Vision & Voice

In Books, Lightroom & Workflow, News & Stuff by David44 Comments


At the risk of more jokes about how y’all can’t read as fast as I write, ahem, now has my third book for pre-sale. It has for about a week, but I was holding out on telling you. So, for the uber-impatient among you, here are the links to the book on Amazon, and on Barnes and Noble. I had planned to do three books over the course of three years, but the folks at Peachpit put RedBull in their water cooler.

Vision & Voice is the third in what I’ve been thinking of as a trilogy, three books bound together by the common theme of vision, but addressing different facets of photography. Within The Frame is about the vision-driven capture, VisionMongers is about the vision-driven career, and Vision & Voice is about the vision-driven digital darkroom. Y’all will be forgiven if you never want to hear me use the word “vision” ever again.

I began Within The Frame by stating that I believe there are three images that go into making the final photograph – the one you envision, the one you shoot, and the one your refine in post-production. The better you are at the latter two, the closer you’ll come to the first. Vision & Voice is about the role of the digital darkroom, specifically Adobe Lightroom, in refining our vision. It’s not a how-to use Lightroom book, though the exercises will help you learn Lightroom. It’s not even a “how do I make my images look better?” book, because that’s the problem with the whole thing. Any book that tells you how to “make your image look better” would first have to know what “better” means, and as only you know your intention for an image, I think it’s best we look at the tools in the digital darkroom through the metaphor of voice. You first have to know what you want to say before you can go about deciding how to say it. Then you choose the right tools, the right voice, to express those intentions.

So I’m working furiously on this now, and it’s easily the most daunting project to date. The release is due in the later spring sometime, May 24 according to Amazon. If you’re counting, that’s 3 books in one year and I’m getting tired, so I trust you’ll all be OK with me taking a breather and hiding on a beach in the Maldives or something for a while once the third book in the trilogy roles off the press in May.

Thanks for being on this ride with me. Churning out these books, having them so beautifully realized by my publishing team, and so enthusiastically received by you, this has been an unforgettable year. I have the best photographic community in the world and I don’t take it for granted – thank you! Thanks also for the response to yesterday’s post. If you’ve not read the comments, you should take some time to do so – seems there are many of us swinging back to film and reaping the creative benefits. My buddy Kevin Clark has a 4×5 camera I might steal from him and play with. It’s been a while since I’ve had this much fun stirring the paint. Much of this stuff,and the resulting images, will be going into the 2nd volume of The Inspired Eye. But don’t hold your breath, that one will come in the new year.


  1. I’m looking forward to the book but hope that it is a practical step-by-step guide. Definitely put in some examples of your fantastic workflows- dodging, burning, sharpening, layers, etc. You said it’s not a “how to” book but anything that would shed light on your post-processing expertise would be appreciated. Looking forward to it. I was very curious what tools you use- and what ones you avoid. Somehow I imagine you have some amazing sharpening or color adjustment method that makes your great photos even better.

  2. I’m looking forward to this book bro. I’m totally blown by all the inspiration in VisionMongers!
    I can’t wait to finish reading it and post my review on it!
    Keep in touch David.
    ~Jay Rodriguez

  3. Like all things I choose to spend money on, I look forward to this with trepidation. Your words fall a bit more into the want, than need category, but that line has become so blurred you’d think I was on a beech in Mexico. So every time you produce words for pay – I’m inclined to purchase them.

    It’s a more than fair transaction as I’m sure the $30 or so dollars I throw at Amazon flows it’s way through a series of tubes, past the warehouses of the Amazon, over to the Peachpit press headquarters, winding it’s way into gashes and cracks in the floor, down down into a dark dungeon where the last remnants collect, forming droplets, pausing for a moment on a ledge.
    TAP TAP TAP – the sound of the droplets bounce of the top of your head; crouched, cramped and cold, chained to a Macbook you glance up and let the next few drops catch your tongue; TAP TAP TAP. Your thirst quenched – mitigated for just a moment – you return to your aluminum device feverishly typing your next tome.
    “Maybe just this one more” you say to yourself, “One more and they’ll let me go.”

    To be with your wife again; to sleep without the fear of words, language, edits, and corrections permeating your dreams – do I use the American spelling or Canadian? To see a sunrise again, not refracted light through your office blinds, not a stolen glimpse from a landscape photographers website, but real and in front of you. Life. Photography. Vision!

    TAP TAP TAP… the moment is gone – you have a chapter to finish, they’ll want to see what you’ve done – they’ll be coming soon – TAP TAP TAP.

  4. When I first saw your blog, I thought : “Well, this guy is cool”

    Then I bought your WTF and I thought : “This guy might have short nights”

    Today I read this post about your third book, and I can just say : “This David Duchemin is just crazy…”

    Get some sleep after that David, you might need a big break. But don’t go away too long, we won’t be happy at all

  5. David… I can’t wait till it comes out. I recently ordered and received “Within the Fame” and “VisionMongers”. Started in on the latter last night and am loving it. Keep the books coming. They are wonderful resources and true works of inspiration for all of us.

