Can you believe that the holidays are just around the corner. Have you started on your holiday shopping? Have you put together your own wish list? If you’re anything like me the mental wish list starts in January and just gets longer as the year progresses. Just in case you haven’t started I thought I would help you out with your list this year. The ever-growing number of products on the market makes it really hard to stay focused on what essential gear should be in your toolkit. Below is a list of equipment, software and reference material that I use and find invaluable for my photography business. So grab a cup of java, sit back and have a read through this rather long post. You may find a deal or two as well as some free stuff. Keep reading :)
I really love my Canon 7D. I’ve had it for about 2 years now and it’s definitely a workhorse. I sometimes find the need to shoot at high ISOs (3200 and higher) and it handles noise beautifully. It’s got a 19 point AF System and a shooting rate of up to 7fps. It’s really come down in price since I bought mine so worthwhile taking a look at this.
I must say that this lens is one of the best investments that I’ve made. The 24-70 f/2.8L is the lens that is always on my camera. It’s so versatile for all types of photography and the images this piece of glass produces are sharp, sharp, sharp. I promised myself a long time ago that as I needed to upgrade or buy new lens I would wait until I had the money to buy a quality lens and Canon’s “L” lens live up to the hype that you always hear about. You may want to put this one on your wish list ahead of time so Santa has sometime to save up for it.
Is this a must have? For me it is. It allows me to mount my camera onto a tripod in either a horizontal or vertical position quickly. The Kirk L- Bracket works with any Arca Style Quick Release Platform so if you have a Really Right Stuff or Markins ball head this will work. Make sure your purchasing the one that will fit your DSLR.
If you’re not backing up your images you’re taking a big risk with your images and all the hard work you’ve put into them. You’ve read it before I’m sure…the question isn’t “will your hard drive fail but when”. After I transfer all my images from my memory card to my hard drive I back them up immediately to my WD external hard drive which is a RAID drive. I then have an additional backup, the LaCie 3TB d2 Quadra Hard Drive with USB 3.0 / Thunderbolt. Both these drive perform extremely well and I’m confident that if one should fail my library of images are just a few keystrokes away.
After many years of using a traditional camera strap I found I was doing more damage to my neck then I really wanted to. I tried different straps…padded around the neck, different materials but I just wasn’t pleased or comfortable. A friend told me to give the Black Rapid a try, I did and I really love this strap. It’s saved me a lot of neck ache and the BlackRapid made specifically for women (don’t laugh you male photographers out there) is curved in just the right places so it sits across your chest nicely. And yes there are non-female versions available as well.
I just wrote a review about the Bataflae a couple of weeks ago which you can find on my products review page. I love this bag and if you or someone you know needs a new camera bag then look no further.
My go to store for photographic equipment is B&H Photo in New York. Unfortunately I don’t get to New York as often as I would like but their online store is the best. Even for little ‘ole me living in Canada, B&H has made so easy to order from them. If your living in Canada they will calculate shipping, customs and duties before you submit your order online so you know exactly what you’re paying. I’ve done the math and I save money when I order from B&H.
Software & Plug-Ins
Here’s a list of the software and plug-ins that I use and swear by. These form part of my workflow and I couldn’t do what I do without these tools. You might be surprised to find Photoshop Elements on the list and not Photoshop CS. I was holding out for the longest time and was eventually going to purchase CS and then Adobe changed the rules of the game. Since I didn’t already own CS5 or CS6 I would have had to pay the full subscription rate for Adobe CC so I decided against it. Do I feel that I’m at a disadvantage by using Elements? Absolutely not. I think the advances in Elements over the years has made it a software any professional photographer can use.
Clarity, Black & White Effects, Adjust, DeNoise, Detail…these are just a few of the Topaz plug-ins that I use. I write about them in my blog posts and usually let you know when I’ve used them in processing my images (check the tags). You can get a 15% discount on all Topaz products by using the discount ELPHOTO.
I also wanted to let you know that Topaz Labs is running a promotion on its Black & White Effects plug-in. Until November 19th B&W Effects is only $29.99. That’s a 50% savings and a steal for this plug-in.
Give the Gift of Art!
Yikes…I’ve said it…there you go. Here’s a bit of shameless self promotion. Gear is fun but if there’s someone special on your list why not give the gift of art. You can head on over to my gallery. All images are available in a variety of sizes. Make sure you check out the Float Mounted Metal Prints. They look great and they’re ready to go up on the wall when you receive them. From now until December 25 use the code Holiday2013 and save 15% on your order.
eBooks & Free Stuff
Well really…you must have known that I would include some of my favourite ebooks as part of this list
Ok…let’s start with some free stuff….yes free…first from Craft & Vision. Just click on the images and download…Happy Holidays!
Other Craft & Vision titles that are a must for your library include:
Here’s a terrific ebook from Ian Plant and the team at Dreamscapes and it’s absolutely free…
…and if you haven’t yet picked up and read Visual Flow – Mastering the Art of Composition then I suggest you check it out. You can read my review of Visual Flow here.
This free ebook has just been released from photographer and author Mitchell Kanashkevich, 7 Tips for Natural Looking Travel Portraits.
