This blog has been published in various forms since 2001. Ben started with hand-crafted HTML before moving on to the WordPress platform in 2004 (or thereabouts—our memories are hazy on these points), and I (Rick) have helped out here and there at various times over the years—and over on our dear, departed sister site, Printerville.
[If you’re interested, you can see the first version of the site over on the Wayback Machine, as well as some choice variations along the way. Be kind, please.]
Since the beginning, this website’s primary focus has been to support the various editions of Complete Digital Photography with example files and extra content, and that’s been our only constant since this site went live. The support page for the current 8th edition of the book is here; and you can still access the the 7th edition’s support page here.
The blogging part? Not so great.
While we’ve been good at providing book information and support over the years, we’ve been scattershot bloggers: better at some times, not so good at others. And, given the vast number of photography-centric websites out there, there certainly hasn’t been a crying need for yet another photography news site (we were never interested in doing that) or a general photo website.
However, for a while now, we have wanted to do something more. We’ve been cleaning up the website behind the scenes over the past few months, updating the look, coming up with a new logo, and removing some older content, mostly posts with bad links (the Internet is not a kind mistress to history). This past week, we moved the site over to a new—and faster—host, and we’re finally ready to start moving forward again.
But, what are we going to be?
- We have no interest in being a gear site or a photo news site; we intend to remain true to the book’s ethos: covering digital photography as it pertains to making us all better photographers.
- We’ll leave out the camera wars—Canon vs. Nikon vs. Fuji vs. Sony et al—and focus on using your gear in the right way. (We will talk about gear that can enhance your existing setup, however.) We won’t even care that all you shoot with is a phone; some of our favorite photos have been taken with an iPhone or a Pixel, and we’re not ashamed of it.
- We’ll talk about exercises to help spur creativity, and link to interesting bits and pieces about photography around the web that we think serve this end.
- We’re not going to talk about the business of photography; most of the readers of the book are what we like to call the ‘advanced amateur,’ men and women who wish to create their own decisive moments. That’s us too, and we hope to help them move forward with their photography.
- And we’ll talk about those photographers, past and present, who inspire us, and why. We think that criticism, positive and constructive, helps us all get better when we look at a scene through the viewfinder, and looking to others who are making (or who made) great work is key to becoming better at what we do.
It’s not a lot, but it’s something that we love and will do with passion. To start with, there will only be a few of us. In addition to myself and Ben, we’ll be joined by Liz LePage, a photographer (and my daughter), who’s done great teaching work on her own, at our previous publication, Photoshop Elements Techniques, and for ON1 Inc. We’ll also hope to bring in a few friends who we’ve worked with over the years, and who we think can help illuminate our little corner of the web.
One thing you might notice in the new site is that we’ve turned off comments at the end of posts. There are many reasons for this, the biggest of which is the constant drain on our time and resources, especially when dealing with spam comments. As we move forward, we’ll reevaluate, but you can always get in touch with us via our Contact page, or send us an email; we would love to hear your thoughts, as well as any requests for the types of books, tutorial content or other things that you ,might like from us.
Introducing CDP Press
And what about the book? Well, Complete Digital Photography continues to sell quite well, but the former publisher is out of the book business and has no interest in a new edition, so this summer, we began work on the 9th edition, which we’re hoping to release early in 2018, in both print and ebook formats. We are also launching CDP Press, which will publish a number of new, smaller ebooks on photography topics. Our first two are in the works, and should be out later this year. Ben’s Lightroom Mobile ebook should be available in October, and our good friend Hudson Henry is hard at work on a book about creating awesome panoramas, which we hope to have available in November. We’ll also have one of Liz’s ebooks—on outdoor portrait photography—available free to our followers.
We have a lot of plans, but first we need to stick with the small ones in front of us, so I won’t say much more than that. If you’d like to join our little group, we promise to be careful with our messages, and will give you the first shot at anything we do. Just click the link below and we’ll let you know when we add new things to the site.