Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The New Photo Book MarketTraditional photo book publishers have been screaming about the change in their market and how it's so tough to make a buck anymore. But in this interview that photo director and blogger Rob Haggert does with Radius Books publisher Darius Himes, you get the sense that while the market has changed, it's opened doors for a lot of new, smaller publishers. The problem, I suspect, is that it now becomes next to impossible for photographers to make a buck directly off their books, which means they have to change their business models. Unfortunately, such are life and its version of black comedy, economics.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Simpson Ex-Agent Accomplice After Fact?The New York Observer reports that O.J. Simpson's former sports agent, Mike Gilbert, is coming out with a book called How I Helped O. J. Get Away With Murder:
According to a brief announcement published this afternoon on industry Web site Publisher's Lunch, the book will "detail O.J.'s late-night confession" and offer new evidence showing that Simpson did kill his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her boyfriend Ron Goldman. The book also promises "information on Gilbert's crucial role in obtaining the not guilty verdict and why he stayed silent for so long."I have a dozen words: What a pig. Murder accomplice after the fact. Don't buy his book. Oh, and then there's this:
Some of the proceeds from the book have been pledged to the Make-a-Wish foundation, according to the posting on Publisher's Lunch-- a commitment most likely motivated by the public outcry sparked back in November 2006 when HarperCollins announced plans to publish O. J. Simpson's kinda-sorta confession, If I Did It.Let's add two more: blood money.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Seducing ReadersThe London Times online books section has an interesting promotion. Readers can sign up to receive letters from famous authors. The plaintive missives are excerpts from a book called Four Letter Word: Invented Correspondence from the Edge of Modern Romance, a fiction collection in which the editors asked over 40 authors to contribute a love letter. It's a new twist on the romance genre.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Rosie O'Donnell Flips Over Book FlapRosie O'Donnell is not happy with the publishers of her new book, Celebrity Detox. Apparently the publishers got some milestones of her life wrong:
On her official blog, she writes, "So i just got my first hard copy of my new book CELEBRITY DETOX there on the front flap in print 'when rosie odonnells mother was diagnosed with cancer in 1968, ten year old rosie thought fame could cure her,' i was born in 1962 my mother was diagnosed in 1973 WTF!"Rosie, I don't know how to break it to you, but authors have been going through this for a long time. Over the years, I've come to the point where I'm happy if they at least get my name right.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Review: Photoshop CS3 Photographer's Handbook: An Easy WorkflowI seem to be on the Rocky Nook mailing list. I just got a copy of Photoshop CS3 Photographer's Handbook: An Easy Workflow. If you've been using Photoshop for years, this probably has little interest for you. But if you've decided to take the plunge, this is a good first book. Notice my emphasis. You won't learn all the mysteries of the software available in the index. Certainly I noticed a few techniques in here that aren't, to my mind, the best ways of accomplishing a goal.
But what the book does is offer a roadmap, from bringing images in to learning the basic tools and retouching, and preparing images for their final use, whether print or electronic. The book (lists for $35.95) is only a couple of hundred or so pages long, but that's a strength in this case. You get at least one way of getting images through Photoshop. After you're comfortable with it, then there are many other references and more tricks than you could learn in a month of Sundays. This gives you a basic workflow that you can adapt and change to meet your own preferences and to incorporate the new things that you learn. But might as well get walking before you break into a sprint.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Book Review: Low Budget ShootingWhen I requested a review copy of Low Budget Shooting: Do It Yourself Solutions to Professional Photo Gear by German photographer and designer Cyrill Harnischmacher, I was hoping to see something useful. I was first taken aback by the thinness of the volume - 72 pages with a hardback cover and paper thickness that only seemed to emphasize the lack of wider content. And yet when I flipped through, I realized that the $19.95 price was something a photographer could recoup multiple times in a single project. Just learning to create a custom soft box out of maybe $10 or $20 worth of material - without needing much in the way of skills or tools - is a money saver. You can learn to pretty easily make reflectors of all sizes, diffusers for a hand-held flash unit, even a table with continuous background for shooting products. There seems to be a bias toward table-top and close-up work, but the techniques he suggests are actually a jumping-off point. For example, you could adapt the soft box construction to a studio flash, or even series of flashes, or create large area reflectors using thin PVC pipes instead of fiberglass tubing. If you have the slightest inclination toward do-it-yourself projects, then this will give you great suggestions for building and improvising a lot of your own equipment without going broke in the process.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Ophrah's Father to Write MemoirOprah Winfrey was apparently "stunned" to learn that her father was writing a memoir, but hadn't told her:
"I said, `That's impossible. I can assure them it's not true,'" she said. "... I called him and it turned out he is writing a book. The worst part of it was him saying, `I meant to tell you I've been working on it.'"I can see how it could be a surprise to learn second hand that your own father was writing about his live - and yours, as an extension. But let's consider for a moment that few people have helped promote the surprise tell-all to the degree that Ms. Winfrey has. Much of her career, and that of her talk-show colleagues, is built on the heart-rending personal reminiscences of those who give up their privacy for notoriety, or at least 15 minutes worth.
Life is often unfair, but it makes up for that with irony, so that the eventual payment is in the same currency. My question is whether her father will be promoting his book on her show. After all, if everyone else can undergo embarrassment for the sake of ratings, it only seems right that she can as well.