  6. Are you playing around with Lr 3 & if so will it be covered in the book. If not maybe an E-book. Free for those who buy the book of course.

  7. Wow, great to hear. I had my credit card out and was ready to order when I read further and realized that I will have to wait until May. That’s probably just as well. I need to finish Within the Frame and VisionMongers first. Hi, my name is Art, and yes, I am addicted to David duChemin.

  8. I wil join the chorus and ask in amazement, are you the Stephen King of photography book authors? Really enjoying all that I have read so far (2 ebooks, WTF, VM) and looking forward to the other ebooks. I do hope that V&V will offer something for us Aperture 2 users…??? Thanks in advance!

  9. David, thanks for the heads-up on Vision & Voice.

    If it’s not too intrusive to ask, are you talking with your publisher about coding versions of your books for the anticipated iTablet? I’d give my left lens to be able to carry all your books (with images) when traveling.

  10. I only have the original Lightroom. Will I need to have Lightroom 9 or whatever is available by then, to make sense of it? …and yeah, like you’re going to stop writing for a while….they have pencils and leaves in the Maldives, don’t they?

  11. OCD comes to mind. Just kidding, if it’s flowing out… let it flow. BTW, will you have the “duChemin vision” Lightroom preset available for us? 🙂

  12. …not holding my breath, I am laughing! How wonderful. I planned to dig in and really learn Lightroom in 2010, so Vision & Voice will be exactly what I need! Thank you in advance.

    After reading “the Inspired eye” I need to find a discussion group.

    Keep ’em comin’ 🙂 I agree with Frederic.

  13. Looking forward to the new book. Just starting to use Lightroom and need all the help, vision I can get.

  14. Don’t you ever sleep. I’ve read WTF 2 times now and I’m looking forward to your new book. Just so you know, I recommend all you ebooks to photographer friends and fellow photography club members..

  15. David,

    for those of us who have become used to devouring your blog, ebooks and published material , in a word, addicted to your voice, it’s gonna feel like a withdrawal when you do hit the Maldives! 🙂

  16. I’ve just purchased Within the Frame and put VisionMongers on my wish list… now another to add. Thanks for producing such great work!

  17. @RyanS No need to feel pressure – think of this trilogy as an incredible cheap set of workshops. We might pay $1000’s of dollars to go attend one with travel costs and all. You can buy and read these books at your leisure.

    I am personally thankful these books are coming out when they are – they, like “The Moment It Clicks” by Joe McNally, are validating thoughts I already have as well as inspiring me to achieve things I never considered before.

    Elton John once cranked out 2 albums a year for 4-5 years – what a catalog he created.

  18. Sweet – just put it on my Amazon wish list hoping someone in the family puts it under the tree this year…otherwise I’m buying it @ the end of the month. Congratulations on another book!

  19. Wow. What is amazing is not that you keep churning out books, but that the quality seems to just keep getting better. Your voice is a much needed and welcome addition to the photographic community.

    Thanks for sharing your gifts with us.

  20. What a wonderful surprise. In addition to this my copies of both Visionmongers and Lightroom arrived in the mail today.

    Btw – The blue “Change” link after “Welcome back Eli R.” does not seem to work. I have solved the Gravatar mystery and was hoping to change personality.

  21. I better get cracking here. Just reread Within the Frame. Still have two out of the four ebooks to read (they’re great) and VisionMongers just arrived…

    Happy Holidays!

  22. Author

    Thanks folks.

    @RyanS – They’re books, they come with no Best Before date. They’ll keep. Slow down, enjoy the books – they’ll be there when you’re ready.

  23. Looking forward to reading it! But seriously, you somewhat devalue your own work when fans feel pressured to try and keep up…

  24. Wow it’s a full time job reading all of your books and trying to keep up with your blog… You’re like that “effin” Energizer-bunny or something!

  25. I just received my copy of Visionmongers yesterday, and have really been enjoying it. This has me really excited to pick up your new book as soon as it hits the shelves!

  26. Although I only read Within The Frame, and my copy of VisionMongers will arrive later this month, I do believe that your three books will be the most interesting, the most important and the most inspiring on my bookshelves!

  27. You’re right when you say that you write books faster than we read it! But I’m ok with that :)!
    I want to see the new book right in my desk! Hurry! 🙂
    And thanks for your generosity in sharing your marvellous thoughts.

  28. David, have mercy on my bank account! Please take a break. I love your books but I can’t keep up the frenetic pace, what with ebooks and print books, and my wife is starting to get suspicious 😉

    You are a machine! Take a break from writing and go do some photography 😉



  29. Look forward to the new book!

    @Jacob, it might be worth holding off on lightroom until version 3 comes out early next year. You can download the beta now to have a try of it from the adobe labs site.

  30. I’m looking forward to it. I have Within the Frame (I always get stuck trying o abbreviate that) and it’s great! I don’t actually have Lightroom yet but it is hot on my list of Christmas presents.

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