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Creative Digital Photography
by Michael Busselle
Paperback, 160pp. 
ISBN: 0817437304

Finally a digital photography book that doesn't read like the directions for hooking up your stereo! Instead of tedious "click here and set the tool to this number" instructions, Michael Bussele starts with the premise that you are reasonably proficient in PhotoShop, Paint Shop, or one of the other available tools. From there he discusses how to touch up, correct, and improve your images - in plain English. Advice covers practical topics such as improving detail in shadow areas, working with low contrast images, improving skies, and correcting color balance. Then he goes on to working in black & white; a topic given little or poor attention in most digital texts. Here you'll find the basics that will start you in the right direction for producing strong black & white digital prints. 

He moves beyond improving an existing photo and into more effects territory. But rather than pure digital trickery, he touches on topics such as creating lith-printing, hand painting, and multiple exposure effects. The final portion of the book is dedicated to pure digital effects and the creation of photo montages. In all this is an extremely well done and balanced book. If you're working digitally, this is definitely one for your bookshelf.


Photographing Plants and Flowers
by Paul Harcourt Davies
Paperback, 160pp.
ISBN: 0817455027

Like most photographers I've taken the occasional flower photos. But never did I realize there could be so much to flower photography until I read this book! Over 160 pages filled with often stunning images, Davies discusses various methods for capturing flowers, plants, and insects. Though he touches on equipment, this is more a book about technique.

If you've ever tried your hand at flower photography you may have been frustrated as to why some blue flowers can't be captured accurately on film. Davies tells you why, and provides some advice on working around the problem. Ever want that perfect sharp image of a honey bee with every hair on it's legs clearly illuminated? Its in here as well as advice for controlling backgrounds and working both indoors and out.

The sections on scanning and PhotoShop at the end of the book feel a bit like filler and are covered in far more detail elsewhere; but the final section on the technical side of macro flower photography is a well done and appropriate addition to the text. 

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