Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: August 2006
Pages: 320

"We are in the Stone Age of digital photography. We've figured out how to make some tools, but it is just now beginning to dawn on us what we might do with them. I've often been frustrated at the concentration on the technical aspect of digital photography with so little discussion of the aesthetics and heart behind the image making. This book is essentially a distillation of what I've been teaching over the last 25 years."

Master photographer Stephen Johnson has been taking beautiful landscape photography for decades, and teaching others the practical art of image making since 1977. While he started out with traditional film camera techniques, Johnson is widely recognized among his peers as a pioneer of digital photography. Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography chronicles his ride on the bleeding edge of this medium's evolution, and provides a practical in-depth introduction to digital photography that offers the latest techniques for beginning and experienced photographers alike.

What sets this guide apart from other books on the topic is its approach and execution: This isn't a Photoshop book, although Photoshop has its place within the book; it's a book that a master teacher and photographer creates after a lifetime of showing others how to understand and make great photography. With 5 color photographs throughout, including black/gray duotones, and 715 illustrations reproduced with a 200 line screen, Johnson's book covers everything from:

  • The basics of digital photography
  • Film camera techniques vs. digital
  • Practical approaches of the filmless photographer
  • Techniques of the digital darkroom
  • A photographer ™s digital journey
  • Photography, art and the future
  • This is a holistic work (and method for teaching) that embraces the state of photographic tools and techniques, blended with suggestions and experiences on why I make photographs, Johnson says. At its best, photography rides that crest where technology and art intersect. But the deepest engagement that photography can bring remains its ability to capture and hold a moment before the lens. In this age of digital manipulation, that fundamental fact must be remembered.

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    5.0

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    5.0

    Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography - A wonderful book and a must on your bookshelf

    By Andre

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography:

    Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography is more than a how to book on photography. It is an intelligent discussion on many if not all of the aspects of digital imaging.

    After a section on the history of digital imaging, the author makes the demonstration that the basic principles of photography still apply to digital photography, and is more than ever relevant.

    Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography is truly a wonderful book, and those interested not only about digital photography, but about photography in general will particularly be satisfied. More than 300 pages loaded with information, tips, historical photo and more.

    Insightful, interesting and educational, it is probably the best book I have read yet on digital photography. I particularly liked the philosophical discussions about the medium as art, imaging ethics, the role of photographers in the digital age and the section on photo doctoring.

    Finally, in this digital age, the author gives his opinion on truly important issues for both the amateur and professional photographer, such as ethics, ownership, copyright, professional respect, social concerns and the environment.

    There are lots of books on digital photography those days, but this one is really distinctive.

    Andre Cajolais

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The one book about Photography every photographer should read.

    By Gary Lester

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography:

    This book lives up to every outstanding review!

    In my opinion Stephen Johnson has produced a masterpiece.

     
    5.0

    A concise, practical, and immensely engaging book on digital imaging

    By Carl Amoth

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography:

    Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography is a magnificent book on the tools, techniques, science, history, and art of digital photography that will appeal to digital photographers of any skill level. Johnson is a genuine pioneer and evangelist in the field of digital photography. Drawing on over three decades of experience as an accomplished photographer, educator, and product consultant to the "Who's Whos" of the digital imaging industry, Johnson succinctly and eloquently imparts to the reader/student practical and interesting information on a variety of subjects. I found the coverage of digital camera techniques, color correction and editing, color management, and fine-art printing particularly useful. This information has truly helped me to make better photographs.

    'On Digital Photography' is a timeless and inspiring book that is thoughtfully organized, richly furnished with numerous beautiful and educational 5-color photographs, and superbly bound with quality paper and a resilient binding. It's manufactured to last, which is great, as I refer to it often.

     
    5.0

    stunning

    By dakegra

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography:

    this is, quite simply, a gorgeous book. Filled with amazing photos by Stephen Johnson, it provides a wealth of information for photographers of any ability.

    The book starts with a history of digital photography from the early days to present day. His chapters on Photoshop are second to none, with lots of clear explanations and photos which show exactly what he means. Where other photography manuals fall down by being too technical, or expecting too much background knowledge, Stephen's book actually shows you what the effect of changing this, or tweaking that will do. As a Photoshop manual, it is worth the cover price alone. Coupled with the background to digital photography, it's an absolute bargain.

