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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rumbling about in RAW

What a miserable day! Spring may be the season but winter is still in the air. I chose to hibernate, leafing through the newest book in my collection, Scott Kelby's The Adobe Photoshop CS6 Book for Digital Photographers.

I saw this book in Chapters on Tuesday but balked at the $57.99 price tag. I whipped out my phone and did a quick check on -- what did we do before smart phones? -- where I discovered it could be ordered for $36.36. I could not turn down such a large discount, so once home on Tuesday afternoon I placed my order. Not only did I save more than $20 but the book also qualified for free shipping as well. While the free shipping is supposed to take several days, it arrived yesterday -- less than 24 hours after ordering. I realize this is a benefit from living fairly close to Amazon's distribution centre but it is another checkmark in Amazon's favour. Don't get me wrong -- I love bricks-and-mortar bookstores -- but this was a savings too substantial to ignore.

Back to the book. As I've recently jumped from Photoshop CS4 to CS6, I've discovered many new features that are flat-out unfamiliar to me and this book is proving to be a real help in filling in those gaps. After reading Kelby's step-by-step explanation of using CS6's CameraRAW to create a faux HDR image using one photograph only (instead of a series of images with various exposures), I had to set the book down and open up my laptop, in search of a RAW shot worthy of this experiment. Results, below.

Please click on the images to see them in a much bigger format.

All in all, I'm pleased. The HDR toning was not as dramatic as I was expecting but this could be a result of my timidity in not pushing the envelope enough on some of the settings, or perhaps I should have chosen a different photograph. No matter. I definitely like the "after" image quite a bit. I appreciated Kelby's "do this, then do that" instructions and feel confident this is a technique I'll use repeatedly. His books have never let me down and I can see this one will be no exception.

I also purchased Photocraft, the new book co-authored by Susan Tuttle and Christy Hydeck. The book is subtitled "creative mixed-media and digital approaches to transforming your photographs". I've just had a quick flip but it does look good. More on that one later.

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