November 30, 2006
Written by Stephen Shankland
If you want to learn about digital photography but have had your fill of redeye reduction tips and unsharp mask tutorials, a new book by Stephen Johnson is worth a look.
On Digital Photography (O’Reilly 2006, $40) has plenty of pointers on color correction and tonal balance, but what sets it apart is Johnson’s enthusiasm for the history and mechanics of digital photography–and the abundant landscape pictures that serve as inspiration.
Johnson’s perspective has the benefit of history–he’s been guiding Adobe on Photoshop since the product’s inception and has been deeply immersed in digital imagery since the days when that meant scanning film. And he’s paid his pioneer dues: in a 1994 project to digitally photograph U.S. national parks, he’d have to stay awake into the wee hours offloading images from his camera’s hard drive onto tape so he’d have room for the next day’s shots.
On Digital Photography isn’t for the casual snapshotter.