Inside the Book
Photography and Text By Douglas Schwartz
Artwork featured in this SPOTLIGHT © copyright Douglas Schwartz. All rights reserved.
A more detailed examination of this project requires a look
back in time. The year was 2006 when the first copy of
The Creative Nature Photography Workshop
rolled off
the presses. The "presses" at that time were top-of-the-line
inkjet printers, and the operators of those printers were
Karen and me.

We chose to go that route because traditional offset printing
of books required a minimum run of thousands of copies in
order to be cost-effective, and digital print on demand services were just getting started at the time and did not offer the quality that we required. As a result, we printed the pages and bound
the books ourselves. The project was labor intensive, but the books were of the highest quality.

Flash forward to the present time. For the 2021 edition, we
chose Blurb to do the printing and binding. Because this
choice involved other cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, trial
and error was required in order to be certain that the book
would be of the highest possible quality. Once this was
achieved, we felt confident that The Creative Nature Photography Workshop book was ready for its unveiling.
I would add that while it is nice to have complete control over
a project, we have come to appreciate the advantages that
the current digital printing and binding technology offers.
Regardless of how the words and
images make their way onto the
paper, the true goal behind this book
remains the same. That goal,
specifically, is my desire to share
some of what I've learned throughout
the course of my more than thirty-five
years as a professional nature
photographer with other aspiring
artists. This includes the artist's
relationship with the subject as
well as the artistic challenges
Now that the publication of The Creative
Nature Photography Workshop
has been
realized, Karen and I can look forward to
other book projects and other forms of
artistic expression. With these will come
new creative challenges and decisions,
but that's perfectly fine with us. As artists,
we know full well that creativity is what
this life is all about!
A funny thing happened on the way to the printer. There
were rewrites of the copy...and rewrites of the rewrites.
There were processing corrections to the photographs...
and corrections of the corrections. There were changes
to the layout...and...what else is new...changes to the
changes. All in all, the creation of the fully-updated 2021
edition of The Creative Nature Photography Workshop...
or, should I say, the recreation of the original 2006
edition, took many months longer than Karen (my wife
and creative partner) and I thought it would take. 

Were we surprised? Not at all. We both know from
experience that creative projects always take longer than
expected. That's because the art is in charge of the artist...
not the other way around. The art decides what needs to
be done and in what order. The art says what needs to be
changed or fixed. Finally, the art tells the artist when the
work is done. Fortunately, the artist gets the final credit.
To quote my own words from the book..."I am speaking also
of the wonder of being out in Nature when everything around
you is more right than it has a right to be, and you find
yourself feeling like a kid in a giant visual candy store not
knowing which of the many subjects to photograph first.
And, during times such as these, being aware of the fact
that you are dancing as fast as you can artistically, worrying
that your dance won't be fast enough, and then triumphantly
realizing that it was." 

This and many other thoughts on photographing nature are
expressed throughout the twenty-six lessons in this
"workshop in a book." The lessons include such topics as
"Reality and Illusion," "Fog," "Individuality," "Imagination,"
"Visual Words," "Inspiration and Amazement"
among others. Each lesson features an
accompanying photograph (a few are included in this
) and concludes with an assignment for the
participant to complete.

Because the emphasis of the book is on the creative
process, I believe that much of it can be appreciated by
artists working in other mediums as well.
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