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Welcome to Oz 2.0: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop (Voices That Matter) [Paperback]

Vincent Versace
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Dec 2010 Voices That Matter
Creating memorable photographs is a process that starts before you edit an image in Photoshop, before you capture the image, even before you pick up the camera. You must first approach the subject with the proper sense of perception, with the ability to visualize the finished print before you commit a scene to pixels, but still be flexible and spontaneous. Master fine art photographer Vincent Versace has spent his career learning and teaching the art of perception and how to translate it into stunning images. InWelcome to Oz 2.0 — a completely rewritten update of the book’s first edition — he delves into what it means to approach digital photography cinematically, to use your perception, your camera, and Photoshop to capture the movement of life in a still image.
  • Adapt your workflow to the image so you always know how best to use your tools
  • Turn a seemingly impossible photograph scenario into a successful image
  • Practice “image harvesting” to combine the best parts of many captures to create an optimum final result
  • Discover the importance of bokeh — not only how to use it in order to control how the eye travels and sees an image, but also how to realistically create it in post-processing
Foreword by Bert Monroy
Afterwords by Jay Maisel and David duChemin

Includes free software downloads from onOne and Nik worth $250, as well as customized presets for the Wacom Cintiq and Intuos tablets!

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Welcome to Oz 2.0: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop (Voices That Matter) + From Oz to Kansas: Almost Every Black and White Conversion Technique Known to Man (Voices That Matter)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 2 edition (7 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321714768
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321714763
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 23 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 686,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

“Vincent is one of the most electrifying and flat-out fascinating Photoshop instructors out there today, and amazingly, that excitement and his brand of Photoshop magic have been captured in this book. I was blown away!”
– Scott Kelby, Editor and Publisher,Photoshop User Magazine

"If you are looking for a challenge, and you want to take your Photoshop as well as your photographic skills to the next level, then I would very highly recommend Welcome To Oz."
–Book review, Seatlle Post-Intelligencer (seattlepi.com)

From the Back Cover

Still photography doesn't have to mean static images, a fact nobody understands better than well-known photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer Vincent Versace. In this book, Vincent details his cinematic approach to evoke time and its passage in still photographic images, and provides a wealth of practical and artistic guidance for anyone with a serious interest in digital photography. Whether readers are looking to enrich their Photoshop skills, broaden their understanding of conceptual and aesthetic principles, get a handle on lighting and color theory, or simply inject some life into their still digital images, they'll benefit from Vincent's unique approach to the art and craft of digital photography. Offering advice and instruction on everything from creating lighting in Photoshop to setting up printers, taking advantage of color management, capturing movement, and more, this beautifully illustrated guide conveys the unique vision of a singularly successful fine-art photographer.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant! 19 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Welcome to Oz 2.0: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop (Voices That Matter) The author Vincent Versace, takes an organic approach to working in Photoshop, particularly on the subject of sharpening. He shows you how to combine three different sharpening methods, combine them all together with blending modes and opacity. The results are marvellous, resulting in an altogether more natural appearance. There are just four very long chapters, covering mainly using pixel shades rather than using industry made filters. An altogether thoroughly fresh approach to things from the many books on Photoshop that I have purchased in the past. The free software downloads are worth more than the price of the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Love, Love, Love it! I was really looking forward to this book, and my expectations were well exceeded! Such an interesting and refreshing approach to editing your photos. Not the usual now-create-an-adjustment-layer instructions that you get in every other book. This is truly inspirational and makes me want to put down the book and revisit all my photos with a new eye. And a new trick in my toolbag. Highly recommended. Absolutely.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A concept changer 23 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback
I really liked this book not so much for the technique but for the way it makes you think about exactly what it is you want from your image, and how you want to get there

It introduces some concepts that were not new to me , like image maps, but these techniques have a definite place for perfectionists, and it is that which really comes across in his book, this is not just a bunch of conversion techniques , but something to challenge your thinking about how you visualise and how to attain that visualisation, so even if you were familiar with the concept previously the chances are that they were vaguely formed whereas this will cement your understanding and ulimately change the way you go about PP (post processing) It is not so much about how to work the software but more about why you do what you do, and in that, it is a concept changer

It is book for perfectionists, for those that like to build the image up from the ground and who want every detail considered and controlled, it is a far cry for one click wonder plug-ins.

For me the techniques are more work than I want to do, but I'm lazy, yet I still got quite a bit from this book in tersm of how I see and image and what I expect from it, and what tools and techniques are available if I am prepared to make the efforrt

His second book from Oz to kansas is more of the same (which is generally a good thing) and I have a review about it elsewhere.. In some ways I found this book easier to read but perhaps that is simply that the other is very involved indeed

anyway - bottom line, I would recommend this book
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a pleasantly instructive journey to the print. 27 Dec 2010
By Carl Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sometimes it is easier to define a thing by what it is not than what it is. Vincent Versace's book, Welcome to Oz 2, is not merely a "How-To" book or a "100 Photo Tips and Tricks" book. It does not tell you what lens or filter to use in a given situation. It is not a book you browse through. This is an adult book with a mature approach to photography from a different perspective than photographic help books. Whereas most books will teach you the craft of photography, this book will teach you the art of photography. Whereas other books teach you the "how" of photography, this book will also teach you the "why" of photography: why we are asked to do things in a certain way, why these ways are superior and how they will lead to a better appreciation of the print.

