“Light and Land” by Michael Fry – e-book review

I know the newest author in Craft and Vision company, Micheal Frye, very well through his blog. Or should I say, two blogs. First blog is focused more on photography, and is full of tips and tutorials. The other blog is devoted solely to stories and beauty of the Yosemite National Park. Both full of exceptional images and well worth checking out.
Because Michael Frye is living so close to Yosemite, it allows him, just like it allowed Ansel Adams, to get to know it really well and be able to take advantage of great light and rare weather events like no photographer coming to visit for a few days. In a sense, Yosemite is his backyard and he can photograph “close to home” in this unique and beautiful place. It shows in the images, too.
When I learned about Michael Frye’s upcoming e-book, “Light and Land” I was really curious. The weekly critique on the blog reveals great teaching and openness in sharing. The book offers just that. Michael Frye shares his post-processing workflow and favorite Lightroom tools, but most importantly, the thought process leading to the final image, expressing the photographer’s vision. It reminds a bit of David DuChemin’s “Vision and Voice” book, but is specifically aimed at landscape images. The principles are explained in 5 example images, which are developed step by step, and the changes can be observed affecting the final output. Although author uses Lightroom screenshots, the tools are basic and available in any other post processing package. The only one complained I could have, that the example images are not available for download, and the reader cannot try going through the steps himself. But, truth be told, the images are really fantastic, and I can understand the hesitation to get them out there for people to grab.
If you have never used Curves and typically stay away from this panel in Lightroom or any other image processing software, you should get the e-book and read the chapter of e-book on that. It provides the simplest explanation there is to use to tool efficiently. I tried the technique on one of my images, and was impressed by the results I obtained without touching multiple sliders in the Basic panel. I also am looking forward exploring Black and White conversions using “digital color filters” as described in two chapters.
The book has a lot to offer for just 5$ of its price. Full of practical information and great images, is a perfect idea for a present for a photographer in the family, or for yourself.

Release notes from Craft and Vision:
Light and Land, Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom by Michael Frye is the newest ebook to the Craft & Vision library. Michael, a photographer based on the doorstep of Yosemite Nation Park, knows his stuff about inspired landscapes and the post-processing techniques that make his vision a reality. Light and Land is written specifically for people with an interest in landscapes and who want to clarify their own unique vision. Landscape work, like other specific genres, has its own challenges with respect to the digital darkroom and this ebook will be of use to anyone wanting to take their post-processing to the next level. With equal parts inspiration and instruction Michael goes step-by-step through the aesthetic judgements behind each decision, and he unpacks the principles behind the landscape-specific considerations. Michael walks you through the Lightroom-based development of 5 different images, discussing the hows and whys of each one. The principles apply equally for Lightroom as well as Aperture or Photoshop.

“Light and Land” is available now as a downloadable PDF for just $5USD. But… for the first four days only, if you use the promotional code LAND4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of Light & Land for only $4 OR use the code LAND20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST December 19, 2010.

Also, check out this great holiday gift idea. “Special $20 Gift Coupon” is one 6-digit code which the buyer can forward to his gift recipient, or write the code in a greeting card, etc. To redeem the gift the recipient needs to visits Craft & Vision, add 4+ PDF ebooks to their shopping cart, then enter the code in the Discount Code section of the shopping cart screen to redeem their Gift Coupon discount. The gift coupon can be ordered here.

NOTE: Gift Coupons cannot retain any unspent value for future use; e.g., if someone redeems a $20 Gift Coupon on a $15 order total, the remaining $5 would be forfeit (this is why they are not call them “Gift Certificates”).

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