This is a first for Craft & Vision, releasing a FREE eBook. The make-up of this book is also unique in that there are 11 different chapters written by 9 different Craft & Vision authors. There are many reasons to release a free eBook, but here are the three reasons that make the most sense to me. 1: Just because they can. These authors share a similar passion to see people become more connected photographers focused on their own process and connection with their subjects. What better way to do that then to release great free content out there. Which leads to point #2: Many people are hesitant to buy the various eBook titles as they are released, even though the total investment is about the same as a Latte. This FREE eBook’s quality of content should give people the confidence in the overall quality of each title in the Craft & Vision Catalog. And for reason #3: By reading a chapter that in some cases could be viewed as a summary version of a previous title by that author on the same subject, or just a subject that the author is passionate about, you get a bit more of an introduction the each author’s writing and teaching style. That could be beneficial when considering purchasing a previous title by that author, or one that is just being released. There is basically no downside for any of readers here.
In this free eBook I’ve asked the authors at Craft & Vision, our weird little publishing house, to contribute an article about something they wish they’d learned sooner, a way in which others could improve their photography. – David duChemin
I have personally read all the books that have been released to date, and have written a review for many of them and I have yet to come across one that I wouldn’t recommend, keeping in mind that each book can be purchased for between $4-$5. With that said I can also be confident in saying that not these books are totally relevant to every photographer. If the world of MicroStock does not interest you, or you don’t like doing Black & White images, then I would not recommend buying the books that deal with that subject. Another way to say it is that if you can’t extract $5 worth of wisdom from one of these books, I would suggest you aren’t taking a hard enough look at yourself, your technique, your vision, or your creative process.
But in this case, the book is free! Sweet. Now here is an abridged review of the book which you can quickly read before downloading the book.
(mini)Review of “11 Ways To Improve Your Photography”
The book is broken up into 11 chapters (that is where the 11 Ways comes from) written by 9 different authors.
Chapter 1: Making Your Images More Dynamic
- Author: Piet Van den Eynde
- Subject: Exploring the intentional use of shutter speed (fast, slow, long, sync’d with flash), and panning/zooming to create images that feel more dynamic and capture the spirit of the moment.
Chapter 2: Tame Your Digital Exposures
- Author: David duChemin
- Subject: An overview of file type (RAW/JPG), and the histogram and what that means during image capture and during the editing process.
Chapter 3: The Power Of The Print
- Author: Martin Bailey
- Subject: An overview of the printing process and how it has actually become complicated in the digital era, and how to start creating prints that match your display (and identifying that your display can be part of the problem). He has an upcoming Craft & Vision eBook on its way on the same subject.
Chapter 4: Learn To Direct The Eye
- Author: Michael Frye
- Subject: A description of how the eye moves through a photo. Many folks can take good (or bad) photos without understanding that there is some logic to how our eyes perceive a scene, which colours or shapes attract our eyes. A better understanding of how we as people view a photo will help us all to create stronger images.
Chapter 5: Understand The Stages
- Author: Alexandre Buisse
- Subject: The six stages that a photographer goes through in his progression. Understanding and appreciating where you are, where you have been, and where you need to go or get to is essential to development. He also discusses the transition period from stage to stage and how it cannot be forced, but needs to be played out for each person. Also his discussion on the cycle of sharing of photos through each stage is interesting and challenging.
Chapter 6: Create Projects And Collaborate
- Author: Andrew S. Gibson
- Subject: A quick chapter on the value of personal projects, not just the personal development that you gain, but also the value of sharing the project.
Chapter 7: Refine Your Composition
- Author: Nicole S. Young
- Subject: A quick overview of the so-called rules of composition. You need to know the rules before you can go break them.
Chapter 8: The Power Of The Moment
- Author: Eli Reinholdtsen
- Subject: A description of how this photographer regularly puts herself, both physically and technically, in place to capture unique moments as they present themselves.
Chapter 9: Forget Lens Stereotypes
- Author: Piet Van den Eynde
- Subject: The sooner we drop the stereotype of a lens purpose or ability as it relates to its focal length, creative opportunities present themselves. Most of the examples show how valuable a wide-angle lens can be for environmental portraiture, but the same can be said about using a longer focal length to compress or remove distractions from more traditional “landscape” themes.
Chapter 10: Slow Down And Learn To See
- Author: Stuart Sipahigil
- Subject: In a fast-moving world sometimes our fast-moving brains can hinder our creative efforts. Stuart offers some examples and exercises to slow us down and look, and see what is around.
Chapter 11: Make Stronger Portraits
- Author: David duChemin
- Subject: David explores his love of portraiture and offers a series of suggestions to use as a mental checklist in creating and assessing a great portrait.