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Posted June 13, 2011
Wonderful Lessons in Creativity
This review is for The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Transformations. We've all heard the saying "Those who can do, those who can't, teach". Harold Davis is that rare exception to this. Not only can he "Do", but he can also teach. Mr. Davis is an exceptional photographer and image maker, and he also possesses the gift of being able to communicate that ability to others. The book itself breaks down into three main parts. The first is the techniques involved in removing the flaws from our photos. Taking a photo from mediocre to exceptional. The next part goes a bit deeper. Mr. Davis demonstrates how we can improve and bring out those characteristics of our images that are normally unseen. It is these techniques which can move an image from ordinary to extraordinary. The final part of the book deals with compositing multiple images into one new image. You may think that you are not interested in knowing how to composite, however, the techniques used for this are the same skills you can use to greatly improve your photographs. Also, this book can be used by those of us who do not own the full version of Photoshop. I do most of my work in Lightroom 3.3, the current version as I write this. For pixel level editing I use Photoshop Elements Version 7, along with Elements Plus version 2. I found only two areas that my setup would not handle. The Patch tool is not included in Elements, and Elements does not have the LAB color space. If your photo processing program includes layers and masking, you will get a lot of help from this book. Personally, I like the way Mr. Davis writes. He uses a very conversational approach which resonates with me. I find that there is little overlap between his books and, like this one, each passes on not only very usable techniques, but also wonderful lessons in creativity. This book works for me, and I believe you'll find it works for you as well.
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