Yesterday I submitted the last of the words and images for the last book in the trilogy – Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Hard to describe how excited I am to be done not only this book but the whole series. Harder still to believe that it’s been less than a year since the first one, the poorly acronymned Within The Frame, rolled out. Have no idea what I’ll do with all the time, other than travelling, shooting for clients, and continuing to offer the eBook at Craft&Vision.com. Might be time to begin the fourth book. Hey, if it was good enough for Douglas Adams to do a trilogy in four parts, it’s good enough for me.
Anyways, Vision & Voice. At the beginning of Within The Frame I explained my thought that there are really 3 images that go into the creation of the final photograph – the first is the one you envision, the second is the one you shoot, and the third is the one you refine in the darkroom. The better you are at the second two, the closer you can come to the first. Within The Frame was about the image you capture, Vision & Voice is about refining that image in the digital darkroom, specifically Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
Vision & Voice is not a recipe book full of ways to make your images look “cool” or “better.” In fact that was really one of the premises of the book; to create a book that provided a newer way of looking at post-production than what we’re often told. What we hear so often is. “How do I make my images look better?” What we should be doing is looking for something more for our photographs. We need to define “better.” An image to me is only better when it gets closer to my intention (vision) for the image. If the photograph looks the way I envisioned it, if it makes me feel the way I want it to, then it has a chance at making others feel that too, and that, to me, is better. But how we get there will mean different things to different people. That’s what Vision & Voice is about.
The first half of the book is the part where I drone on and on about visual language and the myth surrounding the “did it really look like that” notion, and the tools in Lightroom and what they do. It’s a little like Within The Frame in that sense. Or my blog for that matter. I hope it comes off with the same sincerity as Within The Frame does. In fact I hope all three books work together along similar lines. The second half of the book is the rubber-meets-the-road part of the book. I walk through about 20 of my own photographs, identify my intent for the image, and then walk you through the process to get there. It’s a full-on how-to kind of book but always connected to the why-to. How come? Because why you do something in post is more important than How and there are always 10 ways to get to the Why. And because these images are congruent with my style and the point is not to teach you how to make images that look like mine. The point is for you to work through the images – with DNG files suppplied online for download so you can work on the same files – and learn the Why and the How, so you can then work on your own files with fresh eyes and a new paradigm – the vision-driven workflow.
So there you go. It’s done. More or less. A few edits here and there, and then some tweaks and the book should, fingers crossed be on the presses early June for July delivery. You can pre-order it now from the link above. If you’re in a hurry, pre-order it with the publisher – Peachpit Press – you’ll get it faster. But it’ll still be in July.
One last thing. I dedicated this book to most of you. It’s dedicated to the Amateurs, the ones who do this for love of the craft whether or not a pay check is involved. Your enthusiasm, persistence, and sheer quality of work constantly humbles and inspires me. To all of you who sent emails or tweets or Facebook comments with encouragement over the past 2 years, which is how long I’ve been writing this trilogy – from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I still believe we have one of the best growing communities of passionate photographers and all around great human beings here on this blog and that’s because of you. Thank you.