It’s been many years since I have read a book about Photoshop. However when I heard that Guy Tal would be publishing a book about Photoshop I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. There are just a handful of photographers that I would consider to be artists. Guy Tal is on that short list.
Having known Guy Tal through various photography forums and groups for more than a decade, I’ve long admired his ability to come up with unique compositions from unexpected scenes. He has a unique philosophy regarding photography, certainly much different than my approach which has traditionally been more aligned with editorial journalism than pure fine art. The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Photoshop book goes into great detail about his approach to digital photography. I would say that about half the book is about the “why” rather than the “how”. Make no mistake though, this book definitely covers the techniques; some of which I was already familiar but then others I learned about from reading the book. I really enjoyed the format of this book because rather than merely provide a template for how to copy Guy Tal, he encourages you to find your own vision first then use that to dictate which techniques you will use in post-processing. Unfortunately most people have it backwards and let the technique guide the vision.
The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Photoshop helped me refine my own vision of how I wanted this 12 year-old photo to look. The RAW file had been languishing on my hard drives since 2006. The original is not very good to be honest but the main reason why I didn’t delete it is because I doubt I will ever visit this part of the country again and also because I like to revisit photos at a later date if my creative vision evolves to a point where I might want to bring those files to life. In recent years I have been working on a collection of images from gloomy weather conditions – essentially the polar opposite of the typical sunrise and sunset light that is so popular in landscape photography. Through a combination of Guy Tals creative sermons and black & white photo processing techniques from the book, I was able to realize my own vision for this older photo that had never been processed prior to this.
If you are at all interested in landscape photography then I highly encourage you to purchase a copy of Guy Tal’s latest book, The Landscape Photographer’s Guide To Photoshop. I did receive a copy of the book from the author for the purpose of this review but I would have purchased it anyway had it not been for that.