Over the past couple of weeks there’s been several blog entries by other photographers that have caught my eye, along with several new books and products that have hit the market or will be hitting the market in the near future.

First up, Adobe Creative Suite 5 will be launching on April 12, 2010.  However, Adobe is calling that April 12th the “launch date” but you’ll not be able to buy a copy of CS5 until October.  I assume this period will be for beta testing and feedback from testers and the public.  But the most exciting thing about CS5 is the new ability to use content-aware fill.  What is content-aware fill?  Imagine shooting an engagement shot.  Your light is great, the poses are pleasant, but wait.  There’s a tree in the background that’s distracting.  It covers part of the foreground and stretches into the sky.  You could always use the clone tool to get rid of it, but as any of you Photoshop users are aware, that can take a lot of time.  Content-aware fill speeds this process up a hundredfold.  Don’t just take my word for it.  View the following video.

If you like books, wedding photographer David Ziser has a new book out, Captured by the Light: The Essential Guide to Creating Extraordinary Wedding Photography.  In the past year, I’ve taken up an interest in shooting weddings and have been the second shooter at several.  However, the few wedding photography books I’ve read have always left me disappointed.  There would be tips on posing, the “required” photos that you need to shoot, but nothing on lighting, nothing on what to do if you have to use natural light, etc.  Ziser addresses all of these topics.  He first touches on the all important things you always need for great photos.  Light.  First off, he tells you to get that flash off camera and shows you how to do so.  Next, he walks you through different lighting scenarios for portraits: butterfly lighting, loop lighting, Rembrandt, all while giving examples of each and when you should use each one.

Of course, he also gives you a workflow that you can incorporate when you work not only the wedding, but the reception that follows.  From shooting the bride and her family first (and along with the reasons why), to stating where you should position people in group photos to eliminate lighting issues.

Even if you have no desire to shoot weddings, Ziser’s book has enough information about lighting techniques, all of which are applicable to any portraiture setting, that I highly recommend picking up a copy regardless of what you shoot.

On July 25, David duChemin’s new book Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (Voices That Matter), will be released.  I’ve read both of David’s previous books, Visionmongers and Within the Frame.   From what I can glean on Amazon, duChemin will walk you through his Lightroom workflow using twenty of his images, all while showing you how to use the Develop module.

 

Last, there are a couple of blogs and articles that I have found of interest that you should take a look at:

Lighting guru Don Giannatti has a kick-ass article posted concerning giving and receiving criticism that you all should read.  If you want feedback on your work, I can’t recommend this highly enough.

If you’re thinking about going pro or even doing a few small gigs on the side, the NY Times has an article about the difficulties photographers are facing in today’s market.

And last, Scott Bourne minces no words on having support as you pursue your photography.