Ben Long has spent his career as a photographer, teacher, and workshop leader, and his message has always been clear. If you want to become a better photographer, you have to think about practice. Musicians, dancers, actors and other artists incorporate practice into their work, yet most photographers talk more about camera settings and gear than they do about their practice.
The Practicing Photographer is all about practice: why it is so important, how to get started with it, how to use practicing to improve your skills, and how to evaluate the results of your own practice over time. Ben's goal is to help you build your own successful practice, one that you can own, and one that produces clear results over time.
This short book consists of 50 short essays split into seven sections, covering all aspects of the photographic process, from shooting to post-production to building a portfolio of your best work. Ben also talks extensively about training your eye, not only to consistently see the world photographically, but as a route to discovering the unique characteristics of your way of seeing the world, so that you are expressing your own ideas rather than simply copying someone else's.
Some of the other techniques you'll discover in these pages include:
None of the practices discussed in The Practicing Photographer follow any rules or theories. They are not things you can learn by rote, but they are necessary if you want to move beyond the simple, process-oriented, "eight ways to improve your photos" type of instruction that you find littered around the web.
You won't find any mention of a camera company, a camera type, or any other type of gear within the pages of this book. And there is not a single photograph inside its covers, because this book is intended to be a map for building your own practice regimen, not a monograph cluttered with superfluous photographs.
With Ben as your guide, this slim volume of essays could be the most important book on photography you read this year.