It was Vincent's prints that I stood in front of several years ago at a photographic seminar he was conducting in Oakland, California. I was stunned when I saw those images, and I didn't know exactly why they had the power to transfix me. I had been in photography as an amateur for a long time, and I could recognize contrast and saturation and other attributes, but it wasn't until I read his first Welcome to Oz book that I came to understand why I was so impressed and how he did it. Anyone looking for a quick fix or a pat formula for photographic success will not find it in this book. This book asks you to work and think and stretch your imagination. It leads you along the way through clear, concise explanations and numerous helpful illustrations. You don't read this book. You work through this book.

Yes, as one reviewer at this site mentioned, there is an emphasis on the use of Photoshop, but don't be fooled that this is a book about how to use Photoshop. This is a book about how to make great photographs into successful prints. It captures the thought process one should use from the conception of the print before the shutter button is ever pressed to how the nature of that capture can be enhanced in Photoshop to guide the viewers' eyes and thoughts to enhance his appreciation. This book is not about taking pictures. It is about making pictures.

Professionals have no monopoly on learning photography. Amateurs serious about their art will also benefit greatly from the Oz series of books and DVDs. It was not until I read the first book that I was able to raise my photography to another level. It proved to be a revelation to me. I have worked part way through this Welcome to Oz 2 book since receiving it recently. It is not a warmed makeover of the first book. It contains new insights, new approaches and new techniques. This book and I have many hours to go. Of all the photographic books I have ever read, I feel the first Oz book has taken me the farthest, and this book has the potential to take me even farther. I consider this work a gold standard in the education of photographic art. If you are serious about your work, I think you might, also.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Curtain with a Great Digital Artist 6 Jan 2011
By Mark E. Wilkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Vincent Versace's new book "Welcome to Oz 2.0" is far, far more than another book about how to "make digital images look good" using Photoshop. I have a shelf full of such books. This book offers something much more unique and far more valuable. The book, in a way unlike any that I'm aware of, sets forth the artist's approach to producing masterful digital images and prints. Like a Zen master, Versace offers tips that bear extended contemplation: "Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect;" and "impossible is just an opinion." What differentiates this book from its peers is that Versace gives the reader NOT just step by step ideas about how he managed to create these visual masterpieces, he also explains the philosophy and thought processes that led him to take these steps. (Some of which are unique to him). It's as if we've been invited "behind the curtain" for a private tutorial with a great artist and teacher. In addition to the written material and images, purchasers of the book receive software worth many times the book's purchase price--along with instructions from Versace in the software's use. The first version of "Welcome to Oz"--if one can find it--sells at a premium of many times the original price. This new book is a complete rewrite and expansion of Versace's earlier work. The Introduction suggests that Versace may write two further books on this subject. Photographers and digital artists should hope this happens. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and buy this book before it too is fetching $150 a copy from used booksellers! This is NOT a beginner's book, but is a MUST HAVE for photographers and digital artists trying to "get the last 2%" from their images.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vincent Does it Again 26 Dec 2010
By Jed M. Best - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read Vincent Versace's Welcome to Oz and have now read Welcome to Oz 2. Well Done Vincent!! This version takes you further into Vincent's belief that it is the Print that is all.
He mentions how the eye travels within the image/print and he then goes into minute detail on how to accomplish this. Along the way, there are important discussions on various factors, These include image taking, image harvesting, depth of field, light, color and gesture. In addition, there are several terrific plugins that are included free.

As mentioned in another review, I would also recommend the DVD's that are available from Acme Educational. There is one for Welcome to Oz 2 so whether it is easier to learn via reading or viewing, both modalities are available to the end user. I would highly recommend the book and the DVD. In short, Vincent has again contributed something unique to our understanding of image making. Well Done!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Much is Enough? 26 Jan 2011
By Conrad J. Obregon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Early in "Welcome to OZ 2.0", Vincent Versace says that if editing an image will bring it 2% closer to your original vision, then you have to edit. That's a good rule to keep in mind as you read the techniques for using Photoshop that this book provides. (Note that there are substantial differences and updates in this edition so that fans of the earlier volume will probably find something helpful to them by exploring the updated work.)

The author believes that the artistic photographer leads the viewer through a photograph, and does this by a combination of global and selective adjustments to the original image in tone, lighting and color, among other things. The book consists of four tutorials that each take a single image and follow it step by step through the series of Photoshop activities that Versace uses to process a photograph. The reader is expected to follow along in Photoshop with the images, which can be downloaded from a special website, that also provides other useful materials (including a couple of free and demo Photoshop plug-ins that will be used in the tutorials). The author is not so much interested in making a duplicate of reality (if that's even possible in photography) as in creating an artistic print. The four images include a portrait, a glamour shot, a leaf shot and a flower shot and one has to admit that the final results are quite lovely.

