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Art of RAW Conversion: How to Produce Art-Quality Photos with Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Leading RAW Converters Paperback – June 12, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Focuses on how to maintain creative control of photos . . . [and] reflects the growing popularity of RAW workflows." -- Graphics.com, June 7, 2006

"Provides a workflow you can follow to filter out imperfections and correct the lens distortions in your would-be masterpieces." -- Boston Globe, June 12, 2006

From the Back Cover

Ansel Adams never would have surrendered his negatives, but countless digital photographers surrender their images to their cameras built-in image converters. The Art of RAW Conversion, written by an expert in RAW photography, will show you how to regain creative control of your photos by working directly with the RAW file format.

This practical and beautifully illustrated guide explains the advantages of working with RAW files, which are the digital equivalent of film negatives, and then how to use RAW converters to create the best digital image from each shot. Mixing clear explanations with striking photographic examples, The Art of RAW Conversion covers today’s most popular and innovative RAW converters (such as Camera RAW, RawShooter, Lightroom, and Aperture) and how to get the best results from each.

Highlights include:
• Techniques for calibrating a digital camera to work with RAW files
• How to get the best results from the leading RAW converters and when to use each
• Tips for color to black-and-white conversion
• Coverage of basic color management and batch processing
• Sections on Apple’s Aperture and Adobe’s Lightroom

Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, The Art of RAW Conversion will take you beyond mere point-and-shoot photography, and show you how to achieve art-quality results with your digital camera.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (June 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593270674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593270674
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,495,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By K. Tanaka on July 7, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book has a compelling title and is co-authored by a popular Internet photo personality. It also has an interesting visual design which is strongly supported by some wonderful photographs (mostly by the authors I assume) and top-notch color printing. The type design is a bit jarring.

But in the final analysis the book presents little in the way of "art"-producing tips regarding conversion of RAW digital image files. Rather, it falls into the trap of trying to cover too much ground too thinly. For example, a significant portion of the book is devoted to presenting micro-manuals for several current RAW converters. This is low-value material that has a very short shelf life (one of the products has already been sold), generally represents nothing more than enumerations of product features, and is covered by the products' documentation. The fact of the matter is that the current generation of RAW conversion tools has much more in common than in distinction. They could easily have been adequately, and perhaps more usefully, covered through a generalized discussion of these commonalities.

Much of the remainder of the book's material is devoted to very basic coverage of generic topics such as workflow and understanding color (ugh).

In summary, this book is far from a presentation of the "Art of RAW Conversion". Intermediate and advanced readers looking for insights and tips from "...active pioneers of RAW file processing and digital workflow" (as the authors' descriptions are worded) will leave empty-handed. Beginners looking for a primer on RAW image treatment might find themselves so bewildered by the book's attention deficit disorder format that they flee back to the familiar JPG image file format.

Bruce Fraser's "Real World Camera Raw" and, more recently, Mikkel Aaland's "Photoshop CS2 RAW" are both more direct and instructive treatments of the subject, albeit they both consider Adobe's Camera Raw converter exclusively.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jim Anderton on September 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Most digital cameras deliver pictures in jpeg format by default. Digital SLRs and many more advanced digicams provide a RAW format as an alternative. While jpeg provides convenience, the RAW format can give you more photographic information, more flexibility, and ultimately better pictures.

As the subtitle says, Art of RAW Conversion will show your How to Produce Art-Quality Photos with Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Leading RAW Converters. This book will give you everything you need to get the most out of your RAW images. The introduction provides a clear description of how digicams work and why working with RAW can be so advantageous. The RAW image can be thought of as a digital negative or slide while the jpeg is more like a print. With RAW images, you can choose camera settings such as white balance, sharpness, saturation, and contrast later while reviewing the picture on your computer rather than at the moment you take the shot. Also, many RAW images capture 12 bits per pixel while jpegs only store eight. The extra headroom RAW provides can save a shot with blown highlights or dark shadows.

After describing the mechanics of digital photography and convincing the reader of the merits of RAW, the book gives a thorough overview of many RAW converters that are available. This includes those that come with the camera and third party options like Adobe Camera RAW, RawShooter, Lightroom, and Aperture. Each converter is covered in detail and compared with others. You'll get a good idea of each program's strengths and weaknesses.

The book goes beyond topics specific to RAW images with discussions on color management, workflow, file management, and more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles I. Maas on March 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
With the plethora of image processing and editing tools available to today's digital photographers, making optimal choices from among those offerings has become daunting. Here to shed some light on the issue and help with the decision-making is a book from which every advanced digital darkroom practitioner should benefit.

When digital imaging really began to reach the consciousness level of consumers in the late 1990s, file capture was most often in JPEG format. As the public enthusiasm for digital accelerated, serious photographers loudly debated quality issues, especially as related to film. Then along came RAW -- a digital capture mode using minimal in-camera processing with much more post-capture flexibility and strong potential for higher quality results. Early RAW files could only be converted using the camera manufacturer's proprietary software which often lacked convenience and elegance. Then Adobe popularized RAW with distribution of their Camera Raw Photoshop plug-in which through reverse engineering enabled one program to convert RAW files from many different brands of cameras. This proved very convenient to many who were already using Photoshop as their primary image editor and opened the door to unprecedented control of the digital image development process, including post-capture adjustment of white balance, exposure, and other variables. Numerous third-party RAW converters quickly followed, making informed choices tough without trying them all.

But when there's a need, someone usually rises to fill it...hence this book. Uwe Steinmueller has written a number of books (some co-authored with Juergen Gulbins) in both print and e-book format.
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