Archive for the Books about Photography Category

Posted in Books about Photography, eBooks, Instruction with tags , , , on December 26, 2011 by Darwin

We are very happy to announce our first oopoomoo how-to photography eBook – Sit, Stay and Smile – Easy! Outdoor Dog Photography (there will be lots more new titles coming in the future!).

We have been photographing dogs for years for  stock photography,  for magazine assignments, and for our local humane society. And now we bring all our tips and tricks on dog photography into one detailed eBook. The most challenging aspect of dog photography is understanding how to make photography a fun game for your pooch — we teach you how!.

We give you the guidelines you need to get your subjects ‘paws’itively performing for the camera! In addition, you’ll learn the essential techniques behind the lens to pull off great photos no matter what breed of dog you are photographing or what outdoor lighting situation you find yourself in. Anyone who has struggled to make exciting photos of dogs will benefit from this eBook.

To learn more simply click on the photo above –  only $10 CAN!

Big shout out to our amazing eBook designer and all around amazing collaborator on all things webby – Stephen Desroches! Stephen helped us design this website and did a spanking job on this new eBook. Plus he is a great guy and a fantastic photographer. – check out his blog as well.


Visual Wilderness Website is Closing

Posted in Books about Photography, eBooks, Image Processing and Software, Instruction, Sad News, TCBlog, Techniques with tags , , , , , on August 6, 2011 by Darwin

One year ago Jay and Varina Patel and Samantha and I started a website called Visual Wilderness where we hosted instructional eBooks for nature photographers. Our eBooks have been well received and we have had many comments about how much people have learned from these products. But… to every thing there is a time and a season. This week we are announcing that Visual Wilderness will close by the end of August. Here is what we wrote over on the Visual Wilderness website:

What a year it has been here at Visual Wilderness!

When we look back, we are humbled by the support of all the photographers who have visited this site and found useful instruction in our eBooks.  Visual Wilderness was begun because we saw a need for accessible, high-quality instructional eBooks on how to photograph natural subjects.  Based on your comments and support, this belief was affirmed.  We truly appreciate your faith in us!

Looking back, we have also learned valuable lessons.  The photography market has changed a lot over the last two years with many new excellent photography products and services proliferating across the internet.   Being a nature photographer and photo instructor requires the wearing of many hats:  entrepreneur, graphic designer, book-keeper and marketer are just some of the skills of a successful modern-day photographer.  All of these roles take time.  Sometimes in a business you need to take an objective look at future directions.  Each one of the contributing photographers on this site has his or her own individual business offering services from stock, assignments, and prints to instructional products like seminars, webinars, workshops, tours, and eBooks. For each of us, making our individual businesses viable is our first priority, and to do so requires much investment into marketing and promotion. In the end there is little energy left for a ‘community’ project like Visual Wilderness.

So it saddens us to announce that we will be closing the Visual Wilderness website  and the Visual Wilderness store by the end of August 2011 to concentrate on our individual projects. We’ll post links here over the next few weeks about where you can find each of us and what we are doing in this new world of photography.

Before we close our store for good, we are having a big sale on all of our eBooks. All eBooks on the Visual Wilderness site are discounted by 15% until August 31 at 11:59 PM EST.  Just use the code THANKS on checkout to use the discount. Thank you for your support and happy shooting!

Jay, Varina, Samantha & Darwin

Be sure to take advantage of the 15% discount to get great instructional eBooks

The Weekly Photo and Two New eBook Releases

Posted in Books about Photography, eBooks, Good News, TCBlog, Techniques, VWBlog, Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2011 by Darwin

Below is an image taken during the spring of 2008 at the Columbia Icefields in Jasper National Park that I finally got around to processing.  Yikes, gotta get caught up!

The cool thing is that the longer I wait to process images the more likely I am to delete most of the photos from the shoot. After several years, my objectivity about the images is much higher and I realize that most of the photos I make actually suck! Only those images that are a tad different or say something that I haven’t said before are likely to survive the ‘aged’ editing process.

