Other essays in this series
We constantly receive unsollicited testimonials from our customers all over the world. Below is a seletion of testimonials we received .
The mats arrived unscathed - and they are beautiful. I just learned that one of the prints I matted with them has been accepted into the Los Gatos Open Juried Show! Thank you again for your assistance and attention to detail.
Marketing CD Testimonials
I just wanted to let you know that I received your Marketing CD today, and have just taken a quick browse-through of the contents. Wow! There's lots of information here, and lots to think about. Some of the principles you discuss I already follow (booth, image/presentation, labelling), and others I need to definitely work on (unique points, guarantees, packaging). I am glad I bought this CD; the information on it, when followed, will result in "years of potential business growth"!
I am getting ready to sell 4 of my photographs - mounted and framed for $24,000.
I am selling them through a high end interior decorator. The buyer lives in St. Louis in a 25,000 sq ft mansion that overlooks the Mississippi river. He has a special interest in Indian art work.
It is fun when good things happen. It could not have happened without your guidance.
Marc Semanoff, St Louis, MO
Workshops & Seminars Testimonials
Thank you so much for the great experience at the Antelope Canyon workshop!
I truly enjoyed all aspects of the workshop and the great touch that you both have not just with photography but also with people.
The workshop went well beyond my expectations! Not only I learned a lot, you gave me even more motivation and energy to pursue my photography. I met lots of interesting and knowledgeable people, and I look forward to another workshop with you as soon as my schedule will allow me.
Thanks again, and I hope to have a chance to photograph with you again soon!
Thank you for making your knowledge available in your seminars. My head is still spinning with incredibly valuable information from the fine arts printing and marketing seminars.
Initially I though your seminar prices to be a little high, but afterwards, I realized it was the best investment I've ever made!
Thanks so much for the wonderful workshop/seminar. I learned so much and truly enjoyed the camaraderie of the group.
I'm at work, and I can't download the .pdf although I read it home in a rush before coming here. Therefore I can't email you back the form. Please reserve a one-hour phone consultation for me and use the card you have on file.
I still have to start to review all my photos. I've sort of maxed out my HD, so I must add some more storage before work can begin in earnest.
I am so stoked to get going.
Although I would rather still be photographing in Death Valley, I am home and well. I want to thank you and Alain again for a wonderful workshop -- you both create such a wonderful learning environment for all of us, regardless of our photographic expertise. It is always a treat for me to spend time with you both. I also thought that we had a really good group for this trip.
I am available on Monday, March 26 at 3:00pm (AZ time) if that works for Alain.
As we discussed, I would like to spend the time covering everything we can related to the web. This includes what to look for in a provider from hosting services to site design and functionality. I would also like to cover image workflow (resizing, sharpening, folder organization, color space, etc.) and anything else that Alain believes is important to this topic.
I downloaded my files last night when i got home (i was still on arizona time) and am very excited about the shots i collected this weekend. i already can tell that i am looking around home with new eyes and that was one of the goals i had when i signed up. i will write more fulsomely in time after i have worked and wallowed in these files for a while, digested some of the thoughts stirred up in discussions and shoots, and tried some things here in my everyday work, but in the meantime, i just want to say...
...you are so right to keep reiterating, photography is about the light :)))))
Thank you for the opportunity to learn how to better photograph the American Southwest and the advice given to the group and the personal guidance given to me. How the workshop was structured to serve all levels of experience worked particularly well for someone who is just getting started. Both Antelope Canyons were so exceptional and unique. I have a number of potentially terrific photos, so I’m starting the process of becoming more proficient at Photoshop. My wife and I are planning a trip back to Antelope Canyon, hopefully this fall. I should be an expert amateur next time around.
I have travelled around the Southwest quite a few times before and already knew its beauty, but from taking a photography workshop with others and seeing your works I now can see how incredibly beautiful it is. I appreciate the chance to spend some time to learn from those who capture such beauty.
10 Year Anniversary Testimonials
Congratulations to you on the 10th year of being in business. I came across your work some three years ago and have always admired you on how you share your knowledge with others. My experience in attending your workshop last year has left me with a lasting impression in the way you bare all of your acquired knowledge with those around you. I am confident that you will achieve great success in your business as well as your artistry in photography and wish for you to achieve greater success in the coming years. Hope to meet you again in the future.
