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Two New eBooks From Dreamscapes to Kick-Off the New Year

When its cold and dreary outside there’s nothing better then to curl up with a good book and I did just that this past week thanks to the creative team at Dreamscapes. They’ve just launched 2 new ebooks that I think you’ll find useful.

Gear for Landscape Photographers 2nd Edition

The first of these is The Complete Guide to Gear for the Landscape Photographer by Justin Reznick. This is the second edition of this book by Justin. I reviewed the first edition back when it first came out in November 2013. You can read that review here.

 

The second has been updated with new reviews on equipment ranging from the essentials such as tripods, ballheads, shutter releases and bags to cameras and lenses, iPhone accessories. clothing and more.

What I love about this book is that whether you shoot with a DSLR,  a mirrorless camera, a compact camera or an iPhone Justin covers them all. Justin not only reviews the different brands of cameras and lenses (Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sony, Panasonic and more) but he also shares his thoughts on the pros and cons of each.

18897-441054384-4.pdf

This 150 page ebook is jammed pack with great information and while I love finding out more about useful gear for me the best part of the book are the last 50 or so pages that are devoted to Photographer Interviews with the likes of Ian Plant, Tony Sweet, Jim Patterson and Jim Nilsen. Each of these photographers (10 interviews in all) have their own special niche whether it be landscape, wildlife, infrared photography or desert photography and Justin gets them to share their own personal recommendations on what works for them and how they deal with the challenges that their own type of photography faces.

 

The second book that I want to share with you is Master Flash Photography by Glenn Bartley. In this ebook Glenn takes the reader through the fundamentals of outdoor flash photography starting with a lesson on the basic controls of the flash. Now he calls this basic but its anything but. As I was reading through chapter 1 I realized how much I didn’t know about my flash (this is where I hang my head down in shame).

Flash Simplified

While this book is touted for nature photographers I think the first 2 chapters, Basic Controls and Operations and In The Field are worth its weight in gold. This book gives you the foundation and knowledge to create better images in the field.

Glenn covers how to use your flash in manual mode, ETTL mode, High Speed Sync Mode as well as using flash exposure compensation. Set by Step instructions along with diagrams accompany each topic.

Learning how to properly use your flash in the field will allow you to shoot in low light, extend your shooting day, it will provide catch-light, fill light and punch to your images and it will freeze the action. Flash_Simplified-2014-13_1024x1024

 

The Complete Guide to for the Landscape Photographer is on sale for $9.95 (regularly $12.95) and Flash Simplified is on sale for only $16.95 until the end of January! (regularly $19.95) Click here to purchase.

Top 10 Things to Know about Cuba

Thinking of travelling to Cuba. Below are 10 things I learned on my first visit.

  1. Cuba has 2 currencies. The Cuban Peso (that locals use) and the Convertible Cuban Peso that tourists use and it’s exchange rate is based on that of the U.S. Dollar
  2. Expect that getting through customs upon arrival into the country will take you about 2 hours.
  3. Cuban’s are hard-working, kind-hearted and engaging people
  4. A bottle of Cuban Rum costs the same as a large container of Pringles chips.
  5. The temperature in the winter months averages in the mid-20s C and the natives find that cold. (although it was close to 30C when I was there in December)
  6. Cubans still use ration cards for basics such as bread and rice.
  7. Cubans are cautiously optimistic about the future, especially in light of the announcement that the U.S. will be lifting the embargo, but the younger generation still feel that they may have a better life if they lived abroad.
  8. Che Guevara is still a hero to many.
  9. The beaches in Cuba are spectacular (but you probably already knew that). 300 beautifully clean, natural, white sand beaches along 588 km or coastline.
  10. Cuba is a Photographers dream.

Cuba, Havana, street photography, portrait, yellow dress, cigar smoking, travel photography

Selling Che!

Che Guevara is a hero to most Cubans as is evidenced by the numerous buildings and institutions that are named after him. Newsstands with books and magazines about Che are a comma site on the streets of Havana.

Click on the image to view a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Havana, Cuba, news stand, magazines, Che Guevara, monochrome, black and white, travel, street photography

A Bicycle in Havana

Given my history you didn’t think I could walk by a bicycle and not photograph it…did you?  Found in Havana.

Click on the image to see a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Cuba, Havana, bicycle, building, yellow, street photography, travel photography

A Night At The Marina

Our Cuba trip was primarily a family vacation. We stayed at a lovely resort in Varadero, The Melia Marina. The resort was connected to the Varadero Marina and at night it sparkled with all the Christmas lights.

Click on the image to see a High Resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Cuba, Varadero, Melia Marina, Varadero Marina, night photography, lights, travel photography, Christmas lights

Cuba, Varadero, Melia Marina, Varadero Marina, night photography, lights, travel photography, Christmas lights

Cuba, Varadero, Melia Marina, Varadero Marina, night photography, lights, travel photography, Christmas lights

The Bacardi Building

The architecture in Havana comes in all shapes and sizes from Neoclassic, Baroque, Art Deco, Eclectic to Modernism. While parts of the city are in a state of deterioration one can see that restoration of historic buildings has and is taking place.

One of the best examples of Art Deco is the Bacardi Building. The building was built-in 1930 for the Bacardi Rum company which had its origins in Cuba.

Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba, Art Deco, Architecture, travel photography,

 

Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba, Art Deco, Architecture, travel photography,

In October 1960 Cuba’s revolutionary government seized control of all foreign owned and 400 Cuban owned companies and property including The Bacardi Rum Company. Before army officers were able to get to the Bacardi facilities the family destroyed the secret yeast strain they used to make their rum.

Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba, Art Deco, Architecture, travel photography,

Anticipating that the tides were turning in Cuba, the Bacardi Family had already set up distilleries in Mexico and Puerto Rico and offices in the United States. With the Bacardi Company’s exile from Cuba, it forced the family to regroup and plan its future and it set up a new centre of operations in the Bahamas. Within 20 years of the loss of its assets in Cuba, Bacardi rum became the world’s leading premium spirit brand.

Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba, Art Deco, Architecture, travel photography,

Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba, Art Deco, Architecture, travel photography,

Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba, Art Deco, Architecture, travel photography,

After the revolution the building continued to be used as offices. In 1990 a major renovation and restoration was undertaken by the City Historian’s office.

We also went up to the roof of the building to enjoy the view of Havana.

Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba, Art Deco, Architecture, travel photography,

Bacardi Building, Havana, Cuba, Art Deco, Architecture, travel photography,

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