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The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop [Kindle Edition]

Jeff Schewe
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $39.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $49.99
Kindle Price: $22.99
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Paperback $33.96  

Book Description

Shooting in the raw format gives digital photographers complete control over every aspect of image quality. The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop is devoted exclusively to the topic and shows you how to make the most of that control. Now that raw image processing technology has matured as an essential aspect of digital photography, you need a modern book that takes a seasoned approach to the technology and explains the advantages and challenges of using Lightroom or Camera Raw to produce magnificent images.

Renowned photographer and bestselling author Jeff Schewe outlines a foolproof process for working with these digital negatives and presents his real-world expertise on optimizing raw images. You’ll also learn hands-on techniques for exposing and shooting for raw image capture and developing a raw processing workflow, as well as Photoshop techniques for perfecting the master image, converting color to black and white, and processing for panoramic and HDR images.
  • Get the best tone and color from your digital negatives.
  • Use Lightroom and Camera Raw sharpening controls to maximize image quality.
  • Take advantage of Photoshop to do what Lightroom and Camera Raw can’t.
  • Produce stunning black-and-white images.
Visit the book’s companion website at for sample images and more!

Editorial Reviews


“Jeff played host at his studio to some of the key meetings in Lightroom’s early development. With The Digital Negative, he pulls together his years of bridging traditional photography and digital photography and shares it with the broader photographic community.”
– Mark Hamburg
Fellow, Adobe Systems, Inc.

About the Author

Jeff Schewe is an award-winning professional advertising photographer and digital imaging pioneer. He teaches and leads workshops and is a member of the Photoshop Hall of Fame at Photoshop World. Jeff co-authored Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom. Visit the book’s companion website at for sample images and more!

Product Details

  • File Size: 90211 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0321839579
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (September 13, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009AEM2TY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,714 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting the Most from the Image September 27, 2012
First there was Photoshop that became the gold standard for photo processing. Then, when digital photography caught on, Adobe added the Camera Raw plug-in. More recently Adobe offered photographers Lightroom, a piece of software designed from the ground up for photographers, although many image smiths have found it useful to process first in Lightroom and then finish up in Photoshop. Jeff Schewe now presents us with a book that concentrates on how to manipulate images with these pieces of software to get the best possible photograph.

After an examination of the nature of the digital image and a history and overview of raw processing, he addresses the fundamental controls in Lightroom and Camera Raw, which offer, for the most part, the same features, although Lightroom offers a more convenient interface as well as other features, like archiving and website creation. Schewe emphasizes what is accomplished rather than the particular look of a control, and while he generally leads with Lightroom, also shows how to accomplish the same tasks with Camera Raw. Next he shows how to use these controls with particular examples, doing more with Lightroom than most people would even consider, to get the "hero" image. He then goes on to explain how to follow-up in Photoshop for those extra tweaks that are not readily available in Lightroom or Camera Raw. (Most of the Photoshop discussion is about Schewe's own tweaks, rather than general instruction in Photoshop.) There is little discussion of primary adjustments, or layers, or making selections, except to show how a particular image can be enhanced in Photoshop. He finishes the book with a general discussion of workflow.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Have Book for Processing Raw Files October 4, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read many instructional photography books over the years, including several on 'digital photography' and four books on using Lightroom 2,3,and 4. I have kept none of those books except for one - a reference book on Lightroom 4 by Martin Evening (I use it as a reference - I haven't read the 'whole thing' :-). However I still found some nitty gritty details of processing raw files a bit mysterious for me. The Digital Negative has given me insights and a clarity (if you'll pardon the Lightroom pun) that I didn't have before. This book is a keeper. My focus is on Lightroom but the book is equally useful for Photoshop and Camera Raw, as the book covers those tools as well as the pertinent raw processing functions in Lightroom.

I would recommend it for all photographers who shoot in raw and have progressed beyond the very beginning stage of digital photography. Even for beginners I would recommend buying it and saving it as it will come in handy after the first few attempts at processing raw files. It provides insights and tips on the details of processing that I have not found in other books. And I should say, it provides meaningful and useful details and tips!

Contrary to another reviewer of this book I found it to be well written. The style might be a bit different from some other writers but I find the points to be well made and easy to understand, for me at any rate.

