The Practicing Photographer available Aug. 16

[NOTE: You can now pre-order The Practicing Photographer from the CDP store. US orders qualify for free shipping with the code PRACTICING.]


Ben and I are making some final tweaks to his next book, The Practicing Photographer, and I’m happy to announce that the book will be available in both print and ebook form on August 16.

Here’s the official blurb on the book, from the back cover:

In The Practicing Photographer, Ben Long’s message is clear: if you want to become a better photographer, you have to think about practice. Musicians, dancers, actors and other artists incorporate practice into their work, yet most photographers want to talk more about camera settings and gear than they do about their practice.

The short essays contained within this slim volume are designed to help you develop your own photography practice. It lacks a single photograph between its covers, and there is no mention of a camera company, a camera type, or any other type of gear. The goal of The Practicing Photographer is to help you think about practicing your photography in a more holistic way, from field to print, and in between. The result is quite different from the standard “how to” photography book, but one that can be as important to enriching your craft.

At 124 pages, The Practicing Photographer is a small book, consisting of 55 short essays (1 to 2 pages each) that, when taken as a whole, are aimed at helping you build your own photographic practice. The book is divided into six primary sections: Practicing, Before Shooting, Shooting, Mind Games, Post-Production, Presentation. A final section includes specific ideas for practicing, as well as an essay on how to gauge the success of your practice. (See the Table of Contents for a complete list of the essays.)

The Practicing Photographer will be available in August 2021 from CDP Press LLC. ISBN 978-1-7326369-4-1 (print); 978-1-7326369-5-8 (ebook).

The print version will be $13.95; the ebook version will be $9.95. We’re currently accepting pre-orders from the CDP store; we won’t charge you until we ship. We also anticipate that Amazon will have copies available for sale starting on the 16th or 17th of August.

The first essay in the book, “Why Practice?” can be read here on the website.

Canon PRO-300 review on Printerville

My latest printer review, of Canon’s imagePROGRAF PRO-300, has been posted over on Printerville. Upshot: it’s a great pigment-based photo printer for people looking to get into printing, and probably the best value in the 13-inch desktop market.

Epson EcoTank Photo Printers

Over on Printerville, I posted an item about Epson’s new cartridge-free ‘supertank’ photo printers, the EcoTank Photo ET-8500 and ET-8550. Although they use six-color, dye-based inks — which some folks will dismiss — I still think they’re an important entry into the printer market, especially with regard to keeping the cost of printing affordable. The post can be read here.

Coming soon: The Practicing Photographer

I’m excited to announce that Ben’s next book, The Practicing Photographer, is currently in the final stages of production, and will be on sale here and on Amazon by mid-summer this year.

This book grew out of discussions that Ben and I had about his primary teaching message through the years: if you want to become a better photographer, you have to think about practice. Musicians, dancers, actors and other artists incorporate practice into their work, yet photographers talk more about camera settings and gear than they do about their practice. But when we talk about the concept of practice with workshop students, a light bulb often goes off, and it felt to us that a book about the topic just made sense.

The Practicing Photographer is a slim book (roughly 120 pages), comprised of more than 50 short essays designed to help you develop your own photography practice. While some of the essays are directly derived from Ben’s longtime video series of the same name on LinkedIn Learning (née Lynda.com), the majority have been specifically written for this book.

We’re excited about the result. It is quite different from the standard ‘how to’ photography book. It lacks a single photograph between its covers, and there is no mention of a camera company, a camera type, or any other type of gear. It really has been written to help you think about practicing your photography in a more holistic way, from field to print, and in between.

While we’re still finalizing the book’s content, we do know that it will be priced under $15 for the print version, and around $10 for the ebook. We’ll send out a note once we’ve ordered our first run, but if you’d like a sneak peek, we have posted the first essay in the book, “Why Practice?” for you to read. (The table of contents for the book is also available here on the site as well.)

If you’d like to be notified when the book is available for ordering, send an email to practicing@completedigitalphotography.com. Your email will only be used once, to let you know that the book has been released. (If you’re already on our mailing list, we’ll send a note to you via our email newsletter.)

The return of Printerville

My old website Printerville has sat dormant for a few years now, but yesterday, I rebooted it, and put up my first new post in a decade. I’ve tried to keep the look of the new site fairly clean, and it should be a bit snappier than before. I also pruned a bunch of the old content from there, except for a few posts that still come up in Google searches.

