Ever want to learn more about Leica, a name resembles the history of photography? Begin reading Leica Practicum, a book published recently by Erwin Puts. This is the fourth book I bought directly from him.
The earlier books written by Puts were Leica Compendium (2011), Leica Chronicle (2012) and the mini-pocket book called The Leica µ-Pocket (2013). You can find out all the information of these three books on this page.
Puts’s site The Tao of Leica has many insightful tips. I like in particular his reviews in which his knowledge of Leica is fully demonstrated, with appreciation and criticism. Leica Practicum is a huge work done (448 pages including index) by a Leica specialist or scientist who knows Leica extremely well. As Puts mentions in the forward, the book consists of two parts: theory and practice of Leica photography.
Even if you are not a Leica user, you will learn plenty of theory of photography from this book. You won’t be surprised to find Puts spends a lot of pages to discuss the nature and theories of photography at the beginning of the book. The theories are to be rethought and reframed. Photography is always considered as an art and science and the relationship between art and reality is always an ongoing debate. Now photography is also considered as a serious pastime, as seen in the fact that thousands of images uploaded to Facebook and Instagram every second. Many of us may have never thought of being a photographer but consider the photographs taken as true records of events and people.
The mobile apps, smartphones and tablets have also transformed photography to a new era we have never thought of before. However, the way of seeing and perceiving is not much different from the past although technologically speaking our photographic gears have been improved a lot, judging from features.
That said the capability of the photographer is still vital. We have no reason to believe it is not necessary to understand the fundamentals.
Leica Practicum, subtitled ‘Theory and practice of LEICAgraphy’, is highly recommended.