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Black and White in Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop Lightroom: Create Stunning Monochromatic Images in Photoshop CS3, Photoshop Lightroom and Beyond Paperback – 25 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press (25 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024052084X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240520841
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 18.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Leslie Alsheimer is an internationally published and award winning photographer, author, and photo-educator based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the Founder and Director of the Santa Fe Digital Darkroom Photography Workshops & Tours, and an instructor with the Nikon Mentor Series, American Photo and Eddie Adams Workshops. Her documentary essays were recently awarded and published in National Geographic Traveler and PDN magazine's "World in Focus” competition and received two Honorable Mention LUCIE Awards at the 2008 International Photography Awards. Leslie can be found on the web at: and

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a very clear read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, For What it Intends to Do 20 Dec. 2008
By Rich Johnson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Black and White in Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop Lightroom is more than just a book on photo editing, it is a book that details an entire workflow from start to finish, outlining how every decision affects the end quality of a black and white photo.

Here's a brief walkthrough of the book:

Ch 1. Color management

Chapter 1 Explores the necessity of having a color managed workspace, even for black and white photography. The author gives the six basic components of color management in the workflow phase: camera capture, workspace environment, monitor calibration, software working space, printer profiles, and evaluation.

Ch 2. Workflow Phase 1: Highest Quality Capture

In this chapter the author gives suggestions on file formats, such as jpeg, RAW, TIFF and DNG, as well as ideas on properly capturing a digital image, both through a camera and through a scanner if you are scanning film.

Ch 3. Workflow Phase 2: Black and White in Lightroom

Chapter 3 gives a basic lightroom workflow as well as an introductory course on using the different modules. This is probably useful for someone learning lightroom, but unfortunately there are only about 4 pages devoted to black and white conversion, and the instruction is fairly basic.

Ch 4. Black and White in Photoshop

This is the meat and potatoes of the book where you will learn about the various black and white conversion methods within photoshop. The methods covered in the book are greyscale mode change, desaturate, the channel mixer, and photoshop's black and white conversion feature.

The book has examples of each feature in action, and shows how each of the color channels can have an effect on the final result of the photo.

Ch 5. Image Editing in Photoshop

The photoshop editing chapter outlines some basic editing techniques photoshop. There are some useful tips in this chapter, but probably nothing you wouldn't learn in another basic photoshop book.

Ch 6. Printing

The last chapter covers printing methods (duh!). Various ideas are covered, including what type of paper and ink to use as well as more color management tips. There is also a section on sharpening your photos for output.


First, if you only use Adobe Lightroom, I would definitely not recommend this book. Lightroom is used here only as an organizational tool.

When I first picked up this book I thought it was great, but I was also just getting started in photography, so I didn't have a workflow down yet. Since purchasing I have found other books (and blogs) that have more detailed workflow ideas for me to use.

Once I turned back to this book for what it was intended for, black and white in photoshop, I began to realize its limitations. The photoshop conversion methods listed, as well as how photoshop editing techniques can improve a B&W photo, are great. Unfortunately the useful section for me is only about 100 pages long.

I don't want to criticize this book. The author had to make a choice to either write solely on black and white in photoshop or include an entire workflow for someone looking to do black and white from scratch. They chose the later, and I don't think it's a bad choice per se. But I have a feeling most photographers are like me and have numerous books on workflow, color management, photoshop editing, and proper capture with a camera. I would have liked to see a lot more discussion on the various methods of conversion, with a lot more example photos included to show how the adjustments work.

So, the decision comes down to whether you want to spend your money on a workflow book that includes a few (very) good tips on black and white. It will take more experimentation to become truly skilled at recognizing when to use each technique.

I don't regret the purchase, but I can't say I would recommend it to someone else either.
38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed in this purchase... 28 April 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked this up off of Amazon because I wanted some literature on B&W relating to CS3. After having gone through it I have to say I'm very disappointed in my purchase. I have about a dozen or so other books I've gone through in the last year and this is probably the worst. But the sad thing is, there are actually very few books out there on B&W so maybe that's why other reviewers gave it such high marks?? Save your money...she doesn't offer anything more than you can get from free ipod downloads on the subject..or various other free sources out there. Also, only about 1/3 of the book actually covers B&W topic!! The first 91 pages is basically 'fluff' well as the last 100 pages. Basically a big push on why you should be using Lightroom (gee...there's another $200 that probably isn't necessary) to best setup for quality printing...color management, etc. The same crap that we see in book after book. I know why I should be using Adobe RGB (1998) instead of sRGB...I don't need to pay another $40 for a book that devotes an entire chapter on color management..or why I should be taking my photos in RAW format instead of low quality jpeg's... Pages 91 to about 139 actually cover B&W topic. Before and after this she squeezes in topics like (1) printing (2)editing in photoshop (3)quality capture RAW (4) Lightroom crap (5) Color management. Her coverage of these topics is OK...certainly not the best I've read on them...but my point is, I wasn't expecting it in the book. Anyways, if you want to throw your $ it...I'd pass on it though..
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black & White in Photoshop & Photoshop Lightroom 14 July 2008
By Marcia Poole - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is exceptional in its clarity of concepts. I have read many other color management books or sections in photoshop books, and this is so cogent. It totally clicks.

I love the examples and the clarity of the explanations.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book back lacking in key areas 6 May 2008
By Grant Newton - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm keen to further explore B&W in the digital world and thought this looked the ideal book (even though I use Photoshop Elements 6 instead of Photoshop CS3). Much of the material is thorough and well written, but some key areas I found to be lacking.

While many books cover workflow, colour management etc, this book repeats these topics and covers them well. Unfortunately the B&W component is a lacking, especially in Lightroom. A substantial part of the first 80 pages is devoted to Lightroom, yet the B&W conversion process is descibed in only one page. I was hoping to get more out of this conversion process and tips of a more artistic nature to ensure the best possible image is carried across to Photoshop. Instead it basically suggests "click greyscale conversion" and open Photoshop. The art of the B&W conversion is what makes/breaks an image and I would have thought that Lightroom would be more appropiate than the channel mixer in Photoshop. With "channels" for each colour I would have liked to seen examples and how these were achieved in Lightroom

Although I have not yet fully covered the photoshop part of the book, what I have read is thorough and well written.

I found it difficult to rate this book - it is very good in many ways, but unfortunately did not fill the gap in which I was looking for.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It could have been a contenda' 6 April 2011
By Frank Dobbs - Published on
Format: Paperback
There is a desperate need for an in depth look at digital BW conversion and how to apply the zone system for better BW images.

This book is not.

One imagines the authors thought there was a larger audience in need of beginning guidance, so they aimed it for beginners for whom such comprehensive information is too advanced. So it is basically a power point presentation of mostly elementary techniques.

The writing style reflects the elementary level of the material, and is much too distracting and cutesy for the subject matter being covered.

Even as an introductory manual, much of the book would be eliminated by good editing.
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