Two New ebooks by Damien Lovegrove

 

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Digital photography is free so make the most of it. I shoot three times a week on average to maintain my edge; any less than that and I slip backwards. It doesn’t matter if you play tennis, play a musical instrument or take photographs, improvements come through continued practice and the application of good skills. It is important to have a camera that begs to be picked up and used. The Fujifilm X system saved my career 5 years ago because of this characteristic alone. -Damien Lovegrove, Portraits.

 

Book One: The Fujifilm X System Guide for Portrait Photographers

 

Damien Lovegrove is one of the most respected photographers I know when it comes to glamor and portraits. He is also one of the friendliest and prolific. To learn about Damien’s pedigree you should listen to the interview, I did with him on my podcast Depth of Field. In short, he worked for years with the BBC becoming an expert at lighting. Later when he started shooting weddings, he discovered he was a natural and people loved his style and images. He is now a Fujifilm U.K. X-Photographer and a Fujifilm U.K. brand ambassador.

 

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Damien shoots thousands of frames a week. And when you do that, you learn the ins and outs of your gear. You find its flaws, and its weaknesses. Of course, you also learn it’s strengths. Damien has taken the knowledge he has accrued over these years and filled two ebooks with it. It is these two ebooks, The Fujifilm X System Guide for Portrait Photographers and Portraits that I want to review for you here today.

The first book The Fujifilm X System Guide for Portrait Photographers is the simplest to describe. At its core, it is a primer on the X-Series cameras. A sort of, “What is the ________ and how does it work?” You fill in the blank with any x series camera and any x series lens that Fuji makes. If you shoot Fujifilm gear, then you would be doing well to read this ebook. This book tells you not only what camera is best for your style of shooting but is also filled with the details about why Damien uses a certain camera and lens over another.

 

“I prefer to work with the X-T cameras (X-T2 and X-T10) because I like having a large centrally placed viewfinder. Having said that, I tend to use the tilting LCD most of the time. I like avoiding having a camera stuck to my face when I’m making portraits as it alienates my subjects. Using the tilting LCD reminds me of shooting with waist level viewfinders on my medium cameras all those years ago.” -Damien Lovegrove, The Fujifilm X System Guide for Portrait Photographers

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But I would be misleading you and doing Damien a disservice if I left you thinking this book was only a catalog of Fujifilm gear. It is so much more than that. The Fujifilm X System Guide for Portrait Photographers is also a very personal look into how Damien Lovegrove uses his cameras. For instance little things like when he is speaking about the X-E2 he writes:

 

“It’s very easy to produce dull images when the camera is given the task of setting exposure so I find it best to work in manual mode with ‘exposure preview in manual mode’ switched on.”-Damien Lovegrove, The Fujifilm X System Guide for Portrait Photographers

 

To discussing things like focusing and recompose with a Fuji x system camera. Did you know that you don’t do this with a Fuji? Damien goes into detail as to why. And the reason why was one of the most forehead-slapping moments for me in this book. It’s what he calls, the flat field lens factor.

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Damien goes through his complete camera settings. In particular, his Q (Quick) menu setup in great detail. This alone is almost worth the purchase of his book.

I am going to be straight here and tell you, when I first saw this book I thought, it was nothing more a catalog of Fujifilm gear that Damien loves. I was wrong; it is much more than that. It is a technical look at how this amazing photographer sets up and uses his cameras and lenses. Between this book and the next book in the docket, you get a virtual internship with Lovegrove. Don’t walk away from either of these two ebooks.

Book Two: Portraits

 

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Damien Lovegrove’s next ebook is simply titled, PORTRAITS. It is nothing short of amazing. 384 high-resolution photographs with all the exposure and lighting details used to create them. Over 50,000 words of creative exploration that took Damien over two years to write!

This book is filled with an entirely different style of portrait photography than I do. I mention this because though I am not a glamor photographer or a studio guy, I still appreciate and have learned from this book.

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Speaking of massive, this ebook is unlike most out today. Frankly, it is less of an ebook and more of a PDF of a university textbook. By that, I mean at 356 pages this no mere ebook that some photographer popped out to sell for $5. It took Damien two years to write this book and a lifetime of experience and as a result more like a university textbook than an ebook. Frankly, it belongs in every photographer’s library. If Portraits were an ink and paper book, you’d be paying well over $100. (Have you priced textbooks lately?)

Damien goes into great detail about each photo in the book. Each photo has the EXIF data in the caption with a rather long explanation of how he made it. I like his candor. There are times when he is surprisingly honest and explains how he forgot to change the ISO from a previous shot (I hate it when that happens!) and how the camera handled it.