Well I hope you’ve enjoyed my little round-up of gear, software, art and ebooks. Hopefully I’ve given you some ideas for gifts for yourself or for some one special. If you’ve enjoyed this post and found it useful please share it with your social networks. Thanks and have a great week everyone.
Before I get to today’s image there are a few unbelievable sales that I wanted you to know about.
From Aug 28th to Sept 2nd save 20% on all prints in the Edith Levy Photography (yup…that’s me ) gallery. Just use the coupon code LabourDay at checkout.
Craft & Vision is celebrating its 4th Birthday with a 50% off sale on all its ebooks on Aug 27th and 28th only. There’s no discount code to use, the 50% discount is automatically applied at check out. This is a great time to stock up on ebooks you’ve missed. Click here to go to the Craft & Vision site.
The other incredible deal I wanted to tell you about is from Gura Gear. They’re having a sale on both the Kiboko 22L+ and the Bataflae 18L from August 28 – September 3.
The quality of these bags are unparalleled. I just received the Bataflae 18L a couple of weeks ago and took it on its first trip last weekend. First impressions have been great and I’ll have a full review on this bag in the near future. In the mean time it is very rare that Gura Gear has a sale on its bags so if you’re in the market for a new bag then check this out.
Now on to today’s image. The Lone Cypress is probably the best known landmark on the 17 Mile drive in Pebble Beach. It’s prevailed on this rocky perch for more the 250 years.
Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.
I spotted these rowboats while walking around the wharf in Monterey Bay. I just loved the colors and weathered look of the larger one.
Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print
PHOTOGRAPH Issue 4
Craft & Vision releases its latest issue of the quarterly magazine PHOTOGRAPH. The content is getting better and better with each release. Issue 4 takes the same content format that has proved to be a success in previous issues.
This quarter the Featured Portfolios introduce readers to:
Kathy Beal, a visual artist and photographer who’s abstract soft focus photographs that she calls “inspirational abstracts” are going to leave you with your mouth open.
Nick Hall, an outdoor photographer and location specialist who marries the natural element with the human element to create compelling photographs.
Sam Kirsch, a landscape and iPhone photographer. His landscape iPhone images are a joy to behold.
In addition to the featured portfolios, this issue’s articles include (among others):
Without the Camera by David duChemin
Creative Composition by Jean Paul Caponigro
When Old Meets New: Understanding the Zone System by Michael Frye
Blur-Free – Finding the Ideal Shutter Speed by Nicole S. Young
Craft & Vision’s latest release is out and I was excited to see this one for 2 reasons. The first, is that it’s written by Martin Bailey and I thoroughly enjoyed and got a lot out of his previous book, Making the Print. The second reason which is probably more important is that I often get frustrated when I get home after a shoot, download my images and realize, once I see them on a big screen, that the shot that I thought was my killer image is not as sharp as it should be.
In Sharp Shooter, Bailey walks the reader through, in his usual clear and concise fashion, the gamut on the subject—from hand-holding techniques, stabilization, and what makes an image sharp in the first place, to macro-sharpness, depth of field, focus stacking, sharpening for final output, and more.
What was extremely useful to me was his in-depth explanation of Hyperfocal Distance and how it applies to different lenses. The section on focusing in the macro range and his coverage of shooting for focus stacking and processing of those images was invaluable.
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer, British-born though now based in Tokyo. Fueled by his passion for travel and nature, Martin is an international tour and workshop leader, working on all seven continents. A pioneering podcaster and blogger, Gura Gear Pro, and X-Rite Coloratti member, he helps photographers from around the world to see and capture the wonders of this awesome planet we call home.
Use the discount code SHARP4 to get USD $1 off SHARP SHOOTER. If you buy 5 or more products from the Craft & Vision collection use the discount code SHARP20 for 20% off. These codes expire at 11:59 PM (PST) July 4, 2013. Click Here to Purchase.
Yesterday Adobe announced the release of Lightroom 5 and with that announcement also came the release of Craft & Vision’s latest ebook LIGHTROOM 5 Up To Speed. This ebook is written by Piet Van den Eynde, an Adobe Certified Expert who walks you through all the new features and how to get started using the new tools in LR5. He really leaves no stone unturned.
This 77-page eBook, and the companion videos (50+ minutes), will you get up to speed with what’s new in this revolutionary digital darkroom software.
Topics covered include:
- Installing Lightroom 5 & Upgrading Older Catalogues
- The Advanced Healing Brush
- Straightening Photos with Upright
- The Radial Filter
- Improving Your Workflow with Smart Previews
- Improvements to the Book Module
- New Features in the Slideshow Module
- Other New, Improved or Changed Features
- New or Improved Plug-Ins Since Lightroom 4
Van Den Eynde takes your through the installation process step by step which if you’re upgrading from a previous version is essential to ensure you don’t lose any of your previous catalogues. His instructions are thorough and will make the process seamless.
Each new feature is explained in the detail and the best part of this ebook are the accompanying videos. Each section includes a video tutorial that shows you how each feature works. While I love to read I’m also a visual learner so the videos are an added bonus for me and I think you’ll love them too.
LIGHTROOM 5 UP TO SPEED with the embedded videos is only $5. If you’re new to Lightroom and haven’t read Piets’s LIGHTROOM 4 UNMASKED Craft & Vision is offering a special LIGHTROOM BUNDLE ($20 – full-time discount) which combines Piet’s latest eBook with his amazing Big Book LIGHTROOM 4 UNMASKED. Click Here to Purchase.
