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Black and White: The Definitive Guide for Serious Digital Photographers (Digital Photography Expert) [Paperback]

Michael Freeman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: ILEX (19 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190470557X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904705574
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 20.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Freeman, professional photographer and author, with more than 100 book titles to his credit, was born in England in 1945, took a Masters in geography at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and then worked in advertising in London for six years. He made the break from there in 1971 to travel up the Amazon with two secondhand cameras, and when Time-Life used many of the pictures extensively in the Amazon volume of their World's Wild Places series, including the cover, they encouraged him to begin a full-time photographic career.

Since then, working for editorial clients that include all the world's major magazines, and notably the Smithsonian Magazine (with which he has had a 30-year association, shooting more than 40 stories), Freeman's reputation has resulted in more than 100 books published. Of these, he is author as well as photographer, and they include more than 40 books on the practice of photography - for this photographic educational work he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture. He is also responsible for the distance-learning courses on photography at the UK's Open College of the Arts.

Freeman's books on photography have been translated into fifteen languages, and are available on other Amazon international sites.

They are supported for readers by a regularly updated site,

Product Description


Black and white occupies a special place in the development of photography, and the sharp revival of interest in it testifies to its enduring appeal. Above all, this is a medium for the fine print, to which digital photography and multi-ink desktop printers bring spectacular new benefits. The simplicity of a monochrome image, recorded in the modulation of just tones, makes it an elegant visual medium in which to work. The economy of the palette focuses the attention on certain essentials, such as shape, form, the quality of light, as well as texture, and subtle tonal gradations. Now, with digital photography and all its tools and possibilities for editing images, there is a new era of the hand-crafted print. Black and white represents for many people the epitome of this. It was, after all, the great master Ansel Adams who claimed that, "The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways." Black & White is an essential guide that will teach enthusiasts and professionals alike how the digital workflow can create stunning monochrome images.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference, For Existing Photoshop Users 21 April 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great, but make assumptions that you already know how to use Photoshop CS2. A good understanding of photography in general is going to be helpful as well.

Covers the different methods of converting images from colour to black and white and how to get different effects.

What I liked is that it doesn't hold your hand just explains the method and then it's up to you. If you prefer a book to give you lots of pre-canned ways of doing something this isn't the book for you.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the few photoshop based books I've bought that have lived up to their promise. As another review has said, it assumes you understand the basics of using the software. It covers the basic principles of colour channels and converting into black and white, then moving on to cover various more complex alternative techniques for adjusting and perfecting results. The book is clear and thoughfully written with heaps of well chosen examples and diagrams. I found this really useful in teaching me to think about the principles behind the processes - improving my understanding of colour images and my 'thinking' in black and white. This book is well worth working through.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome 26 Oct 2008
By abmman
This is on of the best books on B/W photography that I have ever seen. I used to work as a photographer back in the bad old days when you had to load a camera with film and not a memory card. Since going digital I have not done much in respect to B/W, but this book, which is a very comprehensive technical guide, has really opened my eyes to B/W again. Most guides are referring to PhotoShop, but using Linux I have found that most every method has it equivalent in GIMP, Krita and Showfoto. I can't recommend this book enough to anyone interested in B/W photography.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Arrive quickly and in great condition 27 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Arrive quickly and in great condition.

Just the book I was looking for and at a great price, would recommend to anyone keen on getting into digital B&W photography.
Its based on CS3 but the techniques will still work in a newer version on Photoshop.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated - a rewrite is needed 1 Nov 2012
By JD - Published on
First, let me point out I have many Michael Freeman's books. In fact, "Light & Lightning EXPERT" work ( put me on the right path when I decided to take photography seriously around 2006.

Now, this book is, as the title says, a DIGITAL photography manual. It won't teach you B&W principals nor B&W photo theory. This is a book to handle B&W shots on a PC, i.e. converting color files to B&W. BUT as such, it's a seriously outdated book. It deals with Photoshop Channel Mixer mostly, which was the best available conversion method until PS CS3 if I remember correctly. In later versions Adobe came out with the straight BLACK & WHITE conversion command, which covers about all the previous methods. That only consideration makes this book totally obsolete. On the worse side, this book features dismal coverage of important theories (only 2 pages to the zoning system, followed by a two-pages lesson. That, like filters, tonal contrast and other subjects are better covered in other books.)

This book needs a big update. As it stands, it is no more than a text book curiosity and ought to be taken out from the catalog.
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