Blue Pixel Personal PhotoCoach: Digital Photography Tips from the Trenches

by David Schloss. 304 pp. Peachpit, 2004. $24.99.

Blue Pixel is the company that hosts the Just Show Me How Tour of traveling photography seminars for amateur and pro photographers. The Blue Pixel instructors, called PhotoCoaches, are among the top photographers and photojournalists in their fields and are all pioneers of digital photography.

Author and PhotoCoach David Schloss taps the experience and know-how of this illustrious band (which includes award-winning photojournalists, instructors and a White House photographer) to deliver the digital concepts from the Just Show Me How Tour in book form.

You know you’re in the hands of pros when a book begins not with camera buttons and settings, but with how to compose a photo. Learning to crop with your camera, not with your photo editing program, develops your eye, preserves image data and saves time. Staying alert to the elements in your photo can save you from the frustration of having to Photoshop out that telephone growing from the back of your subject’s head.

The books’ chapters cover taking, organizing, fixing and sharing your photos, making great prints, and techniques for special situations including artistic, family and sports photos. The chapter on making great prints is exceptionally useful, with real world advice on resolution, sharpening techniques, printer dialog boxes and paper stock. Pay special attention, too, to the chapter on how to use your flash - it’s full of innovative, problem-solving ideas.

Schloss’s lucid instruction and tips are illustrated with gorgeous photos and interspersed with anecdotes from the PhotoCoach team. Even if you’ve read a stack of photography books, Blue Pixel Personal PhotoCoach will help you look at digital photography and the opportunities the form provides with new eyes. Highly recommended.

– Elsa Travisano
Copyright ©2005 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the March 2005 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.