Every photographer, from weekend enthusiast to professional, can learn by studying the “greats.” In Why Photographs Work, author/photographer George Barr analyzes 52 striking images by some of the world's top photographers. Accompanying Barr’s analysis of each image is an explanation by the photographer describing the circumstances of making the image, including not only the how, but also the why. Also included is each photographer's biography, a reference to his or her websites and publications, and brief technical descriptions of the equipment used in making each image.
With guidance from Barr, we learn to decipher that certain intangible “something” that makes an image go beyond the ordinary. As we gain an understanding of and appreciation for the elements that make an image truly great, we are bound to improve our own images as well.
Included are images by:
Charles Cramer, Bruce Barnbaum, Harald Mante, Dan Burkholder, Nick Brandt, Hans Strand, Roman Loranc, Huntington Witherill, Susan Burnstine, Ryuijie, Beth Moon, Phil Borges, Shaun O'Boyle, David Ward, Michael Levin, Michael Reichmann, Michael Kenna, Cole Thompson, George Jerkovich, Bengt Ekelberg, Sandra Davis, Brian Kosoff, Joe Lipka, Gordon Lewis, Lawrence Chrismas, Craig Richards, and many more.
Living in Calgary, Canada, George Barr has been an avid photographer since age 12, working initially with a WWII Zeiss Ikonta and in a basement darkroom. He progressed through medium format, 4x5, and now uses DSLRs. He is a family doctor with a special interest in psychiatry, but his primary passion has always been the fine art photograph.
By the time George closed his darkroom, he was making very high quality prints and he carried on this level of excellence with digital cameras and inkjet printing, producing some of the finest inkjet prints made.
George's major milestones include learning from Fred Picker how to make high quality prints; learning from Hubert Hohn of the Edmonton Art Gallery how to “see” photographs; studying original, bare Edward Weston prints; and attending workshops, working with galleries, and being published. His images have been published in Black and White Photography, Black and White, Focus, Lenswork, and Outdoor Photography (British version).
George has been a long time teacher of medical students, patients, and fellow photographers. As a writer of patient newsletters, it was a short step to writing books and essays on photography. Once again, George has bravely tackled writing on the challenging subjects of aesthetics, seeing, and composing, in a style that is clear, practical, and accessible to all.
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