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Digital Capture After Dark [Paperback]

Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler , Philipp Scholz Rittermann
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 26, 2013 1933952660 978-1933952666 1

The pitfalls of photographing at night are many. Autofocus and built-in light meters generally fail at night. Long exposures tend to make noisy or blurry photographs. Cameras set to automatic generally trigger the built-in flash in low light conditions, which results in unsatisfying images. Lack of understanding and inappropriate techniques often ruin the dramatic potential of nighttime images.

In Digital Capture After Dark you will learn to overcome these and other obstacles. You will go beyond the many “how-to’s” of capturing digital images at night to the “why-to’s” of long exposure photography; including the importance of how we think and see at night compared to during the day.

Also discussed are hands-on image editing techniques that will help you prepare your images for output. Detailed descriptions cover color balancing, expanding dynamic range, controlling flare, dealing with noise, converting to black-and-white, toning, and much more.

Frequently Bought Together

Digital Capture After Dark + The Digital Zone System: Taking Control from Capture to Print + The HDRI Handbook 2.0: High Dynamic Range Imaging for Photographers and CG Artists
Price for all three: $89.17

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler is a writer, photographer, and educator. She is a regular contributor to such publications as Rangefinder, Digital Photo Pro, and Photographer's Forum. She is the author of Ten Photo Assignments and co-author of Capture: Digital Photography Essentials, both published by Rocky Nook.

She has exhibited her photography in group exhibitions around the country and continues to create work in both digital and analog media, focusing on concepts such as modern attitudes, personal demons, and stunted dreams. Her photographic work can be viewed at

She teaches in several colleges in the San Diego area, holds workshops, and lectures on the arts of photography and writing. She lives in Carlsbad, CA with her beloved husband, Steve, and cherished son, Connor.

From nocturnal scenes of industry to views of pristine landscape, Scholz Rittermann's work spans opposite ends of our environment.

His work is held in over one hundred public, private, and corporate collections, including MoMA, New York and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, France. Scholz Rittermann exhibits in national and international venues, and was honored with a mid-career survey at the Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, which published the monograph "Navigating by Light." He has been teaching photography for over thirty years in the USA and abroad.

In 2011, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego exhibited large-scale photographs from "Emperor's River", a new multi-year project he has been conducting in China.

Scholz Rittermann is represented by Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CA and can be contacted at His work can be viewed at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Rocky Nook; 1 edition (January 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933952660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933952666
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler was born simply Amanda Quintenz in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1978. She has been photographing since her father first let her borrow his camera on a family vacation when she was twelve. Her first subject was her brilliant and talented older sister, Jennifer Quintenz. She never stopped taking photographs.

At the Albuquerque Academy in middle and high school she excelled at photography, math, and science, and pursued a college education at Purdue University where she balanced her passions with a BA degree in Interdisciplinary Film Studies with minors in English, Math, and Photography. (She wanted to also minor in Physics, but the structure of the BA didn't understand this desire and therefore it was not a possibility.)

It was at Purdue that she met her future husband, Steve Fiedler. After knowning him only one week, she wrote her best friend an email explaining how she had met the man she was going to marry. Though they didn't marry for another 7 years, she never thought of being with anyone else. So confident was she in their relationship that she took his name to hers and became Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler forever more.

After moving to San Diego and working in the corporate realm for six years, she took another leap of faith and attended Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, CA to obtain her MFA in Photography, which she achieved in 2009.

She has published nearly 100 articles on photographers and photography, written three published books, and teaches at several San Diego area community colleges and extension programs. Photography and writing are her driving forces. Her husband, Steve, and their young son, Connor, are her life.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh... not all that useful January 30, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd been eagerly awaiting the much-ballyhooed publishing of this book, and ordered it as soon as it came out.

Sadly, I found little useful new information inside. Much of the content was just "filler" and/or common knowledge in my opinion (How to choose a camera, be sure and use a tripod, don't use auto exposure at night). Given that, one might suggest this as a good book for beginners, but then other sections clearly assume a base level of photographic knowledge.

There were a variety of subjects covered, but most in such brevity as to be just gingerbread... Use of Photoshop, Camera Raw, Lightroom, and HDR was mentioned, but in token detail only (inexplicably, the few Lightroom examples showed version 3, even though Lightroom 4 has been on the streets for well over a year. Picky, I know, but surprising for a book printed just a few weeks ago.

The most disturbing element for me, however, was the generally uninspiring photos included as examples in the book. Sure, there were a couple of nice ones, but honestly, many of the photos were what would have ended up in the reject pile on my lightbox!

