book

New Book and Free Book

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m usually really excited to be announcing a new book launch but recent events have somewhat dulled my enthusiasm. I received the final edit over the weekend and as always my editor has done a great job. I thought about delaying this but then decided I wanted to try to regain some normality. I also had the opportunity to dedicate the book to the memory of my mother.

Despite my subdued mood I am very pleased with the content. I think the book is pretty unique in its approach to developing peoples photography. Having said that I will probably find several hundred people now write to me to say it reminds them of another book.

If you want to take a look here are the links to amazon.co.uk and amazon.com. You can also search for “The Photographers Coach” on amazon.

Dfine Cover

Additionally, if you would like to get a free copy of my book “How to Avoid and Remove Image Noise with Nik Dfine 2″, this will be available for free download on the 2nd August and 3rd August from the amazon Kindle store.

The links are as follows for amazon.co.uk and amazon.com. If your on my Lenscraft mailing list I will be sending out a reminder nearer the time.

Please feel free to spread the word and I hope you enjoy.

Nik Color Efex Book Launch

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Nik Color Efex Pro: How to transform your photography
Nik Color Efex Pro: How to transform your photography

I am really pleased to announce that my latest book “Nik Color Efex Pro: How to transform your photography” is now available on Amazon (Link to Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk). It has an introductory price for the month of April of just $2.99 (£1.85 in the UK and other countries are similarly priced in their relevant Amazon stores).

The reason I’m so pleased to announce this is that it’s a huge book. It’s 230 pages in A4 format and contains almost 300 illustrations. Months and effort and research have gone into creating this one and I’m really pleased with the results.

If you’re not familiar with Nik Color Efex Pro it is an amazing product. It contains 55 filters that can be applied to enhance your image in an almost unimaginable variety of ways. A lot of Nik software owners seem to shy away from using it because it offers so much choice and flexibility. There is also very little documented on its filters and functionality so this book provides an invaluable reference tool for users.

View book on Amazon.co.uk

View book on Amazon.com

Contemplative Photography

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Perito Morano Glacier in Argentina. Captured in 2007 using a Canon 400D.
Perito Morano Glacier in Argentina. Captured in 2007 using a Canon 400D. This is an immense slab of ice that is hard to appreciate from the picture. This section of the glacier face is probably a couple of hundred feet tall.

For some reason, quite often when I tell people that I am reading a book on photography they appear surprised. I don’t know why but it’s just the general impression I get. I start by saying this as I am about to discuss a book I have purchased.

Anyway, I was recently browsing the photography section of Waterston’s (for readers not in the UK, this is about the only remaining high street bookstore chain left). There seemed to be a plethora of new titles released for no doubt Christmas. Most of them were very similar and featured what I would describe as over processed images with impact but no lasting appeal. I then happened across a book titled “The Practice of Contemplative Photography” by Michael Wood and Andy Karr (link for amazon.co.uk and amazon.com).

From the cover I wasn’t expecting much but then you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover as the saying goes. Inside what struck me were the images. They were incredibly simple and the processing so subtle. A lot were by the authors but there were also some great images by people you are unlikely to have heard of. The authors had clearly spent a lot of time collating the images for the book.

Did I buy the book? Well, not from Waterston’s as they wanted £24.99 for a copy that was looking a little too worn. In the end I bought it from The Book Depository using Amazon Market Place (which was much better value) and it arrived this morning.

Now I have to say at this point that I haven’t read the text so as an instruction book I have no idea how good it may or may not be. What I know is that looking at the images it will make me contemplate my own work more.

New Book Launch

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Nik Sharpener 3 Book Cover
Nik Sharpener 3 Book Cover

I am very pleased (or relieved depending on how you look at it) to be able to share that my new eBook covering Nik Sharpener Pro 3 is out and can be purchased from Amazon.  It’s titled Nik Sharpener Pro 3: How to achieve razor sharp images. It’s priced as usual to be value for money at $3.99 (£2.51 in the UK). Here is the link to the book on Amazon.com. If you are in another country such as the UK, Amazon provide a helpful link over on the right hand side(see the green box) to switch to your own country where the book can be purchased.

If you are a member of my Lenscraft website you will shortly receive an email advising of a special introductory offer. If you’re not a member and would like to receive advanced notifications of future offers by email, add yourself to my mailing list by signing up as at www.lenscraft.co.uk. It’s completely free and I promise not to share your email address with others or bombard you with email (I hate it when people do that to me).

I hope that those of you who purchase the book enjoy it.

New Photoshop Book Launch

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Cover of my new Photoshop Book
Cover of my new Photoshop Book

I’m very pleased to announce (and with great relief) that my new Photoshop Book “Essential Photoshop: How to use 9 essential tools and techniques to transform your photography” is now live on Amazon (here is the link to it Amazon.com for US readers). The book is designed to support beginners and those who are not confident users of Photoshop, progress to an Intermediate level as quickly as possible.

This book is a little longer than my usual guides at approximately 200 pages and presents a comprehensive, but easy to understand system for editing photography. It’s extensively illustrated, with numerous worked examples, all of which are supported by a download file from my website (www.lenscraft.co.uk). The download contains all the images for the worked examples, in Photoshop PSD format, with the layers still in place. This allows readers to see the actual edits that were made to the images, in order to produce the screenshots for the book.

