Review: THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY: An Approach to Personal Expression

I always enjoy receiving a review copy of any book from Rocky Nook Press because I know two things about it in advance: (1) the book itself will be printed on Acid-Free paper, and will still show its illustrations with brilliance and clarity for years to come, and (2) the book will be bound in such a manner that it will behave itself and lie open beside my computer without the necessity of putting weights on each side of the open volume in order to make it lie down quietly and allow me to enjoy … [Read more...]

Review- Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3: A Photographer’s Handbook

I recently received a review copy of Rocky Nook's Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3: A Photographer's Handbook by Stephen Laskevitch. I always enjoy receiving a book from Rocky Nook to review because they print their books on acid-free paper and the reproduction quality is as outstanding as the content. As a workshop teacher I am always interested in another teacher's approach and quite admire the methodical, logical, and easily-understood approach that Stephen Laskevitch uses in Photoshop CS5 … [Read more...]

Review: ART TEXT v2.2.2 by Belight Software

Editor's Note:  Wouldn't you know? Just as we released this article, a newer 2.3 version with a vector editor has been released. Dr. Roach will review it at a later date. Back in April, 2009 I last reviewed BeLight's ART TEXT and found it a useful headline and logo designing tool, but time passes and the new 2.2.2 version appeared as a review copy (from BeLightsoft. Com)on my desk with a new, revamped look and a greater ease of usage. … [Read more...]

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Review: Pixelmator 1.6

About a year and a half ago (January 7, 2009 to be exact) I wrote a review of Pixelmator as a potential light-weight image-editing software. At that time I found it a very useful and inexpensive image-editing software that was well worth its $59.00 cost. (Download from Pixelmator.com) A new version of Pixelmator (1.6) is available as a free upgrade to current Pixelmator owners, but a word of caution goes along with it. Pixelmator has been rewritten for Snow Leopard 10.6 and the new version … [Read more...]

Build A Better Photograph: A Disciplined Approach To Creativity by Michael E. Stern

Rocky Nook Press recently sent me a review copy of Michael E. Stern's new book Build A Better Photograph: A Disciplined Approach To Creativity, and since I am always interested in the creative process (especially when it involves disciplined thought), I was happy to sit down with it for some quality time. I gravitate towards that word "disciplined" because I am an analytical and systematic individual. My trusty Mac computer dictionary provided the following: With that in mind, I have … [Read more...]

Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity, and Personal Style by Alain Briot

For those of you who follow The Luminous Landscape web site, Alain Briot's name will be a familiar one from his informative and insightful writings for the photographer. If you are new to his writings you will be in for a treat in his second book published by Rocky Nook (his first was Mastering Landscape Photography). Rocky Nook produces beautiful volumes printed on acid-free paper that reproduce the dynamic tonalities of the fine-art prints that they showcase, and the long-term … [Read more...]

Topaz Labs DeNoise: Another Winning Photoshop Plugin

UPDATE: Dr. Roach reviews the latest release of DeNoise here A few weeks back I wrote about TopazLabs application TopazAdjust3, and I liked it so well that it obviously influenced me to take a look at its sister (brother?) application DeNoise.  Topaz Labs makes applications for both still and video imaging, and it is the digital still imaging area that have my interest because Photoshop from Adobe is the center of my workflow and I like things that plug-in to Photoshop.  I … [Read more...]

PHOTOGRAPHIC MULTISHOT TECHNIQUES by Juergen Gulbins & Rainer Gulbins

I've been neglecting a new book that's been on my desk for a month.  When I first glanced at Juergen Gulbins and Rainer Gulbins new book PHOTOGRAPHIC MULTISHOT TECHNIQUES  I realized that several of the techniques discussed involved the new Adobe Photoshop CS4, and at the time I hadn't upgraded yet.  I put PHOTOGRAPHIC MULTISHOT TECHNIQUES aside until I had upgraded to Photoshop CS4 and become comfortable with the new interface and some of the new tools. Now I've … [Read more...]

Lensbaby Composer: A Selective Focus SLR Camera Lens (pt 3)

A Three Part Series  Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Pt. 3 of 3: Be My Lens, Baby...always Another improvement over my Lensbaby 2.0 is the lens cap - the 2.0 shipped with a nice, heavy solid metal lens cap that screwed in place... unfortunately, it was kind of slippery and difficult to get off sometimes. The Composer ships with a new squeeze-type lens cap (the style that lets your fingers get inside a lens hood, hmm, what a handy accessory that would be?). Easy on and easy off, but not so … [Read more...]

Lensbaby Composer: Selective Focus SLR Camera Lens (pt 2)

A Three Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Pt. 2 of 3:  Be My Lens, Baby...again Remember our fun with the Sima? The Lensbaby Composer (and all the Lensbaby line, since they use interchangeable elements) is 50mm in focal length compared with the Sima's 100mm. That gets into the usable range for many landscape opportunities, and makes a decent average focal length for portraits and details. Need wider? They can do that... it's that system concept I love so much. Offered as … [Read more...]

Lensbaby Composer: A Selective Focus SLR Camera Lens (pt 1)

A Three Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Pt. 1 of 3:  Be My Lens, Baby! Soon after receiving my first 35mm camera, I found that photography was a little more difficult than it had first looked. Ok, it was a lot more difficult. After mastering the learning curve on how make a sharp, well-exposed photo, I saw some photography by David Hamilton and Robert Farber. I was back to square one. Suddenly, I wanted to shoot soft focus images. But, how to do it? Shortly after graduating … [Read more...]

The Nikon Creative Lighting System: Using the SB-600, SB 800, SB 900 & RiCi Flashes

As a landscape, architectural, and product photographer I seldom actually photograph people, and most of my artificial lighting is done with "hot light", that is, continuous lighting done with Lowell or similar tungsten-balanced equipment. Therefore, flash units for me are usually confined to snapshots and general family pictures. My experience with on-camera flash has been limited to the level of advanced amateur if I'm being completely honest with myself. However, a couple … [Read more...]