The Unforgettable Photograph
228 Ideas, Tips and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life
by George Lange
I don’t usually do book reviews but I read this book on a rather wet camping weekend a few weeks back… I enjoyed it very much and I really wanted to be able to share what I thought about it. Although the book certainly has appeal to those of us with a keen interest in photography, I think it would also be an interesting read for someone just wanting to get some nice pictures of their family, pet, holiday etc etc. And the principles work for any type of camera - from a mobile phone to a full frame DSLR.
The author, George Lange, worked for Annie Leibovitz and has worked for some major magazines and newspapers in the US. I love the way he really lets you into his life making you feel like you’re pals by the time you get to the end of the book.
The book intrigued me from the caption on the first picture, “when I have a camera in my hand, good things happen...” right through to the 228th idea. One of my favourite chapters of the book is called, “Shoot the Moment, not the Subject.” The author talks about taking pictures with your heart rather than your eyes and likens taking a picture to kissing - when your eyes are closed and its all about the feeling. In this chapter comes idea 14 - "the sweetest moment". The picture presented is one of the author’s father-in-law and although the picture is not technically perfect, the expression is. This less than perfect picture is now helping them to grieve. The point is how important the moment is as opposed to the technical stuff and I found the story really moving.
Another one of my favourite bits comes at tip 200 - "find collaborators everywhere". This describes a project undertaken to capture pregnancy cumulating in a flip book video of the pictures taken. You can watch the video here if you’re intrigued…
I also love the way the book is laid out. Not only is it good to read through but it is also a book I’ll be referencing in the future. Towards the end of the book, there are some suggestions for displaying photographs - I particularly like the idea of making a rummage box of prints for people to rifle through.That would be very tactile and I’m always saying I need to print more pictures.
So for me The Unforgettable Photograph is an easy to read, easy to reference, inspiring book that made me want to get out and take lots of pictures of the everyday. These are moments I want to remember. 2 thumbs up, 5 stars and all that.