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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A detailed insight into the processing of RAW format files from digital cameras
I recently received this book from my wife for my birthday, which shows that she must have paid attention to my minor rants about a digital camera RAW file being the equivalent of the film negative and that it needs "developing" to produce the image. My rants were normally triggered by people making statements along the lines of "I took this in RAW and have done nothing...
Published 21 months ago by Nicholas Hawes

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Valiant attempt - worth reading
The author has tried hard to understand the complex science underlying digital photography. It's clear he found it a struggle (which is not a surprise: he's a photographer, not a physicist). As a result the early chapters' coverage of the fundamentals is just a little confused and not as convincing a platform as it could be for the later chapters' practical recipes...
Published 5 months ago by Wilberforce


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A detailed insight into the processing of RAW format files from digital cameras, 17 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (Paperback)
I recently received this book from my wife for my birthday, which shows that she must have paid attention to my minor rants about a digital camera RAW file being the equivalent of the film negative and that it needs "developing" to produce the image. My rants were normally triggered by people making statements along the lines of "I took this in RAW and have done nothing to it, so the colours are exactly correct".

Mr Schewe's detailed examination of the make up of a RAW file makes clear that the data as it comes from the camera is not in any useful sense a usable image, as no colour space is assigned and it is just a matrix of encoded luminance values. He gives a good overview of the processes that a raw converter must go through to demosiac and apply a tone curve to arrive at a starting point for the processing of the image, and shows what can be achieved with images that on first glance appear to be hopeless cases. As a bonus, many of the example images in the book can be downloaded from the book's website ([...]) so that you can practice the adjustments yourself on the same images as the author used.

I've never met Mr Schewe, but from his writing style, which is direct and to the point (almost blunt), I suspect he doesn't suffer fools gladly, and this book makes no concessions to beginners. However, I find that to be the book's strength, since there's no waffle and handholding, just solid information delivered with no bull. So, if your (digital) photography has advanced to the point where you realise there's more to be extracted from your RAW images than just opening them in the camera manufacturer's software and then saving them as a jpeg, this book is highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (Paperback)
AT last a substantial book that treats the reader as an intelligent experienced photographer. Very difficult subject matter treated in a way that is easy for the reasonably intelligent non-techie to understand. No padded off-subject waffle. Should be compulsory reading for the serious photographer
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expertise from a master, but you need advanced photoshop skills to actually implement some of it, 13 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (Paperback)
This book starts off on a journey through all the stations essential to the perfecting of your digital images. It begins with the basics, then accellerates through Lightroom intermediates, to increasingly advanced stuff, until by about 3/4 of the way through (about page 206) when it goes flat out, with some really advanced, useful and exquisite photoshop techniques. From there the foot is taken off the pedal and it gently slows, finally ending with a few handy preference tips etc.

For all the above I heartily recommend it, but I am disappointed by one area where it does fail. It fails by omitting something which most similar books include. There are no links (AFAICS) to download: actions, images and work (.psd) files to practice his techniques on, which for the really advanced techniques (around pages 206-211) it really needs; nor, and equally as important, does it have screenshots full size, which we also need because most of the Lightroom screenshots are (IMO) too small to read clearly without the assistance of another pair of glasses to double up or a magnifying glass. ( I can read the text OK btw). I accept that maybe we don't need to see every tiny detail of the panels etc and perhaps just need the general gist (but then why include them?) but it is irritating not to have access to larger versions, or the work files, via a link.

There are parts of the book (around page 206) where some of it will require anyone but advanced photoshop users to try it several times to understand it properly. Fine - I like trying new things but although I understand the concepts, as I go through the techniques in my mind I can see tiny points that might trip me up and so I would really have expected links to working files and ideally a small video showing the process. OK so maybe if he did one vid he'd be expected to do a vid of the lot but it is a glaring omission IMO. I understand his reasons for not including them , he has already done Lightroom videos on much of the subject (with Michael Reichmann) which are sold on Luminous Landscape. However the photoshop section would benefit hugely from supporting files ( He talks about making actions of it too, it would have added kudos though if he had provided one or two)

OK, so I'll just have to find any answers I need (which are fairly trivial but also essential) on a discussion forum or similar but I do think it's not unreasonable to expect links to SOME workfiles from a book like this, it would have made it complete which as it stands, it is not, as it leaves me needing just a little bit more info.

(If the links are there but I just haven't been able to find them then I retract the above but would add - make the links more visible!)

UPDATE: Jeff Schewe responded on the Amazon American site so I'll add this below:
(thanks Jeff:) )
Link is here: [...] OH no links allowed I see - OK well - its on the back of the book anyway
I'm leaving my comments above as I imagine there are others in the same boat as me, who don't find the link obvious

I also want to add to this review that having gone over it again, I think the techniques explained on pages 206 to about 216 are really very worthwhile indeed.
This is one of those books that I will refer to again and again until I 'grok' those techniques as they seem to be ones essential to master
I would still like to have videos of the pages mentioned though as I learn so much better that way than from text

Having gone through it yet again I would like to further add that some parts would be a lot easier to understand were the editing, punctuation and grammar better
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Valiant attempt - worth reading, 17 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (Paperback)
The author has tried hard to understand the complex science underlying digital photography. It's clear he found it a struggle (which is not a surprise: he's a photographer, not a physicist). As a result the early chapters' coverage of the fundamentals is just a little confused and not as convincing a platform as it could be for the later chapters' practical recipes. It's a valiant and useful attempt, that would be well worth another try in a second edition. Meanwhile this edition is certainly useful, and so much better than the regurgitated rubbish plucked from the air that others writing in this topic deliver.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new classic reference., 31 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (Paperback)
As an old school film photographer that cut my teeth on books by Adams, Coote and Langford, when I made the change to digital working I looked hard for similar knowledgable tomes on the new technology and was greatly disappointed.

Eventually, over the years, a few authors started to appear that really got to grips with the essential science behind the art that a photographer needs to understand. The late, great, Bruce Fraser was one of these that will be sadly missed but Jeff Schewe has produced in this volume an essential reference that should be on the shelf of any one that wants to actually be in control of their photography instead of just being a slave to the technology.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Digital Negative by Jeff Schewe, 29 Jan 2013
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Excellent book. Easy to follow. Goes beyond just instructions on what slider to use but ensures a complete understanding - which makes it all far easier
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 July 2014
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This review is from: The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (Paperback)
The most comprehensive book on the subject I've found.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Too autobiographical, 29 April 2014
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There are some good tips in this book, but they're buried in among the author's name-dropping anecdotes. If these were excluded I think the book would be about a third of the size.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book., 6 Feb 2014
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G. Campbell (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (Paperback)
For anyone serious about digital photography and how the camera/software interface works, this really is a very good read. Mr Schewe gives detailed technical information in layman's language, thus making the inner workings just that bit more accessible and comprehensible.
Any Lightroom or Camera Raw user really should use this as an aid to getting the best our of every worthwhile image.
I am reading and looking into Lightroom (my editing software favourite) with enriched knowledge.
Thanks for a very good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Digital Negatives, 23 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (Paperback)
The digital negative book is mandatory for serious digital photographers to be able to understand the basic principles to make good DigitalNegatives
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