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Photography Rules

Essential Dos and Don’ts from Great Photographers

Photography Rules, Essential Dos and Don’ts from Great Photographers
is a new book by Dr Paul Lowe. To say that I’m delighted to be part of this amazing book would be putting it extremely mildly! I’m humbled to be in such great company and touched by Paul’s kind invitation to be part of this wonderful project. Sharing pages with one’s own inspirations and heroes in photography is quite literally, awesome.

Photography Rules; Essential Dos and Don’ts from Great Photographers. A book on photography by Paul Lowe, featuring the work and advice by 177 photographers, including Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Brassaï, Eve Arnold, Elliott Erwitt, Annie Leibovitz, David Hockney, Don McCullin, Nadar, Irving Penn, Chris Steele-Perkins, Sebastião Salgado, W. Eugene Smith, Garry Winogrand and Edmond Terakopian. London, UK. August 05, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

As photographers, we all consciously or more often, sub-counciously form our own philosophies and rules. Be these ethical, compositional, a work ethic or technical. Ways of approaching life, interacting with people, the technical aspects of photography or camera techniques that serve us well.

This fascinating insight from some of the most amazing photographers, stretching back to greats like Ansel Adams or Richard Avedon, Brassai to Bresson, is not only interesting but thought provoking, enlightening and inspirational.

As Paul Lowe writes, “The book is not a systematic ‘how to’ guide to photography but it does have a reasonably logical progression of entries, organised into three main categories of rules: ‘Making Photographs’, ‘Being a Photographer’ and ‘Professional Practice’. These follow the journey of the photographic process from even before the image is made through to building a long- term corpus of work to its distribution to the world. Individual genres and approaches to photography are interspersed throughout, covering fields such as portraiture, documentary and photojournalism, landscape and commercial photography.”

This book is going to appeal to an extremely wide range of photographers; seasoned professionals to those who are at the start of their journey in photography. Not only do I see this as becoming essential reading for every student in photography, but also for photography enthusiasts and amateur photographers who want to get an insight into the thought process of the authors behind some of the images they admire.

My own contribution, is about my personal approach to photojournalism, the ethics I live by and is listed in the ‘Being a Photographer’ section of the book. The beginning of the text reads, “The award-winning photojournalist Edmond Terakopian reminds us that, when documenting other people’s lives, especially in situations of distress, ‘it’s not your story, it belongs to your subject. You must never forget that.’”

Photography Rules; Essential Dos and Don’ts from Great Photographers. A book on photography by Paul Lowe, featuring the work and advice by 177 photographers, including Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Brassaï, Eve Arnold, Elliott Erwitt, Annie Leibovitz, David Hockney, Don McCullin, Nadar, Irving Penn, Chris Steele-Perkins, Sebastião Salgado, W. Eugene Smith, Garry Winogrand and Edmond Terakopian. London, UK. August 05, 2020. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

It accompanies my photograph documenting life, 10 years on from the devastating earthquake that struck Armenia. “A Woman Prays in an Armenian Church in Gyumri, for the Souls of Those Who Died in the Armenian Earthquake, 1988.”

Edmond Terakopian. London, UK.

The photograph from Gyumri was shot on a Leica M6 with a Leica 35mm Summicron, using Kodak Ektachrome slide film.

Photography Rules, Essential Dos and Don’ts from Great Photographers is out now and alongside good bookshops, is also available online from Amazon.

Biography: Dr. Paul Lowe is a Reader in Documentary Photography and the Course Leader of the Masters programme in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London, UK. Paul is an award-winning photographer, whose work is represented by VII Photos, and who has been published in Time, Newsweek, Life, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer and The Independent amongst others. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release, famine in Africa, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and the destruction of Grozny.