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Book Review: The Photographic Message

Book Review: The Photographic Message
Our very own Rafael Rojas has released a new eBook discussing the messages we convey in our photographs. David Hay reviews it here

Rafael Rojas is a philosopher, as well as a photographer. I feel he fits into that category, along with other top photographers such as Guy Tal and Alain Briot. These photographers spend a lot of time thinking about the ‘why’ of photography, not just the ‘how’. When they write about their photographs, they describe the thinking that goes into the making of each image, rather than just listing the technical details of the picture. They obviously spend a lot of time thinking about their own personal photography and the philosophy behind it, but can we learn useful information, to help progress our own photography, from the internal thought processes of other photographers?

In his new eBook, Rafael Rojas describes the process of distilling the message that an image will create. This is not done by analysing the image after capture, it is done by pre-conceiving the message you want the image to convey, before you take it. I can do no better than to quote the author himself as he describes his own distinctive approach to photography.

In Western cultures, it is common for photographers to leave on a ‘photo trip’ with a list of photographic goals to materialise, herded by images other photographers have produced from that place, organising days and planning shooting sessions as a military campaign, longing to create work catering for an audience they intend to impress.

Doing so can indeed result in impressive productivity in portfolio terms, with lots of ‘killer’ images at the end of the trip which will surely garner high levels of popularity and public acceptance. This might be a...

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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