The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Photoshop by Guy Tal

I’m very familiar with Guy Tal as a wonderful photographer and writer, but I originally was not interested in reading his new book, The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Photoshop. Boy am I glad I took a look at it. I’ve been working in Photoshop for over 20 years. I know that there’s always more to learn about it, but I was very comfortable with my workflow. Guy’s description of his techniques are so clear and simple that it was a joy to try them and incorporate some of them as regulars of my own. There are still more that I’m looking to try out when the need comes.

There’s a lot of information and technique in Guy’s book but it’s not your standard how-to cookbook. It’s more of a prolonged one-on-one workshop with Guy.

The first part is not about Photoshop at all. Guy leads us into how he works—how he looks at landscapes and envisions the photographs he can make of them, how he captures the landscape with composition and exposure with his vision in mind.

He shows you how he looks at the raw image in Lightroom and Camera Raw and makes a list of each aspect of the work it needs. He does very little in these raw conversion programs except open shadows or bring in highlights. Everything else is done in Photoshop.

So instead of a cookbook of different techniques, we’re instructed in how to see, how to visualize and how to actualize that vision. Photoshop tools are not taught so you can have more techniques in your tool belt. They’re taught with very clear examples of how to take the raw material that your camera gives you and actualize your vision.

A lot of plug-ins and applications are out there that are readily available for making different tricks in Photoshop easy, but that’s not Guy’s way. Off-the-shelf plug-ins often make the same types of adjustments for everyone, making our images look similar. Guy leads us step by step to make these adjustments ourselves, always using his own images as examples.

I was always nervous of blending for dynamic range or focus, but Guy makes these jobs so easy, I’ll never use an external program again.

No matter what kind of photographs you take or how much you think you know about Photoshop, I think that most of us will find something valuable to take away from this book.

Here’s a link to it on Guy’s website.

~ by danbaumbach on February 18, 2018.

2 Responses to “The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Photoshop by Guy Tal”

  1. Dan, you are absolutely right !
    I enjoyed the book very much. 🙂

  2. Excellent review Dan, and so true. I just received my copy of Guy’s new book the other day and haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I have read Guy’s eBooks on post processing, printing, and the way he uses cameras and the way he sees nature, and I love that he uses photography as just an artistic tool to help convey an emotion. He approaches photography from an artistic view instead on just a technical view, and that makes all the difference in the world. There are so many photographs out there of “iconic” scenes that are technically perfect but have little or no emotional impact, whereas Guy’s images are of personal scenes, what’s important to him, and they indeed convey that emotion he feels, and isn’t that what we all want to emulate? I can’t wait to dig in to this new book.

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