David duChemin is nothing if he isn’t consistent in the messages that he delivers. Whether those messages are delivered via his blog or in his books or through his photographs he expounds on the virtues of vision. While gear is important, as are technical skills, as photographer we must have passion that drives our creativity and our vision.
Vision is Better 3 was released today by Craft and Vision and it’s 145 pages of essays, articles and tutorials from David duChemin. This is a compilation of articles from David’s Pixelated Image blog and never before published material. The articles are thought provoking and eloquently written. David shares his insights into the how and why of photography. If your a fan of David duChemin or whether your a photographer who wants a glimpse inside the mind and eye of a very talented artist then this book should be part of your library.
You can get Vision is Better 3 for only $5 here. Want an even better value…you can purchase the series, Vision is Best which includes Vision is Better 1, 2 & 3 for $10. You can purchase the bundle here.
The third issue of PHOTOGRAPH A Digital Quarterly Magazine for Creative Photographers hit the stands today or more appropriately your inbox. Craft & Vision has put out another outstanding issue and this 113 page ad free magazine is full of thought provoking articles and beautiful imagery.
Issue 3 features insightful Q&As and featured portfolios from Hengki Koentjoro, a nature photographer who specializes in fine art black & white photography; Kevin Clark a food photographer who can make crumbs on a plate look appetizing and Dave Delnea a commercial, travel and landscape photographer and author.
You’ll also be treated to a number of excellent articles that includes (and this isn’t all of them):
Without The Camera – David duChemin
Creative Composition – John Paul Caponigro
The Art of the Print – Martin Bailey
Camera Craft – Nicole S. Young
Gear is Good – Al Smith
Portraits in Northern Kenya – David duChemin
You can purchase Issue 3 of PHOTOGRAPH for USD $8 here. As with all of Craft & Vision’s offerings, they aim to knock the content out of the ballpark and do so at exceptional value. That’s why you can also get a one-year subscription for $USD 24—that’s four issues for the price of three.
What I like about Craft & Vision is that they like to mix it up a little…their product line that is. Building on a strong foundation of exceptional ebooks, they introduced their Quarterly magazine PHOTOGRAPH 6 months ago and now they’re releasing their latest product, LIGHTROOM PRESETS.
Presets are a great way of making your workflow more efficient and Craft & Vision today released 2 sets of presets that I think you’ll love.
David duChemin’s LR Develop Presets includes 36 presets and an 18 page pdf guide that walks you through the installation process and a series of before and after images.
Dave Delnea’s LR Develop Presets includes 46 presets and a 28 page pdf guide that walks you through the installation process and a series of before and after images.
They are both sold separately for USD $10; the bundle is USD $18. But if purchased before May 6th at 11:59pm you can get an additional $2 off the bundle (USD $16) when you use the code: PRESET2. Click Here to go to the Craft & Vision site.
Attempting a Timelapse is one of those techniques that’s on my to-do list of things to learn and try. I understand the basics of it but never quite knew how to turn it onto a movie…until now. Craft & Vision’s latest release TIMELAPSE – An Introduction to Still Photographs in Motion by Dave Delnea demystifies the “how” of timelapse.
This is the first piece that I’ve read on the topic that really lays out the fundamentals of timelapse photography. Dave Delnea covers the equipment you need (not to worry you probably have most of it already), the software to use and how to put it all together.
While the first section dealing with the gear you need is pretty straight forward, Delnea then gets very specific into dealing with focus, framing of your subject and how to ensure that your exposure is controlled throughout your sequence. He also discusses what causes both exposure flicker and mechanical flicker and how to fix both of those issues. This is essential in ensuring that your final movie has a smooth and pleasing look.
In the Post-Production Workflow section TIMELAPSE deals with how to use Lightroom to edit your images (and remember we’re dealing with hundreds of images for one timelapse sequence) and then sequence them to a video file. I really found Dave Delnea’s step by step instructions excellent here especially for a newbie to timelapse photography as I am.
The bonus section of the book deals with advance techniques such as motion control; bulb ramping – a technique where you use your camera’s bulb setting to manage exposure and LRTimelapse Effects Ramping where you can change exposure, white balance and other parameters over the course of a sequence.
Examples of the authors’ own timelapse sequences are scattered throughout the book and in the case studies and they’re a great example of what can be achieved with this technique.
For the first five days only, use the promotional code TIME4 at check out and you can have TIMELAPSE for just $4 OR use the code TIME20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) March 22, 2013. Click Here to Purchase.
Issue 2 of PHOTOGRAPH is now out and it’s jam-packed with the quality content that I’ve come to expect from Craft and Vision. If you didn’t get a chance to pick up the first issue let me give you a short introduction. Published by Craft & Vision, the same people responsible for some of the best photography e-books out there, this is a gorgeous, ad-free magazine full of great photographs and exceptional articles from photographers and authors who excel at their craft.
Issue 2 includes the featured portfolios of Martin Bailey, Andy Biggs and Chris Orwig. This issue’s articles cover both the artistic and the technical with topics such as Without the Camera by David duChemin, Creative Composition by John Paul Caponigro, The Art of the Print by Martin Bailey and Exposure and Metering Modes by Nicole S. Young.
