- Series: Digital Process and Print
- Paperback: 392 pages
- Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (May 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1598633759
- ISBN-13: 978-1598633757
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,753,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #64 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Black & White
- #839 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Equipment, Techniques & Reference > Digital Editing
- #1065 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Industrial, Manufacturing & Operational Systems > Manufacturing
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Mastering Digital Black and White: A Photographer's Guide to High Quality Black-and-White Imaging and Printing (Digital Process and Print) 1st Edition
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Chapter 1: Image Gallery Chapter 2: Building the Digital Darkroom Chapter 3: Color Mgmt for the Black-and-White Photographer Chapter 4: Digital Capture Chapter 5: Photoshop in Black and White Chapter 6: Black-and-White Inkjet Printing Chapter 7: The ImagingWorkflow Chapter 8: The Limited Edition Chapter 9: The Portfolio Appendix: Resource Guide -------------- Case Study #1: Chester Higgins Case Study #2: Alex Forman Case Study #3: Jeanne Greco Case Study #4: Jean Miele Case Study #5: Philippe Dollo
About the Author
Amadou Diallo is a New York City-based photographer, author, and educator whose passion for travel photography has taken him around the world. His words and images have been featured in national magazines and graced some of the most popular photography-related sites on the Web. His fine art photography has been exhibited in galleries nationwide and is in a growing number of private collections. He is on the faculty at New York's renowned International Center of Photography. For information about his photography and workshops please visit www.diallophotography.com. He lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
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Top customer reviews
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Chapter 1 is a portfolio of the author's work. Chapter 2 is about his multi-computer setup and all the hard drives he has in RAID arrays, etc. Swell, but tell us what the practical needs are for amateurs and beginning pro's, please. After looking at his portfolio and reading his gloat you're wondering whether this book is just an ego trip for Mr. Diallo.
But in Chapter 3 he reviews color management and gets into the details about device profiles. If you're reading about digital B&W you've probably already read about color management, but this book explains it better than anything else I've read. Chapter 4 gets into examples of conversions from digital color to B&W. There's good info on scanning and scanning software, which is an unexpected bonus if you have a collection of negatives from your pre-digital life.
Chapter 5 covers the use of Photoshop for B&W. It summarizes the main tools photographers should learn and incluuds some examples of how to use them, and that chapter is as useful for color as it is for B&W. Chapter 6 goes into the details on B&W printing, including the use for third part ink sets for Epson printers and the use of raster imaging processors (RIPs). Again, the text is clearly written even as it goes into detail. Chapter 7 covers digital workflow and includes a couple of useful end-to-end examples. There's an excellent discussion of why and how to use sharpening. Chapters 8 and 9 will be of interest to people interesting in selling their work. Chapter 8 on limited editions could be condensed to about 5 pages by removing redundant text, but it does contain clear and presumably useful advice. Chapter 9 on building a portfolio is detailed and includes a short section on building a web site for displaying one's portfolio. The advice is certainly useful for someone hoping to sell his or her work as fine art. There's a good reference guide at the back with links to various sources of ink, paper, software, etc.
There are two flaws that should be corrected in a future update/new edition: The most serious flaw is that the illustrations in the book are small and sometimes rather dark, so it's hard to verify the points Mr. Diallo makes in the text. He even ackmowledges their shortcomings in thhe text. The publisher could learn a lot from looking at the excellent quality of the illustrations printed in books on photography published by Rocky Nook. Mr. Diallo posts full sized versions of the photos for download from the book's website, but each one has to be downloaded one at a time.
That's really a kludge. In a book about photography, the photos should be printed well enough so that the reader can see what Mr. Diallo is writing about! And his examples should be on a CD included with the book so the reader can apply the lessons, especially the lessons in Chapter 5 about using Photoshop for Black & White. The inadequately printed illustrations means 4 stars, not 5.
(A minor quibble: The text about a photo is often on the page before the photo itself. But that's a small matter compared to the poorly reproduced photos themselves.)
The second flaw is inevitable. The book was published at the end of 2007 and it covers both software and hardware (printers, scanners, spectrophotometers) very well. That information is getting out of date as of the end of 2009. For example the author describes how to use Photoshop CS3, but the current version is CS4; the Epson 2400 has been replaced by the 2880 and the 3800 by the 3880. It's not a problem for the next year or so (through 2010), but eventually the product-specific information will get stale. Hopefully there will be a new edition -- maybe even one with well-reproduced illustrations and a CD.
Still, the techniques the author describes won't get stale, so if you're interested in digital B&W, this is a very good choice.
Any time a book title includes the words "mastering" or "ultimate" my smell-o-rama sensor automatically activates. Such sweeping and arrogant suggestions are always over-cooked. "Mastering Digital Black and White" is no exception.
The book is nicely printed and features very good color illustrations, making many of Diallo's image processing points easy to follow. The overall design is easy on the eyes but has that independently-produced look due mainly to the lack of margins throughout the book.
I estimate that roughly only 15%-20% of the book's 357 content pages have any direct bearing on the title subject of "black and white", with many of these pages buried like Easter eggs inside broader topics. Like nearly all of the dozens of kindred books on digital printing and digital photography most of this book's content deals with basic tech and photo topics, survey-level smatterings of "current" software and printers, and little side-bars. While Diallo presents these topics interestingly and with good subject matter authority they can be found in many other basic books and have a rather short freshness life.
All this is not to say that the book is without merit. Although he does indeed mow some well-trimmed lawns Diallo offers some rather unique material and interesting perspectives. In chapter 8, titled "The Limited Edition", Diallo presents a good summary of the controversial topic of artificially editioning digital prints. Like other chapters, however, that same chapter manages to meander into other territories (papers, print storage, archival ratings) before it's terminated. Chapter 9, "The Portfolio", also nicely covers a topic that many will find interesting; that of constructing and presenting a contiguous portfolio of work. Diallo also features some interesting little interviews
In summary, this book delivers very little of what its title promises. Instead, it's really more of an intermediate-level general book on Photoshop and ink jet printing circa 2007. Nevertheless I really did enjoyed reading it, more so than most of its peers that I've read. But, like so many of its peers, its value is diluted by trying to cover far too much ground. I was disappointed that the title represented yet another bait-and-switch.
The market for the truly specialized "Digital Black and White Photography and Printing" work remains open. Next!