Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2011
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. Neel deserves fulsome congratulations on this, his first book. It's not flawless in production (some of the illustrations have no captions, and a couple have captions which are incorrect), but the writing is clear and concise (unlike this review I'd guess!). Some of the claims on current and future developments in the digital imaging domain are probably optimistic. And Photoshop is confused with Photomatix Pro at one point ... But these are tiny detriments - this insightful book is great, and a great bargain to boot.