At 122 pages (did I mention it was ad-free) this is an excellent magazine and an incredible value.
You can purchase Issue Two of PHOTOGRAPH for $8 US by clicking any of the images of by visiting Craft & Vision. You can also purchase a one-year subscription for $24, that’s 4 issues for the price of 3.
You’re a photographer. You operate a website and/or blog that you post to regularly. You get good feedback on your images, maybe you’ve sold a few. You’d like to turn this into more than just a hobby. Sound familiar? I know what I’m talking about. Do you know why I know? Because that’s me. One of things that I did over the holiday break was really give some thought to where I wanted to take Edith Levy Photography. I have some ideas, actually I have a lot of ideas and I came to the realization that I’m not short of ideas right now just time but I’m trying to get myself organized to work around that. Yes it may take me a little longer to achieve what I’m setting out for myself but I plan to stick with it.
There are questions that I ask myself (and if you’re in this situation, you’re asking yourself) what’s the best way to market myself; how do I brand my business; how do I sell myself to a potential client? My little black Moleskine is filling with cryptic notes faster than you can say….Growing the Vision Monger 2 – A Kick-Ass Guide for the Photographic Entrepreneur….whew that’s a mouthful and it’s also the title of Craft & Vision’s last ebook.
I really believe that the good folks over a Craft & Vision have a real talent for scheduling their releases at just the right time of year. Why else would they release an ebook geared towards photographers or photographic entrepreneurs at the beginning of the year when most of us take stock of the past year and plan out the new one.
Growing the Vision Monger is written by Corwin Hiebert, a management and marketing consultant to creative entrepreneurs (such as world-renowned photographer and best-selling author David duChemin). He is the author of Living the Dream: Putting Your Creativity to Work (And Getting Paid For It), published by Peachpit Press as well as other C&V titles, Growing the Vision Monger and Your Creative Mix – Growing Your Photography Business Through Creativity & Collaboration.
Growing the VisionMonger 2 is a candid and no-holds-barred eBook about freelance work, business ownership and self-promotion. In the book, Corwin focuses on 20 actionable things that can help you make better decisions about your photography business. This isn’t about spending money it’s about strategies that you can implement such as growing your network; developing a sales Q&A instead of the typical sales pitch; generating demand by making people curious and building a pricing approach. Each section includes a “Take Action” task to help you jump-start your thinking.
Also included are over 10 short interviews with professional photographers where he asks them what they would do differently if they could start over today; what are some of their “Do’s” and “Don’ts” and any words of wisdom and advice they can share with the reader.
For me this was perfect timing. There’s some great ideas in Growing the Vision Monger. I don’t know that I’m ready to do it all now but I will be and at least its given me some great strategies and tools that I can start tackling right now.
Special Offer on PDFs – Click Here to Purchase
For the first five days only, use the promotional code MONGER4 when you checkout and pay only $4 OR use the code MONGER20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks. These codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) January 18, 2013.
Buy the Bundle
Get both Growing the VisionMonger titles for $8 USD. That’s 20% off.
There are times when I feel uninspired with a bad case of photographers’ block. That happens to me when I haven’t traveled in a while and I’m itching to get out and visit new places so that I can make unique photographs. It’s times like those where I have to give myself a swift kick in the butt and look around at my wonderful city, community, neighborhood and challenge myself to see differently.
A Sense of Place – Finding Your Eye At Home And Abroad by Younes Bounhar, this month’s Craft & Vision release, focuses on this very topic. Actually this is quite timely as some of us are either getting ready to enjoy some time off at home or are getting ready to go on vacation to a far away land (okay maybe not so far away).
Bounhar ebook endeavours to help the photographer “see” differently. How do you photograph a place that your so familiar with that you’re not seeing the uniqueness of it? Bounhar answers this when he travels back to his homeland of Morocco and realizes that “it is our responsibility to see a place, not the responsibility of a place to be seen.”
As the title and subtitle suggests, the ebook is split between “At Home” and “Abroad”. The author discusses how to act like a tourist at home and give yourself assignments to spark your creativity. When traveling do you take the time to really learn about a new place and go back to the same location several times so that you can get a feel for the place, the people and how the light plays out at different times of day? How do you increase your awareness and train your eye to see things that others may not? What about the human element? A place is defined by the people who live there or a person placed in the frame of a vast landscape will provide scale to your image. These are just some of the topics that Bounhar provides insight too.
“A Sense of Place is more than just a travel photography workbook; it’s geared towards helping you learn to experience a place more fully, see it with wider eyes, and photograph it more intentionally.”
“Photography, for many of us, is all about learning to see. Younes Bounhar’s A Sense of Place, Finding Your Eye at Home and Abroad, is a 42-spread eBook that can help you make stronger photographs, whether at home or elsewhere, by honing your ability to see and express, not just point the camera.”
For the first five days only, use the promotional code PLACE4 during checkout, to purchase SENSE OF PLACE for just $4 OR you can use the code PLACE20 to get 20% off when they buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) December 22, 2012. Click Here to Purchase
Well it looks like Craft & Vision has done it again. Not only have they released a new quarterly magazine – PHOTOGRAPH, and an ebook on Long Exposures this month, but now they’ve just announced a new release that is being referred too as the “Big Book.” This tome can’t only be measured in page count (which weights in at a hefty 312 spreads) but in content as well.
