Photography in the Digital Age - a non-fiction how-to by Hugh J. Lawton

http://www.amazon.com/Photography-Digital-Age-Image-Capture-ebook/dp/B013JBSV9S

In 1980, Ansel Adams, with his editor Robert Baker, authored a series of three books on photography entitled The Camera, The Negative, and The Print. These three books stand as the definitive works for the traditional art of emulsion and chemical-based photography. However, Adams was insightful enough to understand the impact that electronics would have on the art of photography. In the introduction to his second volume, The Negative, Adams discusses the imminent “electronic revolution”.

Since the publication of Adams' books, that electronic revolution has indeed changed the face of photography in a profound manner, but until now, no author has created a comprehensive series of books which explore all of the aspects of the art of photography in the context of the new electronic technology. I have completed a series of three volumes which address the shift to this new technology, and demonstrate the integration of traditional photographic techniques with digital photography.

The three volumes are as follows:
Volume I – The Art of Image Capture
Volume II – The Image Master File
Volume III – Images for Print, Licensing, and the Internet

Volume I – The Art of Image Capture

Volume I begins with a review of the technological innovations that have been the source of the digital revolution. The book goes on to an investigation of Thomas Aquinas’ component of beauty that he called clarity. Clarity is directly related to the concept of photo visualization, which requires that the photographer imagine the end product of the photographic process at every step in the process. In the era of emulsion on film, the practice of visualization was critical, since the photographer did not see the captured image until the film was processed. In the digital world, the photographer has new tools like LCD displays which aid in the visualization process. The volume explores both the traditional and modern facets of visualization. Next, the volume examines all of the aspects of the mysterious nature of light, including the components of both natural and artificial light. The volume then delves into a discussion of the Zone System. The Zone System is discussed as a set of standard procedures that the photographer can use to accurately capture light. The volume closes with an overview of image composition techniques and the art of image capture based on the Zone System.

Volume II – The Image Master File

Volume II leads the reader through all of the steps involved in achieving the image master file, an electronic representation of the captured image that is created through the use of an Adobe Photoshop automated script. The image master file serves as a source for all of the subsequent steps in the related work flows. The volume begins with a review of the tools and techniques used in both the traditional chemical darkroom as well as the modern digital darkroom. The volume then reviews the installation and configuration of Adobe Photoshop, and it also provides a basic overview of the Photoshop tools and functions. In addition, the volume examines techniques such as image scanning, and it proposes a methodology for naming, organizing, and storing photographic images. Finally, the volume outlines the Photoshop actions used in the creation of a image master file. The image master file is used in all of the subsequent techniques that are defined in Volume III.

Volume III – Images for Print, Licensing, and the Internet

For chemical photography, the emulsion-based print was the climax of the photographic process. In today’s digital world, the end product of the photographic process could be a print, a digital image for licensing, or an image for the Internet. Volume III is a discussion of the methods and techniques involved in the creation of both chemical and ink- based prints, digital images for licensing, and images for the Internet. The volume begins with a comprehensive review of the technologies involved in chemical and ink-based printing. Next, the volume presents a set of standard Photoshop-based actions that address modern detail photo editing and enhancement techniques. The volume also outlines a clear set of Photoshop procedures that are used in the creation of standard image files that can be used for image licensing, as well as a set of Photoshop procedures that can be used to develop image files for use in the Internet. Finally, the volume leads the reader through the techniques used for finishing, mounting and display of the final images.

Conclusion

This three volume series of books will not magically make the reader an artist. The creation of art involves a creative spark combined with hard work. The search for the creative spark is the responsibility of the individual artist. The hard work portion of the equation implies learning, practice, and discipline – all of these skills are addressed in this three volume set. The photographic artist’s job includes searching in their heart to find a subject matter that “speaks to them”. This three volume set supplies the information, tools, and insights necessary to complement their artistic search.

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