The title of Evan Sharboneau’s book attracts all levels of photographers interested in demonstrating the same kind of masterful techniques as seen across today’s modern media. What Sharboneau delivers is a well-balanced reference of both in-camera and in-computer techniques that give photographers the power to add the wow-factor to their work.
In the opening section of Trick Photography and Special Effects, Sharboneau begins his instruction by focusing on in-camera techniques for manipulating perspective and lighting. He lays a foundation of understanding for the reader with summary explanations of shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and white balance before giving an overview of the common camera settings used for painting with light. This is a great way to build a photographer’s knowledge beyond being able to complete the example projects because it explains the why behind the how. Sharboneau’s book makes the effort to teach readers how to develop their necessary skills rather than simply demonstrating a few disconnected photoshoots as so many photography books do.
Painting with light and long exposures is a fun way to turn landscapes into dramatic renditions of color and texture. Sharboneau covers the effects of different grade lights, flashes, and gels and explains how they can be best used to produce stunning pictures. This book even ventures into newer techniques by covering iPhone photography apps that can imitate DSLR function for achieving similar effects in mobile-phone photographs.
Reading the next big section on in-camera effects is like learning the elusive secrets to the world’s most common magic tricks. This is the section of the book that most people expect to read when they are attracted to this title. Sharboneau delivers with some classic suggestions on perspective and creative shadowing. He goes on to include sections on HDR and Infrared photography. What makes this a great reference is that Sharboneau offers instruction on multiple ways to achieve the same stunning effect. One example is found in the section on transparent screens that is explained both with and without the use of Photoshop.
The last section of the book includes an explanation of many of the most popular Photoshop illusions and effects. Examples of the awesome types of pictures you can achieve are included and explanations are very clear throughout this section and the entire book.
What is best about this book is that it compiles all of the most popular and usable in-camera and in-computer photography effects into one substantial reference. Throughout the book, Sharboneau maintains a tone of expertise without confusing or condescending to the reader. This book has information for the early amateur looking to experiment with their photographs to find that right expression, but it also has plenty to appeal to the seasoned veteran looking for ways to fine-tune their techniques.
What makes this book unique is its balance between in-camera and in-computer techniques. Sharboneau demonstrates his diversity as a professional photographer by reminding readers that there are multiple ways to accomplish these photographic tricks based on the equipment that is available. Trick Photography and Special Effects is not a workbook that walks readers through some disconnected examples. Instead, this is a comprehensive guide to building one’s repertoire of functions and techniques to turn good pictures into great ones.
Trick Photography and Special Effects by Evan Sharboneau is a must read for any photographer looking to develop a wide array of techniques that astound viewers. It is full of color reference photographs, screen shots and clear explanations for ensuring any level of photographer can replicate and imitate the images contained inside.