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Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking Paperback – Mar 6 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (March 6 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596100833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596100834
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 1.2 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #627,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Julieanne Kost's foray into Photoshop began in 1993 when she joined Adobe Systems in a technical support role for Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere. Two years later, she took on an in-house design role creating educational content for several of Adobe's products, including user guides, tutorials, and the "Classroom in a Book" series.She now serves as the Senior Digital Imaging Evangelist at Adobe, educating designers, photographers, teachers, and fine artists. A passionate photographer herself, Julieanne lectures on creativity and Photoshop topics at prominent industry events, fine art and photography schools, and numerous conferences around the world.She is the guiding force behind the Photoshop Fundamentals and Advanced Photoshop Techniques training DVDs published by Software Cinema and is the cofounder, with her husband Daniel Brown, of www.adobeevangelists.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa7332bac) out of 5 stars 34 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7400678) out of 5 stars I must be missing something here... May 9 2007
By ADSHippin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I mean no disrespect towards Ms Kost when I say this, but to be honest the images in this book left me uninspired. I should point out that am an aviation photographer and I have done a lot of air to ground work, so maybe my perception is a little different. However when I look thru this book too often I can see the image what she was trying for, but it's just not quite there. Maybe it was the printing which contributed to this feeling (book printing seldom does justice to great photography). Or maybe it was her choice of images... But I was constantly wondering, was there maybe a little better image one or two frames before or after the one she chose for the book. It's a shame really because some of the other reviewers are people who's opinion's I respect, and I purchased the book based upon their glowing reviews. One thing I will give the book top marks for is that she includes the steps she used in photoshop to bring out the image she saw when she took the photo. Something that many photographers refuse to do (or even acknowledge doing).
62 of 73 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa74008c4) out of 5 stars I absolutely loved it! Feb. 20 2006
By Scott Kelby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've always been a fan of Julieanne's work, and I had already seen some of her evocative images from 33,000 feet, but I must admit, when I saw Window Seat, I was absolutely blown away!

The author has created something very special here because although her amazing photography is definitely the star of the show, at the same time her insights into how she processed and edited these photos using Adobe Photoshop make the book have great crossover appeal.

The layout of the book is just beautifully done with a clean look throughout and nicely crafted typography. Together they do a great job of supporting her fascinating photography, while not getting in the way of her message. This beautiful layout gives the book a real fine art feel and it's the kind of book that's so engaging, you'll definitely want to share it with others.

I love books that make you want to run out and start shooting, and this is surely among them, but perhaps best of all, you'll never look out your window seat again without thinking of her work and smiling.

Highly recommended for anyone who loves great photography, who admires a very clever eye, who appreciates great design, and doesn't mind learning a little Photoshop along the way. Well done, Julieanne.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7400b04) out of 5 stars LOOKOUT! June 12 2006
By Richard D. Zakia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Look out an airplane window again, for the first time, and study the ever changing cloud formations and the variety of patterns of earth. "Window Seat..." is an invitation to ignore the TV and DVDs in the plane and to marvel at what can be seen from the window. The book has many gorgeous color photographs taken out the window and encourages one to do likewise.

This book now has me not only looking out of airplane windows with a new view in mind but it also has done something else. Instead of watching TV the other night during a lightning storm, I decided to turn off the TV, turn off the lights, look out my window and simple watch the the bright dancing patterns of lightning against a black sky. I even took a few photos out the window. Windows have now taken on a new meaning for me.

Richard D. Zakia

North Carolina
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7400d80) out of 5 stars An Exception March 20 2006
By Conrad J. Obregon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am convinced that the publishers and/or authors of photography books believe that there is a greater market for how-to books than for books of photographs only, so that they try to force every collection of pictures into the mold of an instructional manual. Usually this leads to a book organized around teaching points rather than subject matter and often this leads to a poor-quality instructional manual rather then a first-class book of photographs. "Window Seat" may have been a book that someone tried to put into such a mold. Fortunately, the pictures are so good that they can't be harmed. Or maybe, someone really had a feeling about developing photographic creativity and decided to give in to his or her soul.

