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

114 customer reviews

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Length: 309 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download

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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: 90209 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (September 13, 2012)
  • Publication Date: 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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,874 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on September 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
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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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Vissi D'arte on 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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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Peter Henry on 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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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Steven L. Hargrove on 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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