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Al Judge Books

Long Books

This is my Best-Selling Photography Book.  It has been the #1 book in the Kindle Store in the categories of Digital Photography and Digital Photography Reference for most of the last 8 years.

Learn to take control of your camera by mastering manual controls.  Stop guessing and being influenced by people who may or may not know what they are talking about.

Many people believe common advice — like the sun needs to be directly behind you, when in fact the best lighting comes from your sides.  Also, few people know that rainy and overcast days intensify colors.  Don't be mislead by common wisdom.


This is my most comprehensive book and the one I use as a textbook when I tutor.

I believe knowing how a camera works will make you a better photographer.  The evolution of cameras and the principles of operation are the starting point of this book.  From there camera options, lens choices, and camera settings are explained from a solid foundation that enhances communication.

You will come to understand terminology that is unique to digital photography and learn how film photography influenced digital images.


In the days of film photography Ansel Adams and Fred Archer created an Exposure Zone system to improve exposure settings.  This system required a great deal of observation and judgement as well as time and effort.  Thanks to modern technology digital cameras do all the work for us in the form of Histograms.  We only have to know how to use them.

Digital cameras do an excellent job of setting the exposure in most cases, so you won't need to rely on histograms for good results.  Understanding histograms will improve results in difficult lighting situations and help you recognize common exposure mistakes. 


To the best of my knowledge, this is the only book about Photoshop that does not require some previous experience with photo editing software.  Unlike most books on the topic, this was not written for a specific version of Photoshop.  It was written in a way to provide a solid foundation for learning future releases and features.

It also has links to more than 12 hours of tutorial videos.  In these videos, I share my screen while editing photos and explain what I am doing.  My cursor is well marked and I set a pace that is easy to follow.  Click Here to view tutorials.

Although it was written in March 2015, it is still the easiest way to learn Photoshop.


This book is all about the artistic side of photography.  It presents some concepts that will improve your creative results.  It will also give you an idea of settings that are common for a variety of situations.

It includes contributions from 8 Featured Artists ranging from highly-acclaimed world-renowned professionals to total amateurs.  The amateurs show us you don't have to have the best equipment and resources to make great images and the professionals show us what is possible with dedication to the art.  Regardless of their level of experience, these artists were invited to contribute because they create beautiful images.

Landscape Photography is a source of great joy and satisfaction for me.  Fortunately I live in a place of exceptional natural beauty.

There have been times when I hiked for several miles carrying a 35 pound backpack full of photography equipment and other times when I stopped at a scenic overlook and only walked a few feet to get my image.  How you get there isn't that important.  Having the right equipment and being prepared is what really matters. 


One important topic in this book is how to setup and use a pano-gimbal.  I wish someone had told me about this device years earlier.  It makes creating extremely high resolution images an easy and reliable process.


The title of this book tells the story.

Understanding the life cycle of a digital image can affect how you use your camera and how you plan your images.

Each part of the process is just as important and significant as the other aspects.  Ansel Adams was an exception photographer but it was his expertise in the darkroom that made him a legend.  His captures were often bland and uninspiring but he always had a vision for the final print and those images were truly awe inspiring.  He developed every print he ever sold and was working in his darkroom until a few days before he died.


This is a very short but valuable book.

One evening I went to one of my favorite photo spots and set up to capture the rising of a full moon.  There were two other photographers who came along shortly after I arrived.  They both had expensive top-of-the-line equipment and were clearly experienced photographers.  Neither had ever taken a moon shot before and they had no idea how to set up for the capture when the moon rose.  They each asked for my help which I was glad to offer.  This experience helped me realize a simple book with brief instructions for less common situations would be of value to many people.  This is one of those times when less is more.


Impressions of Sedona Picture Books


Finely Focused Series — Same content as longer books but each is limited to a single subject.

Finely Focused Books

Some of my most recent images of Sedona

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VOC Panorama 10 340ppi.jpg
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