Review: Window Seat ... by Julieanne Kost

A dramatic aerial journey through a magnificent land (August 9th, 2006)

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Product Manufacturer: O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Price: $39.99 US, $55.99 CAD, 28.50 GBP

The Good

  • Stunning photography. Excellent Photoshop hints. Relaxing art book. Perfect gift.

The Bad

  • Softcover book. Some ink smears and artifacts. Check print quality in middle of book before purchase.

The few times a year I'm on a plane, I keep a small camera handy to capture the amazing patterns and colors that appear out my small window. Unfortunately, my cameras just aren't equipped to capture the images well, and I have myriads of blurry and barely discernable pictures. When I discovered Julieanne Kost's book, Window Seat, The Art of Digital Photography & Creative Thinking, I had to own it. Here is the book I had not the equipment to create.

An Innovative Approach to Photography

Window Seat is an interesting approach to the photographic process. It is part self-help book, part Photoshop tutorial, and a whole lot of captivating pictures of our great country from above. While I highly recommend Window Seat as a gift for any photography buff, it is not a complete learning tool. The book includes a 26-page Appendix that provides an interesting and brief look at Kost's editing techniques, but it is definitely not an in-depth tutorial.

Jump Start Your Creative Process

The first section, "The Art of Creative Thinking," walks us through Kost's own creative process, and in that is a lesson for us all. She shares a bit of herself, makes suggestions for our work, all the while supporting the creative genius in any photographer. These lessons are applicable to any artist though. Liberally dotted with pictures, this section relaxes and uplifts you, and should help inspire your next great project.

Stunning Photography

The second section, "Window Seat," contains more and larger samples of Kost's air show, gleaned from her hundreds of hours in planes as she traveled the country in her role as an Adobe Photoshop trainer and evangelist. This section is broken up into seven chapters, so that Ms. Kost can divulge more insight into her project. Some of the photographs are just stunning, while others are a bit over processed; yet appealing nonetheless. To look down upon the landscape or into the clouds through Kost's eyes is a dramatic journey through a magnificent land, captured in discreet moments of time.

Suffers from Poor Production

This is really a coffee table book, meant for display and hours of viewing pleasure, which leads me into the problems with this book. One, it is a soft cover book and that's a shame. It should deliver years of viewing pleasure, but I doubt it will stand up over time. Second, it wasn't printed that well. I found printer generated artifacts on some pages and bleeding ink on a couple of others. In addition, the book just smells funny, which is due to the ink used.

Other than the printing issues, there's nothing wrong with this book. The content is top shelf. It really is a wonderful gift for any occasion. I also think it is a good travel companion for anyone who doesn't like to fly.

by ilene hoffman, Reviews Editor


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