Category Archives Books

I’ve had a lot of folks asking me for book suggestions for photographers this Holiday season, so I thought I’d share a few here (without including mine since since I included a few in my Holiday Gear Guide a few weeks back). So, here’s we go (by the way, these are in no particular order).

> Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends
by Tim Mantoani
Tim did a masterful job with book, which features his portraits of famous photographers holding a print of their favorite image. It’s powerful, it’s an important work, and the portrait and the image they’re holding tell you so much about them. I promise you, the photographer you buy this for will love it!

[Get it at Amazon]

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From Oz to Kansas: Almost every black and white conversion technique known to man
by Vincent Versace
This may be the most accurate book title ever! In this follow-up to his bestselling “Return to Oz” Vincent shows Photoshop users a wide range of methods on how to create beautiful black & white images. Very well done from top to bottom; very current, and very useful techniques from a man who really knows how to create the black and white print.

[Get it at Barnes & Noble  or Amazon]

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Shooting in Sh*tty Light: The Top Ten Worst Photography Lighting Situations and How to Conquer Them
by Lindsay Adler and Erik Valind
I just got to see this book in print last week and I am very impressed. This is such real world stuff because in so many cases we don’t get to dictate when we’re going to shoot or where we’re going to shoot, and this book shows you how to shoot in the harshest lighting situations and come out looking like a star. Great info!

[Get it at Barnes & Noble  or Amazon]

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> The Accurate Color interactive iBook series
By Herb Paynter
Herb is one of the pioneers of working with color and his book is just about the most in-depth book for actually understanding color that I’ve seen a quite a while. The key word here is “in-depth” and although it’s for beginners to color, if the photographer on your gift list really, really wants to “get” color in detail, they’ll get a lot out of it (it has interactive quizzes and other cool features). It’s not so much about Photoshop — but it’s really about understanding color at a level they never thought they would.

Get it at Apple’s iBook store for IOS devices

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APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book
By Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch
This book was just released this week and I think this will be an absolute boon to photographers who have always dreamed of publishing their own “Coffee-table” book (or any other kind for that matter). Guy’s a brilliant mega-bestselling business author and Shawn’s a brilliant app/book designer (and a pretty formidable Black Ops II player) and together they show you exactly how its all done, and give you insights you’re not going to find anywhere else.

[Get it at Amazon] — Kindle ebook only

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Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash
By Joe McNally
I don’t know a photographer using small flash that wouldn’t absolutely LOVE to get a Joe McNally book. In fact, I don’t know a photographer period that wouldn’t love one! Sketching Light is filled with Joe’s wonderful stories, amazing examples, very cute and to the point diagrams, and they will absolutely love it — it’s a lock! The book has 57 reviews on Amazon (which is a lot!) and an average rating of 5-stars (which is very rare indeed). Guaranteed to make you holiday gift champion.

[Get it at Barnes & Noble  or Amazon]

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> All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography
By Alan Hess
There have been lots of books about shooting concert photography, but never anything like this. It is just so straight to the point, pragmatic, no BS, and it really shows you exactly what to do and how to do it. I really think it’s the new bible of shooting concert photography and if the photographer on your Holiday gift list dreams of shooting shows, this book is the ticket. Very well done with loads of great images, ideas, and hard-learned techniques from a pro who is in the photo pit every week walking the walking. This book rocks! (I’m cool with the pun). ;-)

[Get it at Barnes & Noble  or Amazon]

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OK gang, there ya have it. Now, if you’re thinking “Aw man, Scott I thought surely some of your books should have been included” (OK, that’s really more wishful thinking on my part), well here’s the link to them all on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Yesterday I started a whole “12-days of Christmas” giveaway thingy over on my Google+ page (http://scottgplus.com) and I’ll be giving away something new every day (including my books, apps, DVDs, memberships, and more). Hope you’ll check it out (and I hope you win). :)

http://youtu.be/dhlQBzQeNUo

Every once in a while I write a book on something that’s way outside my usual Photography and Photoshop topics, like a few years back when I wrote a short hardcover book for guys who didn’t want kids (trying to explain why they’re missing out on about the greatest thing ever!). Well, this book is certainly something different for me, and it’s on a topic that I would have ever dreamed that I would write.

I hope you’ll take a moment and watch the short video above about why I wrote it and who it’s for. Also, if you order (or download) a copy, know that 100% of the profits from the book will go to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. 

NOTE: on the video it says that’s its only available in ebook format at this time (it’s now in the Apple iBooks store — here’s the link), but actually we now have printed copies and you can buy them directly from Amazon.com (here’s the link).

One more thing: I left the commenting turned off for this post, which is unusual for me, but this book is unusual for me too, and this way I can actually go to the office instead of just sitting around all day with my finger on the “Delete comment and block user button.” LOL!  :)

Cheers, and here’s wishing you your best Monday yet!

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. UPDATE: The book is now sold-out on Amazon.com, but you can still place your order there and as soon as they get the next shipment they’ll send your copy out straight away. Many thanks to every one who ordered a copy! :)

On Friday I did a series of promo shots for Performance Compound, a training facility where a lot of pro athletes train, everyone from NFL players to Major League Baseball, and did about 14 portraits that day assisted by Brad Moore and crew (that’s Third Baseman Sean Buckley above) and I thought I’d share a couple of finals here, along with the behind-the-scenes photos and the post-processed and unprocessed images.

