It’s Finished.

In Books, Lightroom & Workflow, News & Stuff, VisionMongers, Within The Frame by David38 Comments

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& 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.


  1. David, thanks for the reply. Connect the dots? Yeah, I can do that- just pre-ordered my copy on Amazon. 🙂 Have fun in Italy.

  2. Author

    @Rich – I would say that for anyone willing to overlook the Lightroom-specific screenshots and naming conventions, that the concepts here are completely transferable. Vision & Voice is not a book of recipes for cool effects in Lightroom, it’s about taking your intention for an image and making it happen in the digital darkroom. Yes, I use Lr to do that, and the references to how I do things is Lr specific, but like McNally’s discussion of strobes in a book like Hot Shoe Diaries, I suggest that the transferability of concepts would make this useful to an Aperture or ACR user as well, you;ll just have to connect the dots a little more intentionally than Lr users might have to do

  3. I’ll echo the question that others have asked- is this generic enough to be applicable for an Aperture user? Or is it too tightly coupled with Adobe Lightroom?

  4. “The first half of the book is the part where I drone on and on…”

    I hope Peachpit isn’t getting you to do the main marketing for the book 😀

    You should be really proud of your achievement, David. The way you articulate yourself inspires so many of us to become better visionaries. Thanks.

  5. David, any chance that this one will be available electronically as well?

  6. Ever since you blogged with the mostly monochromatic (purple and blue I think)identical images and that you had a vision for the images processed this way, I have been waiting for this book. Thanks!

  7. Congratulations!

    I just wonder why this has been tight to Lightroom?
    As David is somebody who advocates so much in favor of vision and against “gear”, this comes as a surprise to me. I would love to understand how general the book is such that users of Aperture, Photoshop, or even GIMP might benefit from it…

  8. Selamat ya David,
    saya sedang membaca buku anda ” Vision Monger”, can’t hardly wait to read a this book on July…
    Salam dari Indonesia

  9. Great. Timing is perfect. I’ll be back in the UK in July for 6 months with a lot more time on my hands than the last year and ‘refining my PP’ top of my photography to do list. It’s an area I really need to broaden. So definitely looking forward to that.

    I’m hoping to complete my first triathlon this weekend. So congrtatulations on finishing your. You can call the fourth book in the trilogy pretty much amything you like, so long as it doesn’t start “So long, and thanks for all the…”

  10. Congratulations, David! Looking forward to seeing the book. It will hard to wait until July!

  11. Congratulations indeed! I didn’t know you were doing a trilogy, or that it would be on Lightroom – big thanks!! That’s a hit or miss thing for me, looking forward to it. There’s a buzz of excited anticipation about your publications, very Harry Potter – but more of an inspiration!

  12. “Into your hands I commit my final draft,” he said to the powers that be, resurrecting hope in the culmination of a trinity of books as was foretold, and possibly leading to a new covenant with the publisher. But Easter references aside (hey, you started it) …congratulations on the new book, David, it sounds great. :>

  13. Congrats!

    If you have excess time on your hands now, you could come do a 4-day workshop in Colorado! Can’t hurt to ask, right?

    I can’t wait to see what your Vision brings us next.

  14. Congratulations to you David! Just like thousands who flock over to your blog, I’m one of those you inspire to keep going. I first picked up a camera before my first born 2 years ago and was getting frustrated when I see the huge gap between my work and the wonderful images out there that inspire me. Thanks to you the gap is getting a bit closer each day, as you say, “one hard-earned frame at a time”.
    I’m really excited about this book. I have been in search of a lightroom book for a while. I bought one after reading a lot of reviews only to be disappointed (it has snippets of lightroom but actually is a PS book).
    I hope to finish Within The Frame before this one comes out.
    Thanks again!

  15. Way yo go David. Maybe between my ethics class and my managerial econ class I can knock out Vision Mongers so I’ll be ready when this gets published. I consider myself a very avid amateur and I’d like to keep it that way so I’ll enjoy this book even more.

  16. Congrats! Nothing like that feeling of satisfaction when you finish a big project. I can’t wait – you have a great writing style that makes all your work a pleasure to read.

  17. David, I am really looking forward to this new book. I have really loved your other publications. Congrats!

  18. I can hardly tell you how much I am looking forward to reading and working through this new book. I have enjoyed your approach and honesty in the two other books. This too will become one of my “carry-on” items on my future travels.
    Thanks for all you continue to do.

  19. Great! Congratulations on your trilogy. Bought the first two and will buy the final volume in July.

  20. Congratulations David, I’ve bought Within the Frame and Visionmongers and look for forward for your third book. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I really love your writing style and off course your pictures.

  21. Congratulations and thanks for the laugh… As I read your post I laughed at your words, “the poorly acronymned Within The Frame” I remember realizing that when you posted about “the poorly acronym” being in Kelby’s Christmas wish list. I still feel a little bad that my mind went there. peace.

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  23. That’s good news, especially since I pre-ordered it last week. I can hardly wait!

  24. Congrats on finishing your trilogy! I’m really looking forward to this third book! Your work, books and eBooks keep inspiring me to never give up and keep working on my craft. Thanks!

  25. David…congrats on the completion of the Trilogy!

    One question…I have had “Vision And Voice” on order since you announced it, but I have begun to switch my workflow from Lightroom to Aperture.

    My hope is that the recipes that you discuss can be transposed to Aperture since similar tools are in each program. Any thoughts on that?

    I’m not going to cancel my order because I’m sure regardless of post proc app, there are going to pearls o’ wisdom a plenty.



  26. Congratulations on finishing the book David & many thanks to you for writing them!

    I know the journey is never over (& thankfully so) but without word of a lie I don’t think I could have comes as far as I have in the time that I have, nor enjoyed the journey so much, had it not been for the words in your blogs & books.


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