The approach outlined in the book can be applied to all versions of Photoshop back to version 6 (or possibly earlier) which was released in the year 2000. It doesn’t however apply to Elements; that’s a future book.

The book is available in Kindle format for just $3.99 (£2.69). Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle device as you can download a free Kindle reader application for your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device by following this link.

For anyone who is a registered member of my Lenscraft website you will shortly (depending when you are reading this) receive an email detailing how for a limited time, you can download the book for free. If you aren’t already registered, you can still register and receive similar notifications as I launch future books.

Happy editing.

New Nik Silver Efex Book Launched

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Cover image for my new Amazon Kindle book
Cover image for my new Amazon Kindle book

I am very pleased to announce that I have just launched my latest book. It’s called how to create “Dramatic Black & White Photography using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2“. It’s priced at just $3.99 or £2.68 and is available from Amazon as a Kindle eBook. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle as Amazon provide free Kindle reader software for the PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android platforms.

If you are not familiar with the Silver Efex Pro software, I have to tell you it’s one of the best Black and White conversion tools on the market today. I won’t say the best as that’s a personal opinion. What I can tell you is that it’s an extremely popular plug-in for editing packages such as Photoshop, Lightroom and Elements, and for very good reasons. It’s a favourite of many professional photographers and will when used correctly produce stunning monochrome conversions from colour images. Unfortunately the software was quite expensive, but all that recently changed when Google purchase Nik software and slashed the price of all the packages.

My new book covers all aspects of the package including both the interface in detail. I explain how the different sliders and tools work and how these can be applied to achieve improved conversions. As will all my books, this one is supported by worked examples, the files for which can be downloaded from the Members Area of my Lenscraft website.

If you use or are thinking of using Nik Silver Efex Pro and want a book to support you, please take a look on Amazon.

My San Francisco Trip

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The Golden Gate Bridge captured on a Sony RX100 compact camera. Post processing in Lightroom and Viveza. This has a very tenuous link to the blog post.
The Golden Gate Bridge captured on a Sony RX100 compact camera. Post processing in Lightroom and Viveza. This has a very tenuous link to the blog post.

As some of my recent blog posts mentioned, I have recently returned from a trip to America. Part of this trip was a week in San Francisco, hence the image at the top of this post. The purpose of this post however is not to tell you all about my trip but to share a book I found whilst over in the US.

The book in question is Desert Realty by Ed Freeman. It’s quite a large book in terms of dimension but doesn’t have all that many pages. The book is a collection of fine art photographic images of property (most in need of some loving attention) but more on that shortly.

I found the book in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) where it was discounted from $25 to $10. For some reason (my wife rushing me away) I didn’t purchase the book. This haunted me for a few days until I was at the airport where there was a shop for MoMA and they also had the book for $10. This time I didn’t purchase the book as I didn’t have space in my hand luggage but instead looked it up on Amazon and purchased it on my phone. Anyway, the book arrived yesterday.

There are a few things I like about this book.

Firstly there is the excellent imagery so if you are interested to see this I suggest you look up Ed Freeman’s website where you can fine images from the Desert Realty exhibition/book. Well worth it.

Secondly Ed makes some very good distinctions between Photography and Art Photography. There aren’t many words in the book but they are well worth reading.

Thirdly and most importantly is the explanation of the images and how they were created, which is at the end of the book. Interestingly, if you start by looking at the images you seem to accept them as being very unusual images and to some extend real. You do however recognise that the colours must be faked but generally you think these places perhaps do exist in the desert. When you then move on to look at the back of the book and see the starting images you suddenly see the images in the book at highly manipulated and it jolts you back to reality.

The other aspect of seeing the starting images and reading the accompanying text is that it makes you realise how ordinary the starting images are. They appear almost like a collection of snapshots but it’s clear Ed is simply collecting material for the production of the finished image which he has in his mind’s eye. Don’t however expect detailed description and step by step instruction; this isn’t a how to book. It has however made me think twice about my own work and how I create my images.

Now there certainly isn’t a link between this work and Lightweight photography (I just wanted to share some thoughts with you) so I will point out that compact and Micro 43 cameras are probably the ideal tool to collect the starting material given their size and speed of working.

There, I feel justified now in making this blog post.

LX5 Book Launched

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LX5 Worked Example from my book
LX5 Worked Example from my book

After my previous post, I am no longer feeling sorry for myself and am well on the road to recovery. In fact I am feeling quite satisfied as I have finally completed my book “The Panasonic LX5: How to Achieve Exceptional Image Quality” which has been on the go since November last year.

As the title suggests then book is about how to create exceptional image quality with the LX5. It is supported by a worked example turning a standard LX5 image into a highly detailed 30” print. If you are a member of my Lenscraft web site you can download the full resolution 30” image for a closer look. The only rule is that you can’t sell it, change it or pass it off as your own work.

If you want to find out more about the book you can find the details here.

Hopefully normal blogging resumes from next week.