Take Your Best Shot
Tim Grey Tackles Your Digital Darkroom Questions
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: July 2008
Pages: 256

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.

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Excellent Resource for New Digital Phot

By Jeremy Hall

from Pleasant Grove, UT

About Me Designer, Photographer


  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Well-written


    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Take Your Best Shot:

    Tim Grey provides a perfect, approachable style throughout his coverage of the most popular questions people have when getting started in photography. When I say getting started, I mean the photographer that has realized they want to do something more than take just the every day snapshot and wants to educate themselves. This is the kind of information you can find around the 'net, but this book does a great job pulling together the most important ideas.

    The Q&A format works perfectly for these topics, allowing the reader to quickly browse to areas that most interest them. You can read it cover to cover or easily jump to a specific question that applies to you. Grey's writing style is approachable, making every topic understandable to even the most lay reader.

    This is one of those books I keep around as a great loaner to those frequent friends that are new to photography and turn to me for answers. I can save a lot of time letting them review this book!


    A digital photographer's reference with a different approach

    By Pam Doughty

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Take Your Best Shot:

    Reviewed by Steve Cooper from AUSOM Inc www.ausom.net.au

    A digital photographer's reference with a different approach

    Author Tim Grey started the Digital Darkroom Questions email newsletter in 2001, and since then has provided the answers to thousands of questions posed by digital photographers. Take Your Best Shot is a product of this experience.

    This is not a book for beginning photographers; rather, it's intended for those who have a good grasp of the essentials of digital photography and image manipulation, but who have problems or questions not addressed by the typical manual or Help system.

    Each of its ten chapters addresses a dozen or more questions chosen to cover a broad range of topics. In keeping with the book's general approach the answers are not what you'd call finely detailed, but will very well suit the reader with a basic understanding of the issues at hand.

    Answers are typically accompanied by high-quality colour photographs, diagrams and/or screenshots. The book design is easy on the eye and a good table of contents and index make it easy to find questions relevant to a topic that interests you. The author's tone is conversational but matter-of-fact.

    The book begins with chapters on digital fundamentals, cameras and other tools, image capture and the digital darkroom setup. Next it addresses colour management, optimizing in Photoshop CS3, and creative effects. Finally there are chapters covering image problem solving techniques, printing and digital sharing.

    Given that there are surely as many questions about digital photography as there are photographs, no book of this type can claim to be a complete reference, but Take Your Best Shot does a good job of covering a large number of topics of general interest in a way that moves a little beyond the typical 'beginner's how-to'.

    Take Your Best Shot; author Tim Grey; published July 2008, O'Reilly; ISBN 9780596518257; 228 pages; US$34.99.

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