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Thread: Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 1998
    Fairfield County, CT (near NYC)

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

    I am an experienced traditional darkroom printer in black and white. I'm not perfect but I'm pretty good. Never did color with chemicals. Need to get more than casually OK doing color digitally. Frankly, all the articles and incomplete explanations of part of the process are driving me crazy. I am willing to invest considerable time reading something that deals with EVERYTHING. Looking for help finding it all written down in one place. Examples of issues....
    1. Photoshop preferences. Where is an explanation of all of the settings, and why I want to pick the ones I do?
    2. I have calibrated my monitor with a hardware calibrator. How can I make sure Photoshop is using the profile?
    3. I use a Mac. Just what does ColorSync really do? I have read all the brochure level info about how wonderful it is. Do I want to use it?
    4. How to I profile my scanner and make sure PS uses that profile for scanned input, but not for digital camera input?
    5. Do I want to work in Adobe 1998, or sRGB for digital camera images, and does it screw things up to convert from one to another?
    6. Paper. Can't find many Epson papers (I have Epson printers) locally, even at CompUSA. Tried some Kodak the other day, downloaded their profile, unclear EXACTLY what Epson printer settings to use. Told me to make all kinds of changes to PS preferences, without any info on why or whether I need to change everything for another paper.

    These are just examples. I'm tired of fooling around and getting substandard results. I want to invest in getting it all set up right. I don't think I can do that without really understanding what I am doing. I expect to buy an expensive book if necessary. And almost surely a few bottles of good whisky!

    Not looking for short answers or silver bullets. I want to invest the time, but not on a fool's errand. Suggestions? Many thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Rondo, Missouri

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

    I'm sure you'll get a dozen or more answers to your question about a book, but I found Adobe's Classroom in a Book to be very useful.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  3. #3
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

    Bruce Fraser's Real World Photoshop.

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

    I had the same problem as you, a lot b&w darkroom experience, very little color. The book I found most useful was Real World Photoshop CS by David Blatner and Bruce Fraser. It has several excellent chapters on color management. They aren't something to be skimmed quickly but if you take the time to carefully study and re-read them a few times you'll be rewarded. I've owned five or six Photoshop books inluding Photoship Artistry and Photoshop for Photographers. I thought the Blatner/Fraser book was the best of them.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Southern California

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.


    There is a bimonthly magazine called Phostoshop User - you get a subscription automatically by buying annual membership in NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), but you can also buy individual copies at your local Borders.

    They usually publish anual breakdown of greatest tips in the last edition of the year, which is right now. They also advertise and also review lots of books. The magazine itself has lots of tips for any level and they're all pretty well explained.

    The magazine is easy to get used to and no, I am not affiliated with them in any way. Not even a member yet.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

    John, I have thoroughly read three PS books and looked at all of those presently on offer dealing with CS or CS2. I read: PS CS2 for Photographers (Martin Evening) lots of info, but I found it difficult to progress quickly because of the way in which the book is organised; PS CS for Photography (Tom Ang) short and sweet but too basic; Real World PS CS(Fraser, Blatner) very good coverage of most aspects and easier to read and learn from than the Evening book.

    Of the PS books I have perused at the bookstore the only one which stands out for me is PS CS Artistry (Haynes, Crumpler), more directed to photographers than Fraser's book and as well written. I intend to purchase it when the CS2 version is available in Feb. 2006.

  7. #7

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

    I learned a lot from Scott Kelby's Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers.

    Fraser is excellent too.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

    I've tried most all those books, and they ain't enough. You need a hands-on course to get to the point in Photoshop where the books will take you where you want to go.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  9. #9
    Saulius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1998

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

    Have you considered taking a workshop geared towards photographers? I took one several years back run at the time by Barry Haynes and Charles Cramer Charles Cramer. I found Haynes book Photoshop Artistry most helpful. Having an experienced lf photographer in a classroom to give you guidance was great. Mr. Cramer was very informative and forthcoming with his knowledge.

  10. #10

    Digital Color is Making Me Crazy. Need Book.

    To me, one book seems far better than all of the others: Photoshop LAB Color, by Dan Margulis.

    Let me try to describe who this book is for:

    You want to be very efficient with your time in Photoshop (I.e., you want a repertoire of big-bang-for-the-buck corrections);

    You want to understand the theory and why instead of memorizing steps;

    You like images that bring out detail, look realistic (like what your eyes saw when you were there), and nevertheless look terrific;

    You like books that have quizzes so that you can be sure that you have digested what has been covered so far;

    You want one book that handles most of your needs for color correction, retouching, sharpening, and selecting;

    You want some techniques that far surpass what professionals usually accomplish.

    On the negative side:

    You need a second book if you are new to Photoshop, for the advanced sections assume that you have some experience with Photoshop;

    You might not like all of the theory, though the author states that you might be able to ignore it and still do well;

    You might have a preconceived notion that the L.a.b. color space is too difficult to learn. Personally, I think it is easier to work with than RGB or CMYK, but I know most would disagree.

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