Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Book News

Well, a milestone, Fed Ex delivered my advance copy of my new book "From Camera To Computer". Bulk shipping to bookstores should take a week or two. I think it looks good but you'll excuse a little bias.

I have posted information on the book to my website. Click on the right book and you will go to the cover image, information on the book and then to a page from which you can download pdf's of Chapter 21 and also the table of contents. Those of you who follow my blog have probably seen almost all the images in the book and even many of the editing steps blog entries and you might wonder what the book can add to the blog. The book is 286 pages long, and contains a lot more detail than was seen in any of the blog entries, along with more tips and suggestions and explanations, and more about the process of working the scene and deciding what needs changed in editing an image.

A huge effort to edit the book by myself, then the new editor, then my original editor has made the book much better to read. In several images previously shown on my blog, I have completely redone the editing steps to result in a stronger image (and shown the difference). Much more care has been taken to explain steps, terms and so on.

For those starting out with Photoshop there is a short primer which covers the essential part of Photoshop - the part that I use in editing. There are brief discussions of stitching and blending for focus and hdr, explaining which methods are best and where. I explain the steps necessary to do good stitching and point out where specialized software does a better job than even Photoshop CS4.

I would not recommend the book to someone who wants help with working the scene, making aesthetic decisions, wanting to know straight forward methods of fixing images and even more importantly improving images. Someone with years of Photoshop experience is unlikely to find the book all that helpful, or at least the editing parts which is half the book. That said, I think a lot of people will find it an entertaining read as I describe my failures and how I worked towards successes, solving the same problems you likely face in your photography.

My original hope for the book was that it would make an interesting read, somewhat like Ansel Adams "Examples, the making of 40 images" upon which this is based, albeit in a digital vein and including colour. Several of the images are black and white and there is a fair amount of discussion about black and white workflow and decision making.

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