The Mindful Photographer Book Review – Informative, Insightful, Enlightening

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The Mindful Photographer, Awake in the World With a Camera, from Rocky Nook Publications and Photographer David Ulrich, brings to the pages a beginners guide to understanding great photography is more than simply aim, point and shoot.

Ulrich fills the 202 pages with personal stories none more poignant than "Minding the Darkness," which he describes as a young man, in his 30s, already a successful photographer he was working at his home, when in an instant, while cutting and stacking wood, a stick flew out and struck him under his eye. This home accident resulted in the loss of his dominant right eye. The physician explained it would need to be removed and a prosthetic inserted in its place.

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He places this story mid-way through the book and until this point his observations are informative and provide the reader with insights into a deeper understanding of the art of photography and how external and internal elements can enhance the image. And with the revelations of his personal tragedy, and nearly career ending injury, he explains during his recovery time he learned to see again, as an adult, began a "deeply transformative journey."

Returning, after this revelation, to the beginning of the book and the Introduction, his words, insights, and direction take on new meaning, almost revelatory to the artist and the photographer. With section headings like "Seek Resonance," "Pictures are not about Pictures," "Catch the Wave, not the Ripple," "When to Put the Camera Down," "The Potency of a Metaphor," "Trust Your Process," and "The Power of Art."

In the "Introduction," Ulrich provides an eight-page combination of personal stories and helpful tips, for the many who may only use The Mindful Photographer, as a go-to when certain artistic situations arise and the need for instruction is present. Along with his anecdotes, he offers other advantageous hints that will assist both the novice and those looking to take their craft to the next level.

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He also explains his previous book, "Zen Camera," he iterated his seven principles of camera practice which "relate to learning the photographic medium and to the growth of awareness of the human begin behind the camera."

In these seven tips, he has condensed his forty-year career into suggestions that should be incorporated into daily life and can really cross over into any dedicated artistic pursuit: Work every day, Take More Pictures, Be Present, Observe, (Pay Attention), Know Your Camera, Work in Projects (not only with single pictures), Look and Learn. Each of these are accompanied by a further explanation of ideas. For writers or other crafts, Ulrich noted that the "learning can be applied to anything else."

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Throughout his writings it is clear, he is more than simply a photographer more than aim, point and shoot, he is on a path of enlightenment and an artistic life journey which in turn elevates and influences the expression of his work.


The Mindful Photographer, Awake in the World with a Camera, is Illuminating, passionate, and provides helpful insights into the emotional depth of craft development. Read, review, and keep for reference.

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Title: The Mindful Photographer Awake in the World with a Camera.

Author: David Ulrich.

Publisher: RockyNook.

Length/Size: 202 pages, 7 ½ x 9 ¼, Hardcover.

ISBN: 978-1-68198-841-2.

SMP: $35.00.

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