The image below was one of the few survivors. I took this image with my Canon EOS-1ds Mark III and a Canon 24mm TS-E lens (the original version). I liked the grungy look and enhanced that look by converting the image to a textured black-n-white (and then toned blue) with Silver Efex Pro 2. Any one interested in buying this software (which I am a huge fan of) can get 15% off if you use the code darwin on checkout.

©Darwin Wiggett

Speaking of the parks and the mountains and melting glaciers… I am happy to announce two new eBook releases. I have just released my latest eBook over at How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies. This latest book is a big compendium of all the great places to go in Banff National Park – check it out! You’ll need this eBook if you plan a visit to Banff National Park because it directs you to all the best spots in the the right light and in the correct season (over 50 locations are discussed).

And if that isn’t exciting news, then this is; my good friend and Canada’s best wildlife photographer, John Marriott has  written an eBook for all of us Canadian Rockies fans. Check out The Icefields Parkway: Wildlife Edition

Here is more good news. I am offering a 20% discount on these $10 eBooks if you buy 2 or more eBooks by June 7 (midnight MST). Just use the code LLTL on checkout. This is the last time you’ll get this big of a discount. Going forward the standard discount will be 10% but only if you buy 5 or more eBooks.

And finally, if you want to share images you have taken in the Canadian Rockies, be sure to post them to the How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies Flickr group. Why bother? Well, I will be there to comment on your photos and also I will pick out a great photo once a week to feature on the How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies website!

Finally thanks to Stephen Desroches for his amazing hard work designing these eBooks and building the website and of course thanks to Samantha for her great editing job and moron (oops… I mean moral) support. Happy shooting!

Ed Verosky’s Awesome Portrait eBooks

Posted in Art of Photography, Books about Photography, eBooks, Instruction, Marketing, Techniques with tags , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by Darwin

For those who have followed my blog for sometime know that I am a fan of Ed Verosky’s awesome eBook called 100% Reliable Flash Photography: How to Get Amazing Light in any Situation. I used what I learned in this eBook to start using flash for some outdoor portrait work (some of tha work was done for Gaia Nudes). I highly recommend this book if you want to learn how to use your camera flash better.

Now that spring is coming I am planning to do more outdoor portrait work because this genre of photography is something I have spent little time pursing. I thought I had better get a few hints to kick start my shooting in a directed manner so I downloaded Ed’s two books on portraiture and was thoroughly impressed. There are a lot of great tips that’ll help me hone my portraiture in a short period of time. If you are at all interested in portrait shooting check out these two eBooks by Ed.

I am not interested in Boudoir Photography but it can be a lucrative venture if done tastefully and for discerning clients. If you are looking for a way to add boudoir to your repertoire then these two eBooks offer all the advice and tips you need.

Disclaimer: I have signed up for the affiliate program for Ed’s eBooks. This means if you buy one of these eBooks, then I get a percentage of the sale. I only link to eBooks that I myself have purchased and found helpful. If I think an eBook is not worth the price nor the time to look at, then I will not become an affiliate nor recommend the book. So if you think you might be interested in the topics of these eBooks then buying here will help support my quest for beer and pizza and hopefully steer you towards good products!

Photographer of the Month – Harold Davis

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Books about Photography, eBooks, Photographer of the Month, Techniques with tags , , , , , , , on February 15, 2011 by sabrina

© Harold Davis

Darwin: You have left a record of your work as digital photographer on the net showing your progression and evolution from your first posts on your blog in 2005.  Many photographers want to leave an impression that they only ever created amazing stuff. Showing some early misses takes courage in my opinion and shows someone secure in who they are. But do you ever feel ‘exposed’ at times when people see your earlier work, work that may not meet your standards of today?

Harold: I have made a conscious decision to leave my original photos and stories up on the Internet from the time I began as a digital photographer in 2005 (by the way, this was a return to photography for me). As your question suggests, this was not entirely an easy decision because some of my early digital work is definitely not up to my current standards. Here’s my thinking about why I have left this work up.

