Photographers have chosen an expensive hobby. One might say, instead, that the hobby has chosen them and like a cat adopting a person the relationship is sometimes painful. It’s a passion, not a pastime, and it consumes the photographer. You can tell as much by the way a photographer would rather go without food and water than do without a new set of lenses for his $2,000 camera. That is only his weekend device; there is one for weekdays and another for under-water images too.
Did I mention all of the software required to improve the final image? Plus, drop by for a quick chat and expect to leave 2 hours later after watching a slide show on his laptop of the last 200 pictures he took. Yes, this is a costly way to spend your time and a great way to alienate people, but cheaper than drugs, although equally as addictive.
Should It Be This Way?
Does one need to spend thousands of dollars on equipment and computer support? Would taking courses help an amateur to do without all of that gear or merely influence a generation of new photographers to spend yet more money on their craft? Many professionals started out in high school or college with a series of expensive courses and spent several years learning from experts in the classroom how to do what a few obsessed amateurs were able to learn without the cost of tuition.
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These photo fanatics have developed the art by using numerous simple tools, some even making it to the ranks of pro-photographers without associated schooling. They would tell you they learned from the school of experience which is often just as legitimate for someone with true passion and an obvious eye for arresting images. Many such individuals take part simply because it feels good to create a beautiful picture and cause people to gasp in admiration.
An Amateur Did It His Way
Evan Sharboneau didn’t go to school to learn photography. He just picked up a camera and started clicking. During his experience with the art, he also discovered that he didn’t need a whole box of special lenses or a set of different cameras to achieve assorted effects. As the artist and author of Trick Photography and Special Effects puts it, he could not afford school and the tools for technological wizardry. These were all out of his price range, but nothing was going to stop him from figuring out how the experts manage to take such stunning and reality-defying pictures. Did they do it with high-tech gadgets? Who showed them and what did it take to make impossible pictures from real world scenes? His passion became learning how the tricks were accomplished by experimenting on his own.
It turns out those tricks are top secret, of course. They are like the closely guarded magic tricks and illusions of popular and pricey entertainers: you would not enjoy them as much if you were unable to suspend reality for a little while. Having those secrets revealed spoils the fun in a way, but also takes one into the creative minds of people who think these things up and look for ways to work with what they already have. Okay, so knowing the truth removes the magic but reveals the magic of human ingenuity. Even Sharboneau’s ingenuity showed him how to use an ordinary camera and some inexpensive software to create extraordinary art.
Money, Money, Money
So his website continues to tell you, on and on. Sharboneau did not have money but was in possession of much determination. He lacked resources, but that did not prevent him from successfully discovering how to create the sorts of pictures featured in his e-book. Testimonials from happy customers supposedly verify the truth of this statement. For only $47, customers will learn all the tricks that cost other people thousands of dollars in equipment and education. Wouldn’t that be a huge savings? Sharboneau highlights this contrast constantly until readers will be convinced they are saving money by purchasing his book; at least customers who were about to buy expensive gear and enroll in courses.
A Few Tricks
He also shares a few little tidbits on his long ad page. For instance, some of his tools include a flashlight, a laser pen, and assorted household gadgets. They are things many people already own or could purchase for very little money at the mall. Chosen shots demonstrate the types of effects you will be able to achieve such as painting with light, creating an invisible man who rides a bicycle, and placing multiples of one person in the same shot, defying gravity the whole time. There’s plenty more where that came from, much of the work supplied by people who took their cues from Sharboneau and his informative blog. This book is an extension of that blog or a compilation of what followers have been reading with some added material.
Evan Sharboneau might not be trained, but he uses a lot of terminology that sounds very professional and legitimate. He talks about perspective, long exposure, stitching, and more. His word choices are enough to encourage admiration from the reader of his site but not so much as to overwhelm him or her. This is clever marketing language. Did he pick up these words simply by reading or is he a graduate of some photography class after all?
Sales Website Worries
I always feel nervous about websites like these. They are the typical sales pages; one long scrolling page instead of a landing page with several subheadings leading to topics. It is not so much the format as the fact that you are constantly promised, from early on, that the answer to a secret will be revealed. The answer is not actually at the bottom of the page or anywhere in the middle either. It’s in the product being touted on this website, the Trick Photography Book. You know this to be true before reaching the end, like a dreamer seeking the end of the rainbow knowing the whole time there is no pot of gold, but curiosity keeps you looking and hoping that for once an individual won’t trick you into believing the lie. Magic could be real for once. It certainly looks real on this website, even though Evan Sharboneau constantly reminds you it’s not.
Another worry is that the person behind a site like this is usually selling something which either sounds too good to be true or which, if people bought it, would do him more harm than good. Why would a photographer want to tell consumers how to accomplish something which will create more competition? This would potentially take away some of his income as a result, especially if he does his job well.
Then again, maybe he has not done a good job. Perhaps the book is rubbish for all that it contains: 295 pages, thousands of photos, and several video tutorials. Those testimonials might be bogus. Sharboneau is not exactly a company with BBB accreditation; a firm one can seek out in order to claim satisfaction or to honor his guarantee. That’s right: Evan Sharboneau offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee – and because of the platform he sells it through, that guarantee IS honored because they are very strict about that.
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Truth Behind the Trick Photography Book
By investigating further, I discovered that this guy really is an avid photographer and the book advertised on his web page has been rated offsite; even acclaimed. He is not exactly famous enough to have a Wikipedia page dedicated to him but Evan’s work is online and for sale. It is quite clever and sometimes visually arresting too. Sharboneau shoots and sells regular but beautiful images with wonderful light and color features and also creates photographic illusions in which he is often the adapted subject. His repertoire demonstrates what a person can do without the full Adobe Photoshop program but also the possibilities when using Photoshop Elements, a much cheaper version of this Adobe program for enhancing and altering images.
Goals of Trick Photography and Special Effects
Once you have finished reading this book, your photos should be sharper, clearer, and generally better. You will know how to accomplish the seemingly impossible in your images whether you are creating them for love, for money, or both. Sharboneau also talks a bit about basics of photography; core skills every photographer should know.
He has also written a few other books which cover other aspects of this latest effort. They talk about making money from photography, using an external flash, filters, and more. Clearly, Evan Sharboneau has achieved enough success to actually buy some of the gear he says you don’t need and he must be using it too. Is that a sign he is being disingenuous about Trick Photography and Special Effects or simply that you can trust someone who was able to become this successful? I’m torn, but at least a few things are clear. One is that this guy is really who he says he is and appears quite young. Secondly, if he wrote this page, he is a master of hype, sales, and self-promotion. Thirdly, it’s very easy to buy his book which is available for $47 using your credit card or PayPal account and you won’t even have to hold a hard copy in your hand. This e book will take up less space than a set of camera lenses.