Friedman’s Alpha 99 e-book released

Well, we knew it would take some time – Gary Friedman has been working on his Alpha 99 e-book since the camera was pre-released to the press, and six months later, he’s got a huge volume as a result.

“This is my largest and most comprehensive work to date – 625 pages!”, Gary says.

It is available in triple-digital form: Buy a DRM-free, digital copy for USD $29.95 and you can download it ANY of the following formats:

* .pdf, (great for your computer or iPad)
* .mobi (ideal for your Kindle)
* .epub (ideal for your Nook and other e-readers).

(Printed books will be available from April 2013.)

Here’s the link.

Gary Friedman’s new Alpha 99 e-book

Gary has just returned from Malaysia and Singapore, where he was running workshops including one for Sony themselves. He’s also just finished signing off the proofs for the latest Cameracraft quarterly magazine, published by Photoclubalpha’s owners Icon Publications Ltd, edited by David Kilpatrick with Gary as US Associate Editor.

Issue No 3, 2nd Quarter 2013, will be available from the first week of April and includes a great story on Gary’s period working in China, a portfolio proving that pinhole photography does not have be soft and murky, a look at viewpoints and the camera, the best ‘historical battle recreation’ set we’ve ever seen, and more.


Gary Friedman publishes NEX-7 ‘beyond the guide’ book

As Gary says, his e-books do not replace the camera manual and also don’t replace Camera Controls 101 – he writes for the user who already knows which end of the lens fits a screw filter and which end goes on the camera body. His new NEX-7 book fast-tracks into many key features of the camera before backtracking into depth and detail, a great way to introduce owners to making better use of the advanced functions they have bought.

NEX-7 book cover















The only downside to the book is the cover, which features a new addition to the long line of bald heads Gary has used for his cover shots (always in the same style) – a penalty for visiting Gary just before the book was going to e-press!

The $26.45 download (PDF, full colour, with additional resources for Kindle and other bw reader platforms) now strikes me as even better value after the last week of wandering through California by car in search of images. The USA is now fairly expensive compared to much of Europe, not affordable as it used to be – and this comes as a surprise, because things like the camera prices at B&H do not give much clue, they are still generally lower. In California at least things like motels (except the most basic), beer, coffee, snacks, entry or parking fees are maybe 50% more than UK costs – so to all our US readers, be assured, now is a very good time to use your NEX-7 skills and take a trip across the pond. You can find an award-winning b&b with one of the best full breakfasts in Scotland for under $75 (£=$1.60) in our home town with a pretty good photographer running it!

– David Kilpatrick

Free download PDF guide to Adobe Camera Raw

You can open or download an excellent (slightly dated, unrevised since ACR 6.1 but finally translated into English from the original Italian by Francesco Marzoli) guide to all the deeper functions and tricks of efficient workflow using Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, Lightroom and Photoshop from X-Rite:

This PDF instruction book obviously mentions the use of X-Rite’s ColorChecker Passport for calibrating cameras, that’s why they have sponsored the guide. But it goes far beyond this to explain with clarity all the controls of ACR, and many tips are given on how to use them best.

As an example, we didn’t know that Bridge could be forced to use Camera Raw without taking over Photoshop – meaning it can be run separately, allowing you to do other work in Photoshop while ACR does file conversion and saving from within Bridge alone.

You can load this guide into your iPad or other reading device. Just SAVE the target file, and ADD to your iTunes Bookstore Library, it will then be readable. For other devices simply save the PDF and transfer.

WHSmiths threaten to axe most travel guides

The Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild (OWPG) has written to the Office of Fair Trading expressing concern over WH Smith Travel’s plan to make publisher Penguin the sole supplier of foreign travel guides in its airport, motorway and railway station outlets.

The deal would mean only Rough Guides, Dorling Kindersley and Sawday guides would be stocked at the 450 stores, while popular names such as Lonely Planet, AA, Berlitz, Thomas Cook, Bradt, Time Out and Michelin would disappear from the shelves.

According to industry magazine The Bookseller, Penguin is offering WH Smith Travel a 72 per cent discount on the cover price of its imprints.

“By creating a monopoly situation in a very significant section of the retail guidebook market, this deal is manifestly anti-competitive and will reduce choice for consumers,” said Jon Sparks, travel photographer and secretary of the OWPG.

“Although our members’ prime focus is on the outdoors, there are many among us who also produce travel guides, and many more who produce walking, cycling and other outdoors guides for overseas destinations. This move places other publishers at a serious disadvantage and thereby directly undermines our members’ future earnings potential.

“It also appears to be wholly at odds with WH Smith’s well-publicised corporate responsibility policies.”

His sentiments were echoed by guidebook author and editor Sue Viccars (CORR), who is also a member of the OWPG. “This unprecedented step will limit choice for the consumer,” she said. “Customers have – quite rightly – grown to expect a broad range of guidebooks at popular sales points such as airports.

“The industry owes its diverse customer base – family, trekker, independent traveller, retired couple and the rest –  this opportunity. Limiting the number and range of authors used will not give a sufficiently broad view of those destinations covered, and many destinations will be excluded altogether.

“This move will severely curtail customer options, and will be highly detrimental to the potential development of the guidebook industry as a whole.’

Field Guide for Alpha 700

Alan Hess is the author of a new field guide to using the Sony Alpha 700, published by Wileys, with 281 pages and the usual contents covering basic photographic techniques as well as the camera’s operation.

The cost of the guide is 16 Euros by mail order from Research & Markets of Dublin website; the title is ‘Sony Alpha DSLR A700 Digital Field Guide‘.