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.
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.
The team at Dreamscapes just released another ebook, The Advanced Guide to Photographing Waterfalls and Streams by Justin Reznick.
I love photographing waterfalls and bodies of water and when I’d heard about this ebook I was ready to dig in but honestly I hadn’t heard of Justin Reznick before. Let me introduce you to this talented photographer and author first before I dive into the ebook.
Reznick is a full-time nature photographer who travels the globe in search for the perfect landscape. He’s been published in such magazines as Backpacker Magazine, the Audubon Society, Nature’s Best, Outdoor Photographer and Photography Monthly (UK).
Justin has a real easy-going way about him when he writes and it felt as if he was directing his instructions directly to me as I was reading the book. At a high level the book contains the following:
Eighteen water photography tips for how to get that best shot—including fashion tips for water wading (how to stay warm and dry), how to maximize your chances of getting the image you want (don’t leave too early), and how to protect your gear in damp conditions.
Post-processing tips for making the image—including advice on analyzing and choosing images in Lightroom, and practical how-to instruction on blending multiple exposures in Photoshop to showcase the best of the light.
Some of Justin’s favorite water images with extensive discussion of how he made them.
What I really loved about the ebook was his in-depth explanations about in-field techniques. He doesn’t just focus on the type of gear you should be using (which he does cover off very well) but what to look out for when photographing waterfalls. How to keep your scene clean, how to fight off water spray, what you need to do to get the best compositions. Within each section he provides a breakdown of the image that’s on the page so that the reader knows exactly how it was taken and under what conditions.
The section on post-processing was excellent as well. Justin goes through various techniques focusing primarily on Lightroom. Once again he provides tips (what looks like notes in the margin) based on the content of the section) which you can refer back too long after you’ve finished the book. As an aside this is actually a great follow-up to the last Dreamscapes release Master The Digital Darkroom (Lightroom) by Michael Frye.