Flickroom, Lumen Dei 2010, & Other Stuff.

In Books, News & Stuff, Rants and Sermons, Resources, Vision Is Better, Workshops and Events by David28 Comments


First, today is the official release day for VisionMongers. I got my copy on Friday and it looks great. Kudos to the fine folks at Peachpit who make my stuff look like a million bucks. Because when it leaves my harddrives it looks like a chaotic pile of words and disorganized images. Am I excited? You betcha! This is a book that’s going to be really helpful to a lot of people and there’s nothing else like it out there right now. Folks who ordered from Peachpit should be getting them asap. Let me know if you’ve got yours?

Stumbled across this on Twitter – it’s called Flickroom and between the goodness of Adobe Air and the interface that finally (FINALLY!) relegates Flickr a little more to the background, this should make Flickr a much less aesthetically abusive experience. I use CoolIris to view Flickr images, this will make it easier to post images to Flickr without me wanting to put my eyes out with a hot fork. Check it out HERE.

The details for Lumen Dei 2010 have just been released. Lumen Dei’s logistics and marketing have been taken over completely by Frontier Treks and Tours, leaving Matt Brandon and I more time to do what we love – shooting and teaching. Details are on a new Lumen Dei site HERE . Don’t go to the old one I haven’t updated it. Remember, it’s first come, first served, and there are only 8 spaces. Last year it sold out in 3 days and my more recent tours have sold out even faster, so if you want in, don’t spend much time hesitating. The rough details are these – the tour runs from September 12 to 25, and we’ll not being going only to Ladakh or only to Kashmir – but a week in each with an overland journey between the two. Should be a blast and I’m already looking forward to next September! More info HERE.

I’ve had another question about why I don’t generally give money to people of whom I make photographs when I travel. In fact someone pointed me to a forum last week where they were discussing this, speculating that I must be stingy. First, it’s a principle not a rule, and there are always, always exceptions. But I think it’s important we remember this – spending time with people and creating photographs as a result of those exchanges is a beautiful, human thing. Reducing it to a financial transaction is not only impossible for every situation, but it will create a climate in which these exchanges become nearly impossible. To be clear, if I spend any amount of real time with someone I’m happy to be as generous as I can possibly be. At times this means money. I’m not a photojournalist, my MO is different. But I’d rather purchase a gift, leave images, or buy something from their stall if they’re merchants. But everyone needs to settle this for themselves. If your initial impulse is to withhold, ask yourself why – and if it’s for lack of generosity, it might be time to change that. If your first reaction is to shell out a dollar, ask yourself if there aren’t better – and more generous – ways to give back. Sometimes it is money, sometimes it’s not. For me, it usually isn’t. But that doesn’t for a moment exclude a reciprocal, generous, exchange – allowing photography to be an act of giving as much – or more than – an act of taking. You make these decisions with both your head and your heart. But merely giving a buck when the hand goes out is probably not the best solution. Of course not everyone will agree with me, I’m ok with that. But I do think we all need to raise the bar on this.

Lastly, there’s a new website coming for my ebooks – it’ll make it much easier for you to browse the books, take a look at coming books, and see which authors are coming out with new books. It’s been rebranded and I’m really excited about it, but most of all I’m excited about the coming books from people like Dave Delnea, Kevin Clark, and Gavin Gough – all photographers I look up to and learn from (and for that reason they are also in VisionMongers, alongside Zack Arias, Joe McNally, Chase Jarvis, and others). There’s good things coming, folks. And the emphasis will still be on vision and education, not buying more gear. And we have no plans to make them any more than $5 each. I’ll update you as soon as I can. For now, I’m taking a break from writing the ebooks, allowing me to work on the next print book, and allowing you to catch up on your own reading. But I have plans. Oh, do I have plans…

See you tomorrow.


  1. As you say, I think it’s a personal thing whether you give money to someone or choose another way of ‘giving back’ but personally, i’m with you in so far as giving money is not my natural first thought.

    I mean, sure, if the person is begging on the street with a bowl out front then yeah, i’ll probably think ‘money’, but in most other circumstances (and even in that one really) i treat others as i’d expect to be treated myself and if the situations were reversed i’d consider someone offering me money to be an insult. Not everyone is a card carrying capitalist and i’m certainly not. I’d always much rather give ‘of myself’ than ‘of my wallet’ whichever side of the lens i find myself on.

  2. Hi David. I’m really having issues accessing the Frontier Treks and Tours site. Both Safari and Firefox seem to think the site doesn’t exist. Very strange. Has anyone else here experienced any issues?

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  4. Just ordered the book. But I think I’ll have to wait as I’m living in Switzerland… But I’m really looking forward to it !

  5. *Sigh” the Lumen Dei dates won’t work for me this time, but next one – likely.

    Of course I’m looking forward to all of your new endeavours!


  6. …allowing me to catch up on my reading of DuChemin materials. Lumen Dei will happen – in my lifetime (maybe).

  7. Let’s see, how many days ago did I order DRAWING THE EYE and still waiting for the PayPal eCheck to clear? When did you say that new web site would be up and running? And hopefully I can order through some other way than eCheck. 7-9 days is a long spell to wait for an itsy-bitsy ebook.

