LIFELIKE: A Book on Color in Digital Photography

“This book is about color in digital photography. It is written by a color photographer who, in his daily work, has to use the knowledge of color in art and the possibilities of modern image processing techniques. I did not, however, intend to write a manual on digital color correction – there are a lot of good ones out there already. Instead, my focus is on all things color; from color perception, interrelation between color and composition, evaluation of color intensity to planning and organization of photo shoots, RAW conversion and color correction in Adobe Photoshop. Many contemporary photographers lament the “lifelessness” of digital images. We look at the picture, admire its vibrant colors and sharp lines, and still can’t help but feel nostalgic for the photographs of the old, pre-digital age. This increasing lack of satisfaction with digital color has an explanation, which needs to be understood – and dealt with – to achieve an optimum in color intensity. This book is my account of what I have come to in my experiments with color.”

Pavel Kosenko

Language: English
ISBN 978-5-903788-39-2

© Pavel Kosenko, 2015, Moscow, Russia
© Chapter 23 by Alexander Serakov, 2015, Moscow, Russia
© Translation by Ksenia Prasolova, 2015, Kaliningrad, Russia
© Treemedia Content, 2015, Helsinki, Finland
© Frameway LP, 2015, Scotland, UK

Table of contents

About the author
Chapter 1. A Play on Words
Chapter 2. Looking for Color
Chapter 3. Saturated Color
Chapter 4. Subdued Color
Chapter 5. Devil in the Detail
Chapter 6. Painting the Dark
Chapter 7. Background for Color
Chapter 8. Painting the Light
Chapter 9. Clipping Shadows
Chapter 10. Let’s Get Muddy
Chapter 11. Benchmarking with Neutrals
Chapter 12. The Kodak Reds
Chapter 13. Film vs. Digital?
Chapter 14. Learning from the Masters
Chapter 15. “Honesty” in Photography
Chapter 16. What Color Is Your Skin
Chapter 17. Issues in Digital Color
Chapter 18. A Shortcut
Chapter 19. Raw Photo Processor
Chapter 20. True-film Profiles in RPP
Chapter 21. The Resistance of Masterpieces
Chapter 22. Processing Files in RPP
Chapter 23. Processing Files in ACR (Lightroom)
Appendix A. Understanding Curves
Appendix B. RPP for Beginners
Photos used in Figures

Read book for free:

P.S. Please help me spread word about the book to those of your English-speaking friends who may be interested in reading it. Thank you!


My book “The Living Digit”

My book “The Living Digit” has been published.

The Living Digit

Size: 17×24 cm
First edition: 7000 copies
284 pages, softcover
More than 200 colour reproductions
Language: Russian
Publishing house: “Treemedia Content”, Moscow, 2013
ISBN 978-5-903788-22-4

This book is about the colour in digital photography. It is written by a coulourist photographer, who builds in his own work upon the artistic knowledge about the colour, and applies the advanced post-processing techniques. The author takes a wholistic approach, looking into all the aspects of working with colour – from the peculiarities of human colour perception, the interrelation between the colour and the composition, the criteria for assessing the colouristic expression, to the process of photography, Raw-conversion, and colour correction in Adobe Photoshop. The technical aspects of working with the digital photography are taken from the point of view of the artistic perception, so that the reader gets the understanding of how to make the instruments serve the creative idea.

The book is intended for wide audience of photographers, and can be of interest as well for the colour correctors, designers, and other specialists, working with digital photography. It aims to help all those, who strive for the colouristic harmony and expression in digital photography.

Table of contents

About the author
What is this book about?
Who is this book intended for?
Chapter 1. Let’s agree on terminology
Chapter 2. Where does the colour live?
Chapter 3. Saturated colour
Chapter 4. Undersaturated colour
Chapter 5. Detalization
Chapter 6. Why are the paintings dark?
Chapter 7. Background for the colour
Chapter 8. Light-coloured paintings
Chapter 9. Loss of shadow detail
Chapter 10. More mud and clay – more interplay
Chapter 11. Reference neutral colours
Chapter 12. Why is Kodak warmer?
Chapter 13. Film or digital?
Chapter 14. Painters’ experience
Chapter 15. “Honesty” in photography
Chapter 16. Colour of the skin — red or yellow?
Chapter 17. Issues with the digital colour
Chapter 18. The shortest way
Chapter 19. Raw Photo Processor
Chapter 20. Film profiles in RPP
Chapter 21. Where do diamonds come from?
Chapter 22. An example of processing in RPP
Chapter 23. An example of processing in ACR (Lightroom)
Appendix A. How do the “Curves” work?
Appendix B. RPP for beginners
List of reproductions

Note: “Chapter 23. An example of processing in ACR/Lightroom” is written by Alexander Serakov – an expert on Adobe products and the official speaker of Adobe in Russia.

Sample pages

Continue reading