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The Creative Digital Darkroom - Review, Interview, Free Chapter - A New Book From Katrin Eismann and Seán Duggan
The Creative Digital Darkroom is one hefty book filled with so much Photoshop and Lightroom goodness that you'll be busy and in bliss for a long long time. The layout is appealing and the photos inspiring, just what you need when tackling a subject like this. And then there's the writing.
It's nice to be in the midst of Photoshop professionals who through their years of teaching have perfected their craft. Katrin and Sean have done just that. The detailed instructions carry you effortlessly through what at first may look like complicated waters. They are complicated, no doubt, but with these two guides by your side all is clear, and the results that can be achieved from following their advice and tutorials will surely astound you.
This is a book that will show you how to gain maximum enjoyment and pride from your work as a photographer, and for that both Katrin and Seán should be applauded. This is as fine a book as one could wish for on the technical intricacies of working in the digital darkroom.
The book has its own companion site CreativeDigitalDarkroom.com which offers details about what you'll find between the covers. It's worth looking though the Table of Contents (click on About), as the thoroughness of the book is revealed in the long list of chapters and lessons that are included. Here's a few more tidbits about the book, and that's followed by a short interview with Katrin, as well as a link to a free sample chapter. Enjoy!
(List price is $49.99. Amazon price is $31.49. You save $18.50, a 37% discount.)
About 'The Creative Digital Darkroom'
Based on the concepts of the traditional darkroom, The Creative Digital Darkroom encompasses a tutorial approach that translates traditional skills, concepts, and nomenclature into contemporary digital solutions using Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop Lightroom. Shying away from quick tips and gratuitous effects, this book concentrates on the most important tools and techniques for creating effective images that express your true vision.
Author Katrin Eismann an internationally acclaimed artist, bestselling author, and gifted educator offers high-profile work, including her own, as examples for teaching photographers how to use the digital medium to create, edit, and output images that reflect their true vision.
Co-authored by photographer and teacher Seán Duggan, The Creative Digital Darkroom translates skills, concepts, and nomenclature of the traditional darkroom into digital solutions for photographers who sense that, despite the newness of the technologies at hand, there remains a timeless method for learning and practicing photography the right way. This is not a Photoshop book per se, but it does focus on the photographic aspects of Photoshop, something other books claim to do but rarely have the discipline to accomplish. The Creative Digital Darkroom includes:
- Four sections that cover the black & white darkroom, the color darkroom, creative techniques, and production essentials
- Chapters that begin with a thorough foundation followed by numerous tutorial examples that apply the theory to real-world examples
- Examples and a layout that enables readers to find, understand, and apply the featured techniques quickly and easily
- The authors are both renowned photographers and Photoshop experts
The Creative Digital Darkroom is ideal for intermediate and advanced photographers, artists, and educators looking for clear, concise, insightful, and inspiring information and techniques on how to make their photographs shine. The language, and techniques will immediately appeal to serious students and professionals, and the original tutorial images and high-profile work will make the book an important visual resource for educators and art appreciators.
Interview with Katrin Eismann
How long did this endeavor take you? Had you worked with Seán before? How did this collaboration come about?
This book had been on my mind for quite some time - actually for a very long time as I needed this book when I was getting started with digital photography many years ago. One challenge we faced is whenever we were nearing completion of the book a new version of Photoshop would be announced and we would start over!
I was introduced to Sean by Steve Weiss when Steve worked at Peachpit and we needed to update "Real World Digital Photography". As we collaborated on the second edition of that book I was thoroughly impressed with Sean's talent to explain the complex clearly - that he is an insightful photographer helped a lot too!
Although we worked on that first book project via E-mail and phone we really didn't know each other very well - one day when we were both in Las Vegas for a Photoshop World Conference we had the chance to go out and shoot together. You can pick up a lot about a person while wandering about shooting. I liked Sean's sensibilities on those wanderings and we had the chance to talk about things other than Photoshop Curves and deadlines, which I thoroughly enjoyed. After Las Vegas it was clear that I wanted to work with Sean on this book project.
How would you guide someone who is wondering if they are proficient enough in Photoshop to tackle this book. What would your criteria be?
I feel this book is ideal for the dedicated photographer who needs a clear guide to enhancing and improving images with Photoshop and Lightroom. From beginner to intermediate Photoshop aficionados will get a lot from this book. Granted you do need to know how to open, save, and close a file first! Its all about the image - not what button you push!
The companion website looks like a real resource center. Tell us how someone who is going through the book would use it. Also do you see it growing into a community site?
Thanks - the book's website is just in its first phases. We would love to post reader's images, comments, and ideas. As a reader of the book you can download the majority of the images we feature in the book to work along to learn the steps - but we always encourage readers to continue working on their own images. In all honesty - a good teacher doesn't want their students work to look like their own - so we're interested in seeing what people create after reading the book.