Having been taken to task in the past for saying that a Photoshop book was for advanced users, I will say that this book went beyond any Photoshop techniques that I currently use. For example, like many photographers, I currently adjust my white balance by looking at an image and adjusting the temperature and tint sliders to my satisfaction using Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw. Versace uses a far more elaborate system for making what he calls sensor corrections by selecting individual light and dark points and making individual curve adjustments for each color channel, although he then makes further color adjustments to suit his vision. Verace uses dozens of Photoshop layers and masks to develop an image to his satisfaction.

Whether such an elaborate procedure moves an image more than 2% closer to his or her vision is something the individual photographer will have to decide. For me, I thought that I would be unlikely to use most of the author's procedures. On the other hand, I might have occasional use for some of the procedures, such as adjusting the tonality of an area through the use of layer masks and painting on the masks in shades of grey, to, for example, decrease apparent depth of field. Moreover the overall theory of adjusting tonality and color to lead the viewer through the photograph was of great applicability. Versace's use of filters that I had never even considered, like the lighting effects filter, will surely prove useful to some photographers.

To get the most from the author's techniques, it is almost mandatory that you download the images and follow along, step by step. For me at least, that was a time consuming procedure, and made me wonder, during individual steps, if the process was worth what I learned. And yet, even though I don't expect to use many of his techniques, the effort seemed at first worthwhile, not just to acquire a few new tricks, but also to gain a greater understanding of what was going on in Photoshop. I must confess that eventually I found the process of following the author's adjustments too tedious, and given the fact that the effort seemed to exceed my calculation of the 2% rule, I quit about two-thirds of the way through the book. Nevertheless, if you find this kind of detailed processing useful to you, you may benefit from completion.

If you haven't developed fluency with Photoshop, this book may be over your head. On the other hand, individuals interested in squeezing the last drop from the post-processing process should investigate this book. For myself, I have been happy with the level of techniques provided in another book by the same publisher. In "Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (Voices That Matter)", David DuChemin covers the same ground in a less intensive fashion.
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting from the title... Probably my own fault for not paying attention to the last 2 words. *Sigh* 17 Dec 2010
By Michael Gmirkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Apparently the title threw me for a bit of a loop. I was lured by the majority of the title "a cinematic approach" & "digital photography," but betrayed by those two little words: "with Photoshop." Sadly, Amazon doesn't offer a preview of the book's contents.

This book seems to be less about photography (composing a shot, lighting it & using the right filters to get that "perfect shot" the first time in-camera) than it is about post-processing in Photoshop (compositing, changing light curves, enhancing, augmenting or fixing photos after the fact). Granted, there are other interesting tidbits interspersed to spruce it up...

Simply put, I was hoping for a book more specifically on the art of composing and taking photos, with some kind of reference to or comparison with cinematic visuals and techniques (vis a vis, the title "Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography..."), and maybe a brief section on Photoshop tricks. Seems it's the other way around with the majority of focus on using Photoshop and much briefer snippets on the taking of photos themselves.

I'd assumed from the title that there would be copious direct references to cinematic techniques or use of reference images from cinematic history to demonstrate a particular imaging technique (soft focus, long shot, lighting, neutral density filter, etc.). Not to be, I'm afraid.

Caveat emptor! (Just be aware of what the book is and isn't. This is obviously not the book for a beginner or an intermediate photographer, it's for wanna-be/gonna-be advanced Photoshoppers. I'm sure that for the avid Photoshopper, this will be a great book and teach you some neat tricks for post-processing images to push them beyond mediocrity and into artistic masterpieces. So, please, please be careful when ordering this that you're looking for a book specifically on Photoshopping your images and not so much a how-to on setting up shots or comparison with all things cinematic.)

For reference, a book that I recently read and LOVED was The Filmmaker's Eye: Learning (and Breaking) the Rules of Cinematic Composition. A reviewer of that book said this book should be checked out as well. Unfortunately, this book isn't quite as similar to that one as I'd hoped. I also think that for an introduction to photography and/or moviemaking there's Knack Digital Moviemaking and for a little more depth on lenses & filters one might check out Lenses for Digital SLRs, too. Also, The Digital Photography Book series seems a good introduction to photography itself.

So, all told, if you're looking for a book on intermediate to advanced use of Photoshop tools, this may be a good book to give a browse. It gives step-by-step instructions on the use of various Photoshop tools to accomplish specific goals in correcting and enhancing photos you've already taken. If you're looking for an introductory book on photography or for a comparative analysis of photographic techniques and filmmaking techniques, another book would probably be more appropriate.

If I ever get heavily into Photoshop, I might return to this book at a later date. It's by no means a bad book, just not quite what I was in the market for. For those into digital darkroom and post-processing, this may be just the ticket!
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