Book Review: Welcome to Oz

Welcome to Oz Vincent Versace’s Welcome To Oz is quite possibly the most innovative and best digital photography title I’ve ever come across (excluding my own books, of course!).

Versace is a superb photographer. So this is not one of those digital photography books that is written by a Photoshop guru without the creative gifts and guts to make images. But it is still largely a Photoshop book.

Versace’s subtitle tells the story of his book: "A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop". After reading this book, I felt better able to view photograph-making from the perspective of what would happen to the photo in the computer as well as in the camera. And, as I said, the images are splendid (and the step-by step accounts of how they were created very thorough).

If I have one caveat here, it is that Versace provides versions of his original images, and encourages readers to duplicate his work on these samples. Personally, I prefer to try things out on my own images, and I enourage readers and students to process their own work. Otherwise, the whole thing becomes a slavish imitation of a master rather than an original creative endeavor. But that’s a quibble, this is a really good book.

Briefly noted: In the original version of this review, I said that Versace provided low resolution copies of the images in the book. This statement was wrong. I have corrected that statement to read simply “versions” based on an email from the author: I provide full resolution 16 bit and 8 bit Tiff files to work on. What I also provide in low resolution (100PPI) is a copy of the actual PSD that I created when I wrote each of the chapters. I do that so you can see what I did actually looks like. My thought was to gt the reader follow along with me on the image(s) in the lesson so the reader can get the technique down, having the 100ppi file to compare to with the full res file to work on so they can feel the “pain” of moving big files. The thought being that the reader will learn the keyboard shortcuts and apply it to there own work. I agree with you the last thing I want is someone xeroxing my work. Last thing the world needs is another one of me.

In my review, the point really wasn’t the resolution, it was providing the files. I don’t like this, and I don’t do it. But this is truly a matter of taste, and undoubtedly there will be many readers who appreciate it. I’ll give Vincent Versace the last word on the topic:

Another reason I give files out was a lesson I learned from my Uncle, he had me spot all of his prints and work on his negs before I worked on mine.What I learned was, what is a good negative, jump started my composition and the importance of a “clean” negative. I figured if I let the readers play with properly exposed, well composed files it will rub off in their work.

This Post Has One Comment

Leave a Reply

Close Menu