Waiting for the Light by David Noton, book review

Waiting for the Light, David Noton

David Noton takes the reader through all the non-technical aspects of making pictures from having a vision, location scouting, practice, the importance of understanding light and its varied nature. Waiting for the Light is about more than the title suggests, it is about practice and patience to wait until the moment is absolutely right, not simply making do with whatever is presented at the time.

The book is a good read and most of the lessons come from the pictures themselves and their extended captions. Reviewing Waiting for the Light came at just the right time for me. I was in the process of seeking a new direction, a new career even. Although I made a living from photography many years ago  I had only dabbled for the last 35 years. I have been making tentative steps back into writing and photography and I thank David Noton for showing me where I have been going wrong; despite what I was telling myself I have been too casual. I have taken it a bit too easy.

It also makes it clear that even in these difficult times it is possible to produce work that will stand out from the crowd and sell. Any budding photographer, professional or amateur, can learn from Waiting for the Light.

It is not about the technical aspects of photography but it is a course in planning and making outstanding pictures. Whilst raw talent will help it is clear from David Noton’s approach that few of us are making the most of what talent we have. That said those in full time jobs will not be able to be as patient as Noton; he can wait days for the right moment. However as a professional his time is valuable too and he sometimes has to cut his losses and move on and seek opportunities elsewhere. But his planning, and experience, steer him to where there may be fresh possibilities.

Highly Recommended for all Photographers

This book is recommended for any photographers, not just travel or landscape photographers. The approach will translate to any field of picture or film making. Indeed I will be applying some of the thought processes to my writing as well. It shows how professional travel and stock photography can still work when treated with total commitment and professionalism.

For me reading Waiting for the Light might just be life changing.

Waiting for the Light (2009. ISBN: 978-0-7153-2819-4 by David Noton is published as a large format paperback by David and Charles at £14.99 ($24.99).


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