Whether your new to Lightroom in general or just new to Lightroom 4 or an advanced user then Lightroom 4 Unmasked – A Complete Guide to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a book that should and must be in your library.
- This Lightroom BIG BOOK is up to date, all the way up to Lightroom 4.2.
- It’s written by Piet Van den Eynde a Photographer, writer and an Adobe Certified Expert.
- It’s aimed at both beginning Lightroom users and at more advanced ones. It grows with you as your Lightroom knowledge grows.
- In addition to the regular text, the eBook features 60 cases, 10 of which are pro-cases for advanced users.
- It’s ideal for upgraders: text boxes labeled ‘New in Lightroom 4′ immediately draw the attention to things that have changed between versions.
- Two cases also deal specifically with what’s new in Lightroom 4.
- The BIG BOOK does not limit itself to Lightroom as it comes out of the box, but points the reader to useful third-party applications and plugins that integrate well with Lightroom.
- It focuses on Lightroom as an entire workflow application. There’s thorough coverage of ALL the modules, not just Library and Develop.
- An entire chapter deals with the Lightroom to Photoshop integration.
- It’s digital so it’s fully searchable and loaded with hyperlinks!
Piet Van den Eynde has left no stone unturned in this very detailed and insightful new book. By the time I made it through Chapter 1 I had made so many mental notes of things I realized I didn’t know about Lightroom that I knew that this was not a book to be read once and put away but a resource that I would be referring to time and again.
The content is thoughtfully laid out starting with a general introduction of Lightroom, what it is and what it isn’t, then moving methodically through an in depth review of everything you want and need to know about LR including the catalog; importing photos & videos; the library module; the develop module; the print module and so on.
The author interweaves cases into each of these chapters which really brings the topics to life (so to speak). As an example, in the chapter dealing with the Develop Module, there are case studies that deal with creating the HDR look in LR; a case study focusing on soft proofing & calibration; a pr0 case study dealing with what’s new in the develop module in LR4. Each of these case studies include step by step how-to guidelines.
Special Offer on the BIG BOOK
LIGHTROOM 4 UNMASKED retails for $20 but for the first seven days only, use the promotional code LR4FIVE at checkout and get this incredible book for just $15. This code will expire TUESDAY, November 27, 2012 at 11:59PM (PST). Click Here to Purchase.
Oh and this just in from Craft & Vision….Black Friday Special!
Hold on to your hats! Visit Craft & Vision before Friday, November 23 at 11:59pm (PST) and you’ll find every eBook marked down by 50%. That’s right, we’re moving out the old stock and need to make way for the new (OK, we made that part up…). No discount codes required – we’ve already done it for you. Happy reading!
Exclusions: Big Books and Magazines are not discounted.
As you can tell from the images above I love long exposure photography and creating effects with intentional camera movement. So you can image how excited I was when I found out that this month’s Craft & Vision ebook release was entirely about this topic.
With Slow - The Magic of Long-Exposure Photography by Andrew S. Gibson, Craft & Vision adds another well written and informative ebook to its ever-expanding photographic library.
If you enjoy long exposure photography or are looking to get started then this is a great resource to include in your personal library of photography books.
While I’ve been using the term “long exposure” and the subtitle of the book states it as well there is so much more that Andrew Gibson delves into. Andrew covers various topics such as:
Recording Motion using a slower shutter speed to convey motion in your photographer in order to tell a story.
Panning with and without people.
Intentional Camera Movement covers different techniques where the photographer deliberately moves the camera during an exposure thus creating interesting blurs and abstract images.
Long Exposures (admittedly my favorite section) discusses the equipment, techniques and the types of locations to seek out in order to create striking compositions and images.
Andrew also covers off camera settings; using the correct exposure (and how to calculate it); exposing to the right; different types of light for long exposures and more.
In addition, there are also two case studies included by Outdoor Photographer Dough Chinnery and Fine Art Photographer Joel Tjintjelaar.
Andrew S. Gibson is a photographer and writer who has written many titles for Craft & Vision as well as his own releases.
For the first five days only, use the promotional code SLOW4 when you checkout and pay only $4 OR use the code SLOW20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks. These codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) November 18, 2012. Click Here to Purchase.
Known for producing monthly eBooks geared to improve photographic technique, Craft & Vision released today the first issue of PHOTOGRAPH – A Digital Quarterly Magazine for Creative Photographers.
As you know for the last year I’ve reviewed Craft & Vision’s ebooks. Their ebooks are written by photographers for photographers and deal with creative and technical aspects of our craft, These ebooks offer great value, are well written, informative, educational, filled with lots of gorgeous photographs and at an average of $5 an ebook, offer exceptional value. For this reason I was very excited to receive, read and review their new e-magazine.
If you subscribe to any number of photography magazines you’ll understand the appeal and excitement surrounding this new publication.
PHOTOGRAPH weighs in at 133 pages (I know, I know it’s not size that matters but the quality of the content). I’m telling you this to illustrate how much material is included in this issue.
