What exactly is a powerful image? Let’s put that another way. How do you create imagery that doesn’t just get a bunch of likes and retweets, but that actually moves your viewer and evokes mood and emotional response from them? How do you create a shot actually that tells a compelling story, and makes people remember your photos long after they’ve moved away from the page or screen?
Award winning travel photographer Mitchel Kanashkevich has just released a brand new eBook called Powerful Imagery – The Photographer’s Insight, which describes in detail exactly how to create this caliber of work.
This 65-page eBook contains some of Mitchell’s favorite images that he made during the past decade, many of which have been published in magazines such as National Geographic Traveler, Lonely Planet Traveler, Vanity Fair and Geographical UK, and he shows you exactly how he made each one.
Each of the 15 images in Powerful Imagery is deconstructed in extensive detail. Mitchell starts by giving you the background story that first drew him to that particular location and he describes his objectives for the specific elements that he wanted to capture in the shot.
He then talks about the light, how he gauged it, how he used it, how long he had to wait for the optimum moment, what gear he used, and also the specific challenges that he faced on each location. Some challenges were technical, while others were cultural, personal or environmental. All factors that any photographer has to deal with when trying to create a compelling shot.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of each lesson is the series of outtakes that he shows for each image. This brings you right into Mitchell’s creative mind and shows you exactly how he saw and built the scene, from first impressions to the final, powerful photograph. It’s one thing to study a pro’s awesome images, but in my mind, it’s considerably more helpful and educational to study what didn’t work for them, and how they adapted and recomposed to create something much more stunning than their original attempt.
Finally, for each shot, Mitchell describes post processing techniques that he used to refine each image. This is a very helpful section, because every shot needs a little help, and seeing how an accomplished pro goes about adjusting an image will give you insight on how to improve your own photography.
Powerful Imagery – The Photographer’s Insight is written in a very similar style to his previous book, Rabari- Encounters With The Nomadic Tribe. It’s essentially a continuation of where Rabari left off, so if you liked that book, you’ll certainly like his new one; it’s just as helpful. I think that the photographs in Powerful Imagery are even better here, though. I love Mitchell’s work, it’s on par with some of the best travel photographers around, guys like Galen Rowell, Eric Valli, Steve McCurry and David duChemin.
Mitchell is a true master of his craft and you can learn a tremendous amount from his teaching style. Whether you shoot subjects that are halfway around the world or halfway around the block from your house, the techniques of vision, creative composition and technical execution are universal.
If you like travel and cultural photography, and if you want to create impactful, evocative images of your own, then check out Powerful Imagery – The Photographer’s Insight. You’ll be inspired by Mitchell’s work, and you’ll learn a lot in the process of reading through his methods and technical expertise. It’s a PDF format, so it looks great on the iPad, or any computer screen or mobile device.
The book is published through his new site EyeVoyage, which is dedicated to travel photography instruction. Keep an eye out for future books on the series; at this point, they’ve got a handful of titles coming down the pipe.