The Digital Negative
Author: Jeff Schewe
Jeff Schewe knows the developers of Photoshop and Lightroom and helped with the early testing of the programs. That gives him a unique perspective to help us understand how these programs work. If you are just starting out, you should read one of the introductory books by Scott Kelby or Martin Evening before tackling this one. When you are ready to start understanding how the tools in the programs interact with the digital file, you will not do better than The Digital Negative.
Schewe begins by giving us an explanation of what a digital negative is and some of the attributes that effect it. Then he moves on to detailed discussions of the tools in Lightroom and Camera Raw so the book is equally useful whether the photographer uses Bridge or Lightroom. He systematically works his way through the panels in Lightroom and toolbar in Camera Raw explaining how they work. Practically every page has information about how tools interact that is not included in introductory books.
After covering all the tools, the book describes how to use them in challenging situations such as tone mapping for various lighting situations, color correction, conversion to black and white, and maximizing image detail. Once the image is optimized in Lightroom or Camera Raw, Schewe demonstrates some additional tasks the users can complete in Photoshop such as selections, retouching and compositing. The information about Photoshop is useful but not as though as the Lightroom and Camera Raw material. He finishes with a discussion of how to develop an efficient workflow from importing to post production.
This book is filled with useful information about how a raw digital image file is developed using combinations of Lightroom, Camera Raw, Bridge, and Photoshop. I believe an advanced beginner or intermediate user will gain a much better understanding of how these programs interact with the pixels in their digital captures.