2 Must Have E-Books to Inspire You

2 Must Have E-Books to Inspire You


At dPS we’re committed to helping our readers learn about different aspects of their craft. We do this primarily through the creation of tutorials here on our blog and via the occasional production of dPS e-books that explore topics on a deeper level than we can in a single blog post.

We’re not the only ones with this goal and love to promote others with a similar vision.

Recently we’ve been impressed by two new e-books that we think will help many of our readers. I particularly like both because they are not just about the technicalities of photography but hit the heart with their approach – inspirational stuff.

The Magic of Black & White Photography (Part 1)

BWMagic-featured.jpgThis newest addition to David DuChemin’s Craft and Vision range of e-books is by Andrew S. Gibson.

As the title suggests, it is an exploration of the topic of black and white photography.

It is the first part in a two part series of e-books – this one looks at topics such as ‘what makes a great black and white photograph’, ‘what to look for when learning to ‘see’ in monochrome, ‘elements of a black and white image’ and ‘potential subjects for black and white photographs’.

This is a 58 page pdf e-book and it is selling for the amazing price of just $5 USD.

Grab a copy of this black and white photography resource here.

Taj Mahal – a Photographer’s Approach

201003301123.jpgThis short e-book (it’s only an 18 page pdf – but they’re good) covers photographer Bruce Percy’s approach to photographing the Taj Mahal in India.

It is not a technical book but rather is (as Bruce says) ‘an essay on attitude’ that I think would be applicable to photographers tackling all kinds of subjects.

Chapters cover a range of topics including work on ‘Simplification’ (remove, reduce, isolate), ‘Suggestion’ (make of a scene what you will), ‘Connection’ (emotional intelligence), ‘Reportage’ (story over aesthetics) and ‘Interpretation’ (visualisation and response).

There are plenty of beautiful images and I was left at the end rather inspired but also with a bigger desire than ever to visit India.

Taj Mahal – a Photographers Approach is £8 (approximately $11.90 USD).

UPDATE: Bruce has another e-book that he’s just released today called ‘Simplifying Composition’ that looks fantastic (in fact I think it’ll probably be even more useful to readers). It’s a longer book and covers some great topics. You can pick it up for a discount with the Taj Mahal book mentioned above or get either alone.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Ron Gibson April 4, 2010 04:46 am

    @ William. No problem. Sometimes I've wished I could go back and change a word after the fact (downside to posting sometimes).

    But as I said if you wanted to talk quality I'd compare to the masters and just looking at their books (hardcover) are extremely cheap in comparison to this eBook. So no matter how you want to look at it- value, quality, resale value, or the perceived importance of their contribution to the art of photography, I don't see a measure that I would say is reasonable to justify the price in comparison to others. Especially for an eBook.

    He may believe that there would be a small viewership for his eBook, and yes, then there would be a need to increase the price. But if the eBook is supposed to be 'that' good- you should probably expect to sell many many copies.

    But this is the last I'm going to post about this. Except maybe to throw some people some links to some FREE photography eBooks. I think you should at LEAST have these... before buying others. And I did see the JPG magazine links there as well. Which are fantastic.

  • William Wiseman April 4, 2010 03:15 am

    Hi Ron,

    Apologies - my reply wasn't aimed at you. I think Chris has got things a bit mixed up by saying the price of the book in insulting. I agree. If you don't want to buy it - then don't. It's a free world.

    It's no crime for an artist to charge what he wants for his work. He probably has his own reasons for selling it at that price anyway. Have you considered that he may expect to sell less, but it's mainly aimed at his fan base?

    Anyway, I was just surprised that people here measure the quality of a book by the number of pages. Next we'll be measuring how good our music is by how long each song is.

  • William Wiseman April 4, 2010 03:07 am


    You've got a mixed set of values. Quality relates to value.

    Measuring by the page is ridiculous.

    It should be what you perceive as worth it. Don't bring up the page thing because that's like going into your book store and saying that you want a discount on Catcher in the Rye because it's only 200 pages long, whereas War and peace, at the same price, is considerably longer.

