The Best of Craft & Vision 2012


I am a big fan and an avid believer in the Craft & Vision brand. In just a few short years they've gathered an impressive stable of expert authors, compiled a staggeringly comprehensive library of photographic knowledge, and shared it with us for fees so low that it almost feels like stealing. In 2012, they grew their library by 15 titles. Anyone that's been following along can tell you they're all worth having, and buying them one-at-a-time as they release is no big thing. But if you're just getting your feet wet, it can be an intimidating prospect throwing down for or having to read through the full collection. Whether shopping for yourself, or stuffing a digital stocking for the special photographer in your life, these are my top picks from Craft & Vision's 2012 release calendar.


Essential Development

20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 4
by Sean McCormack

You're here, reading The Turning Gate, so you know I'm obsessed with the Web module. But even I have to admit, the bulk of Lightroom's magic is in the Develop module. And Sean McCormack is a wizard of the highest order. If you really want to master Develop, this is the tome for you, covering topics such as Understanding The Histogram, Making White White, Beauty Retouching, Dodge & Burn for Beauty, Cross Processing, Achieving a Filmic Look, Image Toning, Tilt Shift, Effective Sharpening, and Correcting Lens Issues. The book even packs in a collection of develop presets, making it an incredible value.

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Dodge & Burn

Leading the Eye with Lightroom and Photoshop
by Piet Van den Eynde

The art of dodging and burning is as old as photography itself, and remains an essential part of the craft even in our new, digital era. In his in-depth ebook, Piet Van den Eynde provides an illuminating look at dodging and burning, bringing essential techniques out of the shadows and into clear view. His examination of the topic includes techniques for Lightroom and Photoshop, and includes a custom Photoshop palette, exercise files and more. This ebook is truly a must-have for anyone wanting to master the post-processing of images.

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The Magic of Long-Exposure Photography
Andrew S. Gibson

I absolutely love long-exposure photography, and Slow is as comprehensive a look into the techniques and considerations of long-exposures as you're likely to find. In it he tackles the usual things, tripods, neutral-density filters, cable releases, etc. But he also goes into Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) photography and panning, and includes case studies of two truly incredible long-exposure photographers, Doug Chinnery and Joel Tjintjelaar. This book has it all: craft, equipment and inspiration. Get it.

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Honorable Mentions

So those are my top three picks for 2012, but I'd be remiss not to shout out on two other releases.


Photograph: Issue One

I am long past giving a crap about photography magazines. In general, I find them overpriced, ad-laden and amateurish. I'm tired of reading the same recycled articles targeting prosumer photographers: The Sekrit Sekrits of F-Stops, The Majikal Majikz of Depth-of-Field, The Incredible Technique of Focusing Your Camera! I'm tired of all the new model hype; I already have last year's hot camera, so I don't really care about next year's hot model. Dial me in five years from now when I'm in the market again. Ugh.

Then along comes Craft & Vision with PHOTOGRAPH, their new quarterly magazine that is entirely ad-free, full of insightful articles by incredibly knowledgable writers, and packed to the brim with respect for its audience. It's nice to read a magazine that doesn't assume you've never dialed your camera away from the green square mode.

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Lightroom 4 Unmasked

Lightroom 4 Unmasked

A Complete Guidebook to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
by Piet Van den Eynde

The only problem with Lightroom 4 Unmasked is that it's so late to the game. It was released in timely fashion in the original Dutch, but it's taken a while to land in English. But if you've got room for another Lightroom 4 book on your digital book shelf, Lightroom 4 Unmasked looks great alongside Martin Evening's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book and Victoria Bampton's Adobe Lightroom 4: The Missing FAQ.

Lightroom 4 Unmasked offers 312 spreads of expert insight into Lightroom 4, illuminating topics for Lightroom neophytes and masters alike. Piet Van den Eynde is an Adobe Certified Expert and he’s left no stone unturned in this comprehensive volume.

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