Okay. It's time to let this thing out into the world. Enough dilly-dallying. I say that casually but let me give you a tiny little taste of what this feels like to me. Pure panic and fear. This kind of thing is not easy for me to do for a couple of reasons. I talked about the more pedantic and process reasons a couple of posts ago. Let me share a few of the other things that happen with me when doing this type of thing. Partially as an excuse as to why I mentioned that I was doing it a long while ago and was well on my way but more importantly to let you know there are other screwballs out there if you even have a tiny bit of this stuff go on in your head.
So where do I start… Since there is no real beginning or end I will just chuck out a bunch of random hangups of mine that cause fear, uncertainty, and doubt in no particular order.
- My goals of a wide audience. I want people to take away something - hopefully a lot from these eBooks or field guides no matter how long they have been at this photography thing. Figuring out what to talk about and not talk about with that kind of audience target (everyone) causes me to think… To basic, ummm shit I need to explain that. No too much background. No not enough background. Okay how do I make this relevant to people that really know their way around a camera while still calling out to people that don't… At the end of it I am absolutely sure I did it wrong. Usually it turns out that I didn't or at least not completely so.
- I made rules based on my own pet peeves when I see others do them. Specifically I absolutely decided this was not going to be a retrospective of my greatest hits with a bunch of stuff that may or may not be accurate or doable in the way I remember doing it. I hate that. This is a tough one since I was going to go make images exactly the way I describe it and resist the temptation to substitute something that I made at another time "sorta the same way - if I recall" that is fantastic. At the end I decided to just roll with it - my ego can take a bit of punishment by permanently putting stuff out there meant to be examples that are not my greatest hits. Well I hope it can. It's easy when I call it out on the blog as StupidCrap™ but this is way different. In fact I went back and chose some images that illustrated what I was talking about instead of ones that I actually liked better. This scares the crap out of me. It shouldn't but it does.
- I made a commitment not to optimize images in post. Same church as above different pew. I think it's important in anything that talks about lighting to show what was actually there without any molestation in post. Especially local adjustments. Pet peeve. I went with an import preset that I call out and that's it. Talk about scary. So you get what amounts to the contact sheet version if I were shooting film. Stressful.
- I made a bunch of images then I changed directions. At least for this first book. I discovered that most of the topics I was covering were not really about window light at all but far far more about gear and lighting modifiers. That's a good subject but not for a guide to window light. So major focus shift and out go a bunch of images I made. Had to make some more. What were originally main topics are now just asides - if that. Turns out I was going really wide on one thing about windows instead of deep and focused which was my goal. Completely redone. Fine tuned. Changed. I wake up most days thinking - okay this is definitely more useful than it was. Other days it nags at me that I should put it all back the way it was.
- Another self imposed goal. Anyone reading it would be able to read it remember it and go do all of the main points in an hour but still have enough meet that if anyone - pros included cared to come back to it they would actually take more away as well. Attempting both was tough for me. I think both are important for how I envision the series. I tended towards the latter goal too much and ended up with something that was way too complicated to do the first goal. I cut the word count in half which probably took longer than putting the words in while trying to condense the essence of those now deleted words into the remaining. That's scary for me. I would rather feel like I explained too much than not enough. In the end I decided that thought process was about me, I went with going easy on the reader instead.
- I want there to be a connectedness and a cohesiveness to the entire series but each one to completely stand alone. So any combination builds but you don't need anything you don't want. This will only be measurable down the road so I can't be sure yet. I hate not being sure.
Okay - you get the idea. Scary for me. Strange but true. I made this. I hope you enjoy it. More importantly I hope that you get a lot out of it and if not at least a couple of ideas that you may not have thought about in the same way before. Enough where you can do it your way and make some nice work.
Please, let me know what you think. Good, bad, or otherwise. Have suggestions for other subjects? Have something to say about the way I explained something. Let me know - I want to hear it. I just asked that if it's not pretty you try to use nice words - I will be in a fragile state for a bit. The same thing will happen next time to. I know myself pretty well at this stage of the game.