A Deeper Frame

A Deeper Frame

ETA:  This was supposed to go out yesterday, so apologies to all the feed readers out there…

As most of you already know, I am a huge fan of esoteric topical content that challenges both the writer and the reader in new directions.  While I like to think that I’ve done my fair share of challenging people to think beyond their immediate “vision” with their cameras and compositions, there are always those who just leave me in the dust, and Mr. David DuChemin is no exception.  I find that he is always a brilliant source of inspiration, so when I read his blog, I find myself hanging on almost every word!  When new releases come out from Craft & Vision, the first thing I do is check the author.  There’s been some good stuff there too, even from people I would consider colleagues, and perhaps friends.  But when David puts out a new eBook, it’s become part and parcel for me to just not even look at the title – I click and buy!  That’s how confidant I am that he will deliver quality both in photography and vision from his insights.

After his mishap in Italy, David certainly has had some time to go introspective, and while the mishap was not good, his latest insights are among the best I’ve read from him.  No joke.  I’m not just blowing sunshine, this is really quality work, that makes me re-think even my entire foundation.  His latest eBook “A Deeper Frame” brings new insights on composition to me.  I’d never thought about bringing together depth of field, with depth of color, and depth of tone.  The included photos for his book are so jaw-dropping and perfect counter points to the text, I am just blown away that these are going for a mere $5!

The photography, the content, hell, even the layout is just superb!  Take a look:

A Deeper Frame

A Deeper Frame Sample 1

A Deeper Frame Sample 2

A Deeper Frame Sample 3

A Deeper Frame Sample 4

As you can see – just stunning.  Even for the $5, it’s no surprise that these are the hottest items available today!  I’ve found inspiration aplenty in literally every book of his (and my entire library is now filled with them on my iPad!).  I keep encouraging him to write more because what he gives back in these is just stunning!  To really cap things off, he’s also offering discounts! Save 20% through the 2nd, if you use a discount code (DEEP4) in your checkout box.  Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today!

Click here to visit Craft And Vision.

Thanks to David for all you’ve done for the photography community, both through your classes and these eBooks.  I know to you they may not seem like much, but to so many of us, they are sheer inspiration!  For everyone else, if you get an eBook, do also take the time to pick up the RSS feed for his blog – another brilliant source of inspiration (and that one is free!).

Software Review: Photo Mechanic

Photo Mechanic from Camera Bits

So, after my podcast with Kevin Mullins, I’ve been tinkering around with the Demo version then the NFR version of Photo Mechanic from the folks at Camera Bits…and I’ve gotta say, I am impressed.  For sheer volume management, Photo Mechanic blows Lightroom away.  You can process so many images on a straight basis of “keeper/reject” using a quick glance at the thumbnail and when I have high volume shoots, a program like Photo Mechanic can make things go so much more quickly.  Think I am exaggerating?  Check out this case study:

Photo Mechanic from Camera Bits

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of being the photographer for an annual charity drive for Ducks Unlimited.  Over the course of three hours, I captured about 300 images.  Naturally, some of the shots were before things started (sort of behind the scenes), others were of the attendees, and then others of the auction itself, including products, bidders, and (naturally) the auctioneer.  Afterward, I took the time to run some comparisons.  In order to get as close to a side-by-side comparison as possible, I imported to Lightroom in four different ways:

  • Lightroom with 1:1 previews – from USB attached Drobo
  • Lightroom with 1:1 previews – from local hard drive
  • Lightroom with minimal previews – from USB attached Drobo
  • Lightroom with minimal previews – from local hard drive

The initial import kind of told me some interesting information:

LR – 1:1 – Drobo LR – 1:1 – C Drive LR – minimal – Drobo LR – minimal – C Drive
34 minutes 29 minutes 90 seconds 60 seconds

What does this tell me? Well, for starters, that the rendering of 1:1 previews really adds to the processing time for Lightroom. No surprise though, we already knew that, right? This data just kind of validates the theory. But from the Drobo versus the C drive, this tells me that the difference even with USB really is negligible. SO many people have expressed concerns over the data transfer rates for a cable-attached Drobo, the need for Firewire, SATA and all that jazz. When honestly, it looks like the difference isn’t all that significant at this level.

So, how did Photo Mechanic do?  Well, pretty well, considering.  In Photo Mechanic, it’s not “importing” photos, the software “ingests” them.  Probably just semantics, but the speed is marked, to say the least.  My ingest rates (there is no minimal thumbnail size – it’s always full size), was four minutes for both the Drobo and the C drive!  That’s right, four minutes! A 300 image import took literally 10% of the time it took Lightroom.

Making the first wave of picks and deletions using Photo Mechanic is a no-brainer for me anymore.  I will likely restrict PM to just doing initial imports and deletions though as the editing tools from Lightroom past the initial import/ingest stage are significant enough to merit making the move from PM to LR.  The savings in import time is enough that I finished my post production in less than half of the time it would normally have taken me.  In fact, the Ducks Unlimited event is now out the door, and in the hands of the Chairman!

So, take my advice, if you have the extra $150, consider adding this to your software arsenal – it’s going to save you tons of time in post production!  Oh wait, what’s that?  You don’t have that kind of money?  Well, no worries, there’s still time in this months’ Flickr giveaway to enter.  Just submit your “Speed” themed photo to the June Contest thread for your chance to win!  Thanks to the folks at Camera Bits for their generous contribution and to give me the time to kick the tires on this great software solution!

*****

One final reminder – the first 250 buyers of the DIY Legal Kit fulfillment has almost ended.  There’s literally only a couple left, and if you don’t take advantage of this awesome offer to get the kit at half off, they are expiring at the end of June, so it’s pretty much now or never!  Stop here to pick up the 6 page set of legal forms for a limited time at $15!

Versus

Denver Botanical Gardens

Is it me, or is there always a lot of “versus” discussion going on in the field of photography?  For a while there it was film versus digital.  After that, I recall a lot of discussions surrounding raw versus jpg image capturing.  Then, we moved on to Canon vs Nikon (or any other vendor).  Next up, it was “normal” versus HDR post processing.  More recently, we’ve seen discussions centered around still versus video too.  Technical versus creative, Apple versus Microsoft, Aperture versus Lightroom versus Photoshop versus iPhoto versus…..take your pick!

I have been equally guilty of fanning the flames of versus discussions.  Just recently I wrote a post about lighting versus compositional elements of a photograph (and another one is coming out soon in the PhotographyBB magazine that expands on that idea!).  So, this is more an observation than a critique, because when it comes down to it, discussion is a good thing, right?

But the larger question is whether discussion is the main thrust of it all.  When you think about it, the field of photography really isn’t “about” discussion – that’s the field of debate.  Photography is more about capturing images, whether intended for sale, personal expression, a business model, or anything else – what we really need to be doing is taking pictures!

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There’s an old saying from my college days:  “Those that can’t, teach.  Those that can’t teach, teach college.”  It’s a tongue in cheek perspective on pursuing a post graduate degree, and not one that is necessarily without a modicum of truth to it (I had some really bad college professors at times).  But the upshot of all this is “Those that can, do!

So, if you think you can, then by all means get out and try!  It starts with actually getting out and taking pictures instead of sitting here reading this blog.  So, what are you waiting for?  Have a great weekend, and get out to do some shooting!  See you back here on Monday! (maybe! 🙂  )