  8. Author

    Well the site will be up soon but we’ll be using the same e-comm engine with Paypal. Sorry, but I have nothing to do with how long Paypal choses to process your chosen means of payment. But you’re right, that’s a long time to wait for it. Sorry. Paypal isn’t my favourite either – you have something better, let me know, I’m all ears…

  9. Guess we’ll have to wait for the book a little longer over here in the UK!

    (Very) Tempted by the Lumen Dei tour but as I was only there earlier this year, I think I’ll postpone for a year!

  10. Not sure where the PayPal user is located and if that is part of the issue, but I have it drawing direct from my account and it is instantaneous. Which makes buying things easier than it probably should be…… (Not David’s books, those are necessities!)

  11. David, I only WISH I knew a miniscule more about Paypal. That would put me on a par with my foto knowledge. Regret I can’t offer something different. I bought “10” without a hitch. It came instantaneously. But my last order is requiring a 7-9 day wait. Go figure. Done nothing with my Paypal account to change it. Account info is USA. Wonder how long my next purchase with you will take. (Sigh.) In my next life I want to live as a 19th century English gentleman. Have someone do the grunt work for me:))

  12. Checked out Flickroom –
    It feels more like an Alpha than a Beta version. It gets stuck quite often and I noticed that under ‘groups’ it doesn’t list all my groups.

  13. aaah Lumen Dei… can I just put in my 2 cents worth. I went this year and cannot recommend it highly enough – to both newbies and old hats – you’ll get so much out of it. If you’re having a wonder at all about Lumen Dei, my advice is to DO IT, get in quick because this trip doesn’t need advertising.

    spewing I can’t go next year 🙁
    peter berg

  14. Amazon told me today that Visionmongers will arrive ahead of schedule. I have been slowly savoring WTF so I guess it is time to speed it up! Looking forward to hearing more about your plans and to seeing the new ebook site.

  15. I agree with you. Passing out dollars, especially in the poorest parts of the world, may not be a good thing. If you don’t understand a context, giving a kid the equivalent of a day’s wages is just foolish. What I hate is the arrogance of travelers who disperse money as if the gods just descended. The dollars they give may be spent shortly, but the damage remains. Many a child has been converted into a beggar by tourists who dole out more than an honest day of work would pay his or her parents. We do such things for ego and guilty conscience, not for love. Of course, as you say, there are times to pay a fair wage for the time you take, and then it helps to know what is fair and appropriate in the local economy.

    I’m new here but just bought one of your eBooks!

  16. @travellightly – how frustrating for it to work well one time but not the next. Drawing the Eye is worth waiting for, but 7-9 days is a long time. You might want to consider a Visa Check Card if your bank offers it, $$ comes out of your acct and it plays nicely with PayPal.

    David, I thought your concept of mutual exchange was lovely and very respectful. I suppose ultimately each of us has to be comfortable with the way in which we treat others.

    I finished reading Chasing the Look and am looking forward to VisionMongers. Thank you for taking time to create these incredible resources and lead us on this journey. I am excited to see where your plans take us. Thanks for the heads up so I can reserve an allowance for it. 🙂

  17. Regarding Flickroom, have to agree with David’s comments above. Doesn’t seem to run very well at all so far. Looks like it will be great when it’s working though.

  18. Congrats on the Vision Mongers release. Amazon is telling me a November 30th shipping date. Probably a good thing, as I only part way through the 2nd edition of John Harrington’s business practices, and have yet to do much more than unwrap the plastic from the Dam book.

  19. Just ordered my copy of Vision Mongers. Can’t wait for it to get here. If it’s like your first book and all of your e-books, it will be a read and re-read. I’m so glad I found your web site, blog, and e-books. There’s so much to learn and so little time!

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  21. I think it has been well said by many…”Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day…Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

  22. Thanks David! Wish I have an income that would support joining the Lumen Dei in 2011!

    For those interested, it seems that Flickroom would work better on Macs than Windows..

  23. David,

    Paypal is not available to certain countries, mine being included. But, there is an alternative, Google Checkout. Haiti is on the list, and so are probably all the countries where Paypal is not available. I know that Zack Arias uses that service to sell his One Light DVD to international customers who can’t use Paypal. So maybe there is a way to integrate your e-commerce engine with Google Checkout instead.

  24. Re the Paypal issue, I do think something has changed. I have used Paypal several times month for several years now, making purchases in 5-6 different countries, and at least 4 currencies. Then last week, out of the blue, one purchase required required an e-chack, which was drawn on my linked bank account, despite having more than 10K paypal balance. I have asked them about it, but in typical paypal fashion, they are not responsive (yet).

    Anyway, can’t wait for the new e-book site.

  25. I’m a journalist and the idea that I should pay someone for speaking to me is ridiculous. I think the same applies for photography. Unless the person asks me to pay, I’m not obliged to pay any money.

  26. Thanks David!! What a cool app. A great Front End to Flickr. I like it much better than Cooliris. The 3D effects of Cooliris make my head spin and don’t add any utility to the app. This is lean and clean.

  27. Update on PayPal: I just ordered Chasing The Look. It went through as an instant download without my making any changes to my PayPal account. Go figger:))

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