I give this book my very highest recommendation.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The rambling professor you had in school February 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
At first, I was going to give this 3 stars. The first 25% of the book is a random walk of interesting, but not particularly useful facts and information. Jeff's description of CMOS and CCD sensors is horribly convoluted, and in general is not really correct. (I've been a semiconductor professional for almost 30 years and been involved with both CMOS and CCD imager R&D) There are several other points about detailed hardware that are wrong. But, they are pretty much extraneous to the theme of the book. Many of the illustrations through here seem random, or are obvious and redundant screenshots.

Once Jeff gets into the meat of the material though, the book picks up nicely. Here, the diversions into trivia become valuable as he explains some of the history and rationale for things being the way they are. Jeff's book doesn't try to be a recipe book - one of my complaints about Scott Kelby's books. Rather, he explains what various functions and controls do and often a bit of their algorithms, and discusses why, when and how he uses them with some solid examples. This helps me much more than simply being told to move a bunch of sliders to specific values and voila! A finished photo. Great. Next time I have the same photo I can do it again. Jeff avoids this practice quite well, and gives the reader plenty of material to help you figure out how to manage your digital negatives on your own, and why you might choose certain manipulation a and techniques.

The electronic edition does better than most in associating captions with pictures. Jeff uses a different font for captions that helps when the captions do get lost on another page. This book does need a color reader.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential to improve your images, technique & workflow October 14, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jeff Schewe's latest offering, The Digital Negative, is a no-brainer must-read. Jeff has been there from the early days of Photoshop, Camera Raw & Lightroom and worked with folks like Bruce Fraser and the crew at Pixel Genius, so you'd be hard pressed to find anybody around who knows the ins and outs of these software packages more fully. I've watched The Luminous Landscape's videos featuring Jeff and Michael Reichmann, which are very good, but I've always seen them and wanted to ask more questions after watching each segment. This book pretty much answers all those questions and then some. The insights offered are right on point, and fill you in not only on the procedures for working with the software, but also enlighten you as to how and why each piece works the way it does, with suggestions for improving your image quality & workflow. The book is exhaustive in the best sense of the word, taking the time to fully inform you about every important aspect of Lightroom, Camera Raw & Photoshop, and more importantly, how they "play" with each other and how to use that knowledge to make them work together most effectively & efficiently. The chapters are dense, each filled with a lot of information, so it's not a fast and breezy read by any means. That said, the rewards of going slowly, paying attention, and re-reading dense sections (aka studying the material) are immense. After spending a couple hours with just the book's first few chapters, I've made important and welcome changes to my workflow and my techniques are much improved. Which is exactly the reason you should run, not walk, to buy this book! And I say this as a person who has used Photoshop since version 6 (before the CS era) and has used Lightroom and Camera Raw since their inception. Thanks, Jeff, for sharing your knowledge and helping us all be better photographers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars If you do Photoshop, look at this.
Good reference as are all of Schewe's book .
Published 15 days ago by Loyd
3.0 out of 5 stars Focused on Lightroom
I would possibly have given this four stars if I was a Lightroom user. But I'm not; I'm a Camera Raw user. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Christine ODY
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Jose
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, good information
Gave me the information I was looking for
Published 2 months ago by PETER G LOCKE
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book for the Digital Novice.
A bit more technical than the printing book by the same author. This is helpful for those who want a quality digital negative for business or exhibitions or want to get into... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rosalind R. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Schewe is one of the recognized super stars of digital image capture
Schewe is one of the recognized super stars of digital image capture, processing and printing. I already knew this was a great book and just wanted my own copy for reference. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bryson
4.0 out of 5 stars cc review
good book, lots of good tips
Published 7 months ago by CC
4.0 out of 5 stars Advanced topics, hard to understand but well worth it.
this is truly an advanced book but the benefits of reading through will shine through in your work.
Published 8 months ago by S L Skene
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably a must for Lightroom users, but a frustrating read Camera Raw...
No doubt Jeff is one of the biggest experts on Raw image processing in Lightroom and Photoshop Camera Raw, having previously also enjoyed his Bruce Frasers and "Real World... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Stig Nygaard
4.0 out of 5 stars A Book Ansel Adams Would Love
I wish I had bought this book at the same time as I moved to Lightroom some time ago. I detracted one star as I find the tone a little too chatty for me in places, but some people... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Troy Klukewich
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More About the Author

Jeff Schewe is a world renowned Photoshop expert, professional commercial photographer, and digital imaging artist. Jeff is a member of the NAPP Photoshop Hall of Fame. An award winning advertising photographer by trade, he is known as a digital pioneer and has been a long term alpha/beta tester for Photoshop, Camera Raw and Lightroom.


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