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In my recent review of “The Magic of Black & White” eBook, I gave everybody a chance to enter a contest for a free copy. After just one day, we had around 43 entries posted! Awesome turnout… but it made for some hard decisions in choosing the winners.
It was a tough choice, but I finally narrowed down my selections to a street photo, a landscape, and an abstract. These three will receive a free copy of the book, and everybody else will just have to go buy it for $5.
Youth, by Gregory Tran
shot this candid on a subway platform in nyc late one evening… took me a little to gather the courage to kneel down right in front of these guys but i’m glad i eventually shot it… taken w canon xsi + 50mm/1.4
Church Inside the Sea, by Sino
Shot at Georgioupoli, Chania, Greece with an analog Canon EOS 30, a couple of years ago. I was experimenting with developing my own negatives & then scanning and editing them in Photoshop.
Treppenhaus Küppersmühle schwarz-weiss, by Olaf | YaYapas
Taken at the stairwell in the art museum Küppersmühle in Duisburg (Germany). The convolution of the light looks much better in black and white than in color. If you want to compare take a look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/go_freyer/2948134180
[NOTE: Olaf already bought the book, so I'll let him pass along the prize to somebody else of his choice.]
And here are a couple of additional entries that caught my eye:
Again, a great set of entries for the contest — be sure to check out the rest of them in the comment section of the book review. And if you were waiting for the results of the contest, now is a good time to go buy the book!
[tweetmeme]I’m a real fan of black and white photography — doesn’t matter if it’s film or digital. There’s just something about it that can transform a photo so drastically by the “simple” removal of color.
So I was thrilled when my buddy Andrew Gibson contacted me about the release of his book on “The Magic of Black & White“. He’s a great photographer and his black & white photos are stunning — so I was certain that the book would be a good one.
I was right.
The book is a relatively quick read, but offers up a great number of tips, techniques, and guidance for black and white photography. It’s also beautifully illustrated with a ton of Andrew’s fine art work.
See the end of this post for a chance to win a free copy of the book.
“The Magic of Black & White, Part One – Vision” can be purchased through Craft & Vision. The links in this post are affiliate links.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Magic of Black & White is a 58 page downloadable PDF eBook. The book is intended to be viewed in a two-page format (as you can see by the dashed lines in the samples below). Throughout the book, you’ll be presented with specific topics on black & white photography and large sample photos from Andrew’s collection of work.
After a few single-page “chapters” (Introduction, Why Black & White?, The Art of Black & White, and Learning to See in Monochrome), we dive into The Elements of Black & White Photography. This section covers many topics along the lines of tonal contrast, highlights, simplicity, minimalism, complexity, shape and form, texture, lines, foreground interest, negative space, shapes and patterns, and contrast. Each topic gives thoughtful insights and supporting imagery.
From there, we move on to Light in Black & White Photography, which covers the various lighting scenarios and how to use them to your advantage. The last main section goes into Subjects for Black & White Photography, and we look at several options where black & white may make more sense than color. This is all followed up by a conclusion and final thoughts from Andrew.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Gibson is a writer and photographer based in the south of England. He works for one of the UK’s leading photography magazines and also freelances. He loves to travel and one region he’s been drawn back to time and time again is South America, in particular Argentina and the Andean regions of Bolivia and Peru. He works in a ‘fine art documentary’ style and presents most of his work in black and white.
You can find Andrew’s work at his main website or at his blog. He’s also a regular contributor at Phototuts+, Smashing Magazine, and the Fine Art Photoblog. On top of all that, he’s an employee of EOS Magazine. Busy guy!
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
The eBook is longer than a blog article, but shorter than a printed book. I feel that the eBook medium is perfect for what is presented. Andrew gives a great introduction to black and white photography with content that strikes a perfect balance between educational and inspirational. It’s not so technical that the beginner will be lost, and not so “artsy-fartsy” that it isn’t informative — again, it’s just a great balance.
I would personally recommend this eBook to anybody looking to explore or improve their black & white photography. It will definitely get your gears turning and probably give you a few new ideas. At the time of publishing this review, the price of the book is $5 USD (subject to change at any time), which is a steal if you ask me.
Part Two of this book (to be announced) will examine the means of creating the black and white image in the digital darkroom. I’ll update you guys when it’s published.
“The Magic of Black & White, Part One – Vision” can be purchased through Craft & Vision.
WANT A FREE COPY?
