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 is a world and humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, and international workshop leader whose spirit of adventure fuels his fire to create and share. Based in Vancouver, Canada, David chases compelling images on all seven continents. When on assignment, David creates powerful photographs that convey the hope and dignity of children, the vulnerable, and the oppressed for the international NGO community. When creating the art he so passionately shares, David strives to capture the beauty of the natural world. Find David online at davidduchemin.com.
"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
"I’ve long been a fan of David Duchemin. Not just for his photography, but also his dedication to photographers everywhere—mentoring them to become the best they can be. And after reading his many books (I own them all), I know he’s a kindred spirit. David’s messages are aligned with mine but I still learn from him; lessons transmitted through a poetic prose uniquely Duchemin. David admits he’s written more books then he ever imagined, each one a refinement of ideas. The Soul Of The Camera strips down and distills all the best and most useful information from his previous works in a sophisticated yet easy-to-digest way. Only essential and practical core messages, inspirations, and advice remain. This is something only a photographer who has pursued mastery for 30 years is able to do. Thankfully for him and us, that journey never ends, and this book is as good a travel partner as I could imagine." —Steve Simon, author of The Passionate Photographer
"The Soul of the Camera inspires the artist through compelling writing, impactful imagery, and reference-friendly bits of wisdom placed throughout the book. David is highly quotable throughout, but he is also highly thought-provoking. Loved this book." —Tamara Lackey
"In reminding us that 'it is we who put the humanity, the vision, and the poetry into our photographs,' photographer and humanitarian David duChemin is right on point. The Soul of the Camera issues an urgent call to self-awareness and a willingness to embrace our inner poet warrior. In a world that is increasingly unstable and where heroes are needed, his eloquent words and photographic sensibility remind us that 'our photographs won’t speak to anyone if we ourselves, the life and soul of the camera, have nothing to say.' Well said, David duChemin. You are, indeed, a poet." —Cristina Mittermeier
"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
"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
“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. In a world rife with images and clatter, David offers one of the clearest, most thoughtful, and most inspiring voices among today's photographers.” —Guy Tal, author of More Than a Rock
“The Soul of the Camera: The Photographer’s Place in Picture-Making will bolster your courage and determination as you work to improve your images by adding more humanity, more soul, and more of yourself into your work.” —PhotoLife Magazine