Book review: Photo Trade Secrets

Zeke Kamm puts together an interesting set of books in Vols 1 and 2 of “Photo Trade Secrets”  This is not your typical book though, so I’m not really sure that a normal review is warranted.  It’s a pretty simple concept though:

Each book is a series of “hero shots” – just some really cool photography, ranging from studio work, to portrait, landscape, and everything in between.  The concept behind the series is that each page can be torn out (they’re perforated) so you can go and try to duplicate the effect in your own images.  I tore a few pages out of the books to show you the idea in practice.  Keep in mind that it seems my scanner is having some issues, so the image quality here is not very consistent nor is it necessarily accurate – the end result in the book look much better!

Sample 1 (back)

You can see the front image (left) shows the end result, and the rear of the page (right) shows the setup with how and where things are positioned.  I do wish he would have included the technical data such as aperture, shutter, ISO, light settings (1/4 power, manual, TTL, etc.), but it’s a neat idea regardless.

Here’s the rest of the sample images…

With 25 pages per volume, it’s nothing too meaty that will leave your head swirling with technical minutia and yet it’s got enough creative directions from all the contributing photographers to give you plenty of ideas for inspiration.   It’s all a lot like “lighting recipies” with a boiler plate template, from which the author (and contributing photographers) expect you to springboard from.  They give you enough to get up and running, but not enough to completely duplicate w/out a little of your own flavor and tastes in to season appropriately…

Depending on where you are and what you are looking for – this could be a two thumbs up or one to skip.  For me personally – I love getting creative and inspirational ideas from other photographers, so this medley gets two thumbs up!  Cool idea, well implemented, and lots of inspiration going forward!

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