Monday, May 18, 2009

My Second Book

My absence from this blog for much of the last several months will have been pretty obvious. I have been working very hard on my second book, called "Camera To Print". The deadline for the text of the book is the end of this month and there will be a lot of further editing and image organization and more editing and index production and more editing but the last few weekends have really broken the back of the work, not to say mine from sitting in front of the computer 12 hours a day - time out to eat and walk the dog.

I think it's going to be a good book, a useful book. The book complements the first book which was all about the art of photography. This one is about the practical aspects of making fine images. Much of the book is dedicated to image editing and showing what is possible with editing while several chapters discuss working the scene. There are lots of bad images compared with good, discussions explaining the differences follow.

I wish someone had written this book for me when I was getting going. Discussions about f stops are minimal but it does discuss stitching, focus blending, HDR, Photoshop techniques and tricks, and has lots of suggestions to improve images.

I think it will be an interesting read for anyone, though I suppose that if you don't like my images, then don't buy the book.

Someone wrote about my first book that I'd made a mistake in the introduction telling people to not buy the book if they didn't like the photographs. He thought the writing terrific and hated the photographs. The ideas in the book may have sounded good to him but surely if the images don't work, then the advice has to be considered questionable.

An old axiom is that "those who can't, teach" but the truth is that people teach because they like teaching, they don't become or stay professional photographers because they hate sucking up to clients or don't have the personality to sell themselves or hate the fact that being a commercial photographer is 90% business and 10% photography.

Many photography teachers could and often do make some very fine images that few ever get to see. My point is that following the photographic advice of someone who "can't hang em' on the wall" is risky at best.

I had a lot less time to make the images for the second book, almost entirely images made in the last 18 months but they nicely illustrate points I want to make. I even found a few gems as I redid a number of images for the book and had to search my files for companion images.

Well, you'll have to take my word for all of this because the book won't be out until late in the year, hopefully well before Christmas unlike last time.

Once editing is complete, I think I'll sneak an example chapter onto my website and let everyone know through the blog that it's there.


Jen said...

Hi George
I loved your first book and (gulp!) I even liked your photos. I can't wait for your new book. In one of your January blogs, you mentioned two topics you wanted to include that made my heart beat a little faster:
1. What to photograph and
2. How to go about looking for something suitable.
Have these two topics been dropped or will they still be included in book 2?
Either way, you bet I'm gonna be first in line to buy.

George Barr said...

There's quite a bit about looking for photographs and the book covers a lot more subject material - there are actually people in the book. The book doesn't tell you what to photograph but does deal with how to approach certain subjects from still lifes, abstract, architecture, sculpture, people and even one sports picture that gets discussed - mind you I had to dig through my archives for that one.

seanmullins said...

Hi George,
will be checking out your new book for sure, I'm half way through "Take your photography to the next level"and I've found it to be one of the best (and one of the few) to really get into the mental side of photography and address things like self doubt - it's good to know I'm not the only neurotic photographer that flips between thinking he can be the next Steve McCurry/Ansel Adamns, and resigning himself to a life of beer mat/bottle cap collecting cause his pictures are duds:)