Makham, Ontario, Canada
Printing Mastery Workshop on DVD Testimonials
PO Box 12343
Glendale, AZ 85383
Re: “Printing Mastery Workshop” DVD
Many months after purchasing the “Printing Mastery Workshop” on DVD, I continue to replay certain segments to review various printing steps. The DVD has shown me ways to improve my photos and allowed me to make strides in printing that would have been impossible otherwise. Rather than simply discuss or demonstrate the topic of curves, for example, providing the actual set of curves that we can integrate into Photoshop© was tremendously helpful. In addition to greatly expanding my understanding of Photoshop CS2©, based on the demonstrations in the DVD, I have since purchased Noise Ninja©, DXO©, calibrated my monitor and purchased the Joseph Holmes color spaces. I can now approach my RAW photos with a more clear understanding of how to obtain my desired results.
When getting serious in the world of photography, one needs the specific direction like those provided in the 28 steps outlined on the DVD. It is my understanding that the cost of the DVD is similar to the price of attending a workshop, but without the airfare and lodging expenses. However, the ability to replay the DVD to help tackle a specific problem or question when working on my specific photos is invaluable. At a workshop you get the benefit of interaction and listening to the questions of others, but even with my best note-taking skills, too much of the information would not have made it into my workflow once back home. The DVD is preferred for the way I learn which is by doing and not just through listening.
It is possible that without the DVD I may have stumbled upon or learned some of the same steps. However, without knowing for certain that “this is the way” one adjusts curves, or “this is the way” to get rid of halos after sharpening, I would have always been in doubt that I was doing that particular function correctly. It makes no sense to spend what photographers do on software and camera equipment and then cut the training short. The DVD is well worth the money.
It is clear that you do not hold back any “secret” to the photographic process. To create fine art is a lofty goal even with all of the tools you have provided. You are willing to take people to the very spot where you created your photos and share with them the very process to print fine art through this DVD. For those willing to take the time to practice the 28 steps you have provided and continue the never-ending learning process, the “Printing Mastery Workshop” DVD is an excellent tool.
Harold S. Hall. Chicago, IL
Thanks so much. Your DVD's have been most helpful. I use them all the time in my workflow.
I just took advantage of your 10th anniversary specials to purchase the printing and master files dvds...i am going to be spending the summer with alain :)))
I wanted to add the 1-hr. special print review as well, but i am not able to enter information in the pdf you sent, so i will be calling. i should have the opportunity to do that on tuesday/wednesday, but i wanted to let you know that i am doing this since it cuts thursday's deadline pretty close.
Antelope canyon was my first workshop experience, and it spoiled me! In addition to the reveling in the challenges of the photography sessions themselves, i enjoyed meeting you and alain. i found the print review sessions thought-provoking and especially fascinating as a way for the group to get to know each other, through both our words and pictures. i've had a lovely time exploring the photographs i took, and i look forward to my continued journeys back here at home with my fresh eyes!
The Printing Mastery DVD updates you are providing offer a lot of value to the DVD. It is great to get updates to the content as the manufacturers update their software and come out with new versions. I’m also looking forward to the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 module to get your perspective on the image adjustments and workflow.
Since attending the Composition Mastery Series course and purchasing the Printing Mastery Workshop DVD, my landscape compositions have dramatically improved.
I have been impressed with all the information on your DVD and believe it was well worth the money (I was too busy at my physical therapy cliinc to take any more time off to attend the Printing workshop, so it is great to go through the DVD workshop at my leisure).
Just the other night I was using the techniques you describe on the DVD. I selected a picture that would work well with the webpage I had written, but it was one that I originally decide not to work on in photoshop because in ".raw" format it was not very appealing. It is amazing what I was able to do withthe contrast and color, because now it is one of my favorities!
I bought your 12 Master Files CD earlier this year, and I have found it to be a great help in finding out how to do subtle adjustment on my images in PS.
I just received my order of the 12 Master Files CD. Though I’ve not yet had the chance to “crack the cover”, I wanted to thank you both for you rapid and personal shipment of the product. I’ve commented before how delightful it is to receive a personal note with each product that I order from the two of you, and I want you to know again, how much it’s appreciated. The phrase… “it’s the little things…” is over used in our society, but your actions actually put it in to practice! You’re also the fastest providers that I know!
Jeffrey Van der Koon
"Snowstorm at Spiderock" arrived today in perfect condition. What a beautiful work of art! It captures every emotion I experienced during a magical high desert snow storm in 1995. Now I can look at "Snowstorm at Spiderock" and relive that experience! I am extremely impressed with your packaging! It took quite a while to get the print out, but it was surely safe from damage.
Mastering Landscape Photography Book Testimonials
I've just read your "Mastering Landscape Photography" - a truly inspiring book, some great photographs. Many thanks for sharing your many years of learning with us!
