Shannon Kalahan and David Pasillas are both photographers/bloggers whose work I admire and follow. A couple of weeks ago they released their first collaborative effort, an ebook for the budding landscape photographer, Photography Duh!
This isn’t your typical photography book which covers technical information, instead it’s a no-nonsense, common sense book of mistakes you should avoid and not just any mistake but mistakes that both Shannon and David have made. Truth be told as I was reading the book I have to admit I’ve made some of them myself.
Now don’t get me wrong this book isn’t just about mistakes to avoid but there’s some great advice and instruction on things you should do. Shannon and David cover everything from how to keep your gear clean when out shooting; equipment you should have with you when out in the field (and not just camera gear); rules…when to break them and when not to and yes they do get into some of the juicy stuff that us photographers like to review every so often and such as exposure; light and editing.
The fun thing about this book…yes I said fun…is it’s written a with a great sense of humour and a little bit of tongue in cheek. Frankly I wish they had written it before I had made some of these mistakes over the years.
The book is available in Shannon’s store here and at $5.99 it’s a steal.
I picked up Ian Plant’s latest release, Supercharge Your Vision – 9 Creative Missions for Visionary Photographers, a couple of weeks ago and have been meaning to sit down and write about it.
One of the positives of traveling on business is being able to catch up on your reading when your sitting on an airplane and I was really looking forward to digging into Ian’s latest.
As the title implies, Supercharge Your Vision, Ian Plant challenges the photographer with 9 well defined missions which are meant to have you try new techniques and and learn to see not just look at the scene in front of you. What I really like about these missions is that you don’t have to travel half way across the globe to do them. You can take up the challenge and achieve these missions (and along the journey improve your photography) just by stepping out your front door.
Each mission is accompanied by at least 10 to 12 scenerios on how to achieve that specific mission….what to look for….how to best capture your image….tips on lighting and composition all accompanied by images that reflect the image complete with shooting data.
This book will help you focus your creative energy and enhance your skills. You don’t need to buy any new gear. You don’t need to travel to exotic locals. You just need to open your mind and your eyes and your artistic vision will come to life.
Supercharge Your Vision is currently on sale for $9.95. Click here to purchase your copy.
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.
Every year when I was in University there would be a poster sale that was held on campus at the beginning of each year. I remember in my first year purchasing 2 Eliot Porter posters, one was of Big Sur (it was a scene I stared at often and vowed to always go visit…I did) the other was a more intimate photographer of wildflowers. Just in case you don’t know Eliot Porter was an American Landscape photographer whose work will leave you breathless. Why am I telling all this…bear with me for a minute. A couple of years ago I was reading an Outdoor Photographer article on “intimate landscapes” and the writer used Eliot Porter’s work as an example of the beauty of the intimate landscape. It was about challenging yourself as a photographer who normally creates photographs of vast landscapes to stop and focus (excuse the play on words) or narrowing your field of vision to find the intimate details in nature. I knew that the Porter wildflower poster I had purchased was a wonderful example of that.
When I learned that the team at Dreamscapes’ latest ebook release was titled “Beyond the Grand Landscape – A Guide to Photographing Nature’s Smaller Scenes” I knew I had to pick up a copy and read it. The book, written by authors and photographers Sarah Marino and Ron Coscorrosa, is a 172 page behemoth that covers everything from the principles of composition, abstract forms, repetition in nature to camera technique and processing.
I’ve reviewed other books by Marino & Coscorrosa including Desert Paradise – A Guide to Death Valley and Forever Light – A Photographer’s Guide to Iceland and was impressed then as I am now by the thoroughness; knowledge and depth that goes into their ebooks.
The first part of Beyond the Grand Landscape delves into the mind of the photographer, both from Marino’s perspective and Coscorrosa’s, of how to look for and see a smaller scene. They discuss topics such as visualization and the role of familiarity of scene and take it one step further by interviewing and including the work of other renowned photographers such as Greg Russell and Justin Reznick and allowing the reader to gain yet another perspective on the topic.
Throughout the book the authors share their portfolio of images with detailed explanation of settings, equipment and processing.
This book teaches:
Different types of small scenes that can be photography subjects.
Twelve key creative concepts and field practices used to discover and photograph small scenes.
Exercises to facilitate your learning and application of the ebook’s concepts.
Field techniques for macro, flowers, foliage, and abstract photographs.
Foundations of photographic composition and technical fundamentals.
Enhancing effects of light, weather and atmospheric conditions.
Value of mood and how it establishes an emotional connection to your viewer.
Beyond the Grand Landscape can be purchased for $19.95 at the Dreamscapes store. Just click here to purchase or you can also download a free sample.
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.