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Thursday, October 19, 2006

'Mastering Landscape Photography'

by Alain Briot

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book: Mastering Landscape Photography.

Mastering Landscape Photography is a collection of my 14 Aesthetics and Photography essays, together with numerous photographs, many of them full-page. The essays have all been edited and revised by a professional editor and new full-page photographs have been added. The layout is also new and was done by a professional layout designer. The book is 8x11 inches with 280 pages. I have seen a pre-publication version of the book, and although I am quite picky when it comes to prints and publishing, I have to say that I was impressed by the quality of the layout and the printing.

I will be offering signed copies on my website when the book is published in mid-November. These signed copies will come with a companion print of one of the photographs in the book. I can also dedicace your copy with a personal note if you ask.

The first 40 orders will benefit from an exclusive special offer not available after the first 40 copies are sold. To give everyone an equal chance to benefit from this limited special offer, I have opened a pre-release email list.

Joining this list is very simple: all you need to do is respond to this email with “Mastering Landsape Photography” in the subject line.

My email is Just type “Mastering Landscape Photography" in the subject line.

There is no obligation to buy. You will simply be added to the list. You will be first notified when the book is available and you will have a chance to be among the first 40 orders to benefit from the special offer.

I have also created a page on my site where you can see the latest news about the book. For example, I plan to add a table of contents and sample chapter in PDF format soon:

Thank you for your interest in my work.

Posted by: ALAIN BRIOT


Blogger gravitas et nugalis said...

Oh joy, another "master" dispensing "mastery".

A master who, in the best tradition of the guilds of the Middle Ages, has declared, "Composing a good photograph is not easy...In fact, composition is one of the most difficult areas of photography...If you are expecting rules you can follow to quickly compose better photographs...I will provide you with rules..."

Although, I must admit that I am working on a Mastering Photography book myself. The message will be complex and very difficult -

Get a camera. Take lots of pictures. Look at lots of pictures. Find your passion. Take more pictures, many more pictures. Craft - in the service of your passion/art - will come. It will be yours and you will be the Master of your own house.

Even though it will have only 1 page, the book will be very expensive because it will be printed on the best paper with only the finest of binding materials and techniques.

I am trying to convince the publisher to print only 1 of the above sentences per book. That way it will be a Mastering Photography series (and much more profitable).

Hope this comment(ary) doesn't prick at to many sacred cows.

9:28 AM  
Blogger fizzy said...

My comment won't be so acerbic, but my thoughts ran along the same lines. As soon as I read the title, I thought, "That cobbles up some pretty big shoes to fill. How can any one book promise mastery -- of anything?"

Maybe a more realistic title could be "Approaches to Landscape Photography"? "Better Landscape Photography"? "Yet More Verbiage on the Completely Overdone Subject of Landscape Photography"? (OK, one little acerbic part) :). "Mastery" is a little too much.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Michael Canyes said...

Yeah . . . I have to admit that Alain's description put me off a little bit. I immediately thought of a book by Julia Child "The Way to Cook." I suppose when you get to such a high level you do know more than most of the rest of us. After all, Alain is making serious money with landscape photography - not easy to do. I suppose I'll get the book, I'm a sucker for books, and it won't make me forget anything. Probably I'll pick up one or two things. But Mastering; should I set my expectations that high?

4:59 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

You guys can scoff all you want, but "Mastering" is a proven marketing word in this field that outsells other similar words. In one of my professional capacities we actually did a test of this very word versus a couple of alternatives, and "mastering" pasted its competition. Ask not why the author chooses the word but why readers respond to it so readily....


5:18 PM  
Blogger Max said...

I read lots of Alain essays, and I think he's especially passionate about art and photography in his writings, and yes, writing the description to sell something is marketing, not photography. It's not easy to sell a product effectively without sounding like a whore (especially art). Mmmm, a strong word, but it's hard to put it accurately in short otherwise.
I think reading some of his material would make for a different opinion. He's quite good at making others feel the passion he does feel about what he does. And that is more than 99% of people can share.
And having great print quality in a photography book is like having a great big glass pentaprism in an slr instead of a small mirror box, it works for me.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Richard Sintchak said...

Yes, Mike, you are right. Marketing is what it's all about. Like boy bands and Top 40 acts...

7:46 PM  
Blogger Ken Tanaka said...

I am not a landscape photography practitioner or fan. I appreciate the effort and hand-wringing that creating a good landscape photograph requires. But every time I see a nice landscape photograph I want to put something interesting in front of it. It's just not my cup of tea. So take my comment for what it's worth.

Alain is clearly skilled in this genre and enjoys it. But, in my opinion, his more valuable "mastery" tips may be mastery of making this stuff into a good business. To that end he has written an extensive series of articles on the Luminous Landscape detailing his path. That series may be more valuable to readers than his actual photography tips.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Richard Sintchak said...

Ken, I think you missed the subtitle of Alain's new book: "The Luminous-Landscape Essays". Sounds like this book is those essays.

10:50 PM  
Blogger scotth said...

'Ask not why the author chooses the word but why readers respond to it so readily....'

I suppose it makes a nice soundbite.

I don't know many artists that consider themselves masters. Most are driven by their desire to do better, explore new things, and/or their engagment with their subject matter. It probably doesn't occur to most to consider their mastery; it simply isn't what motivates them.

A lot of really good artists don't really think their work is that good. That is the primary reason their work is good, they push themselves to do better.

I think if I felt I had truly mastered landscape photography and decided to rest on my laurels, I would get bored with it, and my work would stagnate.

10:29 AM  
Blogger John Roberts said...

As I read the title, my first thought was to see it as the goal for the reader, not the accomplishment of the author. While few of us truly master anything, (except, perhaps, being critical) mastery is certainly one of the things we pursue in any area in which we have passion.

5:52 AM  

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