eBook Review — Craft and Vision’s Timelapse: An Introduction to Still Photographs in Motion

Anybody who’s followed this blog for long knows I’m a big fan of the eBooks published by Craft And Vision. They’ve just released another one, so I’m giving it a quick review here — hopefully it’ll be a useful addition to your library.

Timelapse cover

This particular eBook is written by Dave Delnea, and is titled Timelapse: An Introduction to Still Photographs in Motion. $5 will get you 43 tabloid-sized pages/sheets, with links to example video on the internet (on Vimeo, to be precise). Here’s a quick summary of what’s in the eBook:

  • Introduction — why do time lapse photography, what you can do with it
  • Demystifying Time Lapse — a simple overview of the work involved
  • Getting Geared Up — a fairly detailed discussion of the equipment you’ll need (or at least, want) to use for time lapse photography. This comes in four parts — Essential Equipment (cameras, lenses, tripod), Essential Extras (intervalometer, power, etc.), Not-so-essential Extras (collapsible seat, smartphone with essential apps), and Computers / Software.
  • Getting Ready — what to do before you get to your site, and what setup you need to do once there (setting up your tripod, framing, focus, camera menu settings, etc.)
  • Flicker — causes and fixes
  • Post-Production Workflow — Ingesting images, editing, deflickering, converting the images to video.
  • Advanced Techniques — motion control, bulb ramping, etc.
  • Case Studies — 5 examples, with explanation of the challenges involved in each, and links to helpful time lapse video clips hosted on Vimeo
  • Conclusion

All-in-all, Timelapse is a very solid introduction to time lapse photography if you’re (relatively) new to it. Even if you’ve done time lapse work before, you’ll likely pick up some good tips from the eBook. Dave uses Nikon gear, but his discussions of camera settings translate pretty easily to other makes. His post-processing discussions are focused on the use of Lightroom and a bit of software called LRTimelapse. This section doesn’t seem to me to translate as well, and LRTimelapse isn’t exactly cheap (a free version with limited capabilities is available; a license for non-commercial video costs 89 euros, one for commercial video costs 249 euros).

Timelapse Horizontal

So depending on whether you want to make time lapse videos for fun, or for potential sale, and depending on what software you already own, the eBook’s software section (taking up a bit under 1/4 of the book) will be more or less useful to you. Even without it, there is quite a bit of good material in the rest of the eBook.

Photographer’s Guide to Palenque — now out on the streets

Palenque cover thumb

It took me considerably longer than I’d hoped — but A Photographer’s Guide to Palenque is now out and available for purchase!  It’s a brute of a guide book at 65 pages in length (if you printed it on regular 8.5″ x 11″ / A4 paper), has a dozen maps and one or two images for every structure open to visitors — a steal at $4.99.

And of course, don’t forget that a purchase also gains you access to a host of online material — an editable shot list, wallpaper for your computer or tablet, bigger maps than I can pack into an eBook, etc.

Go check it out!

eBook review — Craft and Vision’s Up Close, A guide to Macro and Close Up Photography

UpClose cover.jpgCraft and Vision has just released a new eBook — as usual it costs $5, and as usual it’s a good one. The latest title is Up Close by Andrew S. Gibson, and is all about Macro and Close-up Photography — so not a lot of philosophizing in this title, but plenty of practical information for those who shoot things up close (or who are interested in giving it a try).

So what, you may ask, will your $5 get you? Up Close is 90 pages long, and is divided in four parts. Part one (the largest of them) is all about equipment — dedicated macro lenses, close-up lenses (a.k.a. close-up adapters or diopters), reversing rings, extension tubes, and the like. Each gets an exhaustive discussion of its uses, benefits, limitations, and things to consider before you buy. This section of Up Close also includes a nice set of example images made with each of the equipment types, so you can see for yourself what each is capable of producing.

The second part of Up Close is about macro and close-up photographic technique. Focusing, use of depth of field, dealing with camera shake — all get their due in this comparatively slim part of the eBook.

Part three is about lighting for macro and close-up photography. Gibson definitely prefers natural light, but still gives a fairly complete (and commendably brand-agnostic) treatment of lighting options for your work with your camera.

The final section of the book contains case studies of work done by Mandy Disher (macro) and Celine Steen (food close-ups), along with photography tips from both of them.

All in all, Up Close is a very solid work if you’re even just toying with the idea of getting into macro or close-up photography. Gibson includes (really, emphasizes) approaches that don’t involve buying super-expensive macro-specific gear. And for $5, you don’t have much to lose.