Book Description for To Be a Child:
Give a child a cardboard box and his imagination will turn it into anything but!
Today, it is less common to see children playing in the streets, especially in urban areas. The plethora of ready-made toys should make any child happy. What usually happens is that the box the toy came in becomes the toy!
This book documents children at play (and at times at work) from 10 different countries. A child’s ingenuity never ceases to amaze me and I hope you will share these images with your children as well.
Debra Schoenberger aka #girl with camera
“My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.
I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor’s favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC. I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I’m always looking for the unusual. Plus I usually have a lot of scars on my knees.
I live with my creative director, Miss Pickles (my budgie) in Victoria, BC, Canada.
What do you teach new photography students?
Learn composition. It doesn’t matter which camera you have on you, if the image isn’t properly composed, it won’t be interesting. Study the work of photographers from the 1930’s to 1960’s. They all shot with film which meant they had to do it right the first time. Try to layer a story into your photograph. If there was no caption to your image, what story would you be able to tell just by looking at it?
Learn to use your equipment well. Learn the basics of ISO, aperture and speed. With enough practice you can tell just by the sound your camera makes that your exposure was good. You don’t need an expensive camera to enjoy photography but if you want to challenge yourself and expand your capabilities, try getting a camera where you can change the lenses i.e., macro, zoom, fixed (or prime) lens.
Practice, practice, practice. Take your camera out with you as much as possible. Sure, you’ll get a lot of shots you don’t like. It’s ok. Keep practicing. Some new photographers take multiple images of the same shot hoping for a good one. With a well-trained eye and a good knowledge of composition, you can take the shot once and be happy with it.
Find a mentor to tell you your weak points. Someone who tells you that your work is always good isn’t doing you a favour. I’ve had several mentors and I learned so much from them. Of course, you develop your own artistic style but that comes with time. And most of all, have fun!
What are some of your favourite photography books?
Steve McCurry: Untold
Vivian Maier: A Photographer Found / Self-Portraits / Eye-to-Eye
Elliott Erwitt: Snaps
Helen Levitt: Crosstown
Horst: Photographer of Style
Please see my photography book page here.
Who are some of your favourite photographers?
Steve McCurry, Peter Turnley, Vivian Maier, Helen Levitt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank (too many to name)
You can see a the work of many talented photographers from the past decades on my Pinterest page (59 different photographers).
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