In a perfect world, we all would instantly know how to do anything. Remember that scene in The Matrix when Trinity needs to learn how to fly a helicopter, and within seconds the skills have been downloaded to her brain? It’s a pretty intense concept, and if you’re not into science fiction then you can ignore the analogy, but in concept – we all would like to just snap our fingers and know anything! It’d be sweet – instant gratification at it’s best.
However, we don’t live in a perfect world, and we are always learning. Those that think they know it all – usually don’t. And those who don’t claim to know much of anything – usually know more than they realize. I’d like to think I am somewhere in the middle of all that, but when I read David DuChemin’s latest eBook “Portraits of Earth“, I was not expecting much. After all, David’s a travel and portrait photographer – and is pretty well known for those skills. His writing has always been something of a benchmark for me though – so I plunged right in, and boy was I surprised!
Not only does David never cease to amaze me with his writing, but his natural knack for even landscape work was pretty amazing, and I found myself learning from someone who is a fairly recent addition to the landscape crowd! He taught me some fantastic nuggets on how to get better results when shooting in fog, that some cameras can change the aspect ratio of the shot (like the Nikon D3), and that sketching with your camera is not a bad thing!
There was some of the typical notes and nuggets that are almost required for any write-up of landscape techniques, like the Rule of Thirds, angles, looking for light, and the rest, so I was a little underwhelmed there, but I guess, as indicated, it’s an expected mention. I was a bit surprised at the level of detail David goes into with regard to filters and such – devoting several pages to their use and non-use (vis-a-vis the impact on the image). Not saying it wasn’t a helpful exercise to view/read, but I think it was more David sharing his own experiments on digital paper than anything else. Of course, the photographs were ones that I would love to have in my own portfolio, but I digress…
The funny thing is that if I hadn’t been on the “preview list” to get a sneak peak of this one, I might not have bought it myself, since a lot of my own background is in landscape and fine art photography. Truth be told though, I would have missed out had that been the case. So, I am going to give this a thumbs up and suggest that even if you think you know about landscape photography, to get this eBook. It’s only $5 (sorry all, I missed the deadline for the $1 off discount), and you will come away with a greater appreciation of what it takes to compose keeper landscape photos – from the gear, to the composition, the patience, and the post production!
So, how does one get this eBook – well, if you’ve not visited the Craft and Vision website or heard me mention it before, the links are peppered throughout this post. Any photo will take you there, or if you want you can click on this link here to get your own download now. Thanks to the team at Craft and Vision for another great publication!