. I didn't think I'd like these new lenses from Tamron so much, but the fact is every time I took them out to shoot I ended up with a tonne of great images. That’s a little bit annoying for a prime lens snob like myself.
My Favie Magnetic Filter
From the studio to the harsh sunlight of Australia's North-West, I dragged my little pouch of magnetic ND filters around the country to find out which system works best. And found myself a new best friend in OKKO.
Ewen's Photography Book
"ReIMAGINE" is now available to order online. It's a very big and very generous book that will help you to reconnect with your creative side.