The Photograph, 2nd Edition
Composition and Color Design
Publisher: Rocky Nook
Final Release Date: November 2012
Pages: 208

Harald Mante, one of the most distinguished teachers of the photographic arts in Germany and an internationally recognized master of photography, brings his teaching to us in the English language for the first time in more than 30 years. In The Photograph Mante explains the elements that are essential to achieving the highest level of visual design in photographs. This book is geared toward the serious intermediate and advanced photographer who strives to create outstanding images.

While a deep understanding of photographic techniques is required in order to master photography, technical knowledge alone is not sufficient to create outstanding images. Beyond the technical aspects, the crucial elements that determine the quality and strength of a photograph are the content of the image and its organization within the image frame. This is where the "art" of photography comes into play. Truly creative photography is based upon knowledge and mastery of design, and insight into how the viewer perceives images. The creative photographer can exploit this knowledge and push image making in new directions.

In this book, Mante explores the principles of line, shape, point, color, contrast, composition, and design in significantly greater depth and at a higher level than most any book available to date. He also covers a number of techniques to enhance expressiveness in a photograph and support the photographer's intentions.

These in-depth lessons are beautifully illustrated with more than 750 images from Mante's own portfolio, including over 160 diagrams.

The Photograph is a unique book that is sure to become an invaluable reference for anyone involved in photography-from the hobbyist to the professional; for both the digital and analog photographer; and for those practicing, studying, criticizing, or administering in the visual arts.

This second edition has been extensively revised and updated, and includes 60 new images and illustrations. Also included are new chapters that cover analyzing shapes and colors and a discussion of the square image format.

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Keys to Highest Level of Visual Design

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    Comments about oreilly The Photograph, 2nd Edition:

    "The Photograph – Composition and Color Design 2nd Edition" is a beautiful new book by Harald Mante, German photographer, artist and designer who has had a great influence on German color photography. The new book is not just a rework of the first edition but a complete new work with new photographs and new textual contents in addition to his classic thoughts on color and design.

    This is a must-read book for the photographer who wants to elevate his craft to high art. It deals with composition and design. It begins with the point and the line, and goes on to explore the principles of shape, color, composition and design and explains the essential elements to achieving nothing less than the highest level of visual design in photographs. This book has breadth and depth.

    For example, in the section Figure and Ground: Positive and Negative Forms under the chapter on Universal Contrasts, the author explains how shapes and objects are recognized, how the visual weight of a shape impacts on the image surface, and goes on to explain figure-ground contrast, and figure-ground flip, that is, change of the positive-negative priority.

    On the subject of color, the book has a whole chapter on Color Contrasts explaining the primary and secondary colors, contrast of hue, third order colors and quality contrast, complementary contrast and quantity contrast, cold-warm contrast, actual color and apparent color, and simultaneous contrast. All these are beautifully illustrated with high quality photos and colorful diagrams that drive home the point.

    This second edition has whole new chapters on Serial and Sequential Photography, Analyzing Shape and Color, and a new section on The Square Image Format.

    This hardbound book is printed in paper like those you see in glossy magazines, only thicker. The pages are filled with over 750 of Mante's own photographs and some 160 diagrams to beautifully illustrate the in-depth lessons in the book.

    "The Photograph – Composition and Color Design" is a book for serious students of photography. You might be disappointed if you're expecting a 'hey-buddy' approach to the lessons. The language in the book is serious and very academic – but not boring, a reflection perhaps of Mante's long years of teaching photography. The original text is in German; the English translation is by Thomas C. Campbell III.

    In sum, this can be a good resource book for people who have anything to do with photography at all – whether you're a hobbyist or a professional and aiming for high art in photography; highly recommended also for those practicing, studying, critiquing, or administering in the visual arts.

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