Book Review: Digital Capture and Workflow for Professional Photographers by Tom Lee

Digital Capture and Workflow for Professional Photographers by Tom LeeTom Lee has enjoyed 25 years in his career as a professional photographer. To say that he is a member of the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) and NAPP (National Association for Photoshop Professionals) does not say much. But topping these organizations’ open print competitions should tell us that he’s up there with the world’s best photographers.

With a life as an educator before he became a photographer, it becomes second nature for Tom to impart the knowledge he has gained through the years.

In his book, Digital Capture and Workflow for Professional Photographers, the author takes us deep into the art and craft of photography by giving us valuable insights into the digital capture of images and how to work through these images by adopting an effective workflow that should truly enhance the finished products.

In digital capture, Tom makes us aware of image control by understanding white balance, resolution, color, tone, sharpness, EV compensation and camera settings. After all, any effective workflow must begin with properly exposed images.

The author also hammers down on the importance of color management, a subject beset with much confusion and misunderstanding, even among professionals. In the book he lays down a substantial discussion of color space workflow. While the object of color management is quite simple – to get what you see on screen to match your intended output – the devil is in the way devices made by various manufacturers talk to each other.

A nice touch is Tom’s introduction of the Gretag-Macbeth ColorChecker chart. He shows us how to use this useful tool for shooting in RAW mode.

Then he goes in detail about processing RAW images, batch conversion, color correction and Photoshop Actions, all part of the workflow that the author expounds in this book.

Tom also includes a thorough description of how a professional photographer’s workstation should be: comfortable, uncluttered and ergonomically correct. In his workstation, there isn’t a mouse in sight. The professional uses a graphic tablet.

Read the book thoroughly and you may very well be on your way to becoming a successful professional photographer. The author is noted for his storybook style of wedding albums. This is Tom’s first big book, and believe me, he poured a lot into this one. Reading through it gives you the feeling that the educator in him cares a lot for the intended readership of this book, the aspiring professional photographer.

Digital Capture and Workflow for Professional Photographers by Tom Lee, Amherst Media, 8½ x 11, $34.95 USA, $47.95 Canada.


Author Profile 6
Acknowledgments 8
Introduction 9
1. Image Control 13
  White Balance 13
  Resolution, Compression and Capture Mode 14
    JPEG 14
    TIFF 15
    RAW 15
  Color 16
  Tone 16
  Sharpness 16
  Exposure Value (EV) Compensation 16
2. Exposure 18
3. Histograms 23
4. Camera Settings 27
  Factory Defaults 27
  Preferred Settings 27
  Flash Fill 30
5. Working in JPEG 32
6. Color Management 35
  sRGB 36
  Adobe RGB (1998) 36
  Setting Up Photoshop 37
7. Processing RAW Files 41
  The Camera RAW Dialog Box 44
8. Batch Conversion 49
  Drop-Down Menu 49
  Adobe Bridge 50
9. Workflow 52
  Photography 52
  Backup 53
  Process 55
  Presentation 56
  How Long Does it Take? 58
10. Workstation Ergonomics 59
  Monitors 59
  Input 60
  Worktop 61
  Relax 61
11. Color Correction 62
  12-Bit RAW 62
  8-Bit JPEG Precise Approach 63
  Quick Fix 1 66
  Quick Fix 1 68
12. Actions 70
  What are Actions? 70
  Action Basics 70
  Conversion to Black & White 71
  Muddy Version 74
  Sepia Filter 76
    Controlled Tone Conversion 77
  Tom’s Soft Focus Filter 79
  Sharpening 82
    Smart Sharpen 83
    Lab Mode Sharpening 85
  Adjusting the Shadows 85
    Shadow/Highlight Palette 85
    Quick Fix 87
  Saturation 89
  Rotation 89
  Album-Specific Actions 90
    Stroke/Drop Shadow 90
    Pillow Emboss 92
13. Additional Photoshop Techniques 94
  Chiaroscuro 94
  Capture and Adjustment 94
  Vignetting 95
  Face Mask Histogram 97
  Plug-in Filters 97
  Eye Makeover 100
14. Presentation 103
  Websites 104
  Preview Albums 105
  Slide Shows 105
15. Album Design 107
16. Preparing for Printing 116
Conclusion 120
Index 123

Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.