October 17, 2008
…you can read what the marketing guys have written about the books at any of the online stores, but here’s what I have to say:
I wrote RAW Pipeline as a “hit-the-road-running” guide to digital photography, with the film photographer especially in mind. There are many similarities between shooting film and digital, but there are some notable differences.
Based on my “Pixel Institute” classes at EP Levine, the book talks about setting up the camera and shooting, data management, things to do and things to avoid. In the second section I discuss essential Photoshop skills- essential to photographers, that is. …Layers, Masking, and above all, the RAW file and it’s importance in the process. In this book I introduce the Smart Object RAW workflow, which I’ll hit a lot harder in the Smart Object Pipeline, of course. Finally, we cover printing- how to control, and get the most out of your printer.
Rather than an encyclopedic reference to every distracting feature along the way, RAW Pipeline is designed to be a laser-focus on what photographers want- to learn to take pictures with the digital camera and darkroom.
Color Management has been the realm of the uber-geek. Rather than clarifying the process, many authors have done just the opposite- adding levels of obfuscation and confusion through the use of terms and concepts that are either simply overly technical, or easy to misunderstand. Color Pipeline is my attempt to clarify what is essentially a simple and effective tool- color management and ColorSync.
Using a program called ColorThink I can show how colors are actually mapped through each level of conversion and processing. It’s interesting to see the difference between one Rendering Intent and another, for example, but more importantly, it’s a powerful tool if you understand it, and can even visualize it.
We are, after all, not color scientists, we’re photographers.
Using the Color Pipeline, you can see the path of colors in your image from the subject, through capture, RAW processing, display and output to understand better where, and what, you can do to control color throughout the entire process.
Order from my friends at Digital Silver Imaging, here
Smart Object Pipeline
Of all four books, Smart Object Pipeline is probably the most unique. RAW processing has changed the very nature of Photography, Smart Object RAW processing has changed how we work with the RAW file, and Smart Object Pipeline is the first book published to look at Smart Object RAW processing in a complete, and comprehensive way.
Not only do we cover Layers and Masking, and give an in-depth guide to working with Camera RAW 5.2, but Smart Object Pipeline covers some of the under-the-hood concepts behind metadata editing, using Smart Filters and plug-ins with Smart Objects, we take another look at the Rosenholtz-Sanchez Effect (the apparent compounding of edits in Smart Object layers and what is really going on), and, above all, building an effective and repeatable process in the Smart Object RAW workflow.
There is simply no other book out there like this, and the process is the most significant development in the ongoing evolution of Adobe’s “non-destructive workflow”.
Order from my friends at Digital Silver Imaging, here.
Black and White Pipeline
Black and White Pipeline is my answer to Ansel Adams’ challenge of the late 1980s, that digital photography will demand the re-analysis of our methods, and make us rebuild many of our skills and understanding of photographic processes.
The core of Adams’ work was not the Zone System. The core of his teaching was Visualiztion. In fact, the Zone System was a teaching device Adams used to demonstrate, and help students understand this core concept, the concept that the artist needed to see the photograph, to control the process to fulfill the vision. Without the ability to visualize a photograph, the photographer was merely taking haphazard pot-shots at controlling the tools.
Digital photography, because of the RAW file, (what I like to refer to as the “digital latent image” with nods to Adams), changes the basic process. Instead of the film making the color-to-B/W conversion for us, and us learning to manipulate that, we now have complete control over precisely how colors are mapped to gray. Learning to process digital B/W is about learning how to understand and control that conversion.
In Black and White Pipeline I explore all the available methods to handle B/W digital photography from capture to printing, but with an overriding emphasis on the process, and learning how to use to process to learn how to see in Black and White. It’s a step back from the “tips and tricks” philosophy, (the limitless possibilities of Photoshop and the digital world), back to the “paradox of palette”- learning to limit your tools, and work within those limits, to allow the beauty of the Black and White print to express your vision.