Thursday , December 7 2023
If you want to get into nighttime photography, then Nighttime Digital Photography With Adobe Photoshop CS3 is a very good start.

Book Review: Nighttime Digital Photography With Adobe Photoshop CS3 By John Carucci

Have you ever looked at some nighttime images and wondered how they were able to achieve such good results? Did you try to take the same kind of pictures, but they came out too dark or overexposed where there were lights and underexposed where there were shadows? Nighttime Digital Photography With Adobe Photoshop CS3 was written with the intent of showing you how to take nighttime photos and how to do it effectively.

What you will need to work with this book is of course a camera. While using a Digital SLR camera is recommended to take nighttime photos, a less expensive point and shoot model will work as well if it either has a nighttime mode or slow shutter speed capability. If you register your book, you can download the images used in the lessons. CS3 is the version of Photoshop used in the book, but older versions can be used for most of the techniques.

Nighttime Digital Photography is 230 pages long contained in 12 chapters and three parts each four chapters long. The first part, “Basic Components for the Night Circuit,” begins with talking about your camera, accessories, and what is required to shoot nighttime photographs. The computer options are explained with regard to hardware, following up with two chapters on Adobe Photoshop. The first is an overview of the basics of Photoshop and the second is about working with Layers within Photoshop and why this is important.

Part two, “Digital Nighttime Photography Techniques,” focuses on how the camera can get the technical aspects correct, but the photographer must still be there to get the vision. This part begins with a discussion on how to compose night images and nighttime perspectives. The use of shadows, reflections, and color can bring out amazing shots. You will learn of the creative use of length of exposure, weather conditions, and the use of electronic flash.

You will learn how to use Photoshop to fix exposure problems using Adjustment Layers that lighten certain areas without changing others. You will learn how to work with blending layers to correct tonal issues. You will also learn how to adjust to the different kinds of artificial light sources found in the night. Again, techniques to adjust these from within Photoshop are discussed. This part finishes up with a discussion on photographing people. Capturing these living, breathing subjects is not always easy especially in demanding lighting situations. Here, situations like sports, theater, and concert photography are included.

Part three, “Beyond the Basics at Night,” begins with camera effects that can be done to catch an image. By doing things like long exposures, you can catch random actions of light, just as by adding illumination you can manipulate the light and shadows on a subject.

You can also use Photoshop to create advanced effects to your images. Things like filters, black and white conversion, and tools such as Vanishing Point can create unique images.

Throughout the book, the author presented projects you could work on to enhance your learning experience. Chapter eleven adds more projects that can be used to further enhance the techniques you have learned. These include creating a movie theater scene, creating a movie poster, and working with a patterned background. Chapter 12 explores the various methods of output. These include print, PDF, and web presentation.

What I like about Nighttime Digital Photography is the projects included within the individual chapters that show how to work with a specific technique. There is a Blend project that shows how to fix an image when the lighting could not be controlled because of changing light conditions. The only thing I didn’t like were projects in chapter 11. They didn’t seem to fit the flow of the nighttime techniques as well, other than having used nighttime shots.

If you want to get into nighttime photography and have always wanted to know how to get there, then Nighttime Digital Photography With Adobe Photoshop CS3 is a very good start. It covers all the bases and will give you a lot of information to get you started.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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