BOOK REVIEW – Richard Akroyd

david DuChemin Picture2Libraries and good bookshops (if you can still find one) can be useful sources of “how to” books on photography. But what about when you want to move from the “how do you ….?” questions to the “what do I want to photograph?” and “what do I want to say about it?” questions. Then we find the pickings are slimmer, but as I recently discovered there are books out there.

Before I go any further I really need you to open the following url and read it. If I had the power to make it mandatory pre-reading I would do so.

Recently in the Mitcham Library I chanced upon David duChemin’s book Within the Frame. As I flicked through the pages I realised that I might just have discovered a gem.

DuChemin is different. Prior to becoming a full time photographer he worked in comedy for 12 years and spent five years in a theology school – not a well-trodden road to a photographic career! This book, one of many he has written, has powerful images that shout out deliberate and thoughtful intention and masterly execution. Moreover each of the images is used by duChemin to muse over the ways he feeds his inspiration and converts that inspiration into visual expression.

The book does cover common technique topics such as depth of field and ISO; not from the perspective of the geek but from the perspective of photographers who want to ensure that the expression of their vision is not impaired by their ability to make the best use of the tools of their craft. For me though, this book is about helping photographers to find and develop their own sense of direction, to identify and determine their own vision and how to capture it. Too often in everyday “how to” books we are lectured at about rules and techniques. Then we see impressive images made by others and we are moved to emulate them, with our trusty list of rules and techniques at our side. Not so with duChemin. The power in his images is melded with his words, exploring his ideas and experiences with humility and honesty. It is the sort of reflective experience that may just reinvigorate us and strengthen our confidence to stay on own journey of self-discovery in photography. If you are on such a journey and feeling you need a boost, whether you are new to the craft or an experienced photographer, check out David duChemin.

david DuChemin Picture3DuChemin’s Website ( ) has many of his images, a blog and lists of his books and educational events. He also has some short videos in which he critiques images – an example is There is an interview with duChemin (–photo-14188 ) that is worth having a look at. Last but not least, download and read duChemin’s free eBook Ten Ways to Improve Your Craft.

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