Welcome to Oz 2.0: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop (Voices That Matter) Paperback – 7 Dec 2010
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“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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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!
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.
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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