 

A look at the book’s index gives you an overview of the massive amount of information that is covered in this book. There are eleven sections in the book beginning with Portrait Foundations. In that section, Damien spends 47 pages on the details of how to set up a shoot – from explaining a narrative to how to create a relaxed pose. In the section Light Matters, he spends 53 pages covering the use of strobes, quality of light, one light set ups, multi-light setups, how to simulate sunlight and much more. After that the bulk of the sections in this book are detailed explanations of each type of portrait you might shoot; Urban, Hollywood (the kind of shots you’d see from of Lana Turner or Betty Davis), Boudoir, Nude and lastly the Figure in Landscape. The last four sections of the book are more technical. In these remaining sections, he discusses in great detail his lighting equipment, what makes a good studio, his workflow and more.

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I think the quote below attests to Damien’s sensitivity and professionalism as a photographer and gives the reader an insight into his workflow.

 

It helps me to take things calmly and respectfully, but at the same time shyness can put over a sense of flustered unprofessionalism so I rely on my experience and photographic ability to disguise things like a gracefully gliding swan frantically paddling away under the water. 

I place my prime lenses on a side table in the room I’m shooting in, I have no caps on them and any Pro Mist filters that are needed are already in place with lens hoods attached. It’s a bit like how a surgeon would lay out their tools on a trolly. I can then quickly swap the lens needed for each shot. Having to go in and out of bags for gear just takes too long and ruins the creative flow. -Damien Lovegrove, Portraits.

 

As I said at the beginning, these are more than 35-page ebooks of pretty pictures. These are books; that would be an investment into your photography. At £20 and £40 the old truism is applicable here, “You get what you pay for.” You would be remiss not to have these two books in your photographic library.

Buy one or both books here:lovegrove-ebook-buynow

 

 

Depth of Field: Damien Lovegrove

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Damien Lovegrove

Damien Lovegrove is a treasure trove of both photographic and business knowledge. With years of photographic commercial and wedding work under his belt, this knowledge is all field tested by real life. I feel fortunate that he took an hour out of his busy schedule to share some of this insight with us. To say Damien is easy to talk with would be an understatement. He is flowing with wisdom, ideas, encouragement and more.

Damien is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential contemporary photographers. These days he is best known for creating portraits that make women look amazing. Damien is known for his lighting style picture composition. If you don’t believe me check out his website, Lovegrove Photography and you will soon be convinced.

He is also a fellow Fujifilm X-Photographer and ambassador. He has shot exclusively with Fuji cameras since May 2012.

Damien shoots around 1,000 frames a week. He says if he doesn’t shoot that much in a week he starts to feel like he is going backwards. Yet, I never got the impression in this conversation that he is driven to the point where he runs over everyone in his way. Generous with his knowledge and experience, he speaks with me about creating what he calls that “big picture equation” that helps a photographer stay afloat financially. We also spoke about developing a style that is uniquely yours and how critical this is to your work. We cover how to take a dream and turn it into a reality and so much, much more.

Check out Damien’s work at:

Facebook: facebook.com/damien.lovegrove.1
Twitter: @damienlovegrove
Instagram: @damienlovegrove
Blog: ProPhotoNut.com
Personal Website: Lovegrove Photography

Depth of Field: Dan Carr

Dan Carr

Dan Carr

I had the pleasure of working with Dan Carr online many years ago when we wrote for the same photo website. He seemed like a great guy to know then and after this interview I can say for sure he is.  Dan is a Brit who has transplanted himself to Canada. He shoots a wide variety of subjects so it’s difficult to peg him into one genre. But he is best known for his adventure and ski photography.

Dan also operates a photography educational site called Shutter Muse where he writes about everything from the business aspects of the industry to location guides from around the world. Dan has many informative eBooks at Shutter Muse as well. In this episode we talk about how he started and his journey. Dan is full of great advice and stories that even the newest photographer will find helpful.

Follow through these services:

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Note: Did you notice the audio quality of this episode? I am sure you can tell it is much better than any previous episode. That is because I have purchased new mics, a new mixer and am using a service that levels the sound so you don’t hear crazy levels between me and my guest. But all this comes with a cost. One way I hope to offset this cost is by offering premium or bonus material. Want to help keep Depth of Field on the air? Then take advantage of the bonus material offered below.

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Creative Commons License
Depth of Field by Matt Brandon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://thedigitaltrekker.com/depth-of-field-podcast/.

Depth of Field Podcast

Podcast host Matt Brandon, a humanitarian and travel photographer, interviews working photographers from around the world. Listen as Matt carries on conversations with respected photographers from many different fields and uncovers what it took for them to be successful. Listen to his guest share both secrets and stories of their journey.

Creative Commons License
Depth of Field by Matt Brandon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://thedigitaltrekker.com/depth-of-field-podcast/.

Depth of Field: Damien Lovegrove

Damien Lovegrove is a treasure trove of both photographic and business knowledge. With years of photographic commercial and wedding work...

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Depth of Field: Dan Carr

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Depth of Field Podcast: Piper Mackay

Piper Mackay represents the dream of so many photographers out there. She was working a successful career and gave it...

