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'Beginner's Flash' Collects 13 Years Of Tips & Techniques In 390 Pages Tweet This   Forward This

11 July 2013

We're pleased (relieved even) to announce the publication of Beginner's Flash. Written over a 13 year period, these 134 short pieces first appeared by special arrangement as columns in the Imaging Resource Newsletter, which we edited from 1999 to 2012.

Designed to be understood without a background in photography, they each address some facet of photographic fun. Some essays are tips, others tutorials, still others explanations of some of the more interesting aspects of the art.


About the 10 year mark of our tenure as editor of the Imaging Resource Newsletter, we thought it might be nice to issue the Beginner's Flash, Advanced Mode and Just for Fun columns in book form. So we ran a little reader survey at our own expense to see just how much interest there was and what people would pay for the series.

It turned out that they were most interested in paying a hefty fee for a set of three boxed volumes.

We, on the other hand, were more inclined to produce PDFs you could read on your computer or tablet. Why? Well, we already have a tombstone. And the PDF would be easily searchable with live links. Plus there's no bill from the printer.

So, even though we abandoned the idea of a 10th anniversary ebook collection of our essays, we did put together the first version of these personal essays on photography in 2009 using InDesign. Then we wrote more. And we wondered how we could peddle a book of our stuff if we kept writing more of it.

That problem was solved in 2012 when we ended our special arrangement with Imaging Resource.


But we had another problem, evident even in 2009. Organizing the essays. Our first attempt simply listed them in alphabetical order. That encouraged random reading but also got a bit confusing.

So we came up with the idea of grouping them into a handful (or so) of topics. And that made a lot more sense.

Except that some of the numbers -- in 10 years -- had gotten a little dated. Here we were talking about a 3-megapixel camera, say. On the other hand, the concepts weren't dated. Just, um, multiply that three megapixels by the current Moore's law factor (maybe 10 today, for a 30-Mp camera).

To address the age issue, we arranged the stories within the topics in chronological order. No apologies. And that we could live with. You too, we think, as you learn along with us through the earliest days of the digital photography revolution.

When we wrote our last essay late last year, we decided to update our unreleased draft to include all of the essays. Our collected works, as it were.

It's 390 pages of professionally typset text with a photo for each chapter opening. A simple design that doesn't detract from the message.


You can purchase the ebook directly from the Info Page, where you can also preview the Table of Contents and read the FAQ. Through the end of July, you can get the $24.95 title for just $9.99.

Why are we doing that?

Well, it's a marketing experiment. If it brings in a lot of orders, we'll price future ebooks at that level. If it doesn't, we'll stick with the higher price, which makes projects like this feasible for smaller audiences.

(We do want to emphasize that as an ebook neither we nor PayPal nor any online ebook vendor offers a refund. It isn't a tangible product you can return, as we explain in the FAQ.)

Of course, there is a way to get it for free. We have given copies away to all of our current subscribers already as an expression of our appreciation. So if you subscribe, you too can get a copy at no charge. To subscribe, just fill out the subscription form.

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