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The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop Paperback – 13 Sep 2012
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“Jeff played host at his studio to some of the key meetings in Lightroom’s early development. With The Digital Negative, he pulls together his years of bridging traditional photography and digital photography and shares it with the broader photographic community.”
– Mark Hamburg
Fellow, Adobe Systems, Inc.
About the Author
Jeff Schewe is an award-winning professional advertising photographer and digital imaging pioneer. He teaches and leads workshops and is a member of the Photoshop Hall of Fame at Photoshop World. Jeff co-authored Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom. Visit the book’s companion website at TheDigitalNegativeBook.com for sample images and more!
Top customer reviews
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.
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.
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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