Posted on July 7, 2016
The ebook I wrote on getting good photos is now available in print. For the print version, I broke the material down into two books, one on Photographing Zion and Bryce Canyon, the other for Photographing Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef.
These two aren’t coffee table books, there’s tons of detail on shot locations, composition, trails, etc., and publishing all that material on high grade photo paper would have cost $50+. So separating the content into two books got the price down.
I did take the opportunity to do some rewrites and to enhance the resolution on the ebook versions. But most of the work was just getting my print on demand publisher, Xlibris, to understand that a photo-related book requires more in the way of thoughtful layout and big images than the average novel or non-fiction.
Those of you who are into landscape photography of the Southwest will know how unique these Utah parks are. Each has tons of marquee locations that are worth a few hours of your time. And many of these locations really pull out the best in you as a photographer. That’s who so many photo master classes go to these spots.
I don’t try to make either book a comprehensive guide for the parks that are featured. There are plenty of books that list every little photo location. I am going for something more in-depth. I chose 6 or 8 locations at each park that will yield the most kick-ass shots. So for each location, I talk about the photo-related issues you’ll deal with to get an image you’ll be proud of.
The two books will be useful for anyone who is into photography regardless of the equipment they’re packing. And I avoid the tech-talk. Instead, each book reads like a conversation you might have with photo enthusiasts on a photo tour. But instead of a photo tour guide who has done all that research, I’ve pulled together the details.
Images from the book (plus alternative shots)
Zion National Park
From Arches NP
To order from Amazon:
Posted on August 6, 2015
Just got another book review, this one in the Moab, Utah paper. The review is a good one, I continue to be lucky in that. But the review reminded me that everything you do has effects you never fully comprehend — that old metaphor that each action is a pebble thrown in the stream. It has an impact that radiates into the future and touches others in ways you would never imagine. Here’s what I mean.
The reviewer at the Moab Sun, Rudy Herndon, wanted to do more than a simple review. Moab is the town where visitors stay when they’re visiting Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Rudy knows both parks intimately. So he interviewed me for an hour and asked in-depth questions regarding my knowledge of the parks, the town, when I first visited the parks, and my ideas on photography. He also looked at my book page on Amazon and quoted two reviewers, Ron Zigler and Chris Norman.
The thing is, Ron and I go back a long way. We were buddies when I was doing grad school in DC. And the first time I heard about Arches NP was when Ron showed me some of his shots. (Ron was a photographer even then and he continues to do excellent work.) That was in the late 1970s. A few years later, I was driving west from Colorado and spent an afternoon at Arches to see it for myself — the first visit of many. So in some way this book I wrote is a result of that first picture Ron showed me of Delicate Arch.
Chris Norman’s Amazon review explains a different pebble (or not). He points out that we were both participants on a David Muench workshop a few months back. That was our first meeting and I told him then that my Utah book was coming out. He bought the book and will use it to research an upcoming trip to the parks.
Chris and Ron are both excellent photographers whose work I admire. So I’m not going to say that one book is going to change their lives or their artistic approach. I don’t think the pebble metaphor is describing anything that linear.
No. I think that any skill, any knowledge has layers within layers. Ron’s Delicate Arch shot got me interested in Arches and was a step down the road of landscape photography. And maybe one of the locations I suggest can get Ron or Chris (or someone who reads the review in the Moab Sun) stoked about going to The Narrows or False Kiva. Maybe the discussion on shutter speed or morning light or post-production can give someone another tool in their photo work.
A neat photo can plant a seed but you still need to explore and see if that seed idea resonates with something deep inside. Knowledge doesn’t magically make someone a great artist. It’s a key to a door. But you don’t know where that door will lead until you walk through and take the time to explore. The real work is the time and intelligence you bring to the exploration. As the Beatles said about music, “Now that you’ve found another key, what are you going to play?”
Maybe Ron or Chris or someone I don’t know yet will give me some feedback that resonates with me. That’s one of the themes of my book, that once you start talking to other members of the photo community, you start immersing yourself in all the exploration they’re doing.
It all starts with being open to what other folks are doing, listening to new ideas, appreciating new images, and then seeing what resonates within. Ripples on a stream.
Anyway, here’s a screenshot of the review:
Moab Sun Review
Posted on July 30, 2015
My new book on how to get better photos at the Utah national parks just got a nice review at one of the Salt Lake City newspapers, Deseret News. I’m also being interviewed tomorrow for a story in one of the Moab, Utah newspapers. Book link here.
Here’s the latest review:
Posted on July 11, 2015
On the way back from my photo tour of Italy and Greece, I stopped off at Gatwick Airport in London. Lo and behold, they had the August issue of Outdoor Photography magazine — and a review of my Utah landscape photography book. I won’t try to characterize what they said. But here’s a scan of it on page 11 of their “Out There: In Print” section:
Outdoor Photography is the premiere landscape photography magazine in the UK. That’s why their link is to the UK Amazon site and the price is in British Pounds. The link for the American version of Amazon is here:
Obviously it was a total kick to see my book get a sweet review. As a writer, you never know if folks will get what you’re trying to do. But feedback from reviews and the comments I’ve gotten from photographer friends is essential.
As I focus in on the next book, one of my goals is to put some notes and photos on the new work up on this blog. So those of you who are reading, feel free to share any comments or additional ideas here. And if I’m posting shots of a particular spot on my travels, share your own work if it’s appropriate. Part of what I try to do is share the travel locations that are prime candidates for shooting. And I’m always trying to flush out new spots.