    A must for photographers, professional and amateur.

     
    5.0

    Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography

    By Anthony Hobbs

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography:

    Stephen Johnson has upstaged everyone with this wonderful book. It is without doubt the most comprehensive book on Digital Photography for Photographers yet published. Steve is the acknowledged pioneer in this field. He takes us through his own voyage of discovery, invention and sometimes frustration in the transition from film to silicon. I have known Steve for many years and can honestly say that reading this book is like having a one to one tutorial with him. His style is gentle, confident, informed, articulate and rigorously moral.

    He shows how to use the features in Photoshop that matter most to optimise the quality of your image, his explanation of colour management is the 'complex made simple'. His coverage of all the fundamentals of photography from looking, to seeing, to making Fine Art prints is comprehensive . Along the way he covers retouching, restoration, archiving and the whole history of image manipulation in the digital world. Every page is like a window to a life's experience as a pioneer imagemaker and teacher. As you would expect, the photographs in the book are beautiful. The design by Steve is a lesson in how a book should be designed and the writing is such that even the most complex technical aspects are accessible to a complete novice.

    I have been teaching Photography and related media for 30 years and have not come across a book that I could not put down until now. I know I learnt something from every page.

    I have worked alongside Steve Johnson in Ireland , California and Antarctica and have always been impressed by the importance he places on the integrity of the image over anything else. He is a photographer's photographer. Thank you Steve for producing the book we always wanted.

    I will be recommending his book as the definitive text for my students.

    Anthony Hobbs

    Senior Lecturer in Digital Media

    National College of Art and Design

    Dublin, Ireland

     
    5.0

    A comprehensive treatment by an acknowledged master photographer

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography:

    I've known Stephen Johnson for a number of years and have studied in his digital photography workshops. From time-to-time, I've helped him with business issues related to his studio, so I'm pretty familiar with his work and style.

    I've been waiting for this book almost since I first met Stephen. In my opinion it is the most comprehensive and current treatment of virtually all substantive matters related to digital photography available.

    If you are a serious amateur, a professional, or just curious about digital photography, it is a certainty that you will learn a great deal from this book. Much of what is taken for granted today in digital photography was pioneered by Stephen and his peers more than a decade ago.

    Treat yourself and learn from a master. It's not often that someone who knows a subject matter this well is also an excellent teacher. Here you have an interesting and compelling read, technical when necessary, but written in a language that anyone can understand.

    No matter what you now know about digital photography, you'll refer to and use this book often. It's cool!

     
    5.0

    Stephen Johnson is the Father of Digital Photography

    By Steve Somers

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography:

    Reviewing Steve's new book on digital photography is like standing with your camera at the rim of the Grand Canyon...where do you start? His book is a comprehensive and artful blend of the technical history behind the electronic communication technology that led to digital image capture; essential information on digital imaging technology and its benefits without "tech speak"; a compendium of helpful hints for beginning to advanced photographers; a practical guide to the commonly used Photoshop features and their application; the essentials of color space and color management; an introduction to image restoration; grounded advice on composition and creating strong images; his quintessential philosophy on image manipulation; the challenges that face photographers in the digital age; and a finish that leaves the reader with a small piece of his passion for the photographic arts.

    This book is destined to be a reference book for anyone serious about digital photography. It creates a step-by-step pathway for anyone to follow leading from "seeing" the image, capturing the image, and on through the entire technical process of realizing the final print. It is written in simple, easy terms and steps. Steve is thought-provoking on some controversial topics, yet gentle in how he presents his style and philosophy behind his vision. Anyone, whether beginner or advanced, in photography can learn something valuable in this work. Those new to digital photography will find this book extremely helpful.

    This book is particularly poignant for me since being one of his students in three of his workshops during the past two years. His passion is genuine both in the field and throughout this book. Steve is instrumental in helping me "see" better and this book further reinforces the precepts of a gentle teacher. Stephen Johnson is the father of digital photography. Thanks, Steve. I highly recommend this book.

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