I recently read an e-book on travel photography called “RABARI, Encounters with the nomadic tribe” by Mitchell Kanashkevich. The publisher (Light Stalking) describe this as follows “The guide presents a unique opportunity to learn from real-life, practical examples and to go behind the scenes of the actual photo shoots of renowned travel and documentary photographer, Mitchell Kanashkevich.” That is a good description and one which is met perfectly.
This ebook is a series of excellent photographs along with a short story. Each story includes a description of the environment around the shot and covers how the photographer took advantage of these surrounding to achieve the resulting shot. Taking advantage of the surroundings varies from simply turning the subject to allow the sun to assist with the shot, through to asking the subject to sit in a particular place and allowing an assistant to bounce in some sunlight. After the photo is shot we are shown a simple breakdown of how the photo was processed in Photoshop. It is good to see a sample of the original image along with the processed version showing how far a little thought and processing can take a shot.
The final shots are generally impressively edited and processed, demonstrating that getting a shot perfect in camera is not really possible. There will always be post-production work required to achieve a final result, however one thing that is important and stressed throughout this ebook is that you have to start with a good image. There’s no point in Photoshopping a poor image and expecting a brilliant result.
All of the images are shot with very affordable equipment using an older consumer grade Canon camera and a basic set of lenses, including an off-brand Sigma. It is excellent to see this being shown to the reader as we’ve all been trained by camera manufacturers and magazines to want the latest and greatest equipment. This book will show you that you can get professional results with just about anything, it just takes a little care and control at the time you are shooting.
Another point stressed throughout is the need for local information, especially in these extreme locations. A guide will assist with your journey by helping to find perfect location and to keep you safe in risky environments, plus be on hand to ensure traditions and restrictions are kept to. Having local knowledge and language skills for even your most standard holiday or vacation will also help your photography and overall experience.
On finishing reading this short ebook, I felt I had learnt and re-learnt some important points. In summary; it is important to always be on the lookout for better light and to be willing to adjust the scene to make the best of what is there. It is also important to remember who you are speaking to and working with. Whether it’s the Rabari or your neighbour they will have expectations and needs. The photographer needs to show great respect to the needs of the subject and the environment at all times.
The author, Mitchell Kanashkevich is a professional travel and documentary photographer whose work is used by Getty and Corbis and has been seen on the cover of Geographical magazine and Digital SLR Photographer, as well as in many other magazines. This ebook sells for US$24.95 but currently (Feb 12) has a discount code of “HAPPYXMAS” which offers a US$5.00 discount. While this is far from a budget ebook I believe it offers a reasonable value for money and will make you stop to think about how you shoot and interact with your subjects.
The publisher does offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee – Forever. If you’re not happy with your purchase, then they will refund your purchase. No questions.