The other day I found myself driving around, working on some new ideas in new locations. I drove past a wheat field on my way to a location and made a mental note to return on my way home. There's nothing like finding yourself in the middle of photographing wind whipped wheat and being hit repeatedly in the face. I can handle the sting of a wheat berry bombardment, but what do you do when the impertinent wheat stalk believes it should be the center of attention? Make the photograph anyway. That's what I did. Of course, I happened to make several other non-photo bombed photographs I liked. I just didn't like being flogged why trying to make them.
I had an opportunity to get out and hike last night. I had plans to start one of my new projects and possibly make a few new images in super color infrared. As I hiked I managed to spook a sand hill crane. It flew off in the direction I was planning to hike, so I decided to follow. When I spotted it again, it rested near one of my favorite trees of this hiking area. As I approached, the crane took flight. I barely noticed, mainly due to the fact I was busy pulling the super color converted camera from my bag. Something about the tree caught my eye.
Most of the photographs I have of this tree are during the dormant stage of its life; leafless branches reaching out toward the sky. Last night when I hiked in, I stood for a moment and watched as the breeze made the leaves flit and flutter. It looked as though the tree was conducting the clouds in a wispy symphony just for me. I stayed for a few minutes taking it all in and making several frames. As I hiked away, I thought this was a great start to the night. Unfortunately, the rest of the hike paled in comparison. I hiked to a seldom visited section the Lake Michigan shoreline, only to rest for a moment gazing out into the rolling waves and lackluster sunset. I decided the best had come and gone, but at least I had taken the time to enjoy the brief show. Hiking the nearly 2 miles back to the park entrance, I felt a minute sadness. I had come to start a new project, but only a few frames were made. As I climbed the last hill, I realized, I had also made the infrared frames. Sitting high on a hill with my tripod and 5D mark II beside me, I put my bag next to me, opened it slightly to remove the infrared camera, and started to view the few frames I made. A wave of joy filled my body. It wasn't a total loss. I left the park with my head up high. As for the new project, there's always another day to figure that out. I'm just glad I was able to recognize an opportunity and not be so focused on the task at hand.
First off, let me start by saying, I'm a book lover. I own thousands of hardcover, paperback, special editions, first printings, and even rare books. I love to feel the texture of pulp paper, the smell of a freshly turned page, the heft of a massive tome in my lap, it's a sensory feast. But those things have little to do with the content of the actual book. I'm not going to lie, I still buy my fair share of printed books. (In fact, I'm looking forward to receiving my copy of David Duchemin's fine art book Seven in mid June. A book I would have paid 2 or 3 times the actual price, just to own one of the 1000 copies available.) That alone should have had me thinking about traditional publishing for my book, right? So why did I choose to create my book as an e-book? To be honest, I've watched the world filling with tablets and e-readers at an ever increasing rate. While I cannot say I own one, I do have plans in the near future to make that purchase. As of today, I use my personal computer or laptop to view and read all of my e-publications. I have a vast collection of e-books and e-magazines varying in genre and style. I love the wide gamut of work from various authors, the diverse range of e-magazines available, some only in the e-format. Does this mean I will one day only purchase e-publications? Not likely. But there is a certain appeal, an unabated ability to spread work worldwide at the push of a button. It is that exact reason, I made the difficult choice to share my work this way. The decision was not an easy one, in fact, it was one I wrestled with at great lengths. I know through research, I have a small group of people who would still love to see this work I've created in a printed form- regardless of the price. The problem, in my case, was the desire to reach as many people as possible and not just a select few. The work I created is more than a book of photographs and stories. It's about a personal journey. One that I hope will inspire some, rekindle a passion in others, and entertain at the very least a handful of readers. That is why I choose the e-format. I want the work to be viewed, readable, portable, and at best affordable. I opted to leave the cost of creating the book out of the price. No one should have to pay for my choices, my adventures, or my new gear. Instead, I hope people will buy and consume the book much like a great cup of coffee or a deliciously rich dessert. I want to leave the reader feeling both satisfied, but also wanting to enjoy its pleasures again another day. These choices, also had a direct effect on how I created the price for the e-book. I wanted the price to work in a fashion that created value. I give many gifts through my work on-line. These are all free to view and enjoy. But value, actual cost, brings a sense of worth to the reader. When you are willing to purchase something, it's a conscious decision. It adds a bit of pride in ownership, that doesn't come from free gifts. I don't see this step as the death of traditional publishing. I see this as an opportunity to reach a greater audience. Many people feared the introduction of the home video market years ago. Claiming the end of movie theaters. I mean, having movies available to watch over and over in the comforts of your own home at 1/10 the price should have closed every movie house in the world. Yet the industry thrives. People still go to theaters, still buy popcorn, candy, and soda, because they still see the value of having a night out versus a night at home. It all boils down to options. I only wish I had the ability to share this book in both formats. Maybe someday I will. Is this book for you? Have a peek at one of the opening pages.
Ready to purchase? You'll find the e-book here or you can click the cover page at the beginning of the post.
The best laid plans of mice and men... well, you probably know how that ends already. I'm posting this a bit premature, because I didn't want to launch the e-book until June 3rd. What I discovered is that when you create a seller account, it launches your work as soon as you are done. We'll call this a special pre-launch for those who couldn't wait to read the book. I'm planning a few other posts in the following week about why I decided to create the e-book versus traditional print and a few posts about the actual e-book and what the reader will find. While I'm a little bummed that I won't get to have a small build up before the launch, I am happy to have it available and ready for the world to read. Click the cover of the book and you'll be redirected to the site for purchase.
As an added bonus, I'm offering 20% off the price with the code: fbf (facebook fans). The code is good through July 3rd at midnight. If you have questions or would like to drop me a message you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Become a fan of my new facebook fan page for up to the date photographs in color and infrared.
Recently, I received my new super color infrared converted camera. While I haven't had the time to shoot like I would have wished, I have made it out into some familiar places. The other day I ventured out onto the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, mainly because it's a place I know well. It's safe. After a recent dose of heavy rain, I headed out in the hopes of finding something new to photograph or at least something old, but in a new way. I was amazed at all the new/old things I was able to see/re-see. Imagine my surprise to find many small pools of standing water, in what is normally a vast expanse of sand and little else. A sight like that is worth exploring, but most importantly it's worth finding a way to tell a story.
Shooting with the super color IR converted camera has forced me to relearn how I like to make photographs. The super color IR conversion is based on more after capture processing, a step I'm not sure I'm fond of yet. While it does offer more creative possibilities, it's going to take many hours and mistakes to learn to get it right. That's why this is a journey.
I haven't had a lot of time to break in the new IR converted camera (camera #2, I converted one of my old Canon XSi cameras for super color IR), but the other night the clouds created a nice display, so I decided to go out and shoot a few frames. What follows are a few test photographs I made as I'm trying to learn the new style of IR photography.
I've been working on the e-book INVISIBLE for nearly 4 months straight. It's almost done and will be available (fingers crossed) by June. I have a few house cleaning items and one more person to finalize the edits, then it will be time to create a way to share my journey with the world. It's exciting to finally realize this dream. I've already made plans for a follow up project, but that's a story for another day. I started INVISIBLE nearly a year ago. It wasn't until I stood alone, facing a vast canvas of unbroken lines of sand that I realized I had to make this e-book. There is a story to be told. The book is more than just a few nice photographs of places, it's about the changing of the places, from moment to moment and how I was changed by being there. Where is your blank canvas? This is one of mine.