Tag Archives: vision

eBook Review: The Magic of Black & White, Part Two – Craft

[tweetmeme]I recently reviewed The Magic of Black & White, Part One – Vision and now we have part two – craft. A clever set of titles if you ask me… mainly because the books are published by Craft & Vision.

I gave high marks to the first book, and this one is right up there too. Author and photographer Andrew Gibson continues his discussion of black and white photography by covering some of the technical aspects and how they relate to the inspirational side of things.

Like the first book, the text is concise and the images are both useful and beautiful. All together, it’s an easy read that also contains good reference material.

“The Magic of Black & White, Part Two – Craft” can be purchased through Craft & Vision for only $5. The links in this post are affiliate links.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Magic of Black & White, Part Two – Craft is a 51 page downloadable PDF eBook. The book is a single page landscape format (to make it easier to view for the folks with iPads and such). Throughout the book, you’re presented with a mix of philosophical and technical advice along with sample photos from Andrew’s fine collection of work. This book uses software tools found in Photoshop CS3 (or newer) and Photoshop Elements 6 (or newer).

The book starts off a little slow in that it doesn’t jump right into the technical stuff. Andrew lays out some groundwork by explaining his experience and philosophy. After a few pages of this, he jumps into the main course with technical stuff from the digital darkroom.

Here, Andrew goes through techniques for black & white conversion and toning. Three example studies bring us to the conclusion of the book, and they contain other useful editing tips such as masking, burning, the addition of texture, and more.

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.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

Definitely a book worth reading for the beginner/intermediate black and white enthusiasts, especially for the low price of $5. The technical skills presented are not terribly difficult to learn, and Andrew presents them in a way that’s easy to digest. Even the more advanced photographers might pick up a thing or two since some of the techniques presented were developed by Andrew himself.

Part two (craft) is a great follow-up to part one (vision), and I would certainly suggest getting this one if you liked the first. And if you didn’t get the first book, you might consider getting both because (in Andrew’s words) “craft without vision is just an exercise in pushing buttons”.

“The Magic of Black & White, Part Two – Craft” can be purchased through Craft & Vision for only $5.

LIMITED TIME OFFER: Use the promotional code MAGIC4 at checkout to get the book for $4 or use the code MAGIC20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more books from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST June 1, 2010.

eBook Review: Vision Is Better

I’m really taking a liking to good eBooks lately… and perhaps that’s because I see more of them being published by fellow photographers and enthusiasts. On the forefront of this new craze is David duChemin with the Craft & Vision website.

He just authored a new eBook titled “Vision Is Better” and I had the opportunity to check it out before it was released. While I’m still working my way through it, I’ve read enough to share my thoughts here on the blog. This thing is a really good read and it provides a lot of insights not found in other books I’ve read.

“Vision Is Better” can be purchased through Craft & Vision. The links in this post are affiliate links.

ABOUT THE BOOK

[tweetmeme]Vision Is Better is a 116 page downloadable PDF eBook available for only $5. The book contains 50 articles alongside supplemental photos. The layout is a basic 2 column/page format, and the simple design is easy on the eyes. Each article has a different color scheme and/or background photo, so every page seems to be a new visual treat.

David admits at the beginning of the book: “This is a messy book. It’s random, doesn’t particularly hold to one topic or theme very well [...] This book is a collection of thoughts, essays, and ill-advised rants that were all first published on my blog [...] you probably paid for something you could have got for free. Those challenges aside, I still think this book is worth the time and money.

I agree with that last line — it’s worth the time and money. This isn’t a random collection of published blog articles — I’m sure there was some amount of thought put into which articles to include and in what order. Add to that, the completely different layout and design intended for your viewing pleasure, and it’s worth more than the $5 price tag.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

According to his blog, “David duChemin is a world & humanitarian photographer, best-selling author, and international workshop leader. David uses his powers for good and not for evil.

Though I don’t know him personally, David seems to be quite knowledgeable on the topics that he photographs and writes about. He’s also the mastermind of the growing Craft & Vision enterprise. The concept of the site is to provide high quality eBooks at a flat rate of $5 per publication. It’s a pretty hot deal and the model seems to be working, so check it out!

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

As I mentioned above, the book is worth more than the $5 price tag. Just having this collection of articles all in one place is awfully handy. The book is more of a casual read, intended to be taken in over time and over multiple sittings. There’s not a bunch of technical stuff buried in there, just lots of essays and thoughts on becoming a better photographer.

I would recommend this book to anybody looking for a little mental exercise. It should get you thinking about the important things in this field, and it may alter the way you look at professional photography. David also writes in a very conversational voice, so it’s really easy to follow along and wrapped up in his stories.

“Vision Is Better” can be purchased through Craft & Vision. The links in this post are affiliate links.

HOW ABOUT A DISCOUNT?

Between now and May 4, 2010 you can get this book for just $4. Use the promotional code VISION4 when you checkout, or you can use the code VISION20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more books from the Craft & Vision collection.