Thank you for "Mastering Landscape Photography". I've read many books on photography, from Adams to Feinenger to Zuckerman, but yours is the first I've read that I really resonated with.
I also thank you for your insightful website, with its many free resources that also made me think about my art.
I got so rev'd up I was ready to sign up for some of your workshops, only to find out that your success has made you inaccessible!
I'll keep an eye out for your '08 workshop schedule when it becomes available.
Mastering Landscape Photography is among my top three most valued books on photography. It has made a great difference in my work and life. Thanks much for such a treasure.
I purchased your book and I want you to know that it is excellent. I have read many photography books and yours is at the top. It is clear, concise and it gets to the point without paragraphs of clutter. Thank you for writing it. Let me know when you publish the next one.
I was just about to write to thank you for the book. It arrived today and I had a chance to page through it. My first impression is the great variety of excellent photographs - there is so much there, including images I have not seen before. I'm also impressed with the reproduction and color. I will be spending a lot more time with it in the next couple of weeks. It's a beautiful gift that I greatly appreciate.
I just bought your book "Mastering Landscape Photography" after reading your fine essays for many years. The book is a work of art and is very useful, and I am enjoying it immensely.
Just a short message to say how much I enjoyed your recent book, Mastering Landscape Photography. I particularly enjoyed your ideas on being an artist and making portfolios.
I have been fortunate enough to visit and photograph in the western USA on two occasions (coming from Britain) and your own images are amongst some of the freshest and most original I have seen of these wonderful landscapes.
Simon Miles, United Kingdom
I find your recent images a real inspiration, and your recent book has been read cover to cover!
Mastering Landscape Photography is a masterful work by Alain Briot. In this volume Alain presents the result of years of experience and deep thinking about how to visualize, create, present and even market fine-art landscape photographs.
If you are looking for a book to tell you how to use your digital camera or how to use Photoshop to create images, this is not the book for you. However, if want to learn the art of creating beautiful landscape images and expressing how you feel about and perceive a landscape location, this book is a must have. Alain will take you through all the steps of image creation from visualizing, composing, exposure, lens selection, and creation of a portfolio, to marketing your images.
Alain has a very straightforward way of explaining things. You will find that Alain has no secrets and is very open about the creation of his work. He has obviously given a large amount of thought to the process of image creation over the years. His initial training as an artist in Paris has given him a unique perspective into creating beautiful landscape photographs which he shares in this book.
In addition to the writings on each topic, the book is beautifully illustrated with many of his photographs which are used to illustrate the points that he makes.
Highly recommended for anyone who wants to achieve better results from their photographic endeavors.
David White, California
As a photographer, I am always in search of more knowledge to become better and add new tools in my arsenal. Most books offer the recipe or how-to approach that does offer an opportunity to do specific things. In "Mastering Landscape Photography," Alain takes the reader on a journey through well thought advice and inspiration to become a great photographer in your abilities, creativity and style.
This beautiful publication features incredible examples of Alain's own work to help visualize the ideas he presents. Each chapter presents an essay on an essential aspect of great photography, much of which is applicable to any type of photographic subject, not just landscapes. Ranging from the practical choice of lenses to the creative choices in composition, completing each essay left me invigorated and excited to try out new found ideas for creating better photos.
This book has earned a long standing place in my library, to be read again and again. No matter where you are at in your photographic abilities, from budding amateur to current professional, you can find direction and inspiration from Alain's words. As he himself mentions several times, his style and current choices in photography have changed over the years, evolving with his knowledge, abilities and the changing technology in photography.
Though you will not find step-by-step how-to techniques, you will gain much from the experience shared. I highly recommend this title for any photographer.
I've read at _least_ ten books that purport to show how to conceive and compose a landscape photograph -- for me, this is the only one whose author was brave enough to show both the good and the not-so-good. To share the author's thought processes as well as the technical underpinnings of a fine landscape image. Alain Briot is willing to admit that sometimes it just doesn't work out as you imagined it. When at first you don't succeed, try, try again!
Bravo and Encore!
Having followed Alain's writings on his (and other) websites for some years now, I keenly awaited the arrival of his landscape-photography book. The essays contained in this book set out artistic principles combined with real-world examples from Alain's own photographic background & business life-story.
As a photographer struggling to achieve images that represent those I envision in my mind, I can learn about aperture or exposure times (etc) from my camera's manual... however I frequently find inspiration and insight when reading Alain's essays.
I greatly enjoy Alain's insightful writing stlye, and I hope his work continues to be published. I find quality printed texts far more reader-friendly than other mediums.
