This week Chris Williams and I have taken tons of photos for his forthcoming book “The Life & Work of John Brown” and things took an interesting turn, visually. As we’ve recorded the construction process of his chair for the book, I’ve put away my tripod and recorded the process with a handheld camera and natural light, journalism style.
It’s what I did for most of my early career as a writer and photojournalist for newspapers and small magazines before I landed at Popular Woodworking magazine. I shot full manual for many years and processed my own negatives and prints. The tradition at Popular Woodworking and F&W Media, Inc., however, was to shoot transparencies and do it with a tripod and strobes. Which I embraced.
But if you have a little skill with a camera, you can capture some nice moments. The only problem is that you have to make sure you are capturing usable how-to information and not just emotion or a nice composition.
Today I started reviewing the 941 photos I took this week and kept (I trashed several hundred images that were obvious garbage). I have to admit, I’m a little excited by the frames I kept. They are unlike the photography you see in approximately 100 percent of woodworking books and magazines these days.
I love what I see on my screen, but I hope it’s good enough.
I’m sure you will let me know when the book comes out.
— Christopher Schwarz