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Read this First, Before Something Bad Ha... > I had no intentions of writing this ...

I had no intentions of writing this book

So here it was, about four weeks before I would be flying up to New York City to teach a one-day seminar to more than 1,200 professional Photoshop junkies. (Okay, it was more like 1,160 pros, 42 people who just wanted a paid day off from work, and one total freak who kept asking me if I’d ever been in prison. I told him unequivocally, “Not as far as you know.”)

Anyway, the seminar was just four weeks away, and there was one session that I still didn’t have an outline for. It was called “Correcting Photos from Digital Cameras” (which is dramatically better than my original working title for the class, “Die, Traditional Camera User, Die!”).

I knew what I needed to cover in the session because for the past ten years I’ve trained thousands of traditional photographers on how to use Photoshop. Most of them either have now gone digital or are in the process of going digital, and all these digital photographers generally seem to have the same type of Photoshop questions, which I’m actually thankful for, because now I can give them the answers. If they constantly asked different questions, I’d get stumped from time to time, and then I’d have to resort to “Plan B” (providing answers that sound good, but are in reality just wild-ass guesses).

So I knew what I had to cover, but I wanted to do some research first, to see if other people in the industry were addressing these questions the same way I was, or did they have a different take on them, different techniques or ideas? So I went out and bought every single book I could find about digital photography and Photoshop. I spent nearly $1.2 million. Okay, it wasn’t quite that much, but let’s just say for the next few months I would have to cut out some luxuries such as running water, trash collection, heat, etc.

I started reading through all these books, and the first thing I thought I’d look up was how they dealt with digital noise (High ISO noise, Blue channel noise, color aliasing, etc.), but as I went through them, I was amazed to find out that not one single book addressed it. Not a one. Honestly, I was shocked. I get asked this question many times at every single seminar, yet not one of these books even mentioned it. So then I started looking for how they work with 16-bit photos. Nothing. Well, one book mentioned it, but they basically said “it’s not for you—it’s for high-end pros with $15,000 cameras.” I just couldn’t believe it—I was stunned. So I kept up my search for more topics I’d been asked about again and again, with the same results.

Well, I went ahead with my New York session as planned, and by all accounts it was a big hit. I had photographer after photographer coming up to tell me, “Thank you so much—those are exactly the things I was hoping to learn.” That’s when I realized that there’s a book missing—a book for people who already know how to shoot, they even know what they want to do in Photoshop; they just need somebody to show them how to do it. Somebody to show them how to deal with the special challenges (and amazing opportunities) of using digital photos with Photoshop. I was so excited because I knew in my heart, I could write that book.

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