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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
A few bloopers: On perceptual rendering: "When an image contains even a single color outside of the printer's gamut, all the color values in the image are shifted - by the same amount - until the out-of-gamut color is placed inside the printer's range of output" (page 85). On printer profiling: "The idea is to send a range of color values to the printer and compare the appearance of these colors when output on paper with known Lab input values" (page 95). On adjustment layers: "... when it comes time to flatten the image, Photoshop will combine the adjustments into a single edit before applying them to the image's pixels" (page 193).
In fairness to the author, I can't think of any book that meets the stated promise of the title any better. Other than being more up to date, it doesn't really cover much territory different to Harald Johnson's "Mastering Digital Printing" which remains a worthwhile introduction to the field.
Well written; easy to understand; and quite comprehensive especially when dealing with arcane issues that I've never seen dealt with in print before such as L* monitor gamma calibration.
It is necessary to have a little background in photography and Photoshop, but with this background the book is very informative and thorough. Amadou Diallo has a gift for teaching and he can explain difficult concepts in a simple way.
The information in the book more than covered my needs and has helped me in shooting and printing better B&W images.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had hoped to find some basics in this book for digital B&W, but I found mostly over-the-top information that was of no use to me. Read morePublished on July 9, 2010 by peterb987
This book has great material if you're interested in black & white, and it has some good things to offer even for people who want to work in color. Read morePublished on December 28, 2009 by Michael Sandman
This book does live up to its title in my opinion. The illustrations are very well organized with the text, moving from simple to more complex. Read morePublished on December 21, 2007 by John C. Dean
Very good book but extremely technical. Not a quick read but is chock-full of useful and practical information. Recommend it as a good addition to your personal reference library.Published on November 6, 2007 by Bruce Colbert
Extremely useful for any serious photographer interested in printing in high quality black and white.Published on July 27, 2007 by Onno
Very good overview and very timely. The samples of solutions available in the marletplace are up to date for 2007.Published on July 9, 2007 by Amazon Customer
This is a really excellent book for those interested in serious B&W digital printing. The book is extremely well written and researched. Read morePublished on June 11, 2007 by James Steele