First, in my role as an educator—both as a writer and workshop leader—it is important to me to give aspiring photographers a sense of hope. It serves a great educational role to let people know that some of my earliest digital work wasn’t as good as it might have been, and that I’ve managed to get a great deal better. If I can improve, so then can they.

Actually, when I look back at the early work in my blog I see a lot to like. Even with the pieces that don’t stand the  test of time so well, I can see what I was trying to achieve, and I understand why I was trying to achieve it. Generally, I fall in and out of love with my own work. You can’t make a photo unless you are infatuated  with your pre-visualization of it, otherwise why bother? But looking at the image later, I’ll find myself not so happy with it. A while later again, I reach a synthesis—and can begin to evaluate my work more objectively.

The truth is that no one is good all the time, this goes for the great masters of photography as well as anyone else. No matter how good a photographer is, if you look at some of their early or minor work, it may not be as great as some more mature work, so I am in good company.

The minute I start believing that everything I do is great is the minute I’ll lose it as an artist—because that is an expectation that is impossible, makes one not want to experiment, and is grandiose. If I see a large body of consistent work from a photographer without any examples that are wild and wacky and don’t quite work, then I think that this is someone who is talented but who hasn’t experimented or played enough. Some of my best and most innovative work comes from failed experiments.

I’m not concerned with always doing great work every time, as much as learning how to get better.

I think of my blog stories—and I have written several a week every week since 2005—as my artistic journal, or Daybook in the sense that Edward Weston kept a Daybook but updated for the electronic era. Not everything in a journal is going to be great art, but it will show my progress and thinking.

I believe that digital photography is an entirely new art form, perhaps as different from film photography as film photography was from realistic painting. We are only at the very beginning of this new medium, and only beginning to grapple with the questions, techniques, methodologies, philosophic issues, and image-making possibilities that this new medium brings to the table. The images in my blog, along with the broader spectrum of images in my Flickr photostream, are a record of my coming to terms with these issues—and even if my attitude has changed, and my technical astuteness has improved since my first attempts to grapple with them, I don’t want to delete the account of my journey to where I am now.

At the end of the day, my work, like all visual art, must speak for itself. If someone “gets” what my work is about, then I don’t think the fact that I’ve included shots of my family, out-takes from assignments, and early experiments on my blog will detract from it. My model of professionalism is to include some of my personal story, and not to pretend that the two are entirely separate.

Darwin: You have developed a technique you call ‘HDR by Hand’ where you process a single RAW file with various settings and combine the resulting images into a single finished image. The results are unique and impressive. Can you give us a quick overview of your workflow for HDR by Hand? Do you have a book or eBook people can go to to learn more details?

Harold: Another great question, but there is some confusion in the way it is put. Let me try to clarify things. I use the term multi-RAW processing to describe processing a single RAW file multiple times with various different exposure settings to effectively expand the dynamic, or exposure, range of the final processed image. Some people consider this technique a form of HDR—or High Dynamic Range—photography, because it certainly produces an expanded dynamic range compared to the JPEG that your camera makes. However, I believe that true HDR begins when you combine multiple captures of the same subject that have been bracketed for exposure.

With automated HDR software such as Photomatix, Photoshop’s Merge to HDR Pro, or the new Nik HDR tool, these bracketed exposures are blended together, and a tone curve is applied. In contrast, what I do is to manually inspect the captures made at different exposures, and then choose the parts of each one that I want, and combine the “good bits” in Photoshop. For example, I might want the dark part of an image from the capture shot at 1/10 of a second (to lighten dark areas) and the light part of an image from the capture shot at 1/200 of a second (to darken the light areas), assuming all other settings were the same.

With both techniques—multi-RAW and hand-HDR—I put together the different versions as layers in Photoshop using layer masks, the Gradient Tool, and the Brush Tool to combine the different capture and/or RAW conversions. Sometimes I’ll use different blending modes to emphasize the impact of a particular exposure shift.

