“Fantasy Nudes: Digital Techniques In Photography” by Jim Zuckerman is definitely worth taking a look at if you have ever done any sort of digital imaging.
There a lot of pictures here, and none of them are even remotely close to what the original camera image looked like. There is definitely a wide range of opinions on the type of images you’ll find on this book. Some people think they look really cool and interesting, while others simply don’t care for them at all. I’ve got to admit I fall somewhere in the middle, although I lean towards the “cool” side.
Many of the images concentrate on techniques for compositing multiple images together, very much like one might do in a real darkroom. Other images show techniques for combining photos with computer generated graphics. Finally, quite a few of the images demonstrate how to use image manipulation filters and painting tools to alter an original photo and create images which don’t look like photographs at all.
The biggest problem with this book is that it gives you only the barest details about the actual techniques involved. This might lead some people into thinking that they can run “Adobe Photoshop”, scan their image, then just click on the right button. In a few rare cases, it might be just that easy, but just like anything else worthwhile, it usually takes a lot of skill and talent and patience. Just like automatic cameras didn’t make everybody who used one a professional photographer, software like Adobe Photoshop doesn’t make everybody who has a computer and a scanner an expert digital imager.
Hmm… I just realized that I have never heard of a name to refer to someone who does digital manipulations on photographs. Simply saying “Photographer” isn’t specific enough. And just adding “Digital” as a prefix doesn’t necessarily imply image manipulation. Somebody had better come up with a suitable title for this!
This book is a few years old now. That means that you might find this book useful even if you haven’t got the latest and greatest version of Photoshop. And it also means you can probably pick it up used for just a few bucks at Amazon.