A Deeper Frame – Review
I’ve just finished reading A Deeper Frame, David duChemin’s latest ebook from Craft & Vision. It a meaty and substantial little tome, written to help photographers create a greater sense of space and depth within their photos. As I mentioned recently, photographs are edited versions of reality. Although we are editing reality down onto a […]
I’ve just finished reading A Deeper Frame, David duChemin’s latest ebook from Craft & Vision. It a meaty and substantial little tome, written to help photographers create a greater sense of space and depth within their photos.
As I mentioned recently, photographs are edited versions of reality. Although we are editing reality down onto a flat surface, whether it be paper or screen, the way we compose our images can add a sense of visual richness. A Deeper Frame is all about helping us understand how shapes, lines, perspective, light, contrast, tone and colour work to add a feeling of depth to a photograph.
DuChemin suggests that we think of the people who will look at our photos as readers, rather than just viewers. Photos are a visual medium. But, once we look carefully at a photo we are, in fact, reading it. There’s a kind of visual language to photographs and with experience we develop our visual literacy, our ability to interpret what we see in a photo (or work of art) and how we draw meaning from it.
A Deeper Frame gives us a series of examples and exercises to help us think about the choices we make, when taking photographs. The way we position ourselves when creating an image and the way we locate objects within that image, the lens we use and the colours we capture can enhance the sense of depth, space and perspective within our photos.
I recall talking to David about some of this while on the Lumen Dei tour last year. We discussed the way perspective worked in photos (and paintings). Afterwards, in the “comfort” of my own room I got to thinking about cartoons I had drafted and lessons learned during High School technical drawing class – stuff to do with vanishing points and curvilinear perspectives. Making that connection totally transformed my photography.
A Deeper Frame really helps us understand how a photograph works, in the mind of someone seeing the image. As a photographer, it’s really important to remember that if your photographs are ever going to really work, they will do so by firing up someone else’s imagination.
The section on optics stood out for me. David gives a brief and easy to follow explanation on angles of vision work in lenses and why shooting with a 50mm lens on a cropped sensor camera really isn’t like shooting with an 85mm on a full frame camera. For a long time I had an intuitive feeling that people were confusing angles created within a lens with magnification created by a lens. Understanding a little of what the technical difference is, between a wide lens and a long one, can make a big difference to our ability to decide what the right lens for a particular situation.
I cannot recommend this book heartily enough. Buy, it, read it and put it into practice and you’ll start to think a little differently about your photos and create some fresh engaging images. With the discount codes below it represents great value. If you are here in Hong Kong, it works out at a third to a quarter of what you would pay for an imported photography magazine (without all the annoying ads!).