"Is there an equivalent of Ansel Adams books for film, but in the digital realm."

Started Aug 9, 2022 | Discussions thread
NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 9,220
One pair of sort-of counterparts ...

Is there an equivalent of Ansel Adams books for film, but in the digital realm.

Those of you who come from the film age might have read the incredible Ansel Adams Books on camera, film, and printing technique. They certainly took my technical skills to a new level. Unfortunately, my digital knowledge has some holes, and I need to gain a more complete understanding of the tool chain and processes.

A good example of whats vexing me currently is adjusting curves in photoshop. Its so damn variable and so easy to do whatever you want to the image that I have no idea how to preserve tone continuity. How does one determine the threshold for observable banding. I often end up with posterizing that I can't see until I come back to the image later. Even something like colour profiles is giving me headaches, since I didn't realize I had a generic profile for my monitor and I couldn't understand why my imported raw files looked so garish. I really need a process.

The beauty of the AA books is that they clearly describe a system approach to achieving visualized results. I'm currently tripping over small individual steps without a broader scale approach.

What should I be reading or watching?

Short answer: you might try Jeff Schewe's The Digital Negative (https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Negative-Processing-Lightroom-Photoshop/dp/0134033175/).

Explanation: I also have, really appreciated, and sometimes still refer back to Adams's The Camera, The Negative, and The Print. For digital printing, I have and like Jeff Schewe's The Digital Print (https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Print-Preparing-Lightroom-Photoshop/dp/0321908457/). He also wrote a companion book, The Digital Negative; I don't have that book. Obviously these two books imply that they are / market themselves as modern counterparts to Adams's books. Obviously with digital the 'negative' side is where you do the heavy lifting, and the printing side is both more straightforward and less artistic. Schewe's books tend to focus on Adobe tools, so those who use something else will need to translate a bit.

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