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.