- Series: Voices That Matter
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (July 22, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321670094
- ISBN-13: 978-0321670090
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 53 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (Voices That Matter) 1st Edition
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9 out of 10
“David duChemin’s images of people and landscapes never feel posed or artificial. There is a dignity and intimacy to his portraits of people living in impoverished conditions...This book is highly recommended for photographers seeking to refine their voice and style.”
From the Back Cover
What if your image could only communicate one thing: one major idea, overarching theme, or driving emotion? If you identified this, you'd discover your vision for that image-the internal, invisible guiding principle that directs both how you capture the image and how you develop it in the digital darkroom.
Without vision, you likely find yourself flailing both behind the camera and in front of the computer-indiscriminately shooting and arbitrarily moving sliders in hopes of stumbling upon something great every once in a while. With vision, you bring direction and intention to both the creation and development of all your images.
"Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom" is about identifying your vision and using Lightroom's Develop module to give voice-that outward expression-to your vision. Photographer David duChemin begins with the fundamentals of a vision-driven workflow, where he discusses everything from vision and style, to the importance of mood and color, to the crucial role of histograms and of getting the best possible digital negative to work with. After demonstrating how the Develop module's tools affect the aesthetics of your image, duChemin then offers a straightforward approach to developing your images in accordance with your own personal vision: identify your intention, minimize the distractions, maximize the mood, and draw the viewer's eye-all while leaving room for play and serendipity. Finally, duChemin applies this approach to 20 of his photographs as he takes you into his own digital darkroom and, beginning with the original RAW file, works step by step through the development of the final image.
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Next, a threat. If you bought this book thinking it was an item by item how to, and then trash it online, I'm going to break a chain letter rather than send it on to you and you'll have 7 years bad luck. Seriously, though. If this isn't what you thought it was when you bought it, return it or sell it. That wouldn't be the book's fault.
Finally, the gold star review...
DuChemin has several titles that talk about vision and voice. Many of them are very inexpensive eBooks available on his website,[...]. It's taken me about a year to understand what he's saying. I've got the voice part down, thanks to this book. When you see a picture from Ansel Adams or Anne Liebowitz, you don't need to see the signature to know who took it. In other creative genres, when you read about a hard-boiled detective, you know it is Hammet or not. Same with Monet or Picasso. They all have a voice.
Vision is a little harder to explain. When you take a picture, there was something that made you choose what to include or leave out, something that drew you to put camera to eye, something you wanted to capture. When you begin post processing, that initial view is rarely what you had in your mind. Vision is taking the image and making it tell the story you intended to tell, the way you wanted to tell it.
The first third of this book tries to explain both of these complimentary concepts in much more detail and in a much clearer manner than I've done here. (And with apologies to the author if I've messed it up; these aren't easy to define in a few words.)
After that, David takes you through his process, starting with a zeroed image (the RAW file from the camera) and explains what he did and why he did it from before he clicked the shutter to the moment he was ready to print. You do get to see sliders and adjustment brushes, but you see them in action; in context.
As David goes on to explain the process of realizing his vision (and by extension, as we readers use the concepts and techniques to realize ours) he talks about how people process images. He has a ten point bulleted list of what the eye goes to first. Things like Sharp before soft, warm colors before cool, etc. Then he writes a sentence that sums it all up, "This is the WHY of this book: understanding how to gently lead the eye through the image, to say to your viewer, 'Look here,' and to do them the courtesy of creating images that don't tire them out from the effort to discern important elements from unimportant ones."
If you are at a stage where you can benefit from guidance on how to make better pictures, as opposed to how to simply better exercise the features of your camera and software then this book is for you.
For me, it came at just exactly the right spot on my learning curve. More than that, when I read it again next year it will provide a second boost since I'll be able to absorb ideas that are still beyond my ability.
This book has my highest recommendation.
The author is careful to point out that matching his settings is not the point. (If I wanted to learn LR as a software tool, I would look elsewhere.) In an odd sort of way, the fact that my software version inhibits my ability to copy the author's settings, makes the book even more valuable to me. Not being able to copy him encouraged me to think through my own process through the author's mind. I was able to work with my own images using his ideas and general approach, with results that I believe have improved my own vision and voice. That is the point of this book. Reading it has been a thoroughly enjoyable and enriching experience.
To date, Vision & Voice is the best book of its kind that I have read.
Almost all digital photography books are geared toward one of these two audiences. David du Chemin, however, has written a book for the rest of us.
This is a Lightroom guide that dares to begin not with endless screenshots of menus, but with several chapters on Vision and Voice. In other words this book is as much about why one is bothering to take an image in the first place, as it is the step one takes to create final processed image in Lightroom 3.
It is about intention. It is about having an emotional roadmap. Because what difference does it make that you can use an adjustment brush to selectively adjust the Clarity on a portion of your image, if you don't understand the effect that will have on the mood of the overall image? And what good is it knowing that you can make a Clarity adjustment to affect the mood of the image, if you don't know what mood you wanted to create in the first place?
But with that said, this is not a stodgy, anti-software book. Far from it. In fact, du Chemin is unapologetic about in his advocating that digital post processing is an essential part of modern photography, with unique tools (compared to film photography) that are worth exploiting to their full capacity. Because it's not about what you do to an image, it's why.
And this book will show you how, as long as you are first thinking about the why.
To that end, you will not learn about every, or even most features, in Lightroom. This is not the only Lightroom book you'll ever need, if you are new to using the program. But, especially if you've been tinkering for a while--or have another Lightroom manual that has made you dizzy with its in depth coverage of every Lightroom feature--this book will effect the way you process your images, and make you more deliberate in your choices. And, yes, you will learn plenty of step-by-step techniques for adjusting and refining RAW images into the finished ones featured throughout the book.