Exploring Landscape Photography With Edward Stokes
Photographer and Author: Edward Stokes
Translator: Chan Wai-chung
Publisher: Hong Kong Conservation Photography Foundation (HK) with Friends of the Country Parks (HK), 2006
Format: Bilingual hardback, 200mm x 210mm, 192pp.
Cameras alone do not make great photos. The most important aspect of photography is the photographer’s ‘seeing eye’ – his or her individual ability to observe and respond to light, subjects and their surroundings.
This book, by photographer Edward Stokes, explores landscape photography. It is ideally suited to intermediate level photographers, though keen beginners will also benefit from the book’s clearly structured and well-developed text. Practical shooting experience enriches the pages.
Beginning by introducing the essential elements of photography, the book then explores the basic methods underlying successful images. Stokes’ enthusiasm for photography, and for sharing his landscape and technical knowledge, shine through the examples and reproductions. The many pages detailing his own work will inspire anyone wishing to improve their photography.
Over the years, what motivated me to continue shooting? Despite the many pre-dawn shooting outings? And, since extreme conditions often produce the best images, despite the heat and wet?
Exploring Landscape Photography brought together all my experience from both Australia and Hong Kong. Maps and compasses are essential for assessing photo vantage points. Especially before mobile phone coverage, a whistle always added to safety.
As the book indicates, photographic techniques are not ends in themselves. Rather they are means to an end: to reflect each photographer’s thoughts and emotional responses to what he or she sees, and then to seek a connection with viewers.
The book’s genesis was a series of photography workshops for the Parks rangers of Hong Kong’s Agriculture and Fisheries Department, custodian of the territory’s Country Parks. Although written when Edward Stokes was still using film, the book’s core principles remain true today for digital shooting.
Valleys, coasts, woodlands, reservoirs, peaks: these are some of the Hong Kong landscapes that this book explores through the local seasons. Edward Stokes’ enthusiasm for the craft of photography shines through the book’s pages.