It is important for me to examine different approaches to photography. Though I have been photographing for years and have found an approach that really works for me, I am always open to learning from others, especially when other photographers have a different perspective.
I have had the pleasure of reading two books recently by two photographers have shared their personal approaches to photography. I found that each provided a wonderful opportunity to examine another person's point of view, but allow me to reconsider how I see and photograph.
Nancy Lehrer's Life Happens in Color: A Street Photography Manifesto takes on the role of color in street photography, which has been traditionally associated with black and white photography. She not only explains why she personally favors color but explains how the consideration of color in a scene and moment can add an important story-telling element to an individual or series of photographs.
Her street photography and travel photography is inspired by the stories she wants to tell with her imagery. And many of those stories are often best expressed with consideration of color that goes beyond the fact that one's camera captures color by default.
Olaf Sztaba's Seeing Simplified: How to See and Craft Great Imagery brings a much more graphic sensibility to the discussion, emphasizing an awareness of a purposeful use of light, shadow and the moment. A self-described visual poet, he approaches his scenes from a different sensibility but which produces just as successful and beautiful imagery.
Reading each photographer's different approach to photography, especially with how their thought process in parsing a scene and producing a final photograph is invaluable. Each goes beyond the technical choices behind producing a well-exposed and sharp photograph. Instead, they share a personal philosophy of seeing that proves invaluable for anyone interested in challenging the way they see and photograph the world.