Regular Craft & Vision authors and photographers such as David duChemin, Jean Paul Caponigro, Nicole S. Young and Andrew S. Gibson are just a few of the contributors in this inaugural issue.
Here are just a few of the 11 articles included in this issue:
- Creative Composition by Jean paul Caponigro
- The Art of the Print by Martin Bailey
- Without The Camera – Choosing The Frame: The Art of the Edit by David duChemin
- Gear is Good by Al Smith
Each of these articles are in and of themselves mini ebooks filled with a wealth of information. In addition to the articles PHOTOGRAPH will feature Portfolios of both “amateur” and “pro” photographers in every issue. Issue #1′s featured Portfolios are:
- Bruce Percy: Iceland
- Nate Parker: Acadia & New England
- Art Wolfe: Burma and Hokkaido
What’s very exciting is that the editor of PHOTOGRAPH, David duChemin is open to suggestions on who you would like to see featured in the magazine. Actually maybe you’d like to contribute?
I have high hopes for this publication in that it becomes a place where the photographic community can share and learn from each other.
I’m already looking forward to the winter issue.
You can purchase Issue One of PHOTOGRAPH for USD $8 by clicking any image above, or by visiting Craft & Vision. Save 25% by purchasing a one year subscription for $USD 24 – that’s four issues for the price of three. Click here to purchase a subscription.
Craft & Vision released its latest ebook today - ESSENTIAL DEVELOPMENT: 20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 4 by Sean McCormack.
Do you use LightRoom 4? Are you thinking of getting LightRoom 4? Whether you’ve been using the software or are going to purchase it you can’t miss out on this offering. It’s going to change the way you process your images and make life so much easier.
So let me start this review a little bit differently because this ebook is a bit different then others that I’ve reviewed.
I don’t normally talk about page count because really whether a book is 20 pages or 80 its the content that counts, and I truly believe that, but this ebook is jam packed and at 125 pages the largest that Craft & Vision has produced. This ebook can be purchased on its own for $5 or as a package which includes the eBook, a Preset Toolbox Guide and a Zip File with 85 LightRoom Presets.
Sean McCormack delves into various techniques, 20 to be exact, that is going to make your workflow simpler and help you create incredible images. Some of the techniques covered in Essential Development includes:
- Back To Basics
- Making White White
- Beauty Retouching
- Cross Processing
- Fixing Skies in Lightroom
- Correcting Lens Issues
- Presets: Making, Using and Savings
Each topic is covered in depth. Every slider is explained and demystified with photographic examples of the resulting effects. Sean explains not only how each slider works but how adjusting one will effect the other and the overall image. In the Back To Basics section he discusses creating an HDR-like image without the need for multiple brackets. The reader also benefits from a thorough explanation of brushes, shortcuts and presets.
If you’re looking to increase your knowledge of LightRoom or are new to the software then this is an indispensable book.
Special Offer on Essential Development Package
The retail price on this package is just USD $7, but for the next six days, use the promotional code DEVELOP6 when you check out so you can have the Essential Development Package (incl. the Toolbox of 85 Lightroom presets) for just $6 OR use the code DEVELOP20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST Tuesday – October 23, 2012. Click here to purchase.
If you want to keep it simple, you can purchase the PDF only for just $5 – Click Here.
As some of you may know I don’t shoot portraits, at least not the traditional studio portraits that is the focus of Craft & Vision’s latest ebook release, Great Light, Easy Light – Strobe Techniques That Don’t Look Lit by Kevin Clark. Nonetheless the book was about lighting your subject and as a photographer that was something I wanted to find out more about.
I don’t think that I’m opening a studio in the near future but regardless I did find this ebook of great interest. Let me explain. I believe that as a photographer, regardless of your area of interest, it’s important to understand the different elements in creating a powerful or dramatic image. Light is the key essential ingredient in making a photograph. Whether your shooting landscapes, still life’s or portraits, the image won’t work if the light isn’t right.
In Great Light Easy Light, Kevin Clark takes the reader through 10 different case studies (all filled with outstanding images) to show you how different lighting set ups affect the final image. What really blew me away is that all his set-ups make the subject look like they are naturally lit. The light is soft when it has to be or dramatic for greater impact. The author discusses how to mix flash and ambient light to create a natural look and offers insight into one, two and three light set-ups complete with diagrams and photographs of those set-ups.
Special Offer on PDF eBook – Click Here to Purchase
The retail price on Great Light, Easy Light is just USD $5, but for the next five days, use the promotional code EASY4 when you check out so you can have this PDF eBook for just $4. Or use the code EASY20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection.These codes expire at 11:59pm PST September 29, 2012.
What are the elements that make a landscape photograph jump out at you and make you say…”Why Can’t I Do That?!?” Is it the composition? The light? The Sharpness? It’s all of these elements and more.
Don’t let the title of Craft & Vision’s newest ebook, Portraits of Earth, An Introduction to Landscape Photography, fool you. This ebook isn’t just a simple introduction for new photographers, it’s for photographers of every level who want some insight into David duChemin’s “lessons learned” as he moved from photographing people to photographing landscapes.
David duChemin is a humanitarian and landscape photographer, best-selling author, workshop leader & teacher and founder of Craft & Vision. I’ve read his print books, his ebooks and follow his blog and am amazed when I find myself learning something new every time I pick up on of his books. He’s a prolific writer whose insights are both educational and enlightening.
