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Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing
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Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  251 ratings  ·  26 reviews
This provocative, visually stunning volume draws upon Taoist teachings to explore the creative and spiritual dimensions of the art of photography. Excerpts from the Taoist classic the Chuang-tzu and the writings of Western aesthetes are complemented by over 60 photographs from the work of such canonical photographers as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Stieglitz, and Dorothea ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 9th 2001 by Ten Speed Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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like a good tea it gets better with more consumption over frequent intervals interspersed with thought.
this book is intended for its readers to spend time on the side thinking deeply about perception and the world around us.
The insights gained come as much from the perspectives shared by the likes of Salgado and Bresson as they do from your own intuitions.
It is a delightful read and a splendid interaction when you see its influence in each evolving frame that you capture ever after.
HINT: get an
Lance Agena
Apr 10, 2008 Lance Agena rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: photographers, spiritual seekers, artists
This book revealed aspects of photography that are really not covered in any other book I've read on the subject. I know design and I know illustration, but I didn't get photography. This book helped me to realize that constructing reality through the lens is much the same as designing or illustrating. Much of the parallels the authors mention between "seeing" through photos and "seeing" through life can be applied to much more than photography.

The only criticism I have is that there needs to be
The first section on Taoism and the Chuang-tau is wordy, boring and a stretch. Much of the content was said better and far more briefly by Stephen Shore in "The Nature of Photographs." The rest of this book is comprised largely of quotes from other photographers and artists. Hey, a collection of wisdom from the masters is great. Just don't market your book as something other than it is. The best part about this book is the photos selected to appear in it. They are strong samples of the great pho ...more
Atul Sabnis
I chose this book because of a post I read, while surfing for something about psychology and photography. (Don't ask me why, I now, don't remember). But I am glad, I did. It is good book, and probably deserves more than the three stars I have given it.

The Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing is a book that may get easily misinterpreted as a book about photography technique. It does talk of camera work, method, and techniques. But it is not a book that teaches you photography. At all; if you
It really is that simple and that hard.

It should be obvious that there is a profound connection between Zen and Photography. You just have to let it go and it will come. Read this little book with an open mind and it could change your life and your photography. If you let it.
Val Finnell, MD, MPH
This is one of my favorite photography books. I love the black and white photos and the quotes from famous photographers. The text is loosely built around aspects of the Chuang-Tzu. Highly recommended in your development of "Great Understanding" of photography and art in general.
The best book I've read about making photographs. It uses Chuang Tzu's early Taoist texts as the starting point for examining how to make photographs and how to live. It includes images by the author and a who's who of twentieth-century photography: Henri Cartier Bresson, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, etc.
This book is very light on actual techniques that can be used to unconstrict awareness and that's a little disappointing. But as a photography book the images are interesting and the comparison between Tao/mindfulness and the process of creating art is VERY cool.

It still doesn't change the fact that I'm a little disappointed with the books stated mission but, honestly, I've never read any book on Tao/Zen/Buddhism that gave me a step-by-step manual to follow so that I can free myself. Regardless
What a great read, this is the book that every photographer from the hobbyist to the advanced enthusiast/professional should read. It will give you if anything, the guidelines to break free from the confines of rules that sometimes hinder our ability to see past or through the obvious. So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a break the rules kind of photographer, then read it you'll never be the same.
Moni Smith
The photography was very inspiring. The content was great too. This has naturally been my approach to photography and art in general (I am not a very technical person) but it was good to read about this approach from a Taoist perspective.
I loved most of the pictures, but it didn't really inspire me or tell me how to be a better photographer really. And some of the pictures really were upheld in the eyes of the beholder because I didn't think some of them were that great.
I have read and re-read passages. Scribbled notes in margins and highlighted passages. This book speaks to the soul and binds thought with general technique. I loved this and know I'll refer to it time and again.
This is a helpful guide to seeing the world differently. It's interspersed throughout with insights from the Chuang Tzu and with quotes and photographs from famous photographers.
Got this from the library on a whim and will be purchasing it for my own collection. Wonderful concept of photography and seeing more than just the subject.
Stunning book with track-stopping photos from some of the world's most celebrated photogs, plus very interesting philosophy-meets-photography text. Loved.
This explores the deeper reasons for practicing photography...and includes many beautiful photos. "Leap into the boundless and make it your home!" :)
I keep this one on the shelf on my office when I need to center myself or need some good quotes. Sometimes I need a good "reset" button.
Great photos and wonderful insight into Eastern philosophy not just the philosophy of photography, but the philosophy of living.
Mark Anderson
One of my favorite photography books. I find that my photographic eye is better after each read of this book.
Michael Rowley
Good, not great. The pictures are strong, but not enough of them. The tao musings are just okay.
Fantastic spiritual information whether you enjoy photography or not. Wonderful book! Great photos!
A Fabulous book blending Photography with Eastern philosophy.
Wonderful images and text.
Letting photographs find you instead of looking for them...this was an excellent read!
Inspiring book about learing to"see" before you take any photos!
Wonderful!!! Gross made complex issues very simple to understand.
Beautifully printed and it helped me rethink some of my own work.
Srr marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2015
Jeremy Brotherton
Jeremy Brotherton marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2015
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