Saturday, May 21, 2011

Book Review: Capture - Digital Photography Essentials by Glenn Rand et. al.

Capture: Digital Photography EssentialsCapture: Digital Photography Essentials by Glenn Rand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Capture

When I started to get serious about photography, I turned to London and Upton’s ‘Photography’ as a place to go to understand the fundamentals of photography on the theory that you can get better at something if you understand how it works. Capture by Glenn Rand fills that same role for digital photography as London and Upton did. It peels back the layers of mystery of how things work.

What is the point of this? I learned photography with a manual camera and film. And I still shoot with fixed lenses and priority exposure, eschewing program modes and retaining creative control. Can we add to this and proper composition and general reading of the scene?

And the answer is yes. Digital was more then just replacing an silver based physical light sensor with a digital sensor. There were effects to having a smaller range compared to the old films. But because of the ability to process the image, this is countered by the ability to work with the image after the fact. Reading this taught me how to use HDR, what can be done with RAW or DNG files, compensating for the narrow dynamic range of digital, and the general physical of digital imaging.

Unlike London and Upton (but perhaps like some of Ansel Adams works in the same vein), Capture does not go into composition at all. The purpose of Capture is for the skilled craftsman who wants to learn the intricacies of his craft, and has learned the creative side elsewhere. And for that, I value it.

I received a free electronic copy of this book as part of the O’Reilly Bloggers Program. This book can be found on the O’Reilly website here.



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