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Rethinking Digital Photography: Making & Using Traditional & Contemporary Photo Tools Paperback – July 5, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pixiq; 1 Csm edition (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600597866
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600597862
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 8.6 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JOHN NEEL is a fine art photographer whose skills include electronic imaging, conventional and digital photography, stereo photography, video, synthesized sound, 3D animation and new media. He currently teaches courses at various colleges in his hometown of ROCHESTER, NEW YORK.

More About the Author

John Neel is a fine art photographer whose skills and interests include electronic imaging, conventional and digital photography, stereo photography, video, synthesized sound, 3D animation and new media. Perpetually pushing the limits of his work, John enjoys experimental imaging, alternative techniques, the creative process and playing with all that photography offers.

John is the author of the recently released book Rethinking Digital Photography by Sterling - Pixiq. The book was named a "Best of - 2011" by the Library Journal. It was also selected as one of the "Top Eleven Best Sellers of 2011" by Sterling Pixiq Books. Newly released in July, this unique book looks at ways to capture the world using traditional and contemporary photo tools. His newest book is scheduled for release sometime in late 2012.

An expert in digital imaging, John enjoys creating images using such things as simple lenses, pinholes and zone plates, analog cameras and non-traditional imaging techniques. As much at home with Photoshop as he is with a 4x5 camera, John blends established techniques drawn from the historical evolution of photography with contemporary cutting edge digital methods. His vision and talent explores the past, present and future of photography.
John's work has been exhibited in public and private galleries and featured in magazines in the United States, Canada and Europe. He has taught creativity, art, digital imaging and photography at major universities and colleges in North America.

First and foremost a photographer, John is among other things, a teacher and graphic designer who lives and creates in upstate New York.

You can find John's digital photography blog at lensgarden.com where he posts to the photographic community.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
The Micro Planets and Mandalas chapter is fun, but I don't know if I'll ever find the need to manipulate my images that much.
MLSchoenfeld
It offers the reader a unique approach to innovative techniques for image making that go beyond the normal realm of books on photography and image making.
Frederick
Rethinking Digital Photography is an exceptional book and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to expand their digital toolbox.
BKillingsworth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Stevenson on July 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is just a wonderful book. Full of all sorts of innovative and original photographic techniques to explore. It functions in about equal measure as both a detailed manual and an inspirational guide. So, there are shooting techniques described, which involve actually physically modifying your camera or cameras - and expert instructions (and appropriate warnings!) are provided in most of these cases. Plus, tutorial material is provided in other chapters on post-processing explorations - much of this involves specific software tools. And inter-connections are forged also: some of the images which are postworked come directly from the adapted and "foreign-lens-to-body-combination" cameras. Well done.
Each of the chapters has as at least one Gallery segment - where the author provides a range of examples of the images he has taken or processed. There are nine chapters in all. The two longest - "Painting the Photograph" and "Multiple Dimensions, Multiple Media' - are amongst the best. Where the author deals with digital painting (via the Painter Essentials, Painter and Studio Artist software packages), there's a really thoughtful pre-amble in the preceding chapter, on creating so-called HDR imagery. And, the painting work described sets itself apart, from many others who have written whole books on this topic, in a disavowal of the replication of traditional "wet-media" painting characteristics. Much of the final chapter deals with 3D effects (eyeglasses are included under the back folding-cover of the book). Now not everyone is going to shop for two identical digital cameras to mount side-by-side and so get to grips with the possibilities written about. But it is fascinating to see what can be done (with skill and enthusiasm) along this path.
I think that Mr.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bruno Walther on November 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A couple of images on pixiq.com and the title draw my attention to this book. I assumed that the book would inspire me to take a fresh look at taking pictures. Unfortunately I had not taken literally the subtitle: "Making and Using Traditional & Contemporary Photo Tools". Had I known that the book predominantly deals with constructing and modifying specific camera bodies and using specific software (e.g. Painting, Stitching, Panorama software), I could have saved myself the disappointment.

The book is for you if you are curious to find out how a "picture" taken without a lens would look like or if you are looking for inspiration on how to tinker with old cameras and lenses (provided you own any) or how to take completely blurred pictures (Digital Zone Plate Photography).

If however you are interested in specific photographic techniques like Macro Photography, HDR Photography or Panoramas you might want to consider more specific or in-depth resources.

Before purchasing this book
- make sure to carefully read the Table of Content
- make sure you understand and take literally the subtitle (see above)
- look at the author's desperate almost daily pitch for his book on pixiq.com: you could be pleased by the teaser HDR images shown, but eventually disappointed by the content of the book
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Walter A. Jakubowski on June 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Strap on your seatbelts as Photographer and Digital Imaging Wizard John Neel takes us "behind the curtain" in his laboratory of seemingly mundane gadgets and graft-ons, merging traditional and non-traditional hardware and software to produce wondrous and artistic imagery. Unlike magicians who leave the viewer in a befuddled state of amazement John shares enough theory and technique to make this readily accessible to the everyday Joe who wants to extend his image making horizons. Can photography be any more fun than this?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ThirstyBrooks on February 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Rethinking Digital Photography addresses a number of niche topics that won't quickly be made obsolete on line. The book collects more than a few ideas on each of these topics into coherent chapters. Just don't expect this book to revolutionize your approach to digital photography, or advance you from a beginning photographer to a wizard.

Omitting the subtitle removes important information: this book is about Making & Using Traditional & Contemporary Photo Tools. Many of the ideas in the early chapters cover making lenses or adapting incompatible lenses to digital cameras. Quirky and interesting ideas here may yet see some use at my house.

There are sections on macro photography and High Dynamic Range photography, which organize more material than you're likely to find in a couple of online tutorials. They don't in any sense cover these concepts fully, but they do justice to their topics. There's a section on how to enhance your photos using painting, and one on how to use Corel Painter for those who haven't figured out that the rest of the world uses Photoshop.

Similarly detailed sections discuss panoramas, globes, mandalas (kaleidoscope effects) and 3D effects. All of these topics can be found in Photoshop tutorials if you look for them, but the book organizes the material better than most and gives more detail.

I find a physical book conveys the material better than flipping between screen displays, possibly because my eyes are happier with the level of detail of paper photographs.

The topics covered in Rethinking Digital Photography are a bit quirky, so people who receive this as a gift may see it as a bit weird and off-target. While I liked the book, I find a couple of hours with StumbleUpon covers the same material and more (except for the chapters on lenses). Online offerings are more convincingly up to date, and they use the standard Photoshop toolbars.
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