Do you see Lightroom and Photoshop always remaining separate entities, or do you think in the future there will be one mega-app?
Interesting question - in all honesty I hope they stay separate. Lightroom is wonderfully sleek and streamlined and it lets me concentrate on my photography. While Photoshop is SO much for SO many people - it serves many purposes while Lightroom is dedicated to photographers. They don't need to be combined - they do need to work better together. For example I would love to see the ability to take advantage of Photoshop features in Lightroom such as Smart Objects, PhotoMerge and HDR which are serous photographic tools.
What are your favorite new features in Photoshop CS3?
First of all let me say that my favorite feature are the engineers behind Lightroom and Photoshop - they are an incredibly talented and dedicated team! My favorite new features in CS3 are the improvements in Camera Raw, PhotoMerge is spectacular with new blending algorithms and 16-bit support, and of course for anyone that likes to change their mind's - Smart Filters!
What version of Photoshop is necessary to work with your book?
If a reader is willing to be a bit flexible and adjust our techniques which concentrate on non-destructive image editing then they can get a lot out of the book while working with Photoshop CS or CS2.
Will there be a new edition of Adobe Photoshop Restoration & Retouching coming out?
I hope to release updates for both "Photoshop Restoration & Retouching" and "Photoshop Masking & Compositing" for the next version of Photoshop. Right now I'm working on a new training series with Scott Kelby which is a lot of fun and a real value.
I am very proud of the new 'Masters of Professional Studies in Digital Photography' department that I am the co-founder and chair of. I worked closely with John McIntosh, my husband and chair of the Computer Arts, Computer Animation, and Visual Effects in developing the degree offered by the School of Visual Arts in New York City. We're in our inaugural year and have 13 very talented students, which challenge the faculty and me everyday to stay current and relevant. Your readers can find more information about the program at www.SVA.edu/digitalphoto.
Thank you for asking me these interesting questions - I look forward to hearing from our readers to hear what they think about "The Creative Digital Darkroom" and see what they are creating with the latest digital tools and techniques.
The Creative Digital Darkroom - Free Sample Chapter
You can download a free sample chapter from the book. (Download Chapter 4 - File Preparation - PDF - 15 MB). From the intro:
Before painters can create a masterpiece with oil paints, they prepare the canvas by stretching it onto a frame and priming the canvas with multiple coats of gesso.
Before master chefs can create a gourmet meal, they take the time to prepare the ingredients: simmer the stock, julienne the vegetables, and trim the meats. Similar to the preparation traditional artisans do before getting to work, for photographers digital preparation is the foundation that insures the best quality image. While some of the preparation work in both digital and traditional realms may be tedious, thankfully a lot of the heavy lifting of applying the same improvements to many digital files can either be automated via Photoshop actions or made easier with third-party software.
This chapter emphasizes the importance of file preparation by addressing:
- Reducing and Avoiding Noise
- Developing a Sharpening Strategy
- Correcting Optical and Dimensional Distortion
- Cropping and Cleaning Up Files
Just as the idea of stretching canvas or peeling onions may not seem like the most exciting tasks, preparing a digital file before delving into the finer aspects of the digital darkroom may not sound pleasant but will yield the best results in the final product. Skipping this step will result in lesser quality images and prints. So lets stir the gesso, sharpen the knives, and learn to prepare digital files to make them look their very best.
About Katrin Eismann
Katrin Eismann is an internationally recognized artist, author, and educator who has been working with digital imaging tools since 1989. She is the author of the award-winning books Photoshop Restoration & Retouching and Photoshop Masking & Compositing. Katrin studied photography and electronic still imaging at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Upon graduating at the top of her class in 1991, she had the good fortune to become the first intern at the Kodak Center of Creative Imaging in Camden, Maine. Three years later she was the Director of Education and had implemented a rigorous curriculum that focused on imaging, design, and multimedia. In 2002 she received her MFA degree in Design from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. She has taught and presented in Europe, Asia, South America, and throughout North America.
About Seán Duggan
Seán Duggan is a photographer and digital artist who combines a traditional fine art photographic background with extensive real world experience in the field of digital imaging. He is a co-author of Real World Digital Photography and Photoshop CS2 Artistry. His Photoshop tutorial column can be seen regularly in Layers magazine, and he also writes articles on Photoshop and digital imaging for Digital Photo Pro and Outdoor Photographer magazines.
His photographs have been exhibited at the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California, and at galleries and exhibitions throughout California. He is an instructor in the photography departments of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and the University of California, Santa Cruz Extension in Silicon Valley, where he teaches regular classes on Digital Photography and Digital Imaging for Photographers.
Special book offer - save 37%
The Creative Digital Darkroom Amazon price is $31.49 you save 37%.
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Adjusting Exposure in Adobe Camera Raw CS3
Photoshop CS3 Tutorial High Dynamic Range
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