  • Ron Gibson April 4, 2010 02:16 am

    @william Sorry if I was misunderstood. I didn't mention quality. Just value. With a product which has zero marginal cost (such as an eBook), I am only talking about value and equating price and amount of information (ie. pages). Bruce may be a great artist, just as there are many great artists. You mention my dissing his book. I did no such thing, but I am dissing the price. And everyone has a choice between buying, or not buying something- which usually comes down to perceived value. Right now it comes down to $12 for an 18 page digital copy, that is $0.67 per digital page.

    If you want to compare quality, think of the big names: LaChapelle, Testino, Avedon, Weston, Newton, Leibovitz, Mapplethorpe, Adams, ..... just to name a few off the top of my head. (I'm mentioning these names for everyone that hasn't heard of them yet- look them up!). If you look up the cost of a hardcopy, and in many cases a hardcover copy, most books from these photography masters are usually about $0.05 to $0.20 per page ($0.15 average for most). Do you really think Bruce's digital book is worth more than 4x as much as any other artists hardcopy (including those perceived as photography masters)? By the way, the hard copies go up in value as they go out of print, so they can also be considered an investment.

  • William Wiseman April 2, 2010 01:19 am

    I think that's rather dumb to equate number of pages to quality.

    If you read Bruce's books, you'll see that this guy is an amazing artist. He's not usually a writer, but he's conveyed a lot of stuff in that Taj Mahal book that is in my opinion worth every penny. I'm just grateful that he's decided to give us a bit of an insight into how he approaches his photography.

    The book is not really about the Taj Mahal. He uses it as a setting to illustrate his approach. You should check him out and before you diss his book - get someone elses opinion about it if you can't face buying it. You also don't have to buy it if you don't want to.

  • Ron Gibson April 1, 2010 06:53 pm

    @chris: I completely agree. $12 for 18 pages is simply too high. There is something to say about being able to buy ebooks for 'less' than a hardcopy at a bookstore, but to pay the same as you would a physical book is way too much.

    @John: Start up costs are sunk costs and you have to look at what else is available and comparable (apples to apples, or in this case photography books to photography books)- 3 informative photography eBooks of 50 pages each, or one of 12 pages. Each have costs. One is simply priced much higher than the other and may be priced inefficiently for the market. When there is no marginal cost you only require higher output and with a downward sloping demand curve this is achievable as you lower your price. But this author may think he can recoup his costs faster through a high price, which is sad because he may be pricing himself out of the market comparable to other products.

    I haven't jumped on the eBook bandwagon yet as I prefer a hardcopy on my shelf. I like to sit back and read instead of lean forward, but prices at $5 a book may make me buy a couple. The only eBooks and eMags I have so far have been free. If you can still find them- the JPG Magazines are a great read. I downloaded about a years worth for free and still haven't read through them all.

  • John Bokma April 1, 2010 05:36 pm

    @chris: there is something like start up costs. Also, you don't have to buy it. I mean, how much do you pay for 3 cups of coffee where you live?

  • Caroline April 1, 2010 07:10 am

    The Taj Mahal is not the place to go for photography, in my opinion, unless you like shooting mobs of tourists. And if you look like a foreigner you'll probably get harassed by people trying to give you "photography tips" (so you'll be nicely distracted and ripe for a pickpocketing). But the rest of India is a photographer's dream!

  • Chris April 1, 2010 03:40 am

    $12 for 18 pages!?!?!? I can not believe it. At that rate you would be paying $120 for a 180 page book. Duchemin does it right. $5 an ebook. $4 if you buy 4 at a time. It cost them nothing in production and they are charging $12. That's insulting.

  • Jack Fussell April 1, 2010 12:47 am

    I just bought several of DuChemin's e and print books....amazing.

  • Martin March 31, 2010 09:21 am

    I'd have to say I've fallen victim to DuChemin's crop of books, especially whenever there's a new release, you can grab a set at $1 less than usual. I've learnt a lot from his previous books, just haven't started the last ones I bought, but I loved 'Ten' and 'Below the Horizon'.

  • Dan B March 31, 2010 09:10 am

    David's stuff is top notch. All of the e-books that are on the Craft & Vision site are fantastic

  • Alex March 31, 2010 08:17 am

    E-Books are a great way to capture information very quickly. I have always loved Black and White photography and these books sounds very interesting.

  • Shannon March 31, 2010 07:05 am

    The black and white photography book is tempting me. Sounds cool.