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The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing Paperback – September 24, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0240812595 ISBN-10: 024081259X Edition: 1st

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The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing + The Photoshop Darkroom 2: Creative Digital Transformations + Creating HDR Photos: The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (September 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024081259X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240812595
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
The Photoshop Darkroom offers limitless possibilities for photographers looking for jaw-dropping results, using powerful and innovative creative post-processing techniques. If you want folks to ask "How did you do that?" then this is the book for you!

The images in The Photoshop Darkroom will inspire you and help you unleash your creative potential. You'll learn to view your own digital photography with new eyes. Step-by-step directions show you real-world examples of how to achieve the results you want from your photography and post-processing.

*Learn how to work with RAW image files
*Understand the Photoshop darkroom workflow
*Multi-process RAW files
*Extend the dynamic range of your photographs
*Create High Dynamic Range (HDR) images by hand
*Create stunning black and white imagery with Photoshop
*Use layers and masking for compositing
*Create striking color effects using LAB color




Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Harold and Phyllis Davis, Authors of The Photoshop Darkroom

Dear Amazon Readers,

If you are thinking of buying The Photoshop Darkroom:

We believe we can promise you a Photoshop experience unlike any other. Our ideas--and many years of relevant experience--came together when we created The Photoshop Darkroom.

We can promise you a very practical learning experience. Unlike the authors of many other Photoshop books, we are first and foremost photographers, creators, and experimenters. We do not care about the software bells and whistles that Photoshop provides unless these features are useful in the day-by-day tasks of image creation and photo enhancement.

Speaking of day-by-day, we've created The Photoshop Darkroom using our experience working professionally with photography and Photoshop. That's working everyday, day in and day out, many hours a day--to create award-winning published imagery. We are eager to share the techniques we've developed over the years, and have designed our book to be your guide in your own creative journey with Photoshop.

And your own creative journey it is! We didn't create The Photoshop Darkroom as a statement about how cool or great we are. This book is about you, the learner, and about what you can do next.

Why should a Photoshop book be visually boring? We've designed our book to be as exciting and rich as the images you can create in the Photoshop environment itself. With the step-by-step directions in The Photoshop Darkroom, you can extend the dynamic range of your photos, selectively sharpen, paint with LAB colors, and much more.

Digital photography is one part photography and one part digital software. So take the plunge and start on your journey towards becoming the best digital image maker you can be. It's our sincere hope that The Photoshop Darkroom is your springboard to creating great images!

Harold & Phyllis Davis




A Look at Techniques from The Photoshop Darkroom
Click to Enlarge
The images below are digital photographs enhanced (and in some cases composited with other images) in the Photoshop darkroom using the techniques explained in The Photoshop Darkroom.

Utilized apparent transparency and the LAB color space for color adjustments and effects. Utilized the LAB color space to create an inversion. Simple photo compositing in the Photoshop darkroom adds a flower to the pupil of this eye. Three photos are combined in Photoshop to create this exciting composite.
This image uses image duplication and reversal to create a composite. Black and white HDR conversion of the Cuban capitol building. An Escher-like effect from a single fisheye shot of a staircase in Photoshop using various techniques. Starting from one or two photographs one can create graphics that look more like paintings

From the Back Cover

The Photoshop Darkroom offers limitless possibilities for photographers looking for jaw-dropping results, using powerful and innovative creative post-processing techniques. If you want folks to ask "How did you do that?" then this is the book for you!

The images in The Photoshop Darkroom will inspire you and help you unleash your creative potential. You'll learn to view your own digital photography with new eyes.

Step-by-step directions will show you real-world examples of how to achieve the results you want from your photography and post-processing.


More About the Author

For Harold Davis, a typical day's (or night's) work might involve photographing star trails from the top of Half Dome, investigating the close-up patterns of early morning dew drops with his camera, or finding a new location for photographing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Harold Davis is an award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of more than 30 books, including Photographing Flowers: Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis (Focal Press), Creative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley),Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Close-Ups: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing (Focal Press) and Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers (O'Reilly). Harold writes the popular Photoblog 2.0, www.photoblog2.com.

Harold is a popular presenter on digital photography topics. His workshops are often sold out.

Harold is well known for his night photography and experimental ultra-long exposure techniques, use of vibrant, saturated colors in landscape compositions, and beautiful creative floral imagery. He is inspired by the flowers in his garden, hiking in the wilderness, and the work of great artists and photographers including M.C. Escher, Monet, van Gogh and Edward Weston.

Harold lives in Berkeley, California with his wife Phyllis Davis, a graphic designer and writer who frequently collaborates with Harold on book projects. They have four children.

