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The Heart of the Photograph: 100 Questions for Making Stronger, More Expressive Photographs

The Heart of the Photograph: 100 Questions for Making Stronger, More Expressive Photographs

by David Duchemin


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Learn to ask better, more helpful questions of your work so that you can create stronger and more powerful photographs.

Photographers often look at an image—one they’ve either already created or are in the process of making—and ask themselves a simple question: “Is this a good photograph?” It’s an understandable question, but it’s really not very helpful. How are you supposed to answer that? What does “good” even mean? Is it the same for everyone?

What if you were equipped to ask better, more constructive questions of your work so that you could think more intentionally and creatively, and in doing so, bring more specific action and vision to the act of creating photographs? What if asking stronger questions allowed you to establish a more effective approach to your image-making? In The Heart of the Photograph: 100 Questions for Making Stronger, More Expressive Photographs, photographer and author David duChemin helps you learn to ask better questions of your work in order to craft more successful photographs—photographs that express and connect, photographs that are strong and, above all, photographs that are truly yours.

From the big-picture questions—What do I want this image to accomplish?—to the more detail-oriented questions that help you get there—What is the light doing? Where do the lines lead? What can I do about it?—David walks you through his thought process so that you can establish your own. Along the way, he discusses the building blocks from which compelling photographs are made, such as gesture, balance, scale, contrast, perspective, story, memory, symbolism, and much more. The Heart of the Photograph is not a theoretical book. It is a practical and useful book that equips you to think more intentionally as a photographer and empowers you to ask more helpful questions of you and your work, so that you can produce images that are not only better than “good,” but as powerful and authentic as you hope them to be.

Better Questions

Is It Good?
The Audience's Good
The Photographer's Good

Better Subjects

Exploration and Expression
What Is the Light Doing?
What Does Colour Contribute?
What Role Do the Lines and Shapes Play?
What's Your Point of View?
What Is the Quality of the Moment?
Where Is the Story?
Where Is the Contrast?
What About Balance and Tension?
What Is the Energy?
How Can I Use Space and Scale?
Can I Go Deeper?
What About the Frame?
Do the Elements Repeat?
Can I Exclude More?
Where Does the Eye Go?
How Does It Feel?
Where's the Mystery?
Remember When?
Can I Use Symbols?
Am I Being Too Literal?

The Heart of the Photograph

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681985459
Publisher: Rocky Nook
Publication date: 03/17/2020
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 293,481
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David duChemin is a world and humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, and international workshop leader whose spirit of adventure fuels his fire to create and share.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, David chases compelling images on all seven continents. When on assignment, David creates powerful photographs that convey the hope and dignity of children, the vulnerable, and the oppressed for the international NGO community. When creating the art he so passionately shares, David strives to capture the beauty of the natural world. Find David online at

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