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There is a wealth of difference between a pro and an amateur photographer. On assignment, the pro leaves home with a target, an aim to bring back the best efforts with his camera, in order to please his or her client. The amateur takes things a little less seriously, arriving back at base with images that will please the photographer and not necessarily anyone else.
This is not to say that the pro doesn’t shoot images purely for personal satisfaction … they do! And occasionally an amateur wins a paid assignment.
But skim through the examples in Jim Zuckerman’s book – Pro Secrets to Dramatic Digital Photos – and you will see the main stream that runs through his and many pros’ work: consistency.
The book is comprised of 15 steps; the author suggests you follow the guidelines in it and predicts “you will immediately see a quantum improvement in your photography.” Well, we’ll see.
Early on Zuckerman stresses you don’t have to have the most expensive photo gear; the success pictures depend on the artistry of the photographer.
He asks what makes a great picture? Begin with a great subject, in an appropriate environment, with great lighting and composition. And of course, properly exposed and focused.
Inject a feeling of great design in a photograph. Use colour for impact. Shoot against the light. Move in close. Choose the time of day carefully. Capture motion carefully. Control the highlights in an image. Compose classic landscapes. Be careful with backgrounds. Look for unusual backgrounds.
The examples in the book are dissected and analysed, then info is given as to how the shot was made, with data about lens aperture, shutter speed etc that was used.
There are plenty more tips and hints in the book. But don’t expect much in the way of technical expertise — it’s not that sort of book.
One for the more advanced photographer. Excellent and encouraging illustrations.
Author: J Zuckerman.
Publisher: Lark Books.
Length: 176 pages.
ISBN: 978 1 60059 638 4.
Price: Get a price on Pro Secrets to Dramatic Digital Photos at Amazon.