It’s been a very busy weekend with the launch of my latest book “The Photographers Guide to Image Sharpening in Lightroom”. Although this is now my seventeenth book, each one brings a new set of challenges.
With this book, I wanted to include free access to a companion Video course I developed. I love books but I see video fast becoming an essential element of the learning process; this is why I recently established Lenscraft Training.
At present, there are only two courses available (but many more planned):
- “Secrets of the Darkroom Masters” available free to anyone who registers.
- “Sharpening Photos with Adobe Lightroom” available for US $20, but Lenscraft Members can currently use a 75% discount code.
You can find the book on Amazon for US $5.99/£4.99 or similar in other countries (allowing for variations in tax and exchange rates). I will continue to operate my Magazine Pricing Policy where I price my books on a par with popular photography magazines.
The books aimed at people who already know how to use the basics of the Lightroom Develop module but who want to achieve the highest quality results when Sharpening and applying Noise Reduction. It presents the three-stage sharpening methodology on which Lightroom is based, as well explaining how to use the various tools. There is plenty of advice on how to achieve the best results, together with full length worked examples you can follow. Supporting RAW files and sharpened example images are provided on my Lenscraft site. Inside the book, you will find a 100% discount code for the sharpening video course mentioned above.
If you’re interested in the book, here are the links to the UK and US amazon stores. For other Amazon sites, please search for “The Photographers Guide to Image Sharpening in Lightroom”.
If you would like to visit the new training site here is the link
If you don’t have a Kindle device, you can download a free Kindle Reader from Amazon using the link below. The reader is available for different popular platforms including Mac, Windows and Android computers, tablets and phones.
Note on Sharpening XTrans RAW Files
I have been asked if the new book examines the “special” treatment needed when sharpening Fuji XTrans RAW files. The short answer is no. My intention is to share some of my recent findings and recommendations via my You Tube Channel. I just need to clarify some points before publishing these.
I have been updating one of my books following feedback from a few readers. The book was called “Beginning Photography the Right Way” which appears to be misleading. Experienced photographers have contacted me to say they found it valuable and a good refresher on many points. I have therefore decided to make a few corrections/updates and re-release the book under the title “Mastering your Camera”. Here is the link to the book on Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2jCOfC1.
If you previously purchased this book from Amazon, you can download the revised version for free. Just login to Amazon and navigate to the “Your Account” page. Click the link to “Manage your Content and Devices” then search for the book in the list. You should find an “Update Available” button next to the listing. Click this and it will download the updated book. The book is also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited allowing you to read it for free if you subscribe to this.
There’s also good news if you didn’t purchase the original book as I’m giving away free copies to all my subscribers and followers to say thank you. On the 20th 21st and 22nd January the book will be available for free on Amazon. The book can only be downloaded from Amazon and it’s only available on these dates so please don’t ask me to provide copies (this is a contractual arrangement with Amazon).
If you’re in a camera club or know someone who might enjoy/benefit from the book, please pass on details of the free download dates. My hope is that more people will learn about and benefit from my work. Perhaps they will be sufficiently impressed to leave a good review.
Don’t Have a Kindle?
If you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry. You can still access the book using the free Kindle Readers. Kindle Readers are free software from Amazon that can be downloaded to your computer, tablet device or phone allowing you to read Kindle books. They support all the major platforms (Mac, Windows, Android). I have one on my iPhone for when I get stuck waiting somewhere and it’s excellent.
Here is a link to amazon page where you can download a free Kindle Reader App.
I will be sending out a reminder email to Lenscraft members soon.
A few years back HDR became for many people one of the most hated terms in photography. I believe this was in part due to the overuse of techniques that produced extreme examples of HDR. It was probably also due to HDR being used to resurrect images that should have been allowed to die a natural death. In short, if you don’t like the HDR treatment and style of image you have typically seen, you may not be interested in HDR.
But by disregarding HDR techniques you are also disregarding a very useful tool that help you produce images of excellent quality. The key to this is being able to master and control the traits of HDR that we often pick up on. The image at the top of this post for example is an HDR image yet appears to be a natural photograph; the HDR treatment has been chosen to suit the image. The same can be said of the following black and white image.
My latest book which has just launched on Amazon, provides you with the tools necessary to control the HDR process and look using Nik HDR Efex. It follows the proven and popular format of marrying information with hands on practical exercises.
- The first art of the book discusses how to shoot and prepare HDR image sequences prior to merging.
