Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking Paperback – Mar 6 2006
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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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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
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.
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.
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