The Photoshop Darkroom 2: Creative Digital Transformations

Award-winning photography/design team Harold and Phyllis Davis are back with a brand-new volume in their new Photoshop Darkroom series. Picking up where their best-selling first book left off, The Photoshop Darkroom 2: Advanced Digital Post-Processing will show you everything you need to know to take your digital imaging skills to the next level. Great photographers know that the best images begin well before the shutter clicks, and certainly well before Photoshop boots up. Harold takes a step back, and shares his helpful tips for capturing the most compelling images possible by keeping in mind what type of post-processing you’ll do before you start shooting. You’ll also find complete coverage of important topics such as compositing, working with layers, and HDR. Packed with tons of eye-popping images which have won Harold national acclaim, this is a fantastic resource for photographers who want to think outside the box and create truly stunning artwork.

  • Compatible with any version of Photoshop
  • Useful case studies break information down into condensed, real-world examples which are easy to follow and put into practice immediately
  • Images and supplemental material are available for free on Focal Press’s website

Users Comments:

  • My rating is for the Kindle version.
    I purchased the Kindle edition so I could start diving into the info I wanted immediately. However, that was a bad decision. There are a lot of photos and diagrams in this book which are difficult to see in the kindle version even when magnified. The ebook conversion this went through is very poor. I am very disappointed with my purchase and wish I had gone with the print edition. Don’t make the same mistake as me.
    Update: As I’ve been reading this book on my tablet and PC I can say it offers a wealth of information. Enough that I have purchased the paperback edition and will take the $30+ hit on this worthless kindle edition. Harold Davis has a number of images to show camera settings and photoshop steps that need to be taken that are simply unreadable due to very low resolution. There are also numerous typos from the text to ebook conversion. Very sloppy. Amazon should be ashamed for selling an unreadable book with such a hearty price tag.
  • Very similar to the 1st volume.
    Some of the favorite techniques that are being reitarated in this volume are : multiple Raw processing to increase dynamic range , Lab color manipulation for creative color effects, montages using layers and masks. Lab color manipulation is probably more exotic thing , the other techniques are pretty staighforward.
    There is a brief chapter on portrait re-touching. Just the basics but to the point.
    Overall, the authors ( or maybe it is just me ) have the most fun with surrealism in their photos which they achieve through montages and color manipulation using neat and elegant workflow. This workflow is not all encompassing Photoshop guide but you can learn a tip or two by following it closely.
    Higly recommend if you want to take basic manipulation in Photoshop to the next level and don’t have the 1st volume.
  • More and more I’m liking these types of books that concentrate on post-production of an image, where the tool of choice just happens to be Photoshop. This is NOT a Photoshop step-by-step book and it’s not meant to be. This book is intended for that photographer or editor that has their feet wet with Photoshop and understands the standard tools and functions, and is saying to themselves, “OK, I know what layers are and blending modes and how to use selection tools and Levels, etc, but how do I BEST use this Adobe tool to create a solid post-production workflow?”. If you’re there, this is your book. Have a look at the preview, especially the Table of Contents and you’ll see what is covered. It’s about 200 pages long and covers roughly 60 techniques, there aren’t really any long chapters. I personally like that format, you hit each sep one at a time. But with that there are “post-it notes” and other inserted notes on the pages where the authors give a short but important “why you’re doing this” tip. I really like this book, even as a seasoned pro I’ll be keeping this handy with tabs on the best pages as a guidebook/workbook. I wish something like this was out 5 years ago!
  • The subtitle: “Creative Digital Transformations” more clearly summarizes the book than the title does. The book subtly teaches you to see the potential in each photograph with different eyes and to approach photography and post processing from a new perspective. Some, but not all, the techniques demonstrated are geared towards creative and cutting edge artists who aim for a more dramatic and less conventional final image, but most are techniques and visions that can be successfully applied to photographs that would, otherwise, be ordinary.
    I have found this book inspiring. It’s not that I’m going to suddenly become an artist, it’s just that the techniques are so imaginative and so meticulously explained that I reaped a great many ideas that I can apply to my own images, commonplace though they are. The idea of applying a monochromatic version to a color image is tremendously useful for many types of images and many types of problems yet, after using Photoshop daily for almost 13 years, it had never occurred to me (and I’ve never seen someone else demonstrate it either). I love–absolutely love–their treatment and techniques for flower images. They also demonstrate the only natural and pleasing example of an HDR image that I have ever seen in this usually-overdone genre. There is something to learn and appreciate in every page.
    Flowers, studio portraits, and landscape/cityscape photography are among the “conventional” subjects that are covered and they take up almost ¾ of the book. The final quarter is dedicated to more the more `creative’ souls among us (although that warped Escher-inspired stairway that I shouldn’t find appealing, absolutely fascinated me). There are several collages and mystically superimposed images that are ingenious and imaginative, but not my style.
    But, regardless of the project, the teaching methods are exquisite, and the authors’ love of their art and their craft comes through on every page and in every image. In addition to being excellent photographers, and to being creative yet technically adept in post-processing, they are also very good teachers. There are many, many screenshots of every step in the process and these shots are not the usual undecipherable thumbnail-sized photos. These are clear, well detailed, well captioned, and with additional notes where needed and arrows pointing to what they’re explaining each step of the way. The text, too, is clear, on point, and no more wordy than strictly necessary. There is no way you aren’t going to understand this, even if you’re a relative newcomer to Photoshop (or Lightroom or ACR). The authors have gone to great length to clarify and demonstrate the processes and the reasons for each step. You come away acquiring a more appreciative and perceptive “eye”, learning a bit of theory, a lot of good techniques–and enjoying a visual feast while you’re doing so.

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