>> Sunday, 31 December 2006
(2005/2006/2007/...) Photographer's Market
Writer's Digest Books
This, to put it short, is the same thing as The Freelance Photographer's Market handbook but for the USA. Buy it for the addresses to publishers and editors...
In my opinion, unless you like taking Polaroid snaps, you will be shooting in raw format. So you will need some kind of raw processing (development) software. Here are a few:
In my opinion (but not in everyone else's!) this is the best processing ("development") software. It takes some time understanding the user interface and understanding how all controls work but once that done, it is a very fast and efficient tool that gives excellent results. And they have a very good user forum. They have different packages (LE, Pro...). It used to be referred to as C1 but I believe they had a trademark issue with that.
Photoshop Camera Raw
Often referred to in jargon as ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) it works as an integral part of Photoshop (but you might need to download it and install the latest version separately from the PS program). Some people swear by this only but I find it slower to work with
This Danish company was created by some "defectors" from Phase One who wanted to do, in their opinion, a better raw processor. They did one version that was called RawShooter Essentials (RSE for short), which was free (yes, entirely free), and then they did a Pro (upgrade) version that was not free. And then they ware bought by Adobe who wants to integrate some of their technologies in its own products (e.g. Lightroom?). I found RSE to be very fast in some respects (e.g. in producing screen previews) and it also has some clever image enhancement functions, but in the I decided against it because I did not quite like the colours it produced. But I still use RSE for browsing and editing (sorting out bad ones) raw files. I find it very fast to work with for that specific purpose. They still have the software available on their site which strikes me as curious. But take the opportunity to download the free version while it's there. It's useful.
The new (not even released as a product yet, but free to try in beta version) is supposed to be "built from the ground up by photographers, for photographers..." etc to take care of the full digital workflow. What I have seen of it, that is not quite the case. Rather, it seems to be a fusion of a cataloguing software and a development software (as if you packaged together Extensis Portfolio and Photoshop in one app). It remains to be seen if it is really industrial grade and suitable for a professional workflow.
Have not tried this either (in particular since I don't use Macs). It too (like Lightroom from Adobe) claims to be the ultimate solution for professional photo management applications. Who knows?
Some swear by it. I have not used it.
Professional Photoshop: The Classic Guide to Color Correction - 4th Edition
Hungry Minds Inc. (New edition to be published on 31 Dec 2006)
[Have not yet read it but it has been highly recommended. It is on my "Wanted" list.]
This is what Amazon says about it: "The commonsense, by-the-numbers approach of Professional Photoshop has shaped the workflows of a generation of Photoshop experts. This new edition, the first in nearly five years, is completely updated for the age of digital photography. It continues the book’s tradition of introducing astoundingly effective, previously unknown methods of image enhancement. The original photographs found in the book come from a variety of professional sources, and all correction exercises are on the included CD. Professional Photoshop has changed radically from edition to edition, and this time is no exception—with almost 90 percent new content and completely overhauled coverage of curves, channel blending, and sharpening..."
Still Life and Special Effects Photography
Roger Hicks, Frances Schultz
This book is almost the direct opposite of Light - Science and Magic (see other comment). It is a series of examples of studio photos with explanations of exactly (yes, really exactly) how each shot was set-up. It tells you nothing about theories of light, but it tells you everything about how to set up a specific shot to get a specific effect. It is actually a collection of shots from commercial photographers who explain what set-up, what lighting, what camera they used to achieve the effect on that particular picture. Many of the examples are quite amazing - both as to the effects achieved and as to the means to get there (sometimes immensely complex and sometimes astonishingly simple). A book for the one who like to look at things and try to achieve similar effects. Or for the one who sometimes wonders "how could he do that?". Very interesting and particularly useful for the dedicated studio (still life!) photographer. This is what Amazon says about it: "The lighting techniques used by top international photographers are explored here, with descriptions accompanying each feature and an illustration showing the set-up. It also looks at special effects such as montage, multi-exposure and using mirrors and props." The person who recommended it said (not very eloquently, but to the point I guess): "this is very good".
Vine Growing and Wine Making
The original Swedish title is "Ett vin blir till" meaning A Wine is Born. It is a unique description of the work in the vineyard and in the wine cellar. Published in 2009. More info on the web site for A Wine is Born.
Wines, vineyards and winemakers in Languedoc in the south of France, one of the most dynamic wine regions in France, and in the world. Published in 2007. More info on the site of the Languedoc book.
Watch the BKWine TV Wine Video Channel!