Low cost high impact photography – A review

As mentioned here, Steve Johnson of Minimalist Photography 101 kindly sent us a preview of his new ebook. I haven’t been able to read it yet (darn!), but Marco has: here’s a little review.

Steve Johnson, curator of a blog and a newsletter about minimalist photography, just published an ebook on the topic: “Low cost high impact photography”.

Intended audience
The beginner who wants to overcome the first difficulties and move away from the dreaded “Auto” setup on his reflex, as well as the experienced photographer willing to explore new paths. Steve hasn’t a classical background, so it’s very likely there’s something interesting for everyone here.

What not to expect
Steve’s ebook is not an actual handbook, and you won’t find the usual diagrams, bells and whistles in it, or the all-encompassing rules for setting up your camera and shoot the minimalist picture of your life.
It’s not a photography course either – its five chapters (Introduction, Equipment, Technique, Aesthetics, Photo Essays, each one divided in multiple sections) can be read in any order – nor does it praise a specific model or type of camera as the absolute best (one of the very first things Steve says is that he owns a Canon and a Nikon). And it’s not a simple collection of pictures with captions: every image is connected with the topic of the chapter, with photos and text complementing each other.

So, what’s in here?
A collection of ideas and suggestions related to the title’s concept: how to shoot low cost, high impact photos. Meaning that, in order to get good results, we don’t really need some expensive equipment – even if we’re surrounded by people telling us otherwise. More often than not, what we need is already at hand; if not, it’s not always true that more expensive/sophisticated equals better.
Quoting the author, the two golden rules are “Only buy what you need” and “Don’t let others tell you what you need“: let’s not buy into the constant advertising from the manufacturers, and try to decide what to get only based on our actual needs.
The book also includes some good advice on how to make do without expensive equipment, such as a professional-level lightning system, using low-cost (o even free) alternatives.

To wrap it up: this book is a starting point, sort of an handbook left intentionally “open”, as an opportunity to consider the topic from a different angle.
A real goody: advice on how to breath. I’m not joking: try it and let me know what you think.

Steve’s ebook, 115 pages in PDF format, can be purchased here for 11,95$ (limited time offer!). A 23 pages free sample is available from the same URL.

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