From the Cave

In Craft & Vision, e-books, News & Stuff, Vision & Voice by David18 Comments

Hey. Well it’s been awhile since y’all got much more than book news and stuff. I’ve been hidding in my cave working on deadlines. I’m not exactly emerging so much as I’m sending out a smoke signal. So grab a cup of tea ’cause as smoke signals go, this one’s random and long.

First, thanks for all the encouragement and congrats on finishing Vision & Voice. Man does that feel good to be done. Makes me glad I’m heading to Italy for a month this weekend, as it’ll give me time to breathe before I come home and start on the next book. The deal for the next book just came through but I’m going to take this one a little slower. Reminds me of the lines at the beginning of Apocalypse Now – “I wanted a mission, and for my sins they gave me one.” 🙂

Next. Italy. I leave Sunday and with travel I’ll be gone almost exactly a month. I’m in Liguria for just over two weeks with Jeffrey Chapman and a bunch of talented folks for the first Italy Within The Frame workshops, then to Venice for a 3-day extension and a week after that by myself to sit an drink coffee, breathe deeply, and run amuck with the Hassleblad and some old film. I will do everything I can to keep you updated with postcards. Y’all are like family, so I’ll be neglecting you the same way I neglect them, I promise. That means no phone calls, cheezy postcards when I can, and no souvenirs.

I am planning to release the next eBook while I am gone. I’m excited about all of them but this one especially as it’s some of the stuff I am most passionate about. It’s a large compilation (and by large I mean about 120 pages, God help your bandwidth) of 50 articles from the blog – like the best of Pixelated Image, but offline and with some nice large photographs. If all goes well the elves over on this end will have it up and on the Craft & Vision store before the end of the month. And by then you’ll all know what the book is called and I’ll announce a winner and a prize as soon as I am able.

Chase Jarvis is making an announcement today at 10:40am PDT (GMT-8) that you’ll want to see. Check his blog HERE for those details.

My buddies GAVIN GOUGH and MATT BRANDON are leading the first Lumen Dei trip that I don’t get to go on. I’m pouting over here as they and the team take in Kumbh Mela in India right now. Check their blogs daily for updates as they’re hoping to post images daily if for no other reason than to taunt me.

The folks at Blackrapid, makers of the R-Strap, are at it again and if it’s been a while since you looked at their wares, I encourage you to do so again – they’ve got some great new stuff out and more on the way. More to come on that because I’ve got some swag to give away. Find the Blackrapid site HERE.

Lastly, if you want to pursue a life in the creative arts or just have more time to do what you love, I want to point you to the book I am currently reading. It’s called The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferris, and despite the title and crappy cover,  and the fact that it all sounds like some trendy, cultish, get-rich quick thing, I’m finding myself making pages and pages of notes. There’s some truly excellent stuff in here and while much of it doesn’t apply to what I do, there are transferable concepts. Much of it is about doing more with the time you have and who among us couldn’t use that? But lest you think this is about time management, consider these two take-away bits:

The first is his encouragement to go on a low-information diet. How much time do you spend on Twitter, on Facebook, on countless blogs, plus TV, news, newspapers, magazines? If you stopped watching TV, only read one magazine, and didn’t read the paper, think how much more free your mind and time would be. I haven’t watched TV, nor even owned a TV, for years, and it allows me to get more done. Consider shutting off the noise at the source. You can live without it.

The second is the concept of batching. We love multitasking, we think it makes us efficient. This is the opposite of that, and it’ll make you more effective. Stop doing 5 things at once 20 times a day. Instead focus. Do email twice a day. Sit down, do it, then turn it off. Same with social media, blogging, image processing, whatever. This will free larger blocks of time, free you from that always rushing around feeling, and make the blocks of time you do knuckle down to work much more productive.

Add to this the idea of automating your business, or hiring a virtual assistant in India that can do much of your work for less than you can, and during the hours you sleep, and you’ve just made yourself more effective and freed up chunks of your time to do what you love, like shutting the laptop, grabbing a camera, and making photographs. Now do it all in Costa Rica or Nepal where the cost of living is next to nothing compared to SF, NYC, or Vancouver, and you’ve got more than enough money and time to do what you love. If this all sounds amazing or too good to be true, at least give the book some consideration. Have you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m half-way through and already it’s changing my life.


  1. Thanks for the info. As a really old baby boomer, I still get information overload at work and at play. When I saw “Timothy Ferris” I thought one of my favorite creation-of-the universe writers had branched out…just two guys with the same name.

  2. The 4hr workweek has been recommended to me by several people but I haven’t go to it yet – but I sure agree with your two snippets. I’m a fan of batching.

    Looking forward to the new book!

    And, I’m So. Freaking. Jealous. of your month in Italy. I so wish I could be on that workshop. I will settle for a week of work in Montreal and one day of drinking tea in a cafe in Old Montreal at the end of it.

  3. Hey David,

    Great post, i already do some of those things, no newspaper, etc. I am definitely going to check out the book. Another side benefit of not tuning in to the “news” every day is that you will find you are not constantly depressed. As one of my friends says, if it’s important enough, you will hear about it. Or as Paul Simon says, “I get all the news I need on the weather report.”

    Love the “have a cup of tea,” I actually love tea and import it from your neck of the woods. I have never found any tea in this country (USA), that can compare to Murchies, so I order all my tea from them.

