Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Photographer Neil Johnson '76 Publishes E-Book

After publishing two coffee-table books of photography and 14 books for young readers, Louisiana-based photographer Neil Johnson, of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1976, has taken a new direction with his latest offering.

“Take That!” is an e-book designed specifically to take advantage of the iPad’s vivid retina display. “The ‘retina display’ screen of the newest iPad seems to be the most ideal way yet to view photographs,” Neil has said. “The overall quality, richness of color and crispness of each image is nothing short of stunning. What a technological leap for this medium!”

Currently available on the iTunes bookstore, “Take That!” contains 150 interactive images. By touching an image, the reader makes it fill the screen. It has 40 chapters, each about one image. “My goal, in telling the stories behind my images,” Neil wrote, “is that readers will learn from them about photography in general. It’s not magic. It’s about being curious and keeping one’s eyes open constantly while exploring this amazing world with a camera. It’s about always, always looking.”

The book begins with a short video in which Neil introduces himself and the book, and concludes with photographic lessons, based on more than three decades as a professional photographer, that he wants to share.

A journalism and communications major at W&L, Neil spent four years as a darkroom technician in a custom color photo lab in his hometown of Shreveport, before launching a career as a freelance photographer. He’s shot mostly for commercial clients, as opposed to weddings or portraits. He’s self-taught and has traveled the country and the world in pursuit of his photos. In 2012, he won the Michael P. Smith Award for Documentary Photography from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Sample Neil’s work on his website, Neil Johnson Photography, where you can browse his portfolio and purchase prints and books. “Take That!” can be downloaded for the iPad for $9.99 from iTunes.

If you know any W&L alumni who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.