50 Lessons for Stronger Photographs

Professional photographer and best-selling author David duChemin just released a very in-depth educational eBook deemed a “BigBook” at 200 pages in length. DuChemin has always emphasized the aesthetic side of photography over the technical and produced this guide in the way that he thinks photography students SHOULD be taught in school. There is no secret thing you will learn here or anywhere else, except this: study, practice, and don’t forget that your most important assets as an artist are imagination, passion, patience, receptivity, curiosity, and a dogged refusal to follow the rules.

visual toolbox

The Visual Toolbox: 50 Lessons for Stronger Photographs

“How new, shiny, sexy, small, large or European your camera is doesn’t make a hill of beans’ worth of difference to how it moves the human heart. Astonishing work is created on old lenses, Polaroids, Holgas, old Digital Rebels, and the venerable AE-1. You won’t impress anyone, other than other photogra- phers, with your list of L-lenses.

The only thing most of us truly care about are the photographs—the rest is irrelevant. Don’t let it sidetrack you. Envy, gear lust, and the lie that better gear will make more compelling photographs just pulls your mind and heart from making art. Beauty can be made with the simplest of means.”

Topics Covered (200 Pages):

  • Introduction
  • Manual
  • Optimize Your Expostures
  • Master the Triangle
  • Use a Slower Shutter Speed
  • Learn to Pan
  • Use Intentional Camera Movement
  • Use Wide Lenses to Create a Sense of Inclusion
  • Learn to Isolate
  • Isolation: Use a Longer Lens, Use a Wider Aperture
  • Use Tighter Apertures to Deepen Focus
  • Use Bokeh to Abstract
  • Consider Your Colour Palette
  • Explore Colour Contrast
  • Lines: Use Diagonals to Create Energy
  • Lines: Patterns, Lead my Eye, Horizons
  • Learn to Sketch
  • See the Direction of Light
  • Light: Front Light, Side Light, and Back Light
  • Quality of Light: Further Consideration
  • White Balance for Mood
  • Light: Reflections, Shadow, Silhouettes, Lens Flare
visual toolbox

Pages from The Visual Toolbox

  • People
  • Understand Visual Mass
  • Experiment with Balance and Tension
  • Use Your Negative Space
  • Juxtapositions: Find Conceptual Contrasts
  • Orientation of Frame
  • Choose Your Aspect Ratio
  • Use Scale
  • Explore Possibilities
  • Slow Down
  • Stay Present
  • Simplify
  • Shoot from the Heart
  • Print Your Work & Live with It
  • Listen to Other Voices (Very Carefully)

“Pace your- self. Anyone can master a camera; that just comes with time. It’s the other stuff—learning to think like a photographer—that takes so much work and allows this craft to become the means by which you create art. At a certain point you’re going to stop caring how others would do it, or think you should do it, and you’re going to realize it’s all too important to take so damn seriously, and you’re going to begin to play, and create photo- graphs the way you once did, purely for the joy of seeing how things look when the camera sees them and that is when you’ll fall in love again with photographs themselves instead of these ever-changing black boxes.” -Author David duChemin

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

One response to “50 Lessons for Stronger Photographs”

  1. Iwuji Jude Onyedikachi says:

    Am a novice on photography i need some one to help me with digital camera.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever