Cover image for Take Your Best Shot

Book description

For six years, digital photography expert Tim Grey has answered readers' questions on his website and daily mailing list, "DDQ (Digital Darkroom Questions)." As a member of the Photoshop World Dream Team of instructors, Grey knows his stuff -- and after answering hoards of questions from photographers, he knows the most persistent and burning issues. In his new book, Take Your Best Shot, Tim Grey answers the most-often asked questions about the digital darkroom and more in an easy-to-read format, organized by subject, and illustrated with beautiful photographs and instructive screenshots. The book includes several new topics not covered on Grey's website Tim Grey. The topic list includes:

  • Digital Fundamentals -- resolution, bit-depth, and imaging sensors

  • Digital Cameras & Tools -- SLR vs. point-and-shoot, megapixels, field storage, sensor cleaning, CompactFlash card speed, and digital lenses

  • Digital Photography -- JPEG vs. RAW, ISO settings, white balance

  • Digital Darkroom -- Windows vs. Mac, LCD vs. CRT, Lightroom vs. Photoshop, storage, backup, image downloading, and film and print scanning

  • Color Management -- Monitor calibration and color temperature, printer profiling, when the printer doesn't match the monitor, and when prints lack shadow detail

  • Image Optimization -- RAW conversion, tonal adjustments, curves, color balance, hue/saturation, clone stamp, spot healing brush, and healing brush

  • Creative Effects -- Dodge and burn, black and white conversion, sepia tone, and artistic edge

  • Image Problem-Solving -- Noise, washed-out sky, color cast, and color contamination

  • Printing -- Printer choice, print resolution, raster image processors, paper choice, and print services

  • Digital Sharing -- Preventing image theft, slideshow solutions, Web galleries, and sharing websites

You may know him from the series of popular "Tim Grey Guides" (Sybex), or from the hundreds of articles he's written for publications such as Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Pro and PC Photo. In Take Your Best Shot, Grey answers questions in the same clear and accessible style. If you want to know the "why" along with the "how", this book is the one you want -- the straight scoop from an expert who knows his business.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Foreword
  6. Introduction
    1. Elbow Canyon
    2. Ice 1
  7. 1 Seeing
    1. On Reading Photographs
      1. 1. Center of Interest
      2. 2. What is the Image About?
      3. 3. What is the Photograph About at a Deeper Level?
      4. 4. What are the Parts of the Image and How do they Relate?
      5. 5. Tonalities
      6. 6. Emotional Impact
      7. 7. Flaws
      8. Reading My Photographs
      9. What is the Photograph About?
      10. What is the Photograph About at a Deeper Level?
      11. What are the Parts of the Image and How Do They Relate?
      12. Tonalities
      13. Negative Space
      14. Balance
      15. Framing
      16. Emotional Impact
      17. Flaws
    2. Is Beauty Essential to Great Photographs?
    3. Elements of a Great Photograph
    4. What Photographs Well?
    5. Photographing Clichés
    6. It’s Been Done Before
    7. Noticing Subject Matter
    8. Machinery
    9. ADM Mill
  8. 2 Finding Images
    1. Working the Scene—Part 1
    2. Working the Scene—Part 2
    3. The Poison of Preconceived Ideas
    4. Finding Inspiration—Interest Comes First
    5. Rules for Looking
    6. Seeing Fatigue
    7. There’s Nothing Here to Photograph
    8. Where Should You Point the Camera?
    9. Canyon 2
    10. Rust Rings
  9. 3 Composing
    1. Sketching to Make Photographs
    2. Complicated doesn’t Cut It
    3. Does an Image Need a Center of Interest?
    4. How Close to Perfect is Needed?
    5. Decisions and Compromises
    6. Your Options
    7. Where Should You Point the Camera?
    8. Framing Your Images
    9. The Art and Religion of Cropping
    10. To Crop or Not to Crop, That is the Question
    11. Formats and Aspect Ratios
    12. What About Cropping Both Ways?
    13. Back To Framing
    14. Framing Assistants
    15. What Edges Can Do For Your Images
    16. Working on Edges
      1. Corners and What To Do With Them
      2. Example Images—Composing Corners and Edges
    17. Cropping For Good
    18. Summary
    19. Center Street
    20. Diagonal Sunbeam
  10. 4 Assessing Images
    1. Initial Disappointment
    2. Selecting Images for Presentation
    3. More on Picking Our Best Work
    4. Image Deficiencies
      1. Top Ten Reasons Why Images Fail
    5. Burned Stump
    6. Tree Reflection
  11. 5 Mind Games
    1. Stuck in a Rut
    2. Dealing with Slumps
    3. Twelve Ways to Challenge Yourself
    4. Career, Family, and Photography
    5. Dealing With Disappointment
      1. Cognitive Therapy
    6. Photographic Flops
    7. Equipment Envy
    8. How Good the Equipment?
    9. Money
    10. Statistics and the Odds of Success
    11. On Negative Thinking
    12. Looking for Perfection—The Price of Experimenting
    13. Wet Shale
    14. Windshield
  12. 6 Take Your Photography to the Next Level
    1. Introduction
    2. Part 1—Finding Your Level
      1. Measuring Print Quality
      2. Identifying Your Technical Level
        1. Technical Level 1
        2. Technical Level 2
        3. Technical Level 3
        4. Technical Level 4
        5. Technical Level 5
        6. Technical Level 6
      3. Identifying Your Aesthetic Level
        1. Aesthetic Level A
        2. Aesthetic Level B
        3. Aesthetic Level C
        4. Aesthetic Level D
        5. Aesthetic Level E
        6. Aesthetic Level F
        7. Aesthetic Level G
      4. Finding Your Level
    3. Part 2—Getting Help to Assess Your Level
      1. Assessing Your Technical and Aesthetic Skills
        1. Technical Levels
        2. Aesthetic Levels
      2. Self-Assessment
      3. Getting Help
      4. The Worst Kind of Feedback
      5. Obtaining Feedback
      6. But I don’t Know Anyone
      7. How to Translate Feedback into Levels
      8. Listening to Your Fellow Participants’ Critiques
      9. The Virtual Workshop
      10. Conclusion
    4. Part 3—Moving On, Making Better Images
      1. The Differences Between Levels
        1. Technical Level 1 to 2
        2. Technical Level 2 to 3
        3. Technical Level 3 to 4
        4. Technical Level 4 to 5
        5. Technical Level 5
      2. Aesthetic Skills
        1. Aesthetic Level A
        2. Aesthetic Level B
        3. Aesthetic Level C
        4. Aesthetic Level D
        5. Aesthetic Level E
        6. Aesthetic Level F
    5. Windowpane
  13. My Equipment and Techniques
  14. Epilogue
  15. Print Offer
  16. Print Offer Order Form