Customer Reviews

Precise and to the point easy to follow instructions.
Maureen Welsh
I read several books including one 600 page tome that was about as boring as reading a phone book.
Horse Racing Fan
This book shows some great techniques to unlock the hidden parts of any photo.
JR Big Boy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Amusing on October 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hello. I am primarily an (amateur) landscape photographer as you may discern if you look at my Flickr gallery: [...]
I am also interested in night photography - particularly of the night sky. So it is not a surprise that the cover of the book would have been enough to capture my attention.

I pre-ordered my copy of The Photoshop Darkroom in June, 2009. It was a long wait and worth it.

I have several other books on Photoshop and this one beats them all in clarity and usefulness by a wide margin. Thankfully this book is NOT an exhaustive description of all of the features and nuances of Photoshop. A book that attempted to cover "all things Photoshop" would be thousands of pages long and filled with lots of really useless and boring information.

No, the authors: Harold and Phyllis Davis have instead taken a laser-like focus on about a dozen very useful techniques that are effective in producing pleasing results. The techniques are illustrated with full color, step by step images from Harold's own photographs. The quality of the illustrations is crucial to understanding the processes and the images in this book score very high on clarity [unlike several other books I have].

The steps for each process are clearly numbered, illustrated and labeled. And though the examples are from a Mac, I have no trouble following along with my older Photoshop version on a PC.

Is this book for you? Well, let me ask you these questions:

Would you like to make your photographs more appealing? More like the way you saw them? More like art? Something altogether different? The techniques and processes described allow all of these approaches.

* Do you use burn and dodge to darken and lighten? The Davis's will show you a far better way!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By D. Wilson on October 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received this book approximately 2 weeks ago and it has provided me a very clear path on how to do so many changes and improvements using Photoshop, I will only take a few lines to describe the book. It is clear, concise, illustrative, easy to read and most of all written by someone who has used the product daily. Harold's description of techniques and the illustrations are superb. My wife purchased the 3-set from Amazon as an early Christmas present and boy am I glad she did. I have purchased other books on Photoshop and the authors talk so far above my head, I have to use oxygen after trying to read them. Harold's projects are down to earth. Buy it and enjoy reading and learning from a new experience with a professional.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Tenna Merchent on October 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The images in this book were well done and impressive. Unfortunately I was not as impressed with the Photoshop (PS) techniques. The authors acknowledge that there are many ways to accomplish the same things in PS and theirs is only one, which is true, but often there are more efficient and well known ways to accomplish something. For instance, they use multiple copies of the same Camera Raw file at different exposures instead of simply using a file with multiple smart object layers. That doesn't make any sense, and is definitely the hard way to do it. They do this with several examples, and complicated painting layers. It wore me out just reading it.

I started to get excited when they were discussing blending modes, because they had a well-done graphic showing white, gray, and black and how the different blending modes affect the layer. Unfortunately they only covered four blending modes.

Then there's the dodging and burning example. They don't like the dodge and burn tool. Everyone says the dodge and burn tool used to be really awful, but now with the "protect tones" option it works just fine. Instead they add a duplicate layer with either a screen blending mode to lighten, or a multiply blending mode to darken, then add a layer mask and paint in where they want to dodge and burn. Okay, so yes it works, but seems complicated.

They have this lovely example of a stacked star trails photo, where they use separate stacking software to accomplish. Again, why complicate it. Select the files in Bridge, choose load in Photoshop as layers, then change the blending modes to screen.

Their discussion of LAB mode was interesting, and the way they use it to modify color is dramatic. Unfortunately that was the only strong point in the book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Horse Racing Fan on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an amateur photographer who recently decided to take the plunge into the intimidating world of Photoshop. I read several books including one 600 page tome that was about as boring as reading a phone book. It wasn't until I read The Photoshop Darkroom that everything clicked! Mr. and Mrs. Davis present many of the most useful and powerful Photoshop techniques in an easy to follow step by step manner. All the photos used in the book are available for download making it easy for the reader to follow along. The sample photos are beautiful and the end results are inspirational. This could easily be a coffee table book if it wasn't so darn helpful. Each section begins with an introduction to the featured technique and is followed by step by step examples showing how the technique works. Along the way, each chapter is filled with helpful suggestions and tips about Photoshop and photography in general. Some of my favorite sections include: working in RAW, digital asset management (DAM), working with layers, black and white photos, hand HDR, stacking photos and sharpening. Since finishing this book and working through all the examples, my comfort level with Photoshop has increased tremendously! Speaking as a rookie Photoshop user, The Photoshop Darkroom has given me the confidence to take my photography to the next level. It will do the same for you! Highly recommended!
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