The Photographer's Place in Picture-Making



As both an art form and a universal language, the photograph has an extraordinary ability to connect and communicate with others. But with over one trillion photos taken each year, why do so few of them truly connect? Why do so few of them grab our emotions or our imaginations? It is not because the images lack focus or proper exposure; with advances in technology, the camera does that so well these days. Photographer David duChemin believes the majority of our images fall short because they lack soul. And without soul, the images have no ability to resonate with others. They simply cannot connect with the viewer, or even―if we’re being truthful―with ourselves.

In The Soul of the Camera: The Photographer’s Place in Picture-Making, David explores what it means to make better photographs. Illustrated with a collection of beautiful black-and-white images, the book’s essays address topics such as craft, mastery, vision, audience, discipline, story, and authenticity.

The Soul of the Camera is a personal and deeply pragmatic book that quietly yet forcefully challenges the idea that our cameras, lenses, and settings are anything more than dumb and mute tools. It is the photographer, not the camera, that can and must learn to make better photographs―photographs that convey our vision, connect with others, and, at their core, contain our humanity. The Soul of the Camera helps us do that.

"David duChemin understands an important truth about photography; as photographers, what shapes our craft is how we see the world as humans, not the equipment we use or the situations we find ourselves in. The soul of the camera resides within our humanity, and duChemin does an amazing job of communicating how to access it." - Paul Nicklen, National Geographic Photographer

"David nails what is often elusive - the 'certain something' that some images have that others simply lack - not only through his images but through his understanding of photographic, artistic and personal craft. This book is an intimate look into the workings of someone who puts tremendous soul into his work, but it is also a guidebook, written ever-so-poetically, about the pivotal role the artist plays in what an image says and does to the person viewing it. I recommend anyone, even outside of traditional artistic crafts, read this book to put the soul back into your work and life." - Brooke Shaden

“The Soul of the Camera is a long-overdue, and much-needed, book. David's words and images speak not only to his love of photography, but also to the great joys and meanings to be found in creative expression, in mindfulness and in living an artist's life. David offers one of the clearest, most thoughtful and most inspiring voices among today's photographers.” - Guy Tal

"If you want to get in touch with the inner game of photography, you can do no better than to read The Soul of the Camera. David duChemin, photography's Thomas Moore, puts soul into everything he does; never more so than in this book." - John Paul Caponigro