In Portraits of Earth, David doesn’t focus on gear, he rarely does. In fact, in this 65 page ebook perhaps 1/10th is spent covering gear. What is covered is optics, filters and tripods and that’s because the use of this equipment has a “significant effect on the aesthetic of the image.” David discusses in great detail different types of light. Whether its soft, reflected, side or back light (and many more) each has its advantages and disadvantages and we learn how he’s used challenging lighting situations to his benefit.
Want to gather some insight (or Tips & Tricks as duChemin categorizes it) on how to shot land, water and snow? It’s all there in great detail. This ebook is filled with David duChemin’s astounding photography which he uses as examples for the topics he’s covering.
Special Offer on PDF eBook
The retail price on Portraits of Earth is just USD $5, but for the next five days, use the promotional code EARTH4 when you check out so you can have this PDF eBook for just $4. Or use the code EARTH20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST September 9, 2012. Click here to purchase.
David will send three lucky winners a signed 8.5 x 11 fine-art print of the cover photograph! All you have to do is buy the PDF before September 10, 2012, and cross your fingers.
Do you ever get frustrated when your images aren’t as sharp as they should be? You know you’ve done all the right things…you’ve selected an appropriate aperture, you’re subject was sharp when you looked through the viewfinder but yet your image is soft. I can’t begin to tell you how many times that’s happened to me and frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel when I’ve thought I have the money shot in the bag.
This month’s Craft & Vision latest ebook release deals with just that. Finding Focus – Understanding the Camera’s Eye by Nicole S. Young is an ebook, not just filled with Nicole’s eye popping photography but it’s an indispensable resource and learning tool on what it takes to get your images in focus.
So let me be clear here, while Nicole gets into the technical aspects of selecting the appropriate aperture, understanding depth of field and lens compression (among other things) she also discuss aesthetics. She delves into how to balance the technical with the creative part of photography. There’s a really nice mix here because while we as photographers understand the technical sometimes putting it together with the why is a bit more difficult. Where should your focus point be if you’re photographing a person or animal? What about group shots? Should landscapes and still life photography take a different approach? Nicole addresses all these different situations in detail as well as discussing lens selection; software choices for post processing and something I’ve been interested in for a long time, Focus Stacking.
Finding Focus, Understanding the Camera’s Eye is an invaluable resource for photographers who want to further develop their technique of on-camera and post-production focus. Nicole’s narrative will help you discover that the best expression of your photographic vision can only happen when your working knowledge and skills produce images that direct the viewers’ eye to what you intended.
Nicole S. Young is a full-time photographer and author specializing in food and stock photography, licensing her images through iStockphoto and Getty Images. She’s an accredited Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) in Photoshop CS5 and has authored print books through Peachpit Press (Canon 7D: From Snapshots to Great Shots, EOS Canon 60D: From Snapshots to Great Shots and Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots).
Special Offer on PDF eBook
The retail price on this power-pack PDF eBook is USD $5, but for the next six days, use the promotional code FOCUS4 when you check out so you can have Finding Focus for just $4. Click here to purchase. OR use the code FOCUS20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST August 19, 2012.
“Dodging & burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.” – Ansel Adams
That’s right, dodging & burning is not a phenomenon of the digital age of photography. It’s a craft that was performed in a traditional darkroom with a piece of cardboard placed between the enlarger and the photo paper. Today, in the digital age of photography, we can dodge & burn with steely precision given the software at our disposal.
Today, Craft & Vision released its latest ebook by Piet Van Den Eynde, Dodge & Burn – Leading the Eye with Lightroom & Photoshop. I’ve reviewed ebooks by Piet Van Den Eynde on the this site in the past. You may remember Making Light and Making Light 2 and, as in these 2 books, Piet’s aptitude as a teacher comes right through the page. The proper use of the dodging & burning techniques will add life and depth to your images and Piet takes the reader through the different techniques he employs to make his images more balanced and visually pleasing.
There’s a lot of information packed into this 90 spread ebook. not only does Piet take you through the techniques using Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom and Photoshop but also using plug-ins such as Nik Software. What’s new for Craft & Vision this time around is they’re offering not only an ebook but an entire package. There are 2 versions to choose from…
Lite Version - This “LITE” bundle features Piet’s custom EasyDodge Photoshop Panel (a set of custom dodge and burn tools for Photoshop) and a matching user guide, all in a convenient .zip file. The Lite bundle is $5. To purchase the Lite Version click here.
Full Version - The FULL package includes Piet’s custom EasyDodge Photoshop Panel (normally a USD $10 purchase on it’s own) and a matching user guide. On top of that, C&V has included 10 exercise files to go along with the tutorials in the eBook so you can practice on your own or go through the included history steps to see the post-processing unfold right in front of your eyes. The full bundle is $10, or $8 for the next six days using the discount code DODGE8. Click here to purchase.
Software: The EasyDodge Panel only works with English versions of CS5/CS6, but even if you’re on a different version, the eBook explains the steps to take so you could make your own action set in your own language-specific version).
