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The HDR Book: Unlocking the Pros' Hottest Post-Processing Techniques
The HDR Book: Unlocking the Pros' Hottest Post-Processing Techniques
by Rafael Concepcion
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.49
45 used & new from $9.40

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 HDR tone mapping software approaches plus post in Photoshop, June 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When it comes to reviewing photography/Photoshop books, it really depends on where you are in your development.

This book was spot on for me in my HDR development.

Stong points:
He takes you through HDR step by step. First he tells you how to capture the image, how many shots you need, a tripod, cable release, set bracket to under-even-over, mirror up, and why you should experiment with JPG. Oh my goodness, nobody who is any good admits to shooting, much less using JPG! But apparently the software companies are saying that HDR may do better with JPGs than with Raw. I'm definitely going to try it.

Then he gives numerous examples of things that lend themselves to HDR. Some of it is obvious, anything with really high contrast, and anything you want to have really high contrast. Some things, like the inside of a church, however, are not so obvious.

He uses the top three software tone-maping programs, Photoshop CS5's HDR Pro, Photomatix Pro, and HDR Efex Pro from Nik. In the process, he highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each program in that particular case. He admits to preferring HDR Efex Pro, but he uses all three programs depending on the image.

He has a large section on essential Photoshop techniques, adjustment layers, adjusting brush size, layer masks, New Smart Object Via Copy, (right clicking on the layer in the layer stack). All stuff that I use all the time.

He does a good job of describing his post HDR workflow in Photoshop. If you are a regular consumer of Photoshop User TV (a podcast) it will all look familiar, the famous merge up command, duplicating a layer then using a layer blend mode to darken and create a vignette, things that may seem sophisticated, but are easy to do.

It was such a relief to see that HDR creates a lot of junk in his images too. I thought it was just me, and that I wasn't neurotic enough about keeping my sensor clean. Halos too are a constant problem, and he works around that on occasion by dropping in a sky from one of the original exposures. Yes, it seems obvious now, but I was in the "I'm going to get this HDR to work!" mindset. There's more than one way to do that.

He even has a photo where he HDR tone maps the image twice targeting different areas of the image. Again, that's not something I would have thought of. He also uses Glamour Glow, a filter from Nik a lot on his HDR images. To me that was counter intuitive because HDR is all about detail and texture, but it was an interesting twist.

Weak points:
His before and after images were images he had tone mapped with HDR software compared to the same images with his Photoshop post processing. I think a stronger comparison would have been a single exposure image with the camera set on matrix metering compared to his final image.

Some of his images just didn't wow me. Unfortunately, the cover image in particular. But that doesn't diminish what I learned from the book. The book to me taught me technique. It's my vision used in combination with these skills that will make or break my images.

Then when you go to the companion website to the book, as of this writing, all the content isn't up. I wanted to see the video he describes where he talks about shooting for the basement (making sure your underexposed shot appears to have no detail). This is a foreign concept to me, so I'm eager to learn more about it.

Summary:
The strengths of this book far outweigh the shortcomings. It's easy to read, understand, and emulate his techniques. I like it enough I will probably buy one copy for home, and one for the office.


Ty Pluffies Blue Blue's Clue Nickelodeon Plush Soft Toy Blue
Ty Pluffies Blue Blue's Clue Nickelodeon Plush Soft Toy Blue
Offered by UNBELIEVABLE DEALS
Price: $42.99
8 used & new from $25.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I expected, June 6, 2011
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My son was ecstatic to get this plush Blue. He sits with him as he watches Blues Clues, and when I read Good Night, Blue (Blue's Clues) to him. And of course, Blue sleeps with him every night!


Get Your Photography on the Web: The Fastest, Easiest Way to Show and Sell Your Work
Get Your Photography on the Web: The Fastest, Easiest Way to Show and Sell Your Work
by Rafael Concepcion
Edition: Paperback
Price: $28.73
79 used & new from $5.67

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A selective introduction, June 6, 2011
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This book is a good introduction to several aspects of getting your photography on the web, but it is just that, an introduction. From there, you are going to need to log some serious hours on each topic.

He is upfront about the fact that he recommends the services he uses, and he doesn't profit from these recommendations. But he is not a consumer reports of on-line services. I appreciate his honesty. On that subject, he uses Mpix, which everybody at NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) does, but personally, I've found them to be rather difficult to deal with, and I recently read an article comparing their print quality with WHCC and Bayphoto, that is causing me to do my own print comparisons.

