- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (June 11, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321776895
- ISBN-13: 978-0321776891
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 81 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The HDR Book: Unlocking the Pros' Hottest Post-Processing Techniques 1st Edition
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About the Author
Rafael “RC” Concepcion is an education and curriculum developer for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, and the co-host of the D-Town TV videocast for DSLR shooters. An Adobe Certified Instructor in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, RC has more than 14 years in the IT and e-commerce industries, and spends his days developing content for all applications in the Adobe Creative Suite at Kelby Media Group. RC also writes columns for Photoshop User magazine and recently became a best-selling author with his debut book, Get Your Photography on the Web.
Top customer reviews
This book was spot on for me in my HDR development.
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.
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.
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.
RC did a great job on this book, it is well written and designed for both beginners and experienced photographers. This book will help you too learn HDR or fine tune your HDR skills.
I also like that the fact that this book covers everything from photographing your subjects too post processing your images with the latest software. RC goes into depth about how he photographs and processes. He will go into depth about post processing as well. Step by step, showing you how he got the final result with different processing methods. The post processing chapters are where you will benefit the most, as you will gets the best tips, and information for creating realistic HDR images. He will cover Adobe Photoshop, HDR Pro, Lightroom, and photomatix. All great tools in creating beautiful images. I would highly recommend this book too both beginner and experienced photographers.
In the eight projects he shows you how and why he tone mapped the images in Photomatix and then takes you through his finishing the project in Photoshop. The book is so beautifully illustrated that I found myself just following along with his photos and then later downloaded the files and tried working through a couple of them.
Besides the big projects he also covers some of the more currently popular uses of HDR such as HDR in Black & White, Double Tone-Mapping and HDR from a Single File.
As I said, the book is so beautifully illustrated with his photos you’ll be inspired try HDR on more subjects than you might have thought to try it on, at least I was.
HDR is a process of experimentation. You will need Photomatix 5.x, along with whatever image processing application you are comfortable with. And, time.
RC is known for his HDR work so he has lots to offer you by way of this book. His book is great for photographers of all levels from the beginner to the advanced HDR photographer. I alway say there is always something new to learn even if you think you know it all. RC has opened new views and ideas for me to explore in the world of HDR.
Most recent customer reviews
For the price it was OK but I wouldn't buy another