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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Being away for the last week and half has thrown me behind on some of the post I wanted to work on. Before I left I had download 2 new ebooks released by the team at Dreamscapes. I was planning on reading them and writing a review while I was away but I only got as far and doing the reading.
The first ebook is another in their new mini-guide series, Wildlife Photography by Ian Plant.
I love these mini guides. They’re the perfect length with just enough enough information to digest in one sitting. They’re also wonderful to have with you in the field and quickly be able to refer back to the information you’re looking for. This Wildlife Photography guide is no different. Photographing wildlife has its own challenges and while it’s vital to get it technically perfect there are other things to consider such as does your image tell a story. Ian’s mini guide touches on how tell that story by using light, providing context, positioning yourself and much more.
The 2nd release this month is Post Processing – A Guide for Nature Photographers by expert bird photographer Glenn Bartley.
If you’re a bird photographer you’re gong to love this new ebook if you’re not you’ll still get plenty out of this book because it deals with post processing of images and not the capture. If you feel bogged down with your workflow then this guide will help you get up and running in no time.
Glenn Bartley shares techniques t improve and simplify your image processing and photo management. Bartley covers the gamut here from the basics of file management, monitor calibrations, RAW processing, selective adjustment and and advanced techniques to name a few.
The book interspersed with video tutorials, expert tips and timesaving tips that will help you get the most out of Photoshop and BreezeBrowser but these techniques are transferable to any imaging software you use. I myself use primarily Lightroom and found the instructions and tips useful for LR as well.
In addition to the ebook itself you can download time-saving Photoshop actions and sample images to experiment with.
The Wildlife Photography Mini-Guide is available for $4.9 or purchase all 4 guides for $16.95. Post Process- A Guide for Nature Photographers is available for $24.95. Both books can be found at the Dreamscapes store here.
Aside from spending the weekend getting ready for Passover (and that constituted spending lot of time in the kitchen) I was able to kick back a little bit and catch up on some reading. Last week I download 3 new photography books to my iPad and I finally found some time to read them.
Ian Plant has just released 3 new mini-guides….
These bite sized guides are the perfect companions when you’re planning your shoots or to have with you when you’re out on a shoot. Ian Plant’s has kept these simple and to the point with the information you need to know to get the shot. Each guide is 20 pages, they are concise and Ian has included all the tips that you need to get stunning photographers in these locations. From timing and composition, shooting angles and location specific tips, these guides are indispensable.
Each guide is priced at $4.95 but you can purchase all 3 for $12.95. In addition Dreamscapes is having a Spring sale until the end of April. Simply use the discount code SPRING and you can save 15% of all purchases in the Dreamscapes eStore. You can click here to go to the Dreamscape store.
Walking through Soho one day I almost missed this mural. Can you imagine? I was talking and not paying attention but luckily, as I was about to cross the street a car was coming through the intersection which made me stop. When I looked across the street this is what I saw.
Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.
I also wanted to let you know of new ebook by Ian Plant and it’s absolutely free to download. Costa Rica – Wonders of the Osa is a 40 page ebook showcase the beautiful forest wildlife of the Osa Peninsula. Click here to download this free ebook.
The Dreamscape team has also recently released The Complete Lightroom Workflow tutorial. This series of 18 video tutorials is over 3 hours long by Dreamscapes blogger Kurt Budiger will show you how to use Adobe Lightroom 5 to unlock your photos’ hidden potential. Kurt takes the mystery out of this powerful program. He leads you
through his personal workflow, taking you every step of the way—from importing media through organizing and editing images, applying common adjustments, synching your settings across images, and exporting to Adobe Photoshop. And as an added bonus, he provides you three case studies from his own images, explaining the aesthetic decisions he made in processing each image. The normal retail price of the videos is $29.95, but use discount code Darkroom1 to get $3 off! Click here to purchase or download a free sample.
The first book that I ever read by Ian Plant was Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition. That was the start of a beautiful friendship between myself and Mr. Plant…in print anyway :) That monster 287 page ebook has become my go to reference book when I’m conceptualizing what images I want to shoot and how. You can read the review of Visual Flow here.
You’ll understand my excitement then when I found out that Ian Plant has just released The Visual Flow Companion as a compliment and update to the first book. Overflowing with new images, new ideas and insights and new image analyses I was ready to dig in.