I like his explanation of Wordpress the most. He gives you background explaining how it came about and how pages compare to blog posts, and some organization tips.

I was surprised that he recommends Flash-based portfolios, because I've heard other pros say they are moving their websites completely away from Flash due to the huge popularity of the iPad and the fact that Flash doesn't work on it.

His info on Digimarc and copyright was okay. I totally agree with him that it's important, I just wish he would have gone into more detail, like hitting the obvious problems you'll run into, common confusions and such. But he overall simply refers you to their websites. There is a book that discusses copyright in more detail Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age (Lark Photography Book).

I liked the examples he gave at the end of the book giving real life case studies, but that needed more meat also. For instance, when discussing Moose Peterson's website, he brings up SWF (single-frame Flash files), and how they protect his images, but doesn't explain how to use them. But then I did really like the story that Moose shoots video when he's out shooting photos, I thought that was a great idea.

So I was conflicted about this book. I really like RC (the author) as an instructor, and I felt like he touched on important and interesting things. But I also feel like it's just the beginning of my research and I still need to spend a lot of time researching on the internet and will invest in at least a few more books.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 14, 2013 4:32 PM PDT


Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day
Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day
by Dave Evans
Edition: Paperback
224 used & new from $0.01

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reminded me of a less than interesting college text, May 27, 2011
Some books are so easy to read it is like a warm knife through butter, others are like an albatross that you are carrying around for some unknown crime. Unfortunately this book was the albatross for me. I kept lugging it around telling myself, "just read a few pages at a time, you can skim if you need to".

The author talks alot. Yes I know it's a book, but to me it's like listening to someone talk. I kept feeling like "Get to the point please." Yes, there are a few interesting stories, but they are buried in a sea of MBA/marketing type jargin like "Social media derives its value from the collective and the individual, not the mass," or "Degree of Influence versus Conventional Profitability".

And then there are typos:
* Two of the most influential individuals with regard to the realization of the World Wide Web, sorting how out to manage the transfer of multimedia files. (I assume he meant "sorting out how to manage the transfer of multimedia files.)
* Think about the status updates in Myspace of Facebook...(probably meant Myspace or Facebook).
I realize we all make typos, but a professionally published book should be free of such distracting errors.

I finally gave up halfway through the book.

The most valuable thing I found in this book is another book he mentioned Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements. While it is not about social media specifically, it is a fabulous book about marketing, and inspiring your clients and your employees to start a positive discussion about your company everywhere (including social media). Brains on Fire is a warm knife in butter book, and one you will LOVE reading.


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Cute and functional, May 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is another one of those things that I wish I didn't need, but I'm glad I have. We use it with our Drive Medical Piston Powered Checker Nebulizer, Yellow and it makes my son smile when he has to do a breathing treatment.


Nutri-Burn� Chocolate (915 g)
Nutri-Burn� Chocolate (915 g)
Offered by Natural Market
Price: $36.88
7 used & new from $35.58

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great protein amount, but upset my stomach, May 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nutri-Burn� Chocolate (915 g)
I love the way this protein drink tastes, it has healthy ingredients, and the calorie to protein trade off is quite good. I just have to be very careful when I drink it or it can really upset my stomach. If I drink it on an empty stomach, I better not leave the house for a while.


Chocolate Covered Cookies with Spring Sprinkles
Chocolate Covered Cookies with Spring Sprinkles

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, May 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Easter bunny brought these, and they were fabulous! The chocolate was that yummy, melt in your mouth, no wax chocolate. I was so relieved when they were gone, because after the boys went to bed it was all I could do to not get into them!


Super Mario Brothers Beach Towel
Super Mario Brothers Beach Towel

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and big, May 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Super Mario Brothers Beach Towel
This was another huge hit with my six year old! He loves Mario, has the Boys' Swimwear Mario Cart Jet Black Swim Shorts, several of the plush toys. The only draw back to the Mario towel is it is the only one he wants to use, and if he has a friend over that likes Mario, I only have the one towel :)


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Cute and functional, May 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Boy do I hate asthma! Anything that can make it easier to live with is a blessing. The boys really like this little car nebulizer, and are excited to use it. The trunk of the car lifts up to hold the electric cord. As far as power and actually nebulizing, it works as quickly as the one we got from the doctor, and isn't any louder, although they are all pretty noisy.


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Happy 6 year old, May 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My son was ecstatic when he got these swim trunks as he is a huge Mario fan! The fabric is rather thick and not soft, but he doesn't seem to mind. They are long trunks, coming down to about the knee, which is quite in style right now.


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