Chris Fergus, Australia
I was just starting out in photography when I fortunately discovered Alain's website and his fantastic galleries of images of the southwest.
I started printing these essays as they appeared in the Luminous-Landscape and then decided to attend one of Alain's workshops. The insights, instructions and exercises in this beautifully crafted book can be put into practice to make a great improvement in your photographic style.
As a bonus, the images illustrating the lessons are beautiful. As one reviewer stated, they might not do justice to the original and he is partially right. Order a print of the month, get the master photoshop file copy CD showing how the image was created and you will see why I consider Alain to be a "Master" photographer.
I was in Big Bend National Park last month and chanced to meet an award winning and retired National Geographic photographer. Upon browsing through my copy of this book he stated that Alain is truly a "Master". The way Alain reached this point in his career is completely explained in this book.
Buy the book,attend a workshop, watch your photography improve. Dedication is optional.
I consider this book a must have for your library.
Ken Krahn, Texas
There is no question that the writings of Alain have aided me in improving the quality of my photographic art. From technical discussions to the more challenging instructional arena of finding one's own personal style, Alain's writings are insightful, inspiring, and practical.
I have employed many of his exercises and found them to be very helpful in developing my own technical expertise as well as finding my own personal style. More importantly, Alain's writing style is extremely positive and inspiring. "Mastering Landscape Photography" is as close to hiring your own personal coach/mentor in the form of a reference book as there is in landscape photography today.
Buy the book for the inspirational and practical writing and enjoy the beautiful photographs as an extra bonus. Personally, I feel that Alain's writings are unique and timely and will be reflected upon for generations to come. Alain references the wisdom of past and present art masters as an aid in helping the reader find their own way in reaching their artistic goals.
Alain's "Mastering Landscape Photography" is unique in the world of landscape photography in that it provides the reader the opportunity to progress from basic technical proficiency to helping define and eventually realize their own artistic goals.
I highly recommend Alain's writings to anyone who seeks to realize their own artistic goals in landscape photography.
Jeff Ball, West Virginia
You've been taking landscape photos all your life. What could you possibly learn from this book? Good question. It depends, I suppose, on your basic knowledge. If you had formal art or photography training, you are probably very comfortable with all the old standards: rule of thirds, converging lines, foreground/background relationships, framing and overlapping. You add composition and seeing photographically, you have a fairly good handle on things.
Briot, in this beautifully illustrated book, reviews the basics and then explores a wide range of subjects: /composition, lenses, light, best "film," best exposure, what to keep, how to create a portfolio, finding your personal style, being an artist, and finally, a bit a psychological cheerleading to motivate the reader/photographer.
A well known contemporary landscape photographer, Briot photographs primarily in the southwestern United States. The book is written in a friendly, conversational style with tips and instructions nicely layered into comments and personal observations.
The lovely illustrations are illustrative of the points Briot is making. In addition, they are wonderful places to rest your eyes while you consider a point.
I hadn't expected to learn anything new, so I was pleasantly surprised to pick up so much useful and easy-to-understand information. On top of that, I was reminded of so much that I hadn't thought about for years.
Photographers love to talk and compare notes. Briot's personality shines through in this book. It's a treat to see his world.
The book contains an excellent balance of technical and anecdotal information. This artful blend, in combination with numerous photographs results in a book that is readable and educational.
Many great essays on how to master your landscape images. A great inspiration!
Besides his eye for breathtaking composition, Alain has a real talent for instruction. He writes passionately about landscape photography, without the pretense that anything other than hard work and readily attainable knowledge led to his creations. This book has a real easy read and a solid "you can do it" feel to it. It makes you want to get up and start taking more photos!
Keep in mind: this is not a book on how to create photos from a technical standpoint, not a book offering a series of technical rules to follow to compose a scene well. There's advice on how one MIGHT approach a shot, some possible techniques to improve the interest of a scene, and some examples on how Alain himself has done this.
But the crux of this book is its assertion that artists must find their own style, their own way of composing that matches their personality and philosophy, and that any photographer, no matter how "amateur," can become an artist. And that's precisely what endears it. I consider this an essential companion to the more technical primers on photography, such as Tom Ang's great books on Digital Photography. The technical works will teach you how to shoot a scene.
This book helps you learn for yourself what the scene is, when to shoot it for the best effect, and why you shoot it in the first place.
Book Review - Mastering Landscape Photography - The Luminous-Landscape Essays by Alain Briot
How does one learn to master landscape photography? And, more importantly, how does one become a master landscape photographer? These are the questions that master landscape photographer Alain Briot asks in his soon to be a classic, Mastering Landscape Photography – The Luminous-Landscape Essays. The obvious answer is to spend a lot of time working at the art. This takes time and a lot of hard work. For Alain Briot, it took over 25 years.
