Facebook Pixel Annie Leibovitz At Work [BOOK REVIEW]

Annie Leibovitz At Work [BOOK REVIEW]

annie-liebovitz-at-work.jpgLooking for a Christmas gift for that photographer in your life? Or maybe a little something for yourself? Perhaps this book Annie Leibovitz at Work will fit the bill. Linda (one of our great forum admins) reviews it here.

Not your usual collection of photographic images, this is more than just a picture book. In it Leibovitz takes you through life as a photographer, what it means to her and the background of some of her famous, and some not so famous, photographs.

It can be fascinating to see one of her shots and read her descriptions of how it came to be: what went through her mind and why she decided to shoot it the way she did. We get to enter the mind of a great portrait photographer. Little bits of information sprinkled throughout the book, the importance of environment, how there is more latitude with digital color than film color (greens photograph too dark without appropriate light on film), the importance of natural light. Not too much technical information here. If you want to know camera settings and lighting set-ups, this will not satisfy you. But she does devote some time to explaining her equipment. She often uses just a single strobe and umbrella to help balance natural light (shades of Strobist!) and is happy with the move to digital, because of the added information it gives to her image. Being tethered to computers leaves her cold; she’s definitely more interested in the creative side.


She starts the book by discussing her early years, what she learned about photography at the San Francisco Art Institute (emphasis on composing and framing, no cropping allowed) and how she started work at a new magazine called Rolling Stone (she wasn’t interested in rock and roll, just photography). She was heavily influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank.

A few amusing asides (she was denied an American Express card for years until fast tracked her to one when she shot their famous ads) plus advice to those just starting out (take pictures of something that has meaning to you) add to the interest.

Even though Leibovitz has become a “celebrity” photographer for many people, understanding her thoughts and processes are valuable to any photographer, beginner or accomplished, amateur or professional. A good read for a cold winter evening or when you need a little inspiration.

Get Annie Leibovitz at Work at Amazon for $24 (40% discount)

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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