A couple of times a year I change what this blog is all about and spend a post providing some recommendations for photographic and post-processing books that I am or have been reading. The last time I did this was at the beginning of December with some recommendations for your Christmas reading. With Memorial Day coming up this weekend and it being the unofficial start of summer, I though it would be a good time to provide some new recommendations.
I am going to start with David DuChemin and the Craft & Vision publishing house. For those of you who do not know David, he is a world & humanitarian assignment photographer who, to say the least, creates some wonderful images. As the name implies, Craft & Vision specialized in publishing e-books on the visual aspects of photography, not just the technical. As an introduction to the type of e-books Craft & Vision publish, I recommend you try their latest 45-page FREE e-book. Inside you’ll find articles by 6 Craft & Vision authors, and 9 unique ways to improve your photography. You’ll also discover an exclusive promotional offer, which could well be called the C&V Starter Kit, where you can save USD $16 and get four amazing products.
Photograph Magazine is a Quarterly e-magazine also from the Craft & Vision crew. The latest issue is the third they have published. I thought the first two were good but this one surpassed those by quite some way. I believe this to be the most thought provoking magazine for photographers on the market today.
The current issue includes three incredible portfolios and photographer Q+As—this time from: Hengki Koentjoro, Dave Delnea, and Kevin Clark. There are also great articles from the usual contributors like Martin Bailey, Nicole S. Young, Kevin Clark, and John Paul Caponigro, as well as a wonderful featured article from David duChemin about his recent work in Northern Kenya. A single issue is USD $8 or you can buy a full year’s subscription for USD $24 (in other words four issues for the price of three). Each issue is about 120 pages and, I should point out, there are no adverts in this publication – it is funded solely through the subscriptions.
I’d call myself a reasonably competent Photoshop user. At this point in my learning curve when I go for education, I hope to find a couple of things I can take home and put into use from that education investment. The majority of Photoshop books seem to spend too much time catering to, and catching up, basic users that there is little time left for the intermediate and advanced stuff to be addressed. Not so with this book.
The essential styule of this book is that of cook book, with self contained recipes of 1-3 paragraphs accompanied with a few graphics. Each of the recipes is a stand alone unit of consumption in it’s own right. You can grab it and use it without having to refer to other sections of the book – just as you do when looking at a recipe in your kitchen. However they were clearly chosen (and ordered) to expand the Photoshop chef’s creative pallet, and to be complementary. More than that they were whittled down to their smallest essence and steps – and that may be challenging for some because it will leave you wanting more, and hopefully that wanting of more will lead you to Photoshop to experiment and answer your own questions.
I recommended Stacy’s first book, Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera, in my December recommended reading list. I thought her first book was good but this one is even better. Stacy Pearsall is an award winning female military photographer who has seen her share of action on the front lines. In this book she uses her experiences from combat photography to provide insights into the world of photojournalism and beyond. This is definitely one of the most complete guides available covering all aspects of photography, not just photojournalism – including many items most photographers never think of such as the responsibilities of a photojournalist, essential gear & other items, as well as proven successful shooting methods. There are many examples of her remarkable photos (many of which are repeats from her first book but fit so perfectly into the text of this particular publication that no one will complain) with details of how they were captured as well as some of the other issues we do not always think about like ethics, business planning, etc.
Pearsall’s book is a must have for every aspiring photographer out there. Even those of us who have been at this game for many years can pick up a few new tricks to help us become better photographers. Her photos will inspire you, a her sage-like advice and explanations will help guide you to success.