When Alain Briot started, it was 1980. The internet was still over 10 years in the future and the technology of digital photography was at least as far away. How he got there and what he learned is the subject of Mastering Landscape Photography.
It focuses on three main topics: artistic skills, technical knowledge and business sense. According to the author, to master landscape photography you must match your artistic abilities with your technical knowledge. To earn a living doing this, you must acquire business acumen.
Briot’s goal is to shorten the stretch it takes for a photographer to go from a beginner or a novice to a seasoned professional. It still will take time and practice, but according to the author, when he was learning, many in the field kept their techniques to themselves and thus he had to learn the hard way. His goal is to share his knowledge and reduce your learning curve.
Mastering Landscape Photography does exactly what Briot intends it to do. Not only is it well written, but it is functionally usable - not in a step-by-step format, rather in an artistic philosophic manner. There are suggestions on how one might approach the shot. The author gives things to look for and options to take.
For example, in chapter four – “How to find the best light for a specific photograph,” Briot describes “Drawing with Light” and the three rules of light; the quality of light, reflected light and intensity of light. He describes how to find the best light and the various uses for each. He then uses several of his wonderful photographs showing real world examples of his technique.
This is where most authors would end the chapter; not Briot. He concludes with four photographic skills enhancement exercises. He challenges you to do some hands-on techniques that he explained in the chapter. He asks you to also construct a nigrometer; a tool that allows you to see the actual color of objects in front of us.
This is the same format for each of the 13 essays. There are detailed explanations of each topic, and then real-world exercises of the techniques.
The essays include: “How to see photographically”, “How to compose a photograph”, “How to determine the best exposure for a specific scene” and “How to decide which photographs are keepers and which are not”. From the business side, he has “How to be an artist”, “How to be an artist in business” parts one and two and “How you can do it too.”
This is not a book on how to use your camera, Photoshop, or even a step-by-step guide. This is a book that will help you learn to see the image that you want to create, the image that you want to design. You will learn what you need to take that next step to becoming a master landscape photographer.
I am very much appreciative of your essays. You describe an approach to photography that everyone should read at the very beginning of their endeavors; it would save them much time and a lot of grief. For many, it would open up a whole new world. My only criticism is that you produce more than I have time to absorb.
I have just about finished your "Mastering Landscape Photography" book, and I have enjoyed your take on things immensely. I thought it would be just like the numerous other How to ... Landscape ..." books, but your book is quite different and refreshing. I was very much in need of an explanation of photography from an artist's point of view, especially since I have taken a more "technical" approach in recent years.
I read your Just Say Yes article last night. I do think it's one of your better pieces. I especially liked the way you describe your love of art - you almost make it sound sensuous. It's obvious it plays a big part in your life and in who you are.
One of the things I most enjoyed about your Collecting Fine Art Photographs essay was reading your insights on how to evaluate a fine print, and what you look for in such a print. I'm curious if you have more expansive writings on this topic.
I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your recent Finding Inspiration essay posted on Luminous-Landscape.
I have enjoyed reading all of your essay and about 7 months ago commented on your essay on ownership of (owning up to) Photoshop manipulation because it rang true to my own experience.
I had to drop you a short message to let you know how much I enjoy your essays that appear from time to time on The Luminous Landscape. In a time where so many sites featuring photography are dripping with equipment reviews and endless discussions on the minutiae of photographic gear, it is so refreshing to read a piece such as yours.
Keep up the great work! I've forwarded the URL's to your essays to many of my peers and look forward to the next installments on Creativity, Vision and Personal Style.
Darren Bernaerdt, London
Hello Monsieur Briot, I just finished reading your article "Finding Inspiration" on The Luminous Landscape site.
I want to thank you for it, one of the most striking, insightful, sensitive and intelligent read I have had in years.
My admiration goes to you, not that much because of your pictures and prose, but because of the intelligence (as in intelligence for enjoying life) and ability to craft wonderfully the sentences and paragraphs to draw such true, vivid and beautiful feelings.
You, Sir, are a true artist. And an admirably intelligent and rich person.
May you enjoy your whole life,
Miguel, Madrid, Spain
I am 16 and am planning my application to university to study a degree in Photography. I need to create a portfolio of my work for my interviews and was finding the prospect daunting until I found your article. You have helped greatly and the work you showed as examples is stunning. Antelope Light Dance is surely one of the most beautiful things I have ever beheld. Thanks so much for your help.
Miss Sophie Dell