  4. I’m just now finishing up the 4-Hour Workweek myself. Good stuff, but I’m in a bit of a quandary as to how to apply it to my life. I love the idea of freeing up chunks of time and having a muse that creates extra income with little maintenance. The biggest impact so far is the idea that there are no real emergencies – things tend to work themselves out without any major problem. This has allowed me to forget about my paying job when I’m not at work and spend my attention on my family and (when the toddler isn’t in desperate need of his dad) photography.

  5. Can’t wait for the next ebook and eventually the next paper book. I listened to the audio version of “The 4-hour workweek” two years ago. Ironically, it was on a trip just before the busiest 4 month period of my year (May 1 to Aug 31).

    I was only able to apply about half of the suggestions, mostly those relating to batching and cutting out unnecessary tasks. The amazing part of the book was that at that time I was beginning to think along the lines of the lifestyle that Ferris was recommending. I had been working pretty hard for the previous 20 years and it was just going nowhere and I was really beginning to wonder if there wasn’t a better way. It made me wish I could have a do-over on those previous 20 years!

    I realize that many will dismiss the concepts Ferris shares, and that is a shame. It would be a much better world if more of us chose to work less, not more.

  6. I will definitely add this to my reading list. so far everything that you’ve recommended has served me very well. I already ‘batch’ quite a bit, and read NO papers, and little if any TV. I find that the best time to write blog posts are after the family has all gone to bed….fewer distractions, so that has become the scheduled time. Thanks for the ‘n’th time for the inspiration and guidance that you so freely provide. One of these days I’ll join you in India, or Italy, or….

  7. Great post David & enjoy Italy. I ready the 4 Hour Work Week a few months ago. I too was put off by the title until a close friend encouraged me to just read it. I am glad I did.

  8. More DuChemin more often? That’s a plan of sorts.

    Skipping over about 80% of what you wrote, since I’m not involved *grin* I’ll peep this: Love the blackrapid, have an r-strap from a bit back and want one of the newer smaller ones even more. I wish that company much success because they revolutionized the way I carry my camera and I recommend it to everyone I meet (now available at Vistek in Canada!)

    Also, the multi-task thing? Couldn’t agree more. There’s a little button in google RSS reader that lets you mark everything as read. Done. Like an empty inbox. So what if I missed out on 3 weeks worth of information? I seem to be okay. Did someone announce an ebook that I gotta have!? I’ll catch them the next time. Is there a rumour out there that we’re all talking about? Just wait for whatever it is to materialize as reality.

    Try spending it with your family – they’re not going to be around forever.

  9. Great post, as always! Very excited about the news from Chase Jarvis; the new platform will be a very welcome edition to the photo world! Also, thanks for the Black Rapid link. One of their straps has been on my wishlist for a while, but your link led me to check out all the different strap models they have plus the videos. Double strap with mods is now on my wishlist, replacing the single strap!

    Btw, just read your book, “Within the Frame.” Totally awesome… Thanks for the inspiration!

    Have fun in Italy, and keep the posts coming!

  10. Hey David,

    First time commenter, long time reader here 🙂

    Just want to say congrats on the new book deal, looking forward to them both.

    Within the Frame was a big help to me, I read it just before I went on a shooting trip and I credit it for upping the quality of my pictures.

    Now starting on Visionmongers and enjoying it too. Thanks for making both 🙂

  11. Hi… I’m a new visitor to your musings. Nice read. Thanks for sharing.

    I’ll be in Venice through May 3 on the way to Athens. If you happen to see an American with two beautiful women at his side and wearing a black SeV, shooting a Pentax K-7, or red K-x w/DA 15mm Limited lens, please avoid eye contact; that is, unless you wish to get a nice ‘Hello’.

    Ahhh… the Cinque Terre and Venice during Spring… sprinkle in some sunshine… now, THAT’s a ‘target rich’ environment… WOW!

    You will enjoy… Cheers, Michael

  12. You should do a short side trip to my hometown Vienna while you’re in Italy. Lovely city, lots of wonderful stuff to photograph, and you would have a guide for free! 😉 And it’s only a few hours away from Venice.

    Anyway, enjoy your trip to Italy, one of the most beautiful countries in the world!

  13. So David, does that you are moving to someplace where $12K will get you by for a couple of years?

  14. Hey David, Italy sounds like a dream! I’m a huge fan of Tim and his book as well and I’m on the verge of leaving my job and moving to Asia to implement this dream. Two books I’ll be bringing with me; Vision Mongers and The Four Hour Work Week.

  15. Enjoy the trip to Italy.
    Beware of the equipment and billfolds.
    Italy is a country relatively safe (in particular the North Italy), but need a little more wisely.
    When you’re on the road, take the backpacks on the front, and billfolds well-protected in the inside pocket of clothing.
    Do not leave equipment unattended in the room of the hotel.
    good light

  16. Congrats on everything and make sure you don’t drink that Italian coffe after 8pm you will be up all night(learned the hard way). While your over here fly north and visit us here in Sweden your welcome anytime…

  17. Re: 4-hour work week.

    I agree that this is an amazing book (first recommended by the TWiP gang a few months ago), but be forewarned that it takes a few readings or audiobook listens. I read it once, thought about it for a week, listened to it for the 2nd go around, and now plan to re-read the paper copy and take some real notes this time.

    I have already begun my freedom plan. Spent a recent vacation telecommuting 50% and convinced my boss that I should have my annual vacation increased by 1 week instead of an annual raise.

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