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The Landscape Photographer's Guide to Photoshop

Book Description

You are not offering testimony to the existence of something, you are bringing something into existence—something that did not exist before, and that would not exist if it were not for you. ~Guy Tal The first step to creating an expressive photograph happens before you even click the shutter: it is the act of visualizing an image in your mind’s eye. Once composed and captured, the data recorded by the camera is then transformed in processing to match the visualized image. To become a better expressive photographer means, among other things, to become a better visualizer. This requires more than just technical skill, but also an understanding of what art is, what it means to be an artist, and how to translate your thoughts, feelings, and experiences into visual creations. In The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Photoshop: A Visualization-Driven Workflow, Guy Tal provides a broad theoretical foundation for digital landscape photography as an expressive visual art, and for understanding how art and technology come together to serve your creative purpose. He then offers a roadmap for a visualization-driven approach to processing images in Photoshop. Topics include: • An overview of the history of art and of photography as art • A deeper understanding of creativity and visualization, and of the technical underpinnings of digital imaging • Techniques to effectively apply visualization in creating and processing your images • How to perform “gap analysis” to identify the gaps between the image at any point in time and the desired outcome • How to convert your RAW files using Adobe Camera Raw prior to editing in Photoshop • How best to employ many of Photoshop’s tools and features • How to leverage Layers and Masks to accomplish your visualized results • How to control and adjust contrast, color, and tone • Image blending techniques to extend dynamic range and for focus stacking • Processing strategies for black-and-white conversions, including toning your images • Printing and other output techniques including sizing, sharpening, noise reduction, and color management Bringing all of these techniques together, Guy presents a detailed case study, beginning with his initial visualization for the final image and working through his processing steps from RAW conversion to the final print.

Table of Contents

  1. About the Author
  2. Foreword
  3. Introduction
  4. Part I: Theory
    1. 1 Photography and Art
      1. Art Defined
      2. Western Art Before Photography
      3. Photography as Art
    2. 2 Visualization
      1. Visualization and Composition
      2. Self-Expression and Equivalence
      3. Awareness and Knowledge
      4. Evolving Intuition
      5. Creativity
      6. Learning to Visualize
    3. 3 The Digital Studio
      1. The Creative Workspace
      2. Software
      3. Hardware
    4. 4 Speaking Digital
      1. Understanding Bits
      2. The RAW File
      3. Image File Formats
      4. Pixels and Dots
      5. Color
    5. 5 Understanding Histograms
      1. The Histogram and Image Detail
      2. Clipping
      3. Histogram Types
      4. Combed Histograms
    6. 6 Image Analysis
      1. Defect Gaps
      2. Aspect Ratio
      3. Color
      4. Contrast
      5. Color, Contrast, and Subjective Sensibilities
      6. Black-and-White
      7. Dodging and Burning
      8. Blurring
      9. Blending and Stitching
      10. Image Analysis Example
    7. 7 Workflow Overview
      1. RAW Conversion
      2. Analysis
      3. Dynamic Visualization
      4. Global Adjustments
      5. Local Adjustments
      6. Master File
      7. Output
      8. Working Iteratively
      9. Monotasking
  5. Part II: Practice
    1. 8 RAW Conversion
      1. The Right Tool for the Right Job
      2. What Makes a Good Starting Point?
      3. Converting from RAW Using ACR
        1. Default Settings
        2. White Balance (WB)
      4. RAW Conversion Example
    2. 9 Photoshop Basics
      1. A Word about Attitude
      2. Arranging Your Photoshop Workspace
      3. Keyboard Shortcuts
      4. The Tools Panel
      5. The Control Panel
      6. The History Panel
      7. The Histogram Panel
      8. The Info Panel
      9. Layers
      10. Useful Preferences
    3. 10 Image Editing Techniques
      1. Global Adjustments Using Layers
      2. Levels Adjustment
      3. Curves Adjustment
      4. Hue/Saturation and Vibrance Adjustments
      5. Color Balance Adjustment
      6. Other Adjustments
      7. Working with Layers
      8. Cropping
      9. Actions
      10. Local Adjustments
      11. Dodging and Burning
      12. Selections
    4. 11 Master Files
      1. Targeting and Flexibility
      2. Saving Your Master File
      3. Back Up!
    5. 12 Black-and-White
      1. From Color to Tone
      2. How Color is Mapped into Tone
      3. Color Filters
      4. The Digital Advantage
      5. RAW Conversion
      6. Converting to Black-and-White in Photoshop
      7. Toning
      8. The Color Picker Method
      9. The Curves Adjustment Layer Method
      10. Split Toning
      11. Conversion Using Multiple Filters
      12. Hybrid Color/Black-and-White Images
      13. Hand-Tinted Images
      14. Applying Zone System Terminology
    6. 13 Blending Images
      1. Blending Images Using Masks
      2. Blending Images for High Dynamic Range
      3. Blending Images for Focus Stacking
      4. Blending Multiple RAW Conversions
      5. Blending Images to Mitigate Noise
    7. 14 Using Images
      1. Targeting
      2. Flattening an Image
      3. Sizing and Interpolation
      4. Color Management
      5. Sharpening
      6. Sharpening as a Local Adjustment
      7. To Save or Not to Save?
      8. Preparing Internet Images
      9. Printing
    8. 15 Putting It All Together
      1. Preparation
      2. Visualization
      3. RAW Conversion
      4. First Iteration
      5. Second Iteration
      6. Third Iteration
      7. Targeting for Publication
  6. Conclusion
  7. Appendix