“Journey through Java” by Mitchell Kanaskevitch – e-book review

Here comes time to introduce another, already fifth, e-book in The Print & The Process series from Craft & Vision. And yet another author to join the company. Mitchell Kanaskevitch in not new to e-book writing, he published already two of them by himself, but it certainly is a good news he decided to join the Craft & Vision brand.

The 46 pages of ““Journey Through Java” showcases 24 of Mitchell Kanaskevitch photographs made on a trip to this interesting location. The 3 series of images correspond to three regions visited, and are focusing on people the photographer met on the way, and their struggle to make the living in the difficult terrain. Thus, the images tell the stories of three professions- miners, horseman and fisherman. The few landscapes just serve the purpose to show the environment in which they spend their time. I especially like the images captured at the fire, presented on first few pages of the e-book, for which I knew Mitchell already after reading his earlier e-book “Seeing the light”. The appeal of those photopgraphs comes from the fact that the main subject is well lit (sometimes just by fire, sometimes with combination of available light and skillfully placed flash), and the background with all of its distractions is hidden in the dark, simplifying the image.

Mitchell Kanaskevitch really mastered the use of light to his advantage, from the fire in the images I mentioned already, to the sunset to create tell tale silhouettes. Effective use of light is a focus of the last part of the e-book, where each image is commented on why and how it was made. The author provides some tips on when to introduce a flash, and when it is better to stick with tripod. This section contains also additional short stories about people portrayed in the e-book. Learning those stories was possible thanks to carful preparation before the trip to exotic localization, for which author provides advice in the second part of the book. As an example, he stresses polishing your language skills. Knowing basic phrases is very helpful to make a better connection with the subjects, and thus take more meaningful photographs. It also makes you stand out from the crowd of “normal tourists” and better blend in with locals.

The only one complaint I would have about the e-book is how the images are edited. There seem to be the lack of consistence we know from David DuChemin’s e-books. It would be fairly easy to change the order of few images- for example put image on page 15 later in the book, for example combine it with images on page 18 and 20, and change the white balance on image on page 11 to match it with fantastic yellow sulfur focused images on pages 7, 9 and 10, to make connections between the photographs within the story and among stories stronger. But such treatment would make a viewer lazy and relieve him from thinking each image through.

Overall, the “Journey Through Java” e-book presents great images accompanied by incredible stories of hard working people, living in extreme location. With some photographic advice attached to it. Well worth checkin out.

This is how Craft & Vision company introduces new author:

Mitchell Kanashkevich is a freelance travel and documentary photographer. He travels the world and shoots personal projects as well as travel related stories and stock photos for Getty and Corbis Images. Mitchell’s main passion lies in capturing disappearing ancient cultures and the human condition in unique, challenging situations. His work has appeared in some of the world’s top photography magazines, on book covers, in ad campaigns and has made its way into private photo collections around the world. Visit his website at http://www.mitchellkphotos.com.

And the newest e-book in Craft& Vision collection:

“Journey Through Java” is the fifth in our series The Print & The Process. Mitchell Kanashkevich is a curious world wanderer and a travel/documentary photographer who works passionately and skillfully to create exceptional images of some of the most amazing places in the world. This e-book is built around a series of images from his journey around East Java, predominantly Ijen Crater, Mount Bromo and the Island of Madura. By exploring the idea of photographing in iconic/famous places Mitchell delves into the heart of what it takes to find your own voice and story. He’ll unpack the processes behind his creative decisions and he doesn’t shy away from practical topics; such as, types of light, off-camera flash in a softbox, and choosing the right angles. Mitchell doesn’t stop there. He goes beyond surface level impressions and shares his insights into how to create deep and meaningful photographs.

As usual, the new release is accompanied by the special offer. For the first four days only, if you use the promotional code JAVA4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of “Journey Through Java” – The Print & The Process for only $4 OR use the code JAVA20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF e-books. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST October 3, 2010.

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