Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I admire good photographers.

I am always amazed at the way a photographer can see a scene differently than you or I would and then capture it on film. We have a lot of great photography books at my library and I peruse a lot of photographer's web sites. Most of them are OK, but every once in a while I will come across something that totally takes my breath away.

It's the same way with the pictures I take. Almost all of my photographs I find to be barely passable. Sometimes I get so frustrated with my inability to capture a "perfect" shot, that I will quit taking pictures for a few weeks. Every so often, however, I will see a scene that I just know will come out great on film. It might only happen in one out of one hundred or one out of two hundred pictures, but that one shot is what I strive for.

I also admire good authors.

I think it takes a real talent to be able to write a book- fiction or non-fiction. It's hard enough for me to write a few coherent paragraphs on this blog. I can't imagine the abilities it takes to write a complete book.

Anyway, I often wondered how to combine photography with books. I have tried my hand at taking a few photographs in a Yale library. It's called the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and, if you've never been there, I recommend it. They have a six-story glassed central tower that holds 180,000 volumes and then there are over 600,000 books in the underground stacks. The walls are made of thin blocks of marble that let light shine through. Click here for a great online tour. The best part is that they let anyone in the building to look around. Of course, they won't let you near the books but the building is absolutely amazing.

My photos in the library weren't so hot but I've found one web site that has some fabulous library pictures. They are from a book by Candida Hofer simply titled Libraries. Click on the sample picture below to look at some more of the photographs and get more information.

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