Depth of Field Podcast: David Bergman

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Depth of Field: Timothy Allen

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Depth of Field: Michael D Davis

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Depth of Field: Kevin Russ

Kevin Russ, by his own admission likes to take the path of least resistance. This path has taken him from...

Depth of Field: Douglas Kirkland

Douglas Kirkland is one of photography’s legends, there’s no other way around it. He’s made a treasure trove full of...

Depth of Field: Brian Smith

Brian Smith has carved out a name for himself in photographing the rich and, as he puts it, the infamous....

Depth of Field: Michael Yamashita

I have been looking forward to talking with Michael Yamashita for years. Yamashita is a National Geographic icon. He has shot...

Depth of Field: Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman is one of the photographers I had wanted to interview for a long time. His book on composition,...

 

 

 

Depth of Field: Michael D Davis

Michael D. Davis

Michael D. Davis

Michael D. Davis is the photographer’s friend. Mike Davis is a photo editor. Photo editors are people photographers have a love/hate relationship with. In this interview with Mike Davis you come to see that the photo editor has the photographers best interest at heart. I found my time with Mike to be refreshing. It was one of the most laid-back interviews I have ever done and one of the most significant. Mike’s approach to what makes the perfect photo is almost spiritual. Honestly, this may be one of the most important interviews I’ve ever done. Mike gets down to the essence of what a  photograph is about. He feels even the journalistic image that tells a strong story must have more to stand out above the rest. For it to be really special, it needs 5 elements that Mike goes on to share with us. Continue reading

Depth of Field: Kevin Russ

Kevin Russ

Kevin Russ

Kevin Russ, by his own admission likes to take the path of least resistance. This path has taken him from a shooting studio work (on a DSLR), being one of the first photographers with iStock and later becoming one of their inspectors. To now shooting almost exclusively with his iPhone and living out of his car. He sells his images both on iStock as well as society6.com, a social media website that sells prints and kitsch with your images on it. He goes where he want to go, he shoots what he wants to shoot and he lives by his own rules. Kevin Russ is his own man. Continue reading

Depth of Field Revealed

A hearty welcome goes out to the readers of the Digital Photography School. I’d like to welcome you to The Digital Trekker. Within these pages you’ll find articles on travel photography, cultural and humanitarian photography as well as visual storytelling. I hope you will take some time and poke around. The Digital Trekker is also the home to the popular podcast Depth of Field. Available on iTunes, Depth of Field looks at the lives of working photographers with interviews from popular photographer such as Ami Vitale, Michael Yamashita, Esther Havens, David duChemin, Jasmine Star, Brian Storm, Bob Krist and many, many more.  I also lead popular workshops around the world. I hope you will subscribe either by RSS or by email (at the end of the post).

Enjoy!

 

The Urban Disguise 40. The prize.

 

Continue reading

Contest: Depth of Field & Focal Length

Several times over this past week I’ve been asked the same question about depth of field and how it relates to focal length? I find most photographers have a hard time understanding the relationship between these two. One of the people who asked me this question was a mentor student of mine, a really sharp engineer type. I had a bit of trouble explaining myself so we set up a small demonstration in his living room to prove my point. The problem was I was proven wrong…. or so I thought. So here’s the question:

 

You’re shooting at 18mm at f/4, then you decide to shoot the same subject with the same magnification (meaning the subject fills the frame in the same way) at 200mm at f/4. What happens to your depth of field?

 

Here’s what I want you to do. I would like you to leave your answers or your thoughts in the comments below. Don’t Google the answer – that’s cheating. Work it out in your head with what you know about photography or do an experiment of your own! Tell us why or how you came up with your answer. I will then pick a winner from the right answers on Friday and award you with a prize. I haven’t found a prize yet but I think it’ll be nice. If you need clarification of the question let me know and I’ll try to clarify it below.  What are you waiting for? Get with it!

 
UPDATE: I promised you a great prize for the winner – and I always keep my promises. Think Tank Photo has graciously given us an Urban Disguise 40 as the prize for the winner! That is a $175 value and a great bag!

 

The winner receives this Urban-Disguise 40!


 

 

Depth of Field: Jerod Foster

Jerod Foster is an editorial and natural history photographer based out of Lubbock, Texas, as well as a photography instructor at Texas Tech University. His work focuses on features and environmental portraits for magazines, books, and commercial purposes. Jerod contributes to the Manfrotto School of Xcellence, an educational resource for amateurs and professionals alike. He is also a partner and editor for Badlands Design and Production, a publishing house that focuses on high-end coffee table photography books. I met Jerod online like so many of my friends these days. Then one day I get an email from him that he wants to interview me. Wait ! – That is my line. I am the one who does the interviewing. Well, it turned out he was writing a book for our good friends at Peachpit/New Riders entitled “Storyteller: A photographer’s Guide to Developing Themes and Creating Stories with Pictures“. After the interview, which ended up in the book, by the way, I realized we had a lot to talk about. So we decided to continue with our conversation here.

 

 

Check out Jerod’s website HERE

His portfolio HERE

His book HERE