As with all HDR shots, it does tend to work better if your camera and subject don’t move between the different captures.

As a practical matter, many of my final images are created using a combination of the multi-RAW and hand-HDR techniques. I might make two or three different interpretations of a single RAW file, then blend these versions with interpretations from one or more other RAW files.

For me, learning that I could multi-RAW process a file, and then extending these techniques to bracketed HDR files, was a huge revelation. If you look on my blog, you’ll find that I began experimenting with multi-RAW in mid 2006. By August 2007, I’d come “to the conclusion that combining images and image variants is something that humans do better than software (at least for the time being),” and around the same time I began experimenting with hand-HDR to move beyond natural-looking landscapes with an extended tonal range to special hand-HDR effects such as creating a transparent, high-key effect.

My discovery of multi-RAW and hand-HDR caused a real shift in the way I think about shooting, because very often each shot becomes a piece of the final image rather than the image itself. It’s also powerful to realize that you can change other things besides exposure—such as White Balance and Saturation—when you process separate versions. I don’t think I could go back to single-shot photography, and I really don’t want to rely on software to make the decisions for me about how to process and blend the pixels.

My two Photoshop books, The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Processing and The Photoshop Darkroom 2: Creative Digital Transformations (both from Focal Press) detail both multi-RAW and hand-HDR techniques. Since this process is so integral to my photography, you’ll find it explained at some level in almost all my recent books. The forthcoming Creative Lighting: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley) explains how to apply multi-RAW and hand-HDR to change the apparent lighting in a photo, and my Creative Landscapes (also from Wiley, due out in June 2011) will explain these techniques in the context of landscape photography.

Darwin: You are an author of numerous books on photography. What was your first book and how did you manage to get the book contract?  Your books have great reviews on Amazon. What does it take to make a book that resonates with photographers?

Harold: When people I don’t know ask me what I do for a living, I tell them that I am a professional photographer and a writer. I have written books on many diverse topics other than photography, and had a good reputation as a writer long before I took up digital photography in 2005. The first photography book I wrote came about because of my reputation as a writer about technology, not as a photographer. In fact, I had to overcome a certain suspicion in the publishing industry about whether I could really be a good professional photographer in addition to my skills as a technologist.

A good book agent is an invaluable ally in the publishing industry, and Matt Wagner has played that role for me. We’ve worked together for many years. Another secret weapon is my wife, Phyllis Davis. She is an excellent professional book designer, and we work together on most projects, so we deliver finished InDesign files to the publisher rather than going through a normal edit and design workflow and production process.

I listen with a great deal of respect to my readers, and have an affirmative commitment to responding to every email that is about photography. I greatly appreciate questions from readers because they are a signal to me that I may not have been clear enough about something, or that there is additional subject matter that should be included in one of my books.

Ultimately, my photography books are valuable to an audience if readers can learn from them and apply what they learn to their own work. I am dedicated to the idea that my books primarily play an educational role. I also believe that one largely learns about photography and image making by looking at images and analyzing how and why they were made. So this is the thought process that I try to encourage in my books, and I try to provide imagery that is inspirational so that people actually want to take the steps that are involved in making comparable photos.

Darwin: Given the rise of eBooks on the internet, do you think that traditional photo books will slowly disappear? Given that photographers can make 100% profit on eBooks why should a photographer deal with a publisher to create a hard copy book and get maybe only 10% royalties?

Harold: I think eBooks are a great development. I’ve been experimenting with reading books on the Kindle and the iPad, and will be releasing some electronic publications in 2011 and beyond. However, I do not believe that printed and published photography books will disappear, nor do I think the economics and business issues are as cut-and-dried as the 100% profit versus 10% royalties in your question would seem to make it. Let me elaborate.

