Real World Digital Photography - Third Edition - Industrial strength digital photography techniques
by Katrin Eismann, Seán Duggan, and Tim Grey
Katrin Eismann has long been my Photoshop retouching diva. You'll see my rave reviews of some of her other books below. For this book, she is joined by two other well known photographer/educators as they break down nearly everything about digital photography into very understandable segments. It's amazing how well they've explained and illustrated such a breadth of material, and you don't have to be a technician to understand it. They begin with the photographer's hopes and expectations and explain the steps necessary to achieve those expectations from beginning camera operation through digital image enhancement. Take a look at the table of contents on the Amazon page ("Click to look inside") and you'll see this book is a modern "bible" of photography. As a photography/Photoshop educator myself, I'm really impressed with what a great job they've done here.
LIFE Guide to Digital Photography - Everything you need to shoot like the pros
by Joe McNally
I find Joe McNally to be the photographer who inspires and informs me the most. In case you don't know, Joe has been thirty years in the field as a shooter. He has been on the road over 20 years for National Geographic, as a LIFE staffer and a Sports Illustrated contractor. In this comprehensive book, Joe walks the reader from the very basics of photography all the way to his methods, tips and techniques for beautifully capturing images as the photographer sees them.
The Hot Shoe Diaries -Big Light from Small Flashes
by Joe McNally
There are many times when available light will give you a beautiful portrait. Even in those situations, however, off-camera flash can give you that "dazzle" factor which may be lacking otherwise. Joe starts this book with an explanation of what gear he uses (Nikon) and explains why he uses it, when and how. I suspect he wrote this part because so many of us ask him questions along these lines. He then begins with a single flash (and its modifiers) and goes on from there to tell us where he put hot shoe flashes (and how) to create the absolutely stunning images he's known for in "location portraiture." I've had studio lights
and have been shooting professionally for 30 years in and out of the studio and this book (and a subsequent Kelby seminar by him) took my photographs up another big notch.
The Moment it Clicks - Photography secrets from one of the world's top shooters
by Joe McNally
Joe brings the reader along on over a hundred of his best shots in this book. We get to learn what he had in mind and how he made those shots so visually exciting and interesting. The book doesn't explain a set of static rules to follow to get good photos, instead it gives the reader many insights into the mind of a truly great photographer.
Photoshop CS4 Studio Techniques by Ben Willmore
this book was
in the Advanced
I took years
ago. This new
in the software,
Ben is becoming
an even better
writer as he
He's my Photoshop
book, his other
one and Scott
of how to use
Raw. If you're
to buy one book
this be the
one! (Note: I believe there's a CS5 version of this about to go to press.)
CS4 Visual QuickStart Guide
by Elaine Weinmann
This isn't a step-by-step tutorial,
but a really good overall reference.
Photoshop CS4: Up to Speed by
This book assumes you're well versed
in Photoshop, and gives only information about all of the
terrific new features of CS4. Very well written, and used in
the Upgrade class taught at the junior college nearby. (Note: I spoke with Ben at a seminar and he said he's not going to offer a version of this book for CS5. At least I got to thank him personally for the previous editions.)
Adobe Photoshop CS4
Scott offers a step-by-step tutorial
approach to probably everything you want to do with Photoshop,
including keyboard shortcuts as he goes along in his jocular
style of writing. This book and the ones by Ben Willmore
are exceptionally well illustrated with examples I can see!
Lab Color - The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures
in the Most Powerful Colorspace
by Dan Margulis
Biedny (author of The Photoshop
Handbook and co-author of Photoshop Channel Chops) describes
this book in his introduction as "...the most deeply
advanced, inspiring, insightful, maddening, awesome,
demanding and illuminating educational effort - in any
media format - ever created for Photoshop. ... Paradigm
shift has never seemed so appropriate a term as it does
in discribing this book." This is not a book you can
skim through and expect to learn anything. But it's pure
Photoshop Channels Book "starring"
more about channels from this book in two days of
spare time than in all the rest of my Photoshop
education! If you already know how to sharpen and
reduce noise in the same image, maybe you don't
need to read this book. He goes through Lab, Calculations,
Apply Image (and more) and shows a terrific Alpha
Channel Edge Mask technique that, alone is worth
the purchase price!
Masking & Compositing by
wish I could
zoom in on
in this book
as you can
in my PDF
of them aren't
to see the
with a companion
can see the
In this book,
you ever wanted
to know about
as wispy hair
to Channel Chops (different authors) which has
become a $500 per copy collector's item. Katrin also wrote
the photo retouching & restoration book, below.
Studio by Bert
Bert's an absolute magician
in creating illustrations in Photoshop and Illustrator!
He doesn't work from photos, but creates photograph-like
images of things which either no longer exist,
don't exist yet, or are only in his imagination. These
are vector-based images which can be enlarged to
billboard size, and you'll see the filaments in the
light bulbs... incredible. The techniques he uses
in creating his illustrations will help anyone trying
to enhance a photograph as well.
Restoration & Retouching by
This book was the textbook
for the Photo Retouching & Restoration
class I took years ago. It shares the same flaw of
small illustrations as her Masking & Compositing
book, above, but is an excellent workbook on the
subject and has a companion site with the high resolution
images she's working on so you can follow along using
her techniques. Highly recommended.
World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS by
This was the first book I could find
on Camera Raw and was a good introduction to the subject.
Unlike most Real World books, it's only a couple
of hundred pages. He does tend to repeat himself, but in
doing so he makes important points.