On today’s post, I review the last electronic book written by Alister Benn “Seeing the Light”, available as a 95 pages PDF, Ipad friendly.
From time to time, you find one of those books which really open a door, give to your knowledge a serious leap and can really mean a before and an after. A couple of weeks ago, Alister Benn came with such a book.
“Seeing the Unseen”, released as en electronic book in English (Spanish version apparently on going) has really become THE book about Night Photography. That simple.
I came across Alister Benn a few years ago, while looking for some information about night photography on the web. The first thing I found was a gorgeous tutorial about how to photograph the invisible. Later on we got in touch and friendship sparked. Many of you might know that Alister and I have been close friends for some time already. We also founded together with our wifes the site Whytake.net – The Global Community of Nature Photographers. You might think that for this reason what I have to say about him or his products is of no objectivity. Well, take for the opposite, I really know what I am talking about.
After several years devoted to explore the new possibilities of night photography that modern cameras have made possible, Alister Benn has produced a comprehensive and ultimate guide to cater not only for all those who show the slightest interest in photographing from dusk to dawn, but also to all those who just want to discover a new world of photographic possibilities. “Seeing the unseen” is a 95 pages ebook packed with all the information about how to photograph and exploit the creative side of night.
The book is really well structured, exquisitely well written and leaves not a single stone unturned about night photography. You can quickly realize this book is both for totally beginners or advanced night photographers. All of them will find something they did not know before. But what is more important to me, it is not only the content which is incredibly valuable, but the logical and well structured way in which it is covered. Throughout the 8 main chapters of the book, all elements are considered: techniques, composition, creative aspects, preparation, logistics, etc
The 8 main chapters in the book are:
- Available Night Light : It covers the main sources of light we can make use of for night photography and their implications
- The Science of Preparation: How to plan and make the most of your night outings
- Getting started: Preliminary tests and tricks before passing to action
- Exposure: The real meat of night photography. This can be really tricky…or not when it is well explained!
- Dynamic Range: The implications of dynamic range for night photography and techniques to solve the problem
- Composition: If a good composition is paramount for day photography, no reason why to think it is not the same for night photography. However, night photography imposes its own dose of pre-visualization…
- In the field – Introduction: Explained examples of images taken from dusk to dawn
- Equipment: All the gear you need and how to use it in the darkness!
Throughout the book, Alister makes use of his highly pedagogical, plain but deeply inspiring way of writing. Simple words which go straight to the point while at the same time enthralling the reader. The content is so rich that by the first ten pages of the book you will have paid by far for the ridiculously low price tag of 15 USD. As a nice bonus, a great foreword has been written by the equally great american photographer Guy Tal.
Something interesting to mention is a very innovative concept that Alister has brought along with this book: a free Forum “Seeing the unseen”. This forum has been designed to compliment the various chapters, allowing Q&A, technical discussions and a growing database of learning material associated with Photographing Landscapes at Night. There are also Image Critique Forums for registered users to upload images for critique, discussion and feedback. In other words, your learning does not stop when you buy and read the ebook. You have the chance to become active in the forum, making the learning possibilities virtually endless.
All in all, “Seeing the Unseen” is really the Bible of Night Photography we had all been waiting for a long time. I guarantee it will exceed the expectations of any photographer who shows the slightest interest for night photography. Not only that, this is one of those books which will make you interested in night photography, if that was not the case before. This is one of those books which will open to you a new door, a creative outlet you might not have known that existed before. An incredible book for a ridiculous price. A must have. THE book about night photography.
Take care and great light to you all ;-)