I couldn't in all good conscience rate this book a one star, as it does have a pretty cover and a generally pleasing visual presentation (in spite of the bland photo examples). I suspect some readers will find some value in the content, but for me, a quick evening's read was enough to encourage me to return the book to Amazon for refund (something I rarely do!)
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration Instead of Technique January 28, 2013
It's been said that photographers who put away their cameras when the sun goes down are losing half of their opportunities to photograph. That's probably not true, given that most of us have to sleep sometime. But photographing after dark does present new opportunities.

Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler and Philipp Scholz Ritterman, with the help of photographers Kevin McCollister and Michael Penn, offer their take on the genre. The book begins with a discussion of equipment, although, other than a flashlight, none of the suggestions seem out of the ordinary for the well equipped DSLR photographer. Next there is a discussion of basics, like ISO, manual focus (important for night photography where cameras may have a hard time acquiring focus) and histograms. The authors emphasize the importance of using one's histogram since the camera's LCD can't be trusted in the dark. Subsequent chapters discuss where and when to photograph, the effects and benefits of varying weather conditions, and what the authors call light-painting. (It differs from what I have learned to call light painting.) The next part of the book deals with post-processing, with emphasis on increasing dynamic range by combining bracketed images. There is a chapter on selective smart sharpening, black and white photography, and a chapter demonstrating panoramic HDR imaging at night, without any suggestions about how to accomplish this.

I have never found a single book on night photography that covers all the aspects and this book is no exception. Indeed, it almost seems like the book is aimed at inspiring the night photographer rather than providing detailed instructions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Answers a few questions. July 6, 2013
By oopwah.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book brings out a few things that are different from film photography and provides a good checklist for a night time shoot. For amateur photography a good read , for advanced amateur on it could have been written in half the number of pages, a decent buy used.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had read the softback book from the local library and decided - though not perfect - it would be a good Kindle-carried source.

It helps with the basics of night shooting - for the neophyte.
Which most days - I am.

I also like that it shows work done with mid-level point and shoot digi's.
I shoot with a variety of higher end p&s digi's - the Leica D Lux 3, Canon G7 and Nilon P600 - on tripod.
Plus older Fuji S2 dslrs and a Pentax K-01 "brick" - the latter for limited HDR.

After looking a lot of similar books on night image capture - I bought this one!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Captured in the dark...finished in the digital darkroom November 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I teach Digital Photography at the high school level, and I love watching the phenomenon of "Digital Capture After Dark" becoming so popular with young photographers. The authors of this outstanding book do a very good job of explaining the production phase...capturing images in the field. Using a tripod, small aperture, long exposure, and manual focus create a strong foundation.

Even more important is the post-production phase...editing the images in software programs like Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, and/or Photoshop Lightroom. Authors Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler and Philipp Scholz Ritterman do an excellent job of explaining this vitally important aspect of long exposure, night photography. They expertly explain many of digital darkroom tricks which transform mediocre images into digital works of art. I can't wait to spring this book onto the Lads in my Digital Photography classes!
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Digital Capture After Dark covers a variety of information on low light and night photography. Experienced photographers may find the first few chapters to be a review. The photos are nice and illustrate the techniques well. Seems to me that it is best used by reading the part of the book that you wish to explore and then applying the concepts in the field. Doesn't seem to work though by reading the book cover to cover.

-Ronald S. Russ
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT SPEND YOUR MONEY!
Well, if you are looking for a book that seems to have been written during commercials of a football game, then this is it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lee Hoy
4.0 out of 5 stars A complete but rather basic coverage of low light photography
Overall, this is a fairly complete coverage of low light digital photography, with something for every skill level. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Thomas Crouse
2.0 out of 5 stars Light(weight) treatment of a Dark Subject.
I'm a big fan of the author's 10 Photo Assignments and really talk it up amoung my shooting buddies. But Digital Capture After Dark is really dim. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jim Tarantino
4.0 out of 5 stars How to Solve Your After-Dark Photography Problems
My first attempt at night photography was on pitch dark night on my deck. I opened the
aperture, chose a 400 ISO setting and a 30-second exposure with automatic focus on. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Barbara Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
So glad I found this,,it was just what I was looking for to help me understand and learn how to correctly!
Published 13 months ago by S. Darby
2.0 out of 5 stars Failed on both "Digital Capture" and "After Dark"
After owning the classics Night and Low Light Photography by Lee Frost I am looking for a revision on the topic in the digital age. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Chris F. Chan
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative & Inspiring!
Digital Capture After Dark is full of good practical Photography tips - from caring for your camera in various kinds of weather,
to suggested ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Andrew Kavanagh
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