This entire process is the same as what I showed on my Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it tour, with the addition of one extra back light on the subject (as you’ll see in a moment). Here goes:

1. Above: here’s the shot as it came out of the camera. I used a Grid on the beauty dish above his head to get a quick fall-off on the light. My main concern here is the side lighting from the back, and that part looks good. His face is supposed to be darker.

2. Above: Here’s the shot with some simple, quick adjustments in Lightroom’s Basic Panel (if you don’t have Lightroom, it would be exactly the same settings in Photoshop’s Camera Raw). The settings are below.

3. Above: I wasn’t kidding about simple adjustments: Just increased the Whites a bit, plus lots of Clarity and I lowered the Vibrance a bit to desaturate his skin. I also took the Adjustment Brush, increased the Exposure slider a little bit (dragging to the right) and painted over his face to brighten it (It’s supposed to be a lot darker than the sides, but I thought it was a bit too dark). The white balance was set to Auto in my camera and look fine in this case.

4. Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of the lighting set-up: 17″ beauty dish with a grid: two strip banks in back on the sides with fabric grids. We have a tiny bit of light on the white background to make it a very light gray (if we turned the power up, it would turn solid white). Production photo by Brad Moore.

5. Above: Here’s a composite from the exact shot you see in #4. The two backgrounds (here and at the top) are from an awesome company called “Photo Art Streetscapes” (link). Their stuff costs a bit more, but it’s totally worth it.

As for matching him to his surroundings: I showed the techniques of how to match the overall color and tone of the composited image on my live “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It” tour, and in my “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it “ book as well (Amazon or Barnes & Noble), and Matt covers all of this in his Compositing Secrets book, too! (Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

Well, there ya have it —- short and sweet. Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday! :-)

It’s big. It’s bad. It’s here — Shortcut Sumo, a brand-new ebook from “The Photoshop Guys” at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) [Matt, RC, Corey, Pete, and me] with quick, easy access to all the Mac and PC keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign and Illustrator and it’s available NOW for the iPad.

Here’s the Scoop:
If there was ever an idea that works as an ebook, this is it because to do the book the way I envisioned it, you really couldn’t do it as a printed book — it would literally be thousands of pages; as thick as a phone book and nobody would ever buy it at the price you’d need to charge. That’s because I really felt this book would need to have two very specific features:

(1) I wanted just one shortcut per page. That’s right — just one, but with some bonuses, like a screen capture of what the shortcut is for, a full keyboard visually showing just that one the shortcut, and a brief sentence that explains the shortcut.

(2) If you use a Mac, you should only see Mac keyboards shortcuts. Same with a PC. So, when you first launch the App, you tap on Mac or PC, and from then on, you only see the shortcuts for the platform you chose (but you can change your mind, anytime). That means creating a separate page for every Mac shortcut, and another for every PC shortcut. Way too costly to do in print, but perfect for an eBook.

But today’s ebook format didn’t give me quite what we needed
The standard ebook format (used by everyone from Apple’s iBooks store to Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and so on), doesn’t allow you to type in a word and have it search through the book, and with a book of keyboard shortcuts, we felt it would be important to be able to search using a key word, so that was one of the reasons we decided to make the book an App, rather than a standard ePub book found in the iBook store.

A small kink in the plan
It’s always something, right? In this case, it happens when you key word search — at this point in the development of the App, the search results bring up both the PC and Mac shortcuts (not just the shortcuts for the platform you chose at the beginning). So, as long as you’re looking through the contents pages to find the shortcut you’re looking for, it stays platform specific. If you type in a search term, you get both. Not a deal breaker, but it’s not exactly the way we wanted it to work, but it gives us something to work on going forward.

Since it’s an App, now we can add video, right?
Right! We included a short video at the start of each program where we each share a few of our favorite tips. The tips are good, the presentation is…well…we very loosely kept with the theme [wink]. Check out RC in the screen cap above and you’ll see what I mean.

How much does it cost?
The Shortcut Sumo App is FREE and comes with the shortcut module for Adobe Camera Raw. Additional Modules are $2.99 each, and the module for Photoshop CS6 is already available for download right from the App (we’re just finishing up other shortcut modules for Lightroom, InDesign, and Adobe illustrator, which when added to the Camera Raw and Photoshop, they form the “Biggest, Baddest Collection of Adobe keyboard shortcuts ever!” [insert gong sound here].

I hope you’ll check it out today (especially since the Camera Raw module is free). Here’s the link to Shortcut Sumo on the iTunes store, and of course you can just search for “Shortcut Sumo” on your iPad in the App Store. Hope you like and find it useful.

My buddy Matt Kloskowski just me this iPhone shot of my latest book which just arrived at the office yesterday (I was working at home, getting caught up for my trip), so that means it’s already on its way to bookstores.

Really excited about this one! (I added lots of cool new stuff — more on that later, but I’m psyched). You can preorder yours from Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble.com, (both are selling it around $27. Cheap!), or anywhere super cool books are sold.

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