How much would you expect to pay for a great book that teaches you and provides tips, tools and technical advice whilst inspiring you at the same time? $30? $20? $10? If you’d like all this for just $5 then I’ve got a great post for you today. (Plus read through to the end for some time-limited codes to get these books even cheaper!)
David duChemin is a well known photographer, best-selling author and teacher. You can find his personal blog over at pixelatedimage.com. About a year ago he self-published an eBook “TEN” which covered (unsurprisingly) ten ways to improve your craft without buying gear. This was a big success and followed by “TEN More”. We’re not talking about a few pages in PDF here. Both books were about 35 pages and nicely laid out with David’s own work illustrating the principles he was talking about (in his usual amusing, but applicable tone). Both were offered for just $5. Outstanding value in my opinion.
Following the success of these two eBooks the concept expanded with the creation of a dedicated site for these publications and Craft & Vision was born. There are now a dozen or so eBooks available on the site (I own about half of these), written by both David duChemin and a selection of other hand-picked authors, all available for just $5. Below is further information on some of the ones I own.
These are the first two eBooks I bought and give you in total 20 tips on how to approach your subject and composing the shot. Each section also includes a creative exercise for you to try for yourself, putting into practice the concepts discussed.
Whilst many of the tips (changing perspective, paying attention to the light, try to shoot in manual, learn digital darkroom techniques) may be familiar to those who have been photographers for a while, new-comers to the field will find the information extremely useful. Even if you are a long-time photographer its always useful to be reminded of these things and I’m sure you’ll find a worthwhile nugget or two you can put into practice.
The second eBook I bought was written by Dave Delnea and focused on shooting during sunrise and sunset – or as Dave Delnea puts it “understanding light at the edges of the day”.
This is a superb 42 page book for those wanting to grasp the difference between sunset, civil twilight and nautical twilight and to decide the best moment to take your shots. Again the book is beautifully illustrated with images showing the differences in light and how waiting 30 minutes can drastically change your final image. We all know that getting up early to catch that sunset, or staying out late to shoot at sunset is not always the most social of experiences but after reading this eBook I’m sure you’ll be inspired to begin experimenting with shots at these times of the day. Learning how to use the light (or lack of) and how it impacts your final shots is both addictive and worthwhile.
I’ve always been a fan of black and white photography and I’m guessing, like many, started shooting B&W on film and developing my own shots. In fact, go back a few posts in my blog and you can find an article I wrote on just this subject! So the next couple of purchases from Craft & Vision were the Magic of Black & White books by Andrew Gibson.
These two books approach B&W photography from slightly different angles. The first eBook is all about differences you need to bear in mind when taking the photograph. Things that might work in colour may not work in monochrome and if you’ve not shot much black and white you almost have to learn compositional techniques again, understanding how different colours will translate and look more at lines and texture. All this and more is covered in volume one.
The second is more about post processing techniques for B&W shots. Once you’ve got your photos (and rather strangely its best if you still shoot in colour) how best to use the digital darkroom tools at your disposal to convert the images to monochrome in order to get the most out of them.
My most recent purchase is a slight departure from the “how to” books above but being a huge fan of Venice I couldn’t resist! Instead its almost the eBook equivalent of a small gallery exhibition – a collection of images around a central theme. As David duChemin mentions in the introduction:
The Print & The Process Series was created as a means to show my work and the work of others, accompanied by a discussion of why and how the images were created.
The publication contains some great full-page images and finishes with a section talking about the approach to the project as a whole along with descriptions for each image explaining why they were taken/included.
Today, there’s a new book released – Vision in Motion, by Trevor Meier – which will be especially interesting to all you budding cinematographers. As more DSLRs include the ability to shoot high definition video content, this latest publication provides information and techniques on moving from capturing a moment in time (a photograph) to capturing change through video. Trevor, originally a photographer but who has now made the move into video, provides information on the sort of equipment to use, definitions of new language you may come across and techniques to help build your story and achieve your vision.
Visit the Craft and Vision site today and review the full collection of eBooks available.