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The Tao of Photography
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.

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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."

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"The Tao of Photography - Seeing Beyond Seeing"
Authors: Philippe L. Gross, Ph.D. and S.I. Shapiro, Ph.D.

Reviewed by the Photographic Society of America:

Preview online at Google Books:

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.

"Tao of Photography" is also the name of a good blog by photographer Andy Ilachinski:

Joshua Liberman was smart enough to claim the domain name for his collection of contemplative images:
This feature was last updated on Tuesday 17th November 2009
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  Global  Good Gear  Confucius  Philippe L. Gross  S.I. Shapiro  Tom Ang

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