Ben and I started the Printerville and Complete Digital Photography sites around the same time, cross-sharing relevant links. With my own ongoing interest in printing, and some of the interest I’ve seen from fellow photographers, it seemed to make more sense to bring it back, so that this site could really be more about photography in a wider sense (and more related to Ben’s books).

In the coming weeks, I’ll be moving the more recent printing-specific posts from this site over to Printerville, and new posts on the topic (including the two reviews I have in the works) will be posted over there as well. I’ll post links to the new stuff here as they’re added.

Rick

SureColor P900 review posted

Just a short note to let you know that my review of Epson’s SureColor P900 (with a few thoughts about its sibling the P700) is now live over on Printerville.

It’s a bit long, but if you’re interested in printing your photos, especially at the desktop level, I think it’s worth reading.

[Post updated May 2021 with link to Printerville review. If you wish to read the original post here on the Complete Digital Photography website, click here.]

Thoughts on choosing a photo printer

[May 2021 update: I’ve since relaunched Printerville, and an updated version of this post is available there.]


I ran a website called Printerville for a while in the mid-2000s, but a decade ago, I ceased publishing new work there. The higher end of the desktop photo printer market had matured, and companies were no longer coming out regularly with new models. For example, at the beginning of 2020, the current set of printers from Canon and Epson—HP left this part of market long ago—had been around for five years. Only in the last year has there been any activity in this space, and I wrote a little bit about that here on the site:

With those announcements, I received lots of questions from folks who were interested in the idea of printing, and were wondering about how to even start thinking about buying a printer. I’ve been sending out an email to them with a few basic thoughts regarding things to think about when choosing a printer—or whether you should just use an online print service. Given the constant interest in this topic, it seemed worth publishing here. Read more »

Epson (and Canon) Photo Printer Updates

Since writing about Epson’s new photo inkjet line back in April, I’ve gotten a lot of email, mostly from readers curious about the SureColor P900, the 17-inch version (and its 13-inch sibling, the P700). I’m happy to say that the first shipments of the P900 appear to be dribbling into the States. Both models were supposed to be available by early summer, but it does seem that the pandemic wreaked havoc on manufacturing and shipping channels.

All that said, I’m not sure about how full the channel actually is at the moment. I have a P900 arriving today, but it was ordered five months ago. I also know of a few other folks who’ve received P700s in the past 60 days, but Adorama and B&H have both the printers back-ordered. My advice to anyone looking for these units would be to order one from your preferred source, to get into the queue. I believe that a big part of the reason they’re back-ordered is that most arriving units are being sent right back out to folks who preordered theirs.

Read more »

Ben and Hudson on Practicing Photography

Earlier this week, Ben, Hudson Henry and I had a lively discussion about the concept of practice. Over the course of an hour, we talked about many things, including:

  • Why people don’t generally think about ‘practice’ as something essential to photographic training (for example, unlike music, which is based around the idea of practicing);
  • Learning to practice the art of ‘seeing’;
  • Things we can do to get out of a rut;
  • The importance of looking at the work of great photographers as part of your photographic practice; and
  • How to think about practice as it pertains to your own photography.

Read more »

“What to Print” Podcast with Rick

PhotoActive: Talking about Printing episode I recently had a discussion about printing with Jeff Carlson and Kirk McElhearn for their PhotoActive podcast. The episode, “What to Print,” covered a wide range of topics: we chatted about how I choose which photos to print, why I feel that printing is important to your growth as a photographer, and what it means to call yourself an artist. It was a fun and lively exchange (and yes, Jeff has finally bought a printer!).

As many readers know, I feel quite strongly about the power of the photographic print. It doesn’t matter if you print to your own device or upload to an online service. In this day of small screens and Instagram, Flickr and 500px, we have lost some of the tactile magic that we get in seeing our photographs on paper. There are times when I worry about what will happen to the snapshots and artistic photos we all take over the course of our lives; the digital ‘shoebox’ just doesn’t feel as real to me as the actual ones that many of us grew up with. (I wrote a piece on my personal blog a few years ago, A Life, Photographed, about why the print is such an important part of our lives.)

Ben and I have spoken with Jeff and Kirk before on PhotoActive, and I love their short, focused approach to podcasts. The episodes are only about 30 minutes in length, and they move quickly.

If you’re interested at all about printing, please give it a listen. As I noted during the episode — and in my recent post about the West photo project — I have been printing quite a bit more recently. I should have a review of the new Epson inkjets later this summer, and I am also working on a short book for CDP Press about printing, which we’re hoping to have out later this year.