Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS
Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS by Bruce Fraser
Let me start out by saying that when it comes to photography, I'm a control freak. I love the histogram and blinkies on my DSLR, and naturally I shoot in camera raw so that I can control processing even more. I've used the camera raw plug-in for PhotoShop ever since it came out. But I've been unhappy with the information I've been able to find about camera raw in the various books and magazines I've read. Oh, everything you need to know is in the off-line and on-line documentation, but I've always found you have to know what you are looking for to find some of the features. A typical example for me was sharpening. I knew that I wanted to sharpen my images after I got done with all of my adjustments so I set sharpness at zero in the camera raw plug-in, but sometimes that meant that I had to make adjustments in camera raw on fuzzy images. I never knew that you could set the preferences for camera raw so that there was sharpening of the preview but not of the image exported to PS. It was in the manual but I never found it.
All that's changed since reading "Real World Camera Raw". It's all in there along with lots of information about the File Browser, metadata and automation. And it's in a readable form! You can start on page 1 and go through to the end on page 218 in a day without too much trouble. Of course, you'll have to return to individual paragraphs when you go to apply what you learn, but you will know the power of these features.
This book is not about art, or what adjustments you should actually make to get the output you want. For that, I still recommend Barry Haynes' "PhotoShop Artistry" series, with its extensive tutorials. This book is about procedures. For example because the gamma of the raw image is linear, so that much more data is concentrated in the highlight end of the scale, the last adjustment that you should make in the plug-in is normally shadows.
Much of this book is aimed at heavy-duty users. I doubt that I will ever need to process hundreds of images a day so that I will need to use most of the automation functions described by Fraser. But there are a few I will try.
Obviously this book is for the serious PhotoShop user. But if you fall into the category, I can't see how you will not benefit by reading this book
#1. "RE: Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS" | In response to Reply # 0
#2. "RE: Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS" | In response to Reply # 1Sat 14-Aug-04 08:31 PM
The book does not cover the NEF plug-in, nor does it try to convince you to use the ACR plug-in. Tim Grey, the author of the DDQ says, that even though the manufacturer's plug-in may sometimes be slightly better, he prefers the ACR because the differences are minor and the improvement in workflow is so much better. I've never used the Nikon NEF plug-in and have no opinion on the matter (although the fact that I've never used the plug-in probably is an opinion of some sort.)
#3. "RE: Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS" | In response to Reply # 0
I almost ordered this book at Amazon.com when I realized that it will take them over 11 days to ship it. Then I started thinking about this book. What will it teach me about Camera Raw, which is not already covered in two other "Real World" books I have:
Real World Photoshop CS by David Blatner and Bruce Fraser
Real World Digital Photography (2nd edition) by Eismann et al.
My photo galleries at http://picasaweb.google.com/Gregor.Overney/
#4. "RE: Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS" | In response to Reply # 3Wed 25-Aug-04 11:43 AM
I haven't read either of these books, although I did read Real World Photoshop 7. I found that book more useful as a reference than as a tutorial, and I would guess that the CS book follows the same format. I haven't read the Eisenman book, although I read Tim Grey's DDQ (He's a co-aturhor with Eisenman) and I've read Eisenman's Photoshop Restoration and Retouching.
I'm sure there is some overlap, but I think Camera Raw is imortant enough to its users to get this book, no matter what else you've read.