Consumers are getting used to the unfortunate fact that as soon as you buy a piece of camera gear, or learn a new piece of software it instantly becomes outdated or upgraded. By the time a book gets written on a subject, edited and printed, it too is out of date. So what's a person who wants to learn to do? Enter the age of the eBook.
With the rise of social media marketing and inexpensive desktop publishing software, many industrious bloggers and industry professionals are choosing the self publishing route to get their ideas directly into the photo hobbyists hands in the form of an eBook.
eBooks are a great delivery format in these modern times; it is a PDF file which you can view on a computer, Kindle or various e-readers as well as newer iPad/iPhone devices. If you are working with a technical photography guide or how-to book, you can load it on your phone and throw it in your camera bag, which makes it the ultimate field guide!
Need to know how to use your wide angle lens better? Craft your own personal style? Work with reflections? There's a book for that. In fact, because there are no printing costs, publishing houses or editors to answer too, photographers are finding great success catering to niche markets that traditional photo book publishers wouldn't dare touch. Photo writers are connecting directly to the consumer too, so prices tend to be low.
Some of my favorite books are coming from a collective of photographers running under the banner of Craft & Vision. Most notable in the group is Canadian humanitarian photographer David duChemin. David has a number of succesful traditional print books to his credit, is an active blogger and now is churing out eBooks on a regular basis. Craft and Vision has various eBooks on topics from reflections to shooting video with you DLSR. Most retail for $5 which is a bargin! Even eBooks on Amazon are going for more than $10. True they are smaller in size, but tend to pack a lot of information about a narrow niche subject.
Craft and Vision also offers the option of purchasing the book as an app for iPhone/iPad devices, for the same price.
Canadian landscape photographer Darwin Wiggett has also been growing his collection of PDF downloads as an offshoot to his popular blog and workshops. His website reads:
Why are these downloads not available for free? As much as I would like to offer these detailed instructional PDF's for free, it costs me time and money to create and host the products. Plus I like to eat! Who doesn't?? When you pay for these downloads I get to have a yummy snack. My belly appreciates it.
Photography is an ever changing art form which though artistic, requires some technical training on equipment and software which is rapidly chaging. eBooks provide an easy, quick way to digest specific knowledge the you are interested in. As a side bonus it's nice to know your money is going to support specific photographer whose work you admire.