Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Book Idea - Feedback Please

With all the talk of doing most if not all of one's image editing in global adjustment software like Lightroom or Camera Raw, I'm wondering if there is a place for a book on local adjustments in a digital world to enhance images. it would be less about the tools and more about creative changes. It would be based on Photoshop but applicable to other editing programmes with the ability to make local changes.

I've been watching Micheal Reichmanns Camera to Print video series on Luminous Landscape and very much enjoying it but it struck me how little he uses Photoshop to adjust images, preferring to do all his work with across the image changes in Lightroom (exc. sharpening).

What do people think - you have seen some of the sequences I have posted in the past in which local adjustments were crucial to the result - is there a place for a book showing both why and how to do these changes?

There are books out there that show some of the commercial photography editing - thinning legs, shortening noses, removing bulges and wrinkles but I'm more concerned with the expressive print and how local changes can help that.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea for a book, I use local contrast adjustment, mainly using adjustment layers,curves and vector masks to isolate areas. Very effective, but as with all things photoshop, there is probably a different and better way to do some of my most used tweeks.

orcasmac said...

I don't see the need. I don't have all the titles in front of me, but I can already think of 4 good books that say a lot about local adjustments to digital images, including good step-by-step examples. That may not be their sole focus, but there's enough content in each of the books to keep serious users of Photoshop satisfied.

George Barr said...

thanks for the feedback people, appreciated.

Olivier Maas said...

I'd love to read more books about this subject.
I am currently reading "Welcome To Oz: A Cinematic Approach To Digital Still Photography With Photoshop " by Vincent Versace and I really like it.
I can't think of any other book that shows so well how to rework the light, contrast and sharpness locally. I would really interesting to see your approach, why you do it and how, especially in Black & white.

Tim Gray said...

I'm a big fan of Oz as well. I'd say that if you have enough different content, or perspective another book on local adjustments would be welcomed.

On a slightly different tact - it will be interesting to see how PS evolves. If more and more can be done in LR/ACR and there's a need for less and less in Photoshop, at what point is the critical threshold reached where it just isn't worth the PS learning curve for someone coming new to the world of processing and bypass PS all together?

Matt said...

The technical aspects of how to adjust images locally would make an interesting subject. But it seems to me that there is more opportunity to explain the artistic decisions that drive particular choices. In particular, how particular local changes contribute to a black and white print that "glows" or how they tweak a composition to give it power and finesse. Today it seems that every book is a variation on a mechanical theme. If you do it, give us more.

orcasmac said...

After further consideration (see my earlier comment), I'm going to revise my position. A welcome book on local adjustments should include a comprehensive discussion of various methods (local contrast enhancement, luminosity masks, saturation masks, etc.), covering both the what, why, and when aspects. While I think the greatest benefit would be derived from explaining when and why you'd use a particular technique (with examples, of course!), the what's being done, i.e., what the technique is actually doing to the image (sharpening with an edge mask applied, for instance), is equally important to understand the shortcomings and applicability of any technique.

Maybe the way to approach this -- at least my suggestions are legitimate -- would be to focus on the why and when within the main text, and include the more technical info (the what) as a sidebar, or a separate section at the end of the chapter.

Just my $0.02.

George Barr said...

Thanks to orcasmac for the further thoughts on what is needed, all these responses have been helpful and will be considered both by myself and the publisher before and if we make any plans to do another book. Looks like I should visit the bookstore and more thoroughly check out what's already out there.

George

orcasmac said...

One last (for me) comment. I'd be happy to provide some added comments on possible inclusions, if you want to discuss what's possible outside of Photoshop. I'm thinking here along the lines of Nik's U-point technology which they first put into Nikon's Capture NX and now have in Nik Color Effects 3.0. For more follow-up discussions, we can take this off-line via email. I'd be happy to help. ((My email is dkosiur@gmail.com. As an aside, we may be "near neighbors; I live on Orcas Island in WA.)

Geoff Wittig said...

I'd sign up for such a book. There are quite a few books out there on the nuts & bolts of various Photoshop tools, but very little discussing the artistic goals behind darkening a particular rock or tree to improve a composition. Versace's Oz is one; George DeWolfe's book on the digital fine print also talks about it a bit. It's certainly difficult to write rationally about the aesthetics of various adjustments when "beauty" or "art" are so subjective.

Steve W said...

A book about the why's behind changing a photo is more valuable at this point than the how, even though the creative side of image making is somewhat subjective. This could be like a print version of Radiant Vista's wonderful daily critique. Go for it :)