It doesn’t make much sense to me to read a color photography book on black-and-white Kindle reader. There are also formatting issues, mostly having to do with eBook photo and caption placement. This kind of thing will get ironed out eventually, particularly if readers start insisting on decent design in their e-Books. But personally, I still prefer a printed book, particularly if images are involved. Image placement is exactly the way the author intended, I can take it anywhere, and I don’t have to worry about connectivity. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean one should do it, and I don’t think it really makes sense to view photos on small screens. The iPad is the first device that really comes close for me, but there really aren’t authoring tools available that let me translate my vision easily to this medium. The bottom line: books that are like manuals and just there to provide information will gravitate to electronic form. There has to be an added value to be worth making a physical book, but for the foreseeable future I expect there to be a viable place for visually-oriented books that are about more than which menu item one should click.

The profit from an eBook is not 100% if you sell it through Amazon, iTunes, or an eBook publisher. For that matter, there is cost involved in setting up one’s own shopping cart and distribution mechanism. On the other side, the royalty on a printed book can be substantially greater than 10%.

But the point remains valid that electronic publishing can disintermediate the entire chain of book agents, publishers, printers, book distribution companies, and brick-and-mortar bookstores—with a greater percentage of the proceeds going to the individuals who created the product. However, my books are distributed in a way that eBooks are not—for example, to Barnes & Nobles—and translated into languages all over the world. In other words, there’s a much bigger pie to split.

There’s nothing like the aesthetic pleasure of holding a book one has created—and there is considerable professional validation in publication through traditional trade houses.

Darwin: You seem to be able to photograph any subject and do it extremely creatively. You have your own vision and style which comes through in your photos. Any tips on ‘developing a personal style’ that you learned over the years?

Harold: Inspiration is not a “tame lion.” There’s no single magic bullet that will change someone into being a creative photographer. In fact, working too hard at being creative can be a good way to thwart one’s own creative drives. After all, photography is wonderfully fun—and it is important not to lose your sense of fun about it.

It’s good to sneak up on the creative process—I often find that my best work is not in the direction that I expected when I started a project, and part of being creative is learning to be open to serendipity and unexpected directions.

Experiment! Experiment! It is a big mistake to take oneself too seriously. Not everything you do has to be worthy of museum placement.

Specialization is overrated. Having a good eye, some interesting things to say, and understanding the craft of photography are the most important aspects of any kind of photography. These kinds of traits carry across subject matter. After all, no one would complain that Edward Weston was spreading himself too thin because he photographed still life subjects as well as nudes.

I appreciate assignments and projects that stretch my limits. A number of times I’ve accepted assignments, and there was a fear factor, meaning I wondered for a while whether I could really complete the creative work because it was something I hadn’t done before. A little fear is good, and helps stimulate my creative juices. Each of these projects turned out to point me in a new direction, and helped me add to my skill set. So if you don’t have the outside stimulus that comes from commissioned work, then I suggest that you self-assign. These self assignments should stretch your boundaries and make you work in areas and directions that are new to you.

© Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

© Harold Davis

New eBook and Photo Contest over at Visual Wilderness

Posted in Art of Photography, Articles about Photography, Artistic Development, Books about Photography, eBooks, Good News, Image Processing and Software, Inspirations, Instruction, Monthly Photo Contest, TCBlog, Techniques, Webinars, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2011 by Darwin

Note: To see all future ebook releases, please visit us over at

Hey y’all, time to wander over to Visual Wilderness for two new offerings!  The first is Samantha’s new eBook, Foundations which is part of her new Mastering Composition and Design Series of eBooks. That means there are more eBooks on this topic coming in the future. This first book lays the foundations for those who have difficulty ‘seeing’ potential images while in the field. Personally, I think any visual artist needs to master the foundational skills in visualization; Samantha introduces you to the essential skills that underpin creative photography and all for just $4.95. Click on the photo below to learn more.

