Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs of People

Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs of People

by Henry Carroll

“Don’t take pictures of people. Take pictures about people.”

Carroll explains the rules of thumb for a traditional portrait, but the book is mainly about moving beyond that.  “Don’t suppress your subject’s physical nuances. This is what makes them who they are. There are rules in portraiture about how your subjects should stand, what they should do with their hands, and so on. These rules are fine for corporate headshots, because they’re designed to remove any trace of a person’s individuality. But that’s not what we’re about, right?”  Continue reading

Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing

vision-and-art

Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing

by Margaret Livingstone

Unexpectedly, the most fascinating art book I’ve ever read is written by a Harvard Medical School professor of neurophysiology. “This book is about vision—the process of receiving and interpreting light reflected from objects—and what art reveals about how we see.” Continue reading

Drawing From Observation

drawing-from-observation

Drawing From Observation

by Brian Curtis

This is a highly informative book about observational drawing. One of the recurring themes is the distinction between what you see (percepts) and what you know (concepts). “There is meaningful conflict between what is perceived (convergence of parallel tracks) and our traditional rational understanding (Euclid’s theorem that parallel lines never meet)… To prevent your concepts from distorting your perceptions you must record the proportion you see, not the proportion you know.” Continue reading

Lessons in Classical Drawing

lessons-in-classical-drawing

Lessons in Classical Drawing: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier

by Juliette Aristides

Whether you are interested in learning to draw, or are just curious about the process as an observer of art, this is an outstanding book. It is clearly written, and illustrated with elegant artwork by contemporary artists and old masters.  The book includes a DVD with video demonstrations by the author.

“Every good drawing exhibits an understanding and control of tone, proportion, harmony, and composition.” Continue reading