Each image in this 51 page volume is brilliant and Ian goes through a thorough analysis of the compositional values of each and the techniques he employed. In addition to his own images Ian goes through the same in-depth compositional analysis of images of fellow Dreamscapes bloggers, George Stocking, Kurt Budlinger, and Richard Bernabe.
As with the first book this companion piece, albeit not as hefty in page count, is packed with indispensable information and insight for photographers at any level.
The Visual Flow Companion retails for $7.95 which is a great deal in itself but for the month of December you can get 15% OFF just use the discount code DECEMBER at check-out! For more information, please visit the Dreamscapes Store.
Quick Update Folks…I’ve just learned that the Dreamscapes Store will be running a Thanksgiving Sale starting on Wednesday Nov 27th at midnight. 15% off everything in the store. No discount code required! Have fun.
What better way to enjoy a soggy cold weekend then by digging into two new books recently released by the Dreamscapes team.
First out of the gate…Desert Paradise – The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Death Valley National Park. It looks like Dreamscapes is building their travel photo guide offerings (their previous guide was Forever Light – A Guide to Iceland) and I couldn’t be more pleased.
Desert Paradise is written by Ron Coscorrosa and Sarah Marino who between the 2 of them have clocked thousands of miles over many trips to Death Valley.
Truth be told Death Valley National Park is on my photography bucket list so I was especially excited to start digging into this book. The amount of detailed information that the authors provide in this book is invaluable for the first time visitor, to this desolate yet beautiful location and to the return visitor.
Desert Paradise contains:
- Detailed information on seventeen locations, including classic Death Valley icons and places off the beaten path. Each location includes several photos, directions and, when applicable, GPS coordinates.
- Photography advice and techniques for Death Valley’s myriad different landscapes—tips on how to photograph salt flats, playas, sand dunes, badlands, abstracts, macros, in black and white, and wildflowers.
- Over 150 photos highlighting the diversity of Death Valley’s stunning landscapes. Technical information (including exposure settings) is included for every photograph presented.
- Basic travel information, including lodging and transportation, seasonal variations, weather, and hazards to help you in getting started in planning your trip.
- Features on an additional ten minor locations in the park are featured, as well as several other major locations located outside the park—including California’s Mono Lake, the Eastern Sierra, and Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.
- Recommended gear and gear considerations.
- Maps highlighting every major location in the book.
- Suggested itineraries for both brief, short, and long trips (plans from one day to several weeks in duration.)
- A brief human and geologic history of the park.
As I was reading this book it quickly became apparent that there was so much that I didn’t know about Death Valley and its harsh landscape. The authors spared no detail when discussing the geographical terrain and all the photographic considerations that must come into play for this type of photography trip. The cherry on this sundae is that the photography is just so jaw-dropping gorgeous it’s going to want to make you pack your bags and hop on a plane. I am now officially inspired.
If you want to learn more you or pick up a copy for yourself check out the Dreamscapes store here.
The 2nd release is The Complete Guide to Gear for the Landscape Photographer by Justin Reznick.
If you follow this blog you may remember that I reviewed Justin’s, Photographing Waterfalls and Streams just last month. You can see that review here.
OK…so you’re reading the title of this book and you’re thinking to yourself…“why do I need a book about gear? I have what I need…what’s left to learn?” Well, quite a bit actually. There are reviews for everything from lenses to headlamps, backpacks, tripods and ballheads, clothing, camera protection, hand-held GPS devices, photo storage, and much more!
Justin provides an explanation on full-frame and APS-C cameras and what makes sense for different kinds of photography. Oh…and you’re going to love this…he discusses both Canon and Nikon bodies and lenses. I love it! He also covers off compact cameras including the beloved iPhone :)
Here’s what the Dreamscapes team had to say…
His recommendations make sense. He tells you that your camera is not the most important thing you can own, that iPhone cameras have their uses, and that rubber bands can save you thousands. And he avoids some of the battles that equipment nerds fight over, instead giving you practical, real-world recommendations.
While the latest and greatest gear won’t itself make your photographs shine, having an expert lead you through these decisions will go a long way.
Justin also includes interviews with 6 different professional landscape photographers who share their thoughts on equipment and what works and what doesn’t.
You can find Gear for the Landscape Photographer at the Dreamscapes store.