Rather like expectant parents holding in their hands the ultrascan of their new baby and showing off the little snap to anyone prepared to humour them, I thought I’d show the cover of the 2nd edition of my Advanced Digital B&W Photography. While I completed the rewrite before Christmas and have already seen the proposed cover, it was only this morning that I wanted to see when it would be delivered. It looks like it’s May in the UK and US and afterwards in a number of translations.

When the original book was released five years ago, I’m proud to say that it notched up a few firsts. I was lucky to be writing at such an opportune time and to have distinguished some new developments which I felt would change the best way to work. So it was the first book on digital B&W:

  • To cover Lightroom
  • Ditto for Aperture
  • Photoshop’s B&W adjustment filter
  • Photoshop smart objects for a B&W workflow

This time round, it’s not as much of a turning point for us B&W workers. Instead we’re in a period where those changes have become established, Silver Efex Pro has fleshed out, and where some of the old problems of colour casts have been countered by printers with more inks or just been accepted as par for the course. I can’t see mobile apps like Nik’s Snapseed or Adobe’s Revel (ex Carousel) as much more than a way for people to gain some appreciation of B&W – healthy though that must be. So in the second edition:

  • Most of the new content is Lightroom.
  • A lot of new content is on Silver Efex Pro

Of course, if you do ever want to experiment with your pictures you can always hit V in Lightroom and it will show them in colour. Thankfully hitting V (or Undo) will make them look right again. Why bother with colour?