Talk about good timing. If you’ve been following this blog for a few months, you’ll know that I purchased a new Tamron 90mm Macro lens over the Christmas holidays. I’m really enjoying this lens but quickly realized that I had a bit of a learning curve when it came to macro photography. Understanding depth of field and focusing techniques when getting very close to a subject isn’t as simple as one might think. I’m still working on mastering macro photography but I still have a lot to learn so the release of Craft & Vision’s newest ebook, Up Close – A Guide to Macro & close Up Photography by Andrew S. Gibson couldn’t have come at a better time.
Gibson really covers all his bases in this new ebook. He discusses the different types of equipment that you can use in close up photography from the obvious macro lens, extension tubes and close up lenses to the reverse macro lens. This was completely new to me. I had no idea that you could take a lens and with a simple reversing ring mount the lens with the front element attached to the camera in order to increase magnification. What I really useful was his detailed overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the different tools.
In the latter part of the book Gibson discusses technique and lighting and this is really the meat and potatoes of this ebook. Focusing, creating sharp images and depth of field are techniques a photographer must understand in order to create stunning macro images and through his detailed explanation of all these topics and more photographers of every level will find they’ve just learned something new.
Included in the book are two case studies featuring the gorgeous close-up work of photographers Mandy Disher and Celine Steen that will really inspire you to explore smaller worlds.
I’ve always said that Craft & Vision books are a great value and Up Close is no exception. For the next six days only, the PDF version of Up Close is just $4, use the promotional code CLOSE4 when you check out OR use the code CLOSE20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST June 24, 2012. Click Here to Purchase
Craft & Vision released its latest ebook today and you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I learned that the topic was camera phone photography. If you’ve visited or followed this blog then you know that I have a weekly post called ‘iPhone Friday’ and that I love to shoot, edit and share my iPhone images. “eyePhone – Making Stronger Photographs with your Camera Phone” by Al Smith is a good starting point if your new to camera phone photography or even if you’re looking to pick up some new tips.
While I use my iPhone on a regular basis to take pictures I still consider myself new to this genre of photography. I’ve experimented with different apps and techniques and I’m a “believer”…iPhone (or any camera phone) photography is here to stay.
Al Smith’s “eyePhone” is not a technical how-to ebook (although he does provide some tips that I didn’t even know about) rather it’s an introduction to the world of camera phone photography discussing some of its limitations (are they really?) and the freedom it provides.
Smith discusses how the simplicity of this camera acts as a catalyst for creativity and how to create imagines that speak to the viewer in profound ways by eliciting feelings and emotions that create a connection to the image.
Whether you shoot and process hundreds of images each month or you just take the casual snapshot, you’ll discover exciting ideas and concepts that are sure to turn your camera phone image gallery into a portfolio you’re proud of.
For the next six days only, use the promotional code EYEPHONE4 when you check out so you can have the PDF version of eyePhone for only $4 OR use the code EYEPHONE20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. Click here to purchase. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST May 27, 2012.
Renowned photographer, author and Craft & Vision founder David duChemin has packaged up his 7 most popular ebooks into one amazing bundle! If you’re new to Craft & Vision or you simply want to fill up your digital library with the best photography eBooks on the web, you’ll want to check out this exceptional collection. The regular retail price of these 7 eBooks is $35, we would normally sell a bundle at 20% off but if you purchase this bundle using the special discount codeDAVID19 before 11:59pm PST May 27, 2012 then you will only pay $19!
To see the list of titles included click here.
Ahhhh….portraits…they scare me….a little. I’m not a portrait photographer but I do like taking “portraits” of people when I’m travelling. You learn a lot about a place and a culture from people. Being able to capture the essence of an individual and bring out their true character in an image really embodies the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Today Craft & vision releases its latest ebook, Forget Mugshots – 10 Steps To Better Portraits by David duChemin. I think I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of David’s books that what I enjoy most about the way he writes that I feel that he’s speaking directly to me…a direct interaction between teacher and student. In this case the teacher is a photographer whose living and calling for the last 6 years has been creating compelling portraits and people photographs for clients all over the globe.
In Forget Mugshots, David doesn’t discuss camera equipment or flashes he discusses the behavioural, emotional & aesthetic aspect of capturing truly remarkable portraits. David duChemin walks the reader through the 10 Steps To Better Portraits and discusses each of these in detail from the point of view of someone whose taken great steps to convey a story through the eyes of their subject. The 10 Steps he covers are:
- Wait For The Moment
- Use the “Right” Lens (yes its gear but not in the way you think rather the unconventional may become conventional)
- Use More Than One Frame
- Understand The Smile
- Watch The Eyes
- Play With The Light
- Control Your Background
- Get Level
- Pose Carefully
David discusses the value of waiting for that great moment (and how to make sure you don’t miss it), how a true smile differs from a fake one, and other solid insights that are guaranteed to give you tangible ideas to make the most of your next portrait shoot. Combining these steps with Portrait Profiles and Creative Exercises, Forget Mugshots will help you photograph real people in the real world, leveraging the techniques and best practices that have made David’s portraits known around the world.
Special Offer on PDFs
For the next five days only, use the promotional code MUGSHOTS4 when you checkout so you can have the PDF version of Forget Mugshots for only $4 OR use the code MUGSHOTS20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. You can Click Here to purchase and download the book. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST March 17, 2012