Review: Photographing the 4th Dimension: Time by Jim Goldstein

Jim-Goldstein-Photographing-The-4th-Dimension-Time-ebookJim Goldstein is a full-time professional photographer, based out of San Francisco, California who specializes in outdoor and nature photography. Jim is passionate about nature and the environment and infuses elements of the natural world into his fine art, commercial and editorial work. Jim enjoys educating and inspiring others through his writing and photo workshops.

The Topic

The attempt to capture time with a still camera seems strange at first. After all, a normal photo is captured in a split second, right? If that’s your frame of mind, you may be surprised to find that there is a lot to be discovered when you go beyond that split second.

Long exposure photography is only one of the obvious techniques that you will discover in this book as Jim takes you on a journey through an area of photography that holds techniques like light painting, time-lapse photography and cinemagraphy.

These technique will enable you to make the flow of time visible to your viewers, and this indeed has the potential for having a high impact as the book’s subtitle suggests. But it also holds a lot of challenges in terms of gear, technique and unconventional thinking for you.

The eBook

In this book, Jim Goldstein provides you great introduction to capturing time in your photographs. He takes an approach that is almost scientific and explains this topic from start to finish.

The book starts off with a brief introduction to the basics of exposure. This makes it well-suited for you even if you are still at an early stage in your photographic adventures. He goes on by talking about visual perception. In order to really master topics like long exposure photography, it is important that you have a good understanding of how humans actually perceive time. Time and perception are the substances you will be working with.

After these introductory parts, Jim gets to the main part of the book where he explains diverse techniques in very tangible and practical terms. He gives a lot of tips concerning the gear you need, and he presents the techniques in a step-by-step manner which makes it easy to follow along.

The topics presented range from the basics of long exposure, via light painting techniques, star trail pictures, capturing image sequences over periods of different length, time-lapse photography and some other ways and techniques for capturing and presenting time in your photography.

Towards the end of the book, Jim gives you a guide for the gear you need, ranging from the camera to the tripod and other specialized equipment like ND filters and intervalometers. The book closes with a series of Field Checklists. These are handy lists with the steps of each technique. You can print them and take them with you when you shoot to make sure you do not forget anything.

Other Things You’ll Learn

Jim presents many background facts and anecdotes from the history of capturing time. Through all the different techniques, you will learn how to incorporate the 4th dimension into your photographic mind and your thinking. This will not only help you with capturing time – it will also be beneficial in your every-day photography. E.g. anticipating events is essential for capturing the decisive moment.

The Style of Teaching

Jim concentrates on the essentials, and that comes through in his style (at least in this book). He does not waste his words (or your time). He comes straight to the point in his explanations and has a very efficient and effective presentation style.

The Summary

The Pros The Cons
  • Jim Goldstein gives you a complete introduction to capturing time in your photography. This will open completely new perspectives for you. Be prepared to develop your photography into directions that you may not have anticipated before you read the book.
  • The eBook embeds videos (requires online connection as videos are loaded e.g. via YouTube). This makes the material presented very tangible.
  • You will learn about the basics of capturing the photos, how to combine them (depending in the technique) and about some post-production principles and software.
  • Jim includes many links to external information that will help you understand the topic even better.
  • Since the book is about so many different techniques, each one of them cannot be covered in all its depth and breadth. This book is a great starting point if you want to extend your photography into the 4th dimension (time), but for each individual topic, you may want to seek for additional material that explains it more thoroughly.
  • The book would have been a bit stronger if there was more material about the post-production phase as this is an important phase for some of the techniques presented.

My Personal Tips for this eBook

Here are my personal tips on how to work with this book:

  • You should use this book to really get an understanding of the different techniques. Undoubtedly, you will discover some topic that you will find worth pursuing further. Use Jim’s guide to start this journey.
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