c’t Digital Photography; A Genuinely Useful Photography Magazine
Within the covers of c’t Digital Photography lies an intelligent, well thought out magazine that treats the reader with respect and not just as fodder for the industry advertisers. If you think about your own photography in a more sophisticated way than simply as a race to afford the latest and most expensive equipment then this magazine is probably for you.
During the late eighties, while I was still living in the UK, I purchased a few photography magazines. It didn’t take me long to stop purchasing them though, as the articles had little depth and were mainly sales pitches under the guise of reviews. To make matters worse, the few ‘how to’ type pieces were often recycled from one magazine to another and even in the same magazine after a period of time had elapsed. Does anyone else remember the countless pieces written on the subject of how to get a zooming effect by using a slowish exposure and zooming while the shutter was open? Everything to be said about this esoteric subject in less than a hundred words yet this was treated as the holy grail of photography technique and was repeated in a dozen magazines and at intervals of what seemed like three months in all of them? Of course it is worth bearing in mind that the vast majority of said publications were all owned and published by the same firm.
Anyway, fast forward to yesterday when the c’t Digital Photography magazine crossed my desk. My expectations were definitely on the low side of average based on previous experience. I was very pleasantly surprised. The articles were in depth and original and the magazine was not equipment-centric. The emphasis is very much on the photographer, process and workflow.
Excellent pieces covering the Lightroom workflow and the excellent donationware RAW editor, Raw Therapee provide plenty of fodder for post production improvement.
Two other pieces cover big – as in really, really big. ‘Bert Monroy’s Digital Magic’ describes the process of creating a lifesize digital painting of Times Square with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator that. The article serves as both a fascinating overview of the project as well as a very useful tutorial.Gigapixel Panoramas is the other article that deals with big – this time focusing on panoramas that are more than just the line of stitched tiogether images that we are all used to. Think of a photograph of a hundred yard city streetscene where you could zoom to a person’s face and the detail is preserved as if you’d shot a portrait.
There is a lot more in this issue,all at a depth and clarity that doesn’t leave this reader feeling either short changed in any way. I actually learned a lot by reading this magazine and that is pretty much a first.
The magazine comes with a DVD that has software and examples relating to the publication’s content but there is one real gem that is worth more than the magazine’s $15 cover price all by itself and that is Xtreme Photo and Graphic Designer 5. The major part of this is the vector Illustrator like program that used to go by the name of Xara Xtreme. I have done many many projects using this software and it is the fastest, most instinctive draw program on the market. If you’ve always wanted to get to grips with vector software but the thought of mastering the bezier tool leaves you crying for your mother then you really do have to try this. Honestly this is a great freebie.
I do have to declare an interest at this point. I am currently working on a book, provisionally titled ‘The Minimalist Photographer’ for Rocky Nook Inc. a partner of the publishers, due for release sometime in 2013. This review is based on a review copy sent out by the publishers. Saying that, I do stand by every word written. This really is a grown up photography magazine and the vector software on the DVD is the best thing since sliced bread. I’ll even back that up – if you use the Xtreme software and have any problems at all with using it comment on this post and I will provide any answers required :)
c’t Digital Photography magazine website