BOOK REVIEW - MISS ANIELA - SELF PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY
There are a huge array of books on photography out there. Many deal with the technical aspects of the subject and are a great resource on understanding how to use your camera properly. After learning the basics of aperture, shutter speed and ISO, this is where the beginners' education often ceases. They venture out into the world, camera in tow, taking technically proficient images. For the most part the resulting photos have something lacking.
Unfortunately, correctly exposed, sharp images do not a great photograph make. Hand in hand with the the craft of photography needs to be the artistry. The creativity and vision that elevates an image from humdrum, into something that captivates and evokes emotion in others. This applies to all genres, whether it's landscape, wildlife, macro, sports, still life or people.
If you're looking for inspirational self-portraiture photography, then look no further than this wonderful book by Natalie Dybisz, A.K.A. Miss Aniela. From start to finish, Self Portrait Photography guides you in beautiful detail through the artistic process, from concept to creation. It explains the camera settings and equipment required for the effects created, with before and after images. Often the processes are surprisingly simple but, unless you're naturally a technical thinker, they probably aren't readily apparent to most people.
Not only does Natalie reveal the key elements of a shoot, like hair, makeup, clothing, posing and location, she also takes the reader through the editing process. This I consider to be more technically challenging that the photo taking part itself. If you've never used Photoshop before, it can be incredibly daunting. It is however a prerequisite for many of her works. Miss Aniela is not only a photographer but, also a digital artist and she unselfishly lays bare the secrets to her success by shedding light on the techniques used.
Throughout the book her passion for photography and the creative process is abundantly apparent. As you read it becomes clear how inspirational she is by creating so much, often from so little. You are also introduced to other highly talented and expressive self-portrait, digital artists from around the world, each with their own distinct style. In short this is a treasure trove of knowledge and positive encouragement for anyone looking to express themselves through photography. You can check out her incredible work at www.missaniela.com and follow her on twitter @missaniela.
Aside from her stunning work, what I like about Natalie the most is her humility and compassion for the world we live in. Despite her rapid ascent to the top and becoming famous in the industry, it clearly has not affected her negatively. It has afforded her to voice her concerns through some of her work, to raise awareness on issues that affect us all and for that I am grateful for. Truly a beacon of light against the darkness.