[UPDATE 03-30-2010: The contest is over, and the winners have been selected]
[tweetmeme]Andrew has also given me a coupon code for 3 free eBooks to give out! I have a feeling that this particular contest will draw quite a few entries, so I’m limiting the entry period to ONE DAY (contest will end March 30, 2010 at 8am PDT). Here’s how you can enter for a chance at a free book:
1) Submit a photo and/or link to a black and white photo you’ve taken. The photo must be your own. Bonus points for supplemental descriptions.
2) Submit a Flickr Gallery (not a set — a gallery) of black and white photos. Curate a gallery and pop the link in the comments below. Bonus points for supplemental thoughts within the gallery and/or comment.
One entry per person; only the first entry for any given person will be considered. Again, ONE DAY for entries, and I’ll post a comment of my own stating the cut-off time — so if you don’t see the cut-off comment, feel free to post an entry.
[UPDATE 7/7/2010] This offer has expired, but a new one has taken its place.
I got an email today from the folks at Canvas People asking if I was interested in giving away some free canvas prints. At first I’m like “ok… what’s the catch?” — but after looking into it, the deal seems to be legit.
They’re offering up a $55 credit for any first time customers! This will get you one FREE 8×10 canvas print, and you just pay for shipping and handling.
You could also use that credit toward a larger size at a reduced cost (an 11×14 will run you $9.99). That’s a pretty awesome deal if you ask me.
[tweetmeme]The prints are also gallery wrapped and protective coated at no extra cost, meaning it will be ready to hang when it arrives. If you’ve been thinking about having a photo printed on canvas, try these guys out — you probably won’t find a better deal out there!
(This is an affiliate link — it costs you nothing, and it helps support Epic Edits)
Just wanted to give a quick update on my previous post where I asked you Southern California folks help out with the model shoot I was asked to do for a local San Diego company: Green Man T-Shirts. When I posted it, I was hoping to have a good response, but maybe the “no pay” thing was a turn-off.
I did get one response from a fellow by the name of Michael Walborn and he’s actually a perfect match for this event! Be sure to check out his ModelMayhem profile and his Flickr photos. Not only does he have experience in the studio and photographing models, but he has experience in the same studio that we’ll be using! This is awesome news and I’m really looking forward to learning the ropes with him.
Definitely check out Michael’s stuff — I owe him a big “thank you” for jumping in to help me out with this thing. I also owe Oscar Medina a “thank you” for referring him to my previous post. You see, Oscar is my local San Diego printer and Michael is a fellow customer/contact of his — we both also have photos listed on two of Oscar’s other websites: San Diego Artists and Artist Direct.
THOUGHTS ON WORKING FOR “FREE”
As I said, maybe I didn’t get a huge response on the call for photographers because I was asking people to basically work for free. The word “free” has become a bad word among photographers in recent years, mainly because of the various professional photographers and photography blogs preaching that you shouldn’t give anything away for free as a photographer. If you do, you’re devaluing the marketplace and doing a disservice to yourself and your fellow photographers. While most of these discussions have been aimed at licensing of existing photos (which I generally agree with), the idea of not working for free for any reason whatsoever seems to have attached itself by association. This is a bad outlook to have if you ask me.
I’m not going to preach on this topic of working for free under the right circumstances, mostly because other have made much better arguments than I ever could (see the articles from David Hobby and Chase Jarvis).
For this Green Man T-Shirt thing, it’s a no-brainer on my part. The company is a local startup, they’re “green”, they donate 25% of their proceeds to charity, they’re enthusiastic, I’m in a position to learn a great deal from this experience, and I need to get out and shoot more often. I have everything to gain from this except for a few dollars (which I wouldn’t be able to charge anyway because of my inexperience). And the only reason I can do this is because Michael has agreed to help out.
I can’t speak for Michael, but I would guess (and this is only a guess) that he’s also interested in gaining more experience, adding to his portfolio, helping out a local company, and having a good time. Whatever his motives, I’m very grateful that he jumped in and offered his time and experience (and I’m going to repay him by providing whatever exposure I can).
So next time you have an opportunity to “work for free” as a photographer, maybe think twice about it before dismissing the idea. In the long run, you just might gain more than you sacrificed. The end of our story with Green Man T-Shirts here in San Diego has yet to play out, but I’m very enthusiastic about what could come of it. I’ll update you guys after our session this March.
What say you? Is working for “free” a bad thing? Would you ever consider doing it yourself? And under what circumstances?
Some time ago, we gave out a few free lens rentals via BorrowLenses.com — and now we’re doing it again! We’ll give out a one week equipment rental to two different winners (see details below for entry). This is a cool deal as the holidays approach, and it’s a good way to try out some new equipment or even use it for a paid shoot or personal project.
