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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Location: United States

Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Book Review: Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography & Creative Thinking by Julieanne Kost

Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography & Creative Thinking
By Julieanne Kost
O’Reilly Media
February 24, 2006
147 pp.
Amazon Price: $26.39
ISBN 0-596-10083-3

Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography & Creative Thinking is a photo documentary of a business trip taken by Julieanne Kost from the window seat of the airplane as she shares her personal innermost thoughts,, fears, triumphs, weaknesses and her passion for photography.

This book isn’t a how-to on digital photography or Photoshop, as the title may lead you to think, but it will stand out among photography books for the shear brilliance of photography within its pages.

The first section,The Art of Creative Thinking, describes just that. With Kost’s 18 point perspective, she explains how she works and helps open one’s mind to the tools, goals, progression, and success one can obtain with the medium of photography through exploration, discipline and control.

The center section, Window Seat, is her portfolio of airplane window seat photography. It is filled with nearly 80 pages of creativity. She captures each subject perfectly and though does not explain the digital or Photoshop process she uses, she shares a sequence of images and why they were chosen for the book.

I see color palettes and gradients. I tried once to convey perceptions of time, starting with dawn—cold, crisp, gently, awakening—moving into daytime—bright mountains, green farmland, blue water glistening, light performing a circus act through 15,000 feet of cloud layers—and finishing with sunset—a perfect gradient of white, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, deep blue, even deeper blue, and the darkest black you can imagine. This is almost like covering an entire day, but it doesn’t work if you leave one place, fly for 14 hours, and arrive the same day somewhere else just two hours later. (Maybe I’ve just discovered another wrinkle: our assumptions about time expressed through the concepts of morning, day, and night.) (pg. 81)

The Appendix is where Kost shares how she uses some of the digital photography tools and which she likes best. This section gives a broad view of imaging techniques.

If you’re looking for a how-to book on digital photography or Photoshop, Window Seat is not for you. But if you’re looking for a fascinating concept of images, insight into streamlining your digital sight, and letting your imagination run, then, Kost’s book will do exactly what she wanted.

The photograph, on page 90 and 91 that adorns this small passage below is a brilliant picture of earth and sky mixed.
. . . I wanted to walk out on the wing of the plane to look all around. (pg.91)

At a quick glance, to this reader, it looks like an image of a human heart and arteries. That pretty much explains my feelings of Window Seat: Kost has taken to heart her love of photography and used every artery available to produce a book that will not only open an artist’s eyes to the beauty of photography, but will also give that artist a taste of what it’s like to capture what no one else sees.
CLICK HERE to purchase Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography & Creative Thinking

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