Book Review: Creative Digital Monochrome Effects; Go Beyond Black and White to Make Striking Digital Images

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By Diane Berkenfeld

Photographer and author Joe Farace has penned his 29th book, on the subject of creating monochrome images from digital cameras. Creative Digital Monochrome Effects; Go Beyond Black and White to Make Striking Digital Images (Lark Books, www.larkbooks.com, ISBN: 978-1-60059-264-5) includes techniques for capturing great monochrome images with a digital camera’s monochrome or B&W mode, as well as exploring some of the many creative picture styles that today’s digital cameras offer.

Farace also discusses many of the software programs and plug-ins that you can use to turn a color image into B&W, sepia, duotone, tritone, quadtone, etc. The book doesn’t include a full listing of all of the programs on the market however, as the author notes that he chose to include programs that offer unique features apart from other titles on the market.

The book is written easy enough for the beginning digital imager and includes a wealth of information to interest the enthusiast or professional photographer. However, enthusiasts and pros will be familiar with the discussions of more advanced Photoshop features such as actions, layers and channels.

Creative Digital Monochrome Effects encompasses a wide range of what you might think constitutes B&W and offers even more. The author’s extensive knowledge of photography—of the history as well as a working photographer’s background—lends him the ability to write a book that truly encompasses a study of B&W digital imagery; with the anecdotes of his own experiences in the field.

Dozens of tips and techniques are discussed, from B&W Infrared (with a camera or via software) to adding color to monochrome images, and digitally recreating the look of many of the early photographic processes. For the die-hard photographer who misses working in a wet darkroom this chapter is a real treat. Other chapters include techniques for turning plain images into unique works of digital art and printing. For the beginner, the chapter on printing is a good addition; the advanced photographer may skim over it though.

Creative Digital Monochrome Effects is well worth the $24.95 price tag.

To see more of Joe Farace’s work, visit his website at www.joefarace.com.

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