If you haven’t checked them out in a while, they have a few new things happening. First off, they’re selling some of their equipment as the bring in new stuff — not a bad way to pick up a new lens or camera body at a discounted price. Also, you can get a 10% discount as a first time customer if you use the code “First10″ when placing an order. And finally, BorrowLenses.com is offering a membership program to the heavy users — $99/year gets you a full-time 10% discount on orders, increased availability of rental items, and no cancellation fees. Not a bad deal if you’re shooting a lot of paid projects that require top quality glass. They’ve also been bulking up on lighting equipment for you Strobists, and they now do sensor cleaning for you dSLR users.
For the rental giveaway, here are a few ground rules:
- You need to be in the US.
- The order will need to be made online and you will need to provide a credit card number. This won’t be charged but they will need it to ensure you don’t run off with their lens :-). BorrowLenses.com is a reputable business but if you don’t feel comfortable with this condition please don’t enter.
- The offer excludes super telephoto lenses and pro camera bodies.
To enter the raffle, just leave a comment and tell us you’d like to win! I’ll draw two winners on December 12, 2009 — so get your entry in right away.
[UPDATE 12-8-09] You can enter multiple times by doing any of the following:
- Leave a comment on this post. (1 entry per person)
- Retweet (Via your Twitter account) “Another lens rental contest! http://bit.ly/56AGTp Retweet and post the RT as a comment for a second chance to win! (via @BorrowLenses)” Post the RT and/or (preferably) the link to your RT here in the comments (as a separate comment from the #1 entry method). (1 entry per person)
- Post about this giveaway on your blog, in a forum, or any other appropriate avenue — just don’t spam the forums and other public spaces. Then leave a comment (again, separate comment from your other entries) with a link to your post. (1 entry per person)
So there you go — 3 ways to improve your odds at winning.
[UPDATE 12-13-2009] The raffle is over, and the winners have been chosen. See my follow-up post for more details.
Last week, when I posted the review of Polar Obsession, I also mentioned that we had two copies of the book to give away. In order to win a book, you had to post a photo or a Flickr Gallery having to do with the polar regions. We had a few entries in each category, so I picked one from each to receive a copy of the book.
You’ll find the winners of the contest below with their own comments before the image and my comments after. The books are in the mail for these two, but the rest of you can still grab a copy of your own. It’s definitely one of my top recommendations this year, and the price is quite reasonable considering the size of the book and the content it holds.
Photo by João Almeida — “This one’s at Jokulrsarlon, the mythical glacier lagoon in South Iceland, and was taken in a very stormy morning when the weather cleared up a bit.”
This is a great landscape/seascape/icescape photo from João. Lovely cold blues and whites broken up by the dark patches of Earth. The mixture of ice and soil brings a new dimension to the foreground — lots of direction changes for the eye to follow, and the bands of high contrast are intriguing. The composition is broken up nicely by the water near center and the line of hills in the background.
Gallery by Andrew Ferguson — “I’ve specifically avoided using any photos involving people or animals to help enhance that feeling of being utterly, beautifully alone. The decision to use primarily blue photos, as well as the colour shift as you scroll down, were also conscious. I wanted to capture the feel of the way you sometimes notice the shifting weather on a long winter walk.”
This is an extremely eye-catching and well thought-out gallery from Andrew. Each photo stays directly on topic with his intent, and he didn’t fill it to the max of 18 photos just for the sake of filling it. Andrew wanted to convey a feeling of seclusion (which is what he titled the gallery) and did so with beautiful photos. I’m also impressed with the amount of thought and effort Andrew put into this Gallery by making comments and observations about each of his selections.
Last week, I did a review of FotoTV and promised a few free subscriptions. And thanks to some magical randomness from the Internet, the winners are Genaro Orengo and JDUBJ! Congrats! And if either of these two can’t accept the prize for some reason, I’ll choose another to fill the spot.
For the rest of you… if you checked out the free videos and enjoyed them, consider picking up a subscription from FotoTV.
And a big thanks to the folks at FotoTV for providing us with some freebies!
Doing things a little different this time around… trying to save a bit of time by skipping the descriptions I usually add to each link. What do you guys think? Would you rather have the 1-2 sentence commentary that I put on each one, or are the titles enough of a description? Does anybody even read these lists?
- iSteadii 2.0 – Image Stabilizing Unit
- 35 Years of the World’s Best Microscope Photography
- Self Portraits – 7 Tips for Going Beyond the Basics
digital Photography School
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- Light Painting Primer
- Ansel Adams in Color
- A Beginner’s Guide to Flickr
digital Photography School
- The medium format camera project
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- Free photo editors for Linux, Mac, and Windows
- New trick photography by Li Wei (40 photos)
- 11 High Speed Splash Photos