- The book then covers the process of generating the HDR image as well as applying Tone Mapping techniques.
- The book then concludes with three full length worked examples for which you can download the accompanying image files from my Lenscraft website. This allows you to follow the process on your own computer from merging the initial images through to post production enhancement with other Nik filters.
The book is priced at just £3.99 (or similar in other currencies) and can be purchased from Amazon in the Kindle format.
Links to the book on Amazon UK and Amazon US are given below. Alternatively, you can search for the book title “Mastering Nik HDR Efex Pro 2”.
Recently I found myself in an art gallery looking at some of the paintings. I can’t recall why I was there and it’s not something that I ordinarily do. As I stood, staring at an amazing landscape painting, a realisation struck me. The painter was simply using techniques to create the illusion of light. These techniques had to be mastered but they could also be learned.
Now this might not seem like a revelation to many of you, but it was like a light going on in my head. What I realised was that photography is becoming more and more like painting all the time. Most photographers spend a significant amount of time adjusting their images with tools like Lightroom and Photoshop in order to achieve their vision. What really struck home is that we should be looking to these old master art techniques when adjusting and enhancing our photography.
Looking now at works of the old masters, I see the use of shadows to emphasise light as being a core technique. You might think that I’m just referring to contrast here but I’m not. Their techniques and work are somehow different. It’s not like taking the contrast slider in Lightroom and boosting contrast globally. No, they are creating shadows to give the illusion of light and it’s not something that’s easily replicated with a few sliders in our editing tools.
What I take away from this is that we should be embracing the shadows not remove them. We need to include blacks in our images and not be afraid to make the image low key. Just because we have the tools to look into the deeps shadows doesn’t mean that we should.
This blog post was originally intended to finish with the above paragraph but then I decided to look for photography that reminded me of old paintings and came across the work of Kevin Best on Flickr – amazing isn’t it. I then took a look on amazon and found his book.
What spooked me though is that I had purchased this book a couple of years back but never read it. I’m off to download it to my Kindle again to see what I can learn.
I’m very pleased to be able to announce that my latest book “From Photography to Art with Topaz Texture Effects” has now been published and is available on Amazon. The book covers in detail how to use the Texture Effects software and provides two full length examples for you to follow. In common with my other books you are able to download the starting images for these examples so that you can follow the examples on your own computer.
In addition to the descriptions and examples, the book provides a number of more creative ideas for using the software. For example, did you know that you can use the software to create new Borders and Textures. This information hasn’t been previously shared and isn’t even available on the Topaz website.
If you don’t already have the Texture Effects software, you can use the 30-day demo with the book (available from the Topaz website). The book also includes a 15% discount code should you later decide to make a purchase.
You can find the book using the links below or search for the title on your local amazon store.
I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new book “Black & White Mastery: Adobe Lightroom Edition”. The book is aimed at the beginning and intermediate black and white photographer, who wants to get the most from Lightroom. No other plug-in’s, software or filters are involved; everything is done in Lightroom.
As with all my books there are three, full length, worked examples that demonstrate the techniques discussed in the book. The RAW files to accompany the examples are available for free download from the members’ area of Lenscraft.
The book is over 200 pages in length and contains 161 illustrations. You can purchase a copy from any of the amazon stores and I have included links to the UK and US sites below. The book is priced at what I think is a very reasonable £3.99 in the UK, $4.99 in the US, or similar in other countries.
For all other amazon stores please search for “Black and White Mastery: Adobe Lightroom Edition”.
Ever since I published my book “Essential Photoshop” I have received regular requests for a follow up book. The original book was designed to give the Photoshop beginner all the essential skills required to be able to enhance their photography. It’s been a great success and many people have given good reviews on Amazon. What people have been asking for is a follow up book providing guidance on using more advanced techniques. I’m now very happy to be able to announce the new book is ready.
This latest book is “Photoshop Layers: Professional strength image editing” and is designed to advance Photoshop skills to the next level.
The book is structured into three sections:
- Section 1 explains how to work with layers and how you can combine these into your Photoshop editing.
- Section 2 looks at using masks to target specific areas of your images with adjustments. It covers how to create both simple and complex masks using fast, easy to apply techniques.
- Section 3 examines blending modes for layers and how these can be used creatively in photography.
Accompanying the book is a collection of image files which support the many exercises and examples so that you can follow on your own computer.
The book is available on all Amazon sites and I believe this is the lowest priced, best value book of its kind.