I am friends with many professional photographers. Some of them are really famous, while others like myself, are in the process of making names for themselves. The amazing thing that transcends all of them is the fact that none of them believe they know it all and at the same time they are all willing to share the aspects of knowledge that they specialize in. I can actually say that I do not have a friend in the photography world that hasn’t inspired me at one point or another.
I have been traveling for a ridiculous amount of time. Pretty much non-stop since September. While this allows me very little time in the office it does afford me some time on airplanes and in hotels. Instead of sitting there and losing my mind, I tend to work my butt off. One of my missions is always to learn more and figure out how to implement what I have learned into my professional career and business. On a recent Alaska Air flight I managed to read two great e-books by two of my well respected friends and photographers.
The first book is Creative Processing Techniques in Nature Photography by Guy Tal. As some of you might have read from a previous post, Guy’s first book was a personal favorite of mine explaining concepts and ideas that I didn’t even understand in a clear and concise way. Creative Processing Techniques continues Guy’s search for excellence. His images and writings connect the very place in which he lives to the very being of his existence. I understand why he is so successful at what he does because his surroundings give him the driving force and inspiration to do so.
Creative Processing Techniques not only explains how computer image processing works, but it dives into the often forgotten why. Guy defines why he uses one technique over another and suggests that you the reader define your personal goals for your images prior to even opening a photograph in Lightroom or Photoshop. Every chapter is followed by an exercise that will help you understand what was previously written about on your own. He also includes an extensive overview of how Photoshop works and how it is an integral part of his image making process. He walks you through using Curves, Saturation, and Layers. This book is packed full of explanations and techniques that not only the beginner, but the seasoned pro can benefit from, and like his previous book, I learned something–a new way to blend two different exposure valued images.
The second book is by Jim Goldstein entitled Photographing the 4th Dimension–Time. Jim is one of the most intelligent people that I know. He not only understands the creative side of photography, but he truly grasps the technical side as well. I guess that is why I email him every time I need advice on social media and the way the web works in regards to photography. I was in California during my travels this fall and made some time one evening to have dinner with Jim in San Francisco. During dinner he told me about the book he was working on. It was one of those situations where my jaw dropped and the straw to my margarita fell out of my mouth. Now why didn’t I think of that great idea? Because Jay, you are a dumbass.
Photographing the 4th Dimension not only explains the techniques in a simple vocabulary, but it explains how the human perception of time works. The how-to for star trails, time-lapse, and a technique that I have never even heard of–Cinemagraphs are covered with great detail. Cinemagraphs are a way of using Photoshop to illustrate a motion sequence within a still photograph. Really cool. Jim’s book also gave me a script for a technique that I am currently using to create star trails. This is going to help me speed up the process of creating those images ten fold now. The last two pages of the book include a folding field checklist that you can print and take with you to make sure you remember everything while you are out in the wilds at night. Yet again, life made easier by reading.
I am hoping that you have yet to purchase a holiday gift for yourself or someone you know because both of these e-books will keep your bank account full while giving you the knowledge to take your photography skills to the next level. Again, beginner through pro there is something here for each and every one of us to utilize.
Well, what are you waiting for…begin downloading.