Join a Photo Legend in the field and the studio (Visual Literacy Review)

Tony Sweet’s Visual Literacy is an intimate look in the field with Tony to learn how one of Nikon’s Legends approaches a variety of opportunities.

- by E. Bowles (Atlanta) May 22, 2009

I’ve always been a fan of Tony Sweet – he’s got a unique eye and creative style that help to improve my creativity.

Tony Sweet’s Visual Literacy is an intimate look in the field with Tony to learn how one of Nikon’s Legends approaches a variety of opportunities.

This is a two DVD set. The first DVD takes the viewer along with Tony for a multi-day shoot in the Smokies in the Spring of 2008. Tony visits Cades Cove, Roaring Fork, Greenbrier, Tremont, and Clingman’s Dome to create images at some of the prime locations in the park. Having been to the Smokies many times, these locations were very familiar. But it was interesting to see how Tony worked the locations and the lighting.

Here’s an example of how the DVD flows. At the Ogle cabin in Roaring Fork, Tony goes to a familiar composition and talks you through his thought process for composition. Tony creates multiple compositions to work the site with everything from long lenses to close ups and IR and talks you through everything he is doing and why.

The second DVD takes the viewer into the studio to explore a variety of close up and macro techniques for florals. Then the DVD covers the editing process, the commercial side of professional photography, and the gear Tony uses in the field and the studio for photographs, editing and printing. I found the section about photographing flowers in the studio a little slow, but worth it to pick up important nuggets.

Each DVD has extra features that are worth a look. The Extra feature of the first DVD puts you in the car with Tony while he scouts locations in Cades Cove. Buckle your seat belt!

This is certainly one of the better purchases I’ve made. I own several of Tony’s books, and have spent a great deal of time in the Smokies at these locations. But there is something about seeing these locations and the thought process of a great photographer at work. What’s more – Tony is just a nice guy – intense about his craft but genuinely interested in helping those who view this DVD set.