We have some light reading for May, only 117 pages: 25 Lessons I've Learned about Photography.
Photographer Lorenzo Dominguez has the uncanny ability to find beauty in his surroundings. Also gifted in the use of words, his book is much more than the typical tech manual on photography. It's more like a roadmap for using your heart, soul and senses to capture images through the lens of a camera.
When a change in life events had him soul searching, Lorenzo took to the streets of New York with his camera, photographing every night using his digital "point-and-shoot" cameras. He was mesmerized by the color and movement of the city and feels that "pictures see what we do not see." His mantra is that the craft is liberating and everything possesses its own beauty. He stresses the allure of black and white images because they emphasize form. Inspired by paintings of the masters, they train his eye for the use of color in photos.
"25 Lessons I've Learned (about photography) rekindles passion in photographers and photojournalists. Reading Lorenzo's advice can spark and stir the Muse to grand proportions. He offers strong advice to always have your camera ready to shoot. He also advises shutterbugs to employ their imagination and see the world with child-like eyes. One main ingredient he specifically looks for in his subjects is attitude. This is apparent in many of his photos. The choice of backgrounds is as important as the people in them. Read his book and you will fall in love not only with photography but also in the area in which you live, regardless of its socioeconomic standing.
Serving as a mentor, Lorenzo covers the importance of persevering, staying calm and seizing the moment. Any successful person can confirm this. His eye for the unusual, results in extraordinary shots worthy of emulation. From contrast to optical illusion, he inspires others to lighten up and think outside of the box.
Photographing the Big Apple, a city with "aesthetic milk and honey," he found that it offered him endless wells of inspiration. An honest and often candid view of life is what he peddles on Flickr, a photo sharing site, and elsewhere. His desire is to help others do the same. He challenges fellow photographers to "make something out of nothing." It's a thought that sounds Seinfeld-like in sentiment. Perhaps there's a kinship with the show about nothing; he likewise emphasizes the importance of employing humor in the craft.
25 Lessons Learned (in Photography) will fire you up to dust off your camera and hit the street running. You will gain a fresh perspective on seeing things you've never noticed before or previously took for granted. Not only is his book valuable for writers and photographers, but anyone who needs a fresh outlook on life.
--Phyllis Johnson, photojournalist and author of Being Frank with Anne & Hot and Bothered By It, November 20, 2010