If it took somewhat less nerve for me to write the second edition of this book than it did the first, it's partly because the first edition was greeted with an enthusiasm that surprised me, and partly because my friend and colleague Jeff Schewe has informed me that it's time for me to relinquish the mantle of world's worst photographer. But I'm free of delusions of adequacy when it comes to my photography, and it still takes a certain amount of hubris for me to advise photographers who are hugely more skilled than I am on how to ply their trade.
With a very few exceptions (which are noted on the pages on which they appear), all the images in the book are my own. One of the two most common complaints about the first edition was that many of the images didn't illustrate well the points I was trying to make. I'm much better at making problem images than are the great photographers whose work graced the pages of the first edition, and I was perhaps reluctant to take the kinds of liberties with their images that I cheerfully do with my own. The images are solely intended to illustrate the processthis is not a book about my photography!
I may still be among the world's worst photographers, but I've been lucky enough to enjoy a close and fruitful relationship with the wonderful group of people who have made Photoshop the incredibly powerful tool it has become, and in the process I've had the opportunity to look longer and deeper at its inner workings than most people who use it to earn their livelihood.
Some of those inner workings are probably what my friend and colleague Fred Bunting likes to term "more interesting than relevant," but otherssuch as where and how your ranking or flagging information, your hand-tuned image settings, and your color-correct previews get storedare pieces of vital information for anyone who entrusts their work to the tools discussed by this book. If conveying that information helps much better photographers than I to realize their vision, I consider the effort worthwhile.
How the Book Is Organized
A significant problem I faced in writing this book is that everything in the workflow affects everything else in the workflow, so some circularity is inherent. But the second most-common complaint about the first edition was that it had more redundancy than seemed necessary. I've tried to address that in this second edition.
The first two chapters look at the technical underpinnings of digital raw capture. Chapter 1, Digital Camera Raw, looks at the fundamental nature of raw imageswhat they are, and the advantages and pitfalls of shooting them. Chapter 2, How Camera Raw Works, looks at the specific advantages that Camera Raw offers over other raw converters.
Chapter 3, Raw System Overview, provides a road map for the remainder of the book by showing the roles of the three major components in the system, Photoshop, Bridge, and the Camera Raw plug-in.
Chapter 4, Camera Raw Controls, describes the many features offered by the Camera Raw plug-in, which has grown to the point where it's almost an application in its own right. Chapter 5, Hands-On Camera Raw, explores how to use these features quickly and effectively to evaluate and edit raw captures.
Chapter 6, Adobe Bridge, looks at the features in Bridge that are particularly relevant to a raw workflowBridge is a surprisingly deep application that serves the entire Adobe Creative Suite, not just Photoshop. Chapter 7, It's All About the Workflow, doesn't evangelize a specific workflow, because my needs may be very different from yours. Instead, it introduces some basic workflow principles, then looks at the various ways in which you can use Bridge to perform common tasks, so that you can build the workflow that works for you.
Chapter 8, Mastering Metadata, looks at the inner workings of the various metadata schemes used by Camera Raw and Bridge, and shows you how to make them work for you. Finally, Chapter 9, Exploiting Automation, show you how to leverage the work done in Camera Raw and Bridge to produce converted images that require minimal work in Photoshop and contain the metadata you want them to.