The photographs presented were all taken by the photographer while flying from one place to another. There are pictures of clouds, and foothills, and riverbeds and agricultural fields. There is nothing new about taking pictures of clouds. Alfred Stieglitz made many photographs of clouds, which he called "Equivalents", in the early part of the 20th century. It appears that he wanted to treat the clouds as some sort of abstract form.

I don't believe that is Kost's goal. Instead I believe that like the best photographers she wants to force the viewer to look at the ordinary, pared down to its most basic components. Certainly, I've seen almost the same views out the window when I've flown, but I never really looked the way I do when presented with these carefully crafted pictures. Now, one might think, "Clouds are clouds", but as the photographer says, when you undertake a long term project like this, you begin to see trends, and to organize the landscape into patterns. The feat of Kost is that she makes the viewer see this same organization so that the pictures present an organized, synergistic whole.

As an instructional manual, the pictures are book-ended by a section entitled "The Art of Creative Thinking" and an appendix called "Imaging Techniques". The former is a list of 18 principles ranging from "Listen to what your life is trying to tell you" through "Visualize first, Photoshop second", to "Know when you are done". Some of these principles give Kost an excuse for telling how her life story led to these pictures, while others are little rules for how one should structure one's day for creativity. The appendix will not teach anyone Photoshop techniques, but will show the reader how one creative artist adopted those techniques to her own vision. There are also brief commentaries throughout the picture section that continue the Zen-like quality of instruction. For example, she emphasizes the importance of control in photography, and says she would like to be able to control the plane, but that there are advantages to being a passenger and just seeing whatever passes by the window.

There is a Zen principal that says if you seek enlightenment, you will not be able to find it, but that if you just let things come, enlightenment will also come. Don't read this book looking to develop your creativity. Instead, look at the pictures, slowly and carefully, and enjoy them. Read what the author has to say but don't try to mine the words. To your surprise, you might enjoy the pictures. And when you are finished you just might find you've tweaked your creativity.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7410090) out of 5 stars A Novel Approach that Fired My Imagination with Possibility Nov. 9 2006
By Stardazer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this coffee table photo book while browsing the astronomy & space section at Borders. The images were so captivating I could hardly put it down. Unlike a 2004 work of the same title by Gregory Dicum, Ms. Kost showcases REAL aerial photos taken by herself while a passenger on commercial flights. Mr. Dicum substituted SPOT images and other high resolution photos taken from high flying craft. What makes Ms. Kost's portfolio so breathtaking is that her memorable images were marvelously processed with Photoshop's CS & CS2 software programs. The finished products will knock your socks off. Moreover, value is added by the author outlining some of her methods in teasing out dramatic effects in certain pictures that would otherwise underwhelm due to defects and unwanted artifacts. Julianne prefaces her enthralling collection by sharing her ideas in a section called, "The Art of Creative Thinking." I especially liked her points, "Collaborate with other creative people, especially the quiet ones" and "Fix what you complain about the most."

Take a look at the image of a riverbed on page 62 and compare with the "before" version on page 126. Or the jawdropping photo sprawling across pages 90-91 and its earlier incarnation on page 126.

If you've spent hours peering out from an airplane window and have attempted photographing some of what you see, you're well aware of the possibility this volume can hold for you. It fired my imagination in reviewing some of the images I've taken over the years that were unfortunately marred by reflections or incorrect exposure. Now they can be corrected and transformed! It's stimulated me to renew active interest in learning more about the Photoshop Elements program I own. I am so persuaded I may ultimately take the plunge for CS2 when I have the money to do so.

For collectors of the aerial photography genre, be advised these are pure art: Clouds and landscape, contrasts and colors, as if one was touring a gallery in the sky, with Julianne the gentle docent, informing us ever so subtly of what it took to create this otherworldly blend of technologies. As such, there are no identifiers as to locations captured, although a great many were obviously taken in the American West, where the haze is less than it is in the eastern US. Julianne instead wants us to accompany her on her aerial journeys. The thoughtful, inutitive reader will take flight from there.