The Visual Wilderness team has just announced our next photo contest with the theme; American Landscape. So if you have a killer landscape image taken in the United States of America then head over to Visual Wilderness to enter. The prize? This month Jay and Varina Patel are giving away a four-part webinar: Nature Photography and iHDR Workflow worth $196 US greenbacks. These webinars have gotten rave reviews by all who take them. And for those of you who have no US landscape photos, no worries, in the following months we will be covering other geographical locales like Bahrain, Gabon, Laos, Mozambique and Uruguay.  😉

Winter in the Canadian Rockies eBook

Posted in Art of Photography, Articles about Photography, Books about Photography, eBooks, Good News, Inspirations, Instruction, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Techniques, VWBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2011 by Darwin

I am pleased to announce that Winter in the Canadian Rockies is the newest eBook in David duChemin’s Craft & Vision library and the latest in the Print & Process series.  In this monograph I set about to capture the spirit of Canada’s most striking mountain range in the heart of winter. Photographers of all levels, and geographic persuasion, will hopefully find inspiration and insight in this body of work, and the accompanying discussions.

In the eBook, I discuss in detail the joys and difficulties of working in the cold to capture the abstract and artistic beauty of this magical place. I also discuss my tips and techniques for both winter and abstract photography. I love winter photography and hope to inspire you out of hibernation to see the best the season offers.

Winter in the Canadian Rockies – Print & Process is available now as a downloadable PDF for just $5USD.

Special Offer on Craft and Vision PDFs

For the first five days only, if you use the promotional code ROCKIES4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of Winter in the Canadian Rockies for only $4 OR use the code ROCKIES20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST January 22nd, 2011.

Good Photos in Bad Light eBook

Posted in Art of Photography, Articles about Photography, Books about Photography, eBooks, Instruction, TCBlog, Techniques with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2011 by Darwin

I just created a free eBook over at Visual Wilderness about tips and techniques for making good photos in bad light. Click on the photo below if you are interested in downloading the eBook.

Note: Visual Wilderness is no longer active, to get the ebook please go to this link:

New eBooks from Samantha Chrysanthou

Posted in Art of Photography, Articles about Photography, Artistic Development, Books about Photography, Good News, Inspirations, Instruction, Techniques with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by Darwin

Photographing Intimate Landscapes

‘Elegant’, ‘balanced’, ‘thoughtful’, ‘solemn’…these adjectives have often been used to describe the intimate landscape. A style of imagery that exists somewhere between the world of macro and the grand scenic, intimate landscapes demand insightful vision and an advanced talent at arranging the details within a composition. Samantha shares some of her favourite examples of this unique form of photography and delves into what makes a successful intimate landscape. If you are inspired by the finer details in nature, then you are sure to glean new skills as you journey with Samantha into the beautiful world of creating the intimate landscape photograph. Cost $4.95 at Visual Wilderness.

The Li’l eBook of Trees

Enter the wonderful world of trees! Filled with some of Samantha’s favourite images of trees made over the last several years, this eBook takes you on a whimsical journey that is at times solemn and at times joy-filled but always revealing in the ways which the study of trees tells us more about ourselves. Free at Visual Wilderness.


Light and Land, Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom – Michael Frye

Posted in Art of Photography, Books about Photography, Image Processing and Software, Inspirations, Instruction, Techniques with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by Darwin

Light and Land, Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom by Michael Frye is the newest ebook to the Craft & Vision library. Michael, a photographer based on the doorstep of Yosemite National Park, knows his stuff about inspired landscapes and the post-processing techniques that make his vision a reality. Light and Land is written specifically for people with an interest in landscapes and who want to clarify their own unique vision. Landscape work, like other specific genres, has its own challenges with respect to the digital darkroom and this ebook will be of use to anyone wanting to take their post-processing to the next level. With equal parts inspiration and instruction Michael goes step-by-step through the aesthetic judgements behind each decision, and he unpacks the principles behind the landscape-specific considerations. Michael walks you through the Lightroom-based development of 5 different images, discussing the hows and whys of each one. The principles apply equally for Lightroom as well as Aperture or Photoshop. Light and Land is crammed full of content and is available now as a downloadable PDF for just $5USD.

If you use the promotional code LAND4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of Light & Land for only $4 OR use the code LAND20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST December 19, 2010.

Click here to visit Craft And Vision.