Note that Dreamscapes are running a Spring Sale - 15% off this and other books if you use the code SPRING at checkout until the end of April.
Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition - Ian Plant (with George Stocking)
Though I've bought many photography books in my time, there aren't many that covered the critical area of composition particularly well. Sure the usual suspects - rule of thirds, leading lines, and the like - all made an appearance but to my mind they are only useful to start the mind thinking about composition, and don't deal with creating more original and complex compositions.
When Ian Plant launched this book I was very interested, a book dedicated solely to the subject. Though it's an eBook, it's on a different level to many other eBooks which are often content-light and little more than extended blog posts. This is a long eBook, meticulously put together, very well illustrated, and containing highly original content.
Ian talks briefly about the rule of thirds, etc and where they came from including the value that they do have, before talking about how they are relatively blunt instruments and so though well meaning, we need to turn our back on them to progress beyond relatively simple and contrived compositions.
Through the rest of the book he uses examples from art through history to explain many of the key principles (vs rules) that lead to stronger composition, and provides some structure for using these principles in the field.
Many of the ideas in this book have stuck with me in a way that other books have failed. To me it's the most thorough and also understandable text on composition I've come across, with lots of good examples and thinking to get the brain ticking. It just works. A very worthy read, highly recommended!
Visit the website here.