Photography Books & Publications

by Nat Coalson

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Book Cover: Shapeshifter by Nat Coalson

Abstract Photography

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Book Cover: Landscapes of the World by Nat Coalson

Landscape and Nature Photography

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Astratto Uno

This book, my first publication of purely abstract works, presents a collection of over 150 of my favorite photographs made between 2003 and 2012. I made these pictures at various, and dramatically different, locations around the world.

The aim of my abstract work is to find pictures, as much or more than I create them. This immerses me in the environment and makes every situation a potential scene for making new imagery.

All the pictures are straight photographs, each made with a single capture—none are composites or blends of multiple exposures. Some images use in-camera techniques such as moving the camera during the exposure; others are long exposures of moving subjects while the camera remains stationary. Many of the pictures feature still subjects photographed just as they are, and although some photographs are made from a relatively close distance, none are true macro photography. In the end, all the pictures in this book received only minimal digital processing, such as minor contrast and color enhancement, cropping and retouching.

The book is available in printed and PDF formats:

Printed version $ 60 USD  Click here to preview and buy a printed book from Blurb

Nature Photography Photo Workshop

A how-to guide for capturing stunning photographs in nature

Photographing nature poses unique challenges and demands that you have special skills and a working knowledge of how to work in—and with—nature. This Photo Workshop is a must-have how-to guide for shooting nature images in nearly any situation you might encounter.

You’ll learn which equipment is right in different settings and why it should be used, how to get an amazing photo of a fast-moving animal, and how to handle a myriad of tricky weather scenarios. This book covers composition, exposure, fill-flash, special creative techniques, and more. Plus, assignments at the end of each chapter sharpen your skills to for taking unique, artistic nature photographs.

  • Shows you what equipment to use in different settings and why to use it
  • Offers essential advice for photographing a fast-moving animal and dealing with weather obstacles
  • Provides a clear understanding of the basic fundamentals of photography
  • Addresses composition, exposure, fill-flash, creative techniques, and more
  • Shares Photoshop tips for sharpening and improving photos you’ve already taken

Packed with inspirational color photos throughout, this workshop guide encourages you to improve your technique for taking nature photographs.

“Nat Coalson continues to amaze me with his breathtaking view on nature and this book did not disappoint. The imagery is gorgeous and transports you from simply viewing a book into the world Nat has captured with his camera.”
– Sandy Puc’

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Lightroom 5 Book CoverLightroom 5: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Process

Co-Authored with Rob Sylvan

Manage your images with Lightroom and this beautifully illustrated guide

Image management can soak up huge amounts of a photographer’s time, but help is on hand. This complete guides teaches you how to use Adobe Lightroom 5 to import, manage, edit, and showcase large quantities of images with impressive results.  The authors, both professional photographers and Lightroom experts, walk you through step by step, demonstrating real-world techniques as well as a variety of practical tips, tricks, and shortcuts that save you time. Streamline image management tasks like a pro, and get back to doing what you love — taking photographs.

– Teaches you digital imaging fundamentals, as well as specific skills you need to master Adobe’s Lightroom 5 digital photography workflow software
– Explores capturing, importing, editing, processing, and presenting digital photos
– Explains real-world, professional-level techniques through easy-to-follow instructions and beautiful, full-color examples
– Frees you to focus on your creative photography abilities by helping you develop strong technical skills

Learn not only the “how” of editing and handling photographs with Lightroom 5, but the “why” as well, with Lightroom 5: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Process.

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Lightroom 4: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Workflow

Most photographers want to make their photos look good, find them easily, and protect them from loss. And they’d rather be out in the field than learning a new software program. If this is you, you’ll love Nat Coalson’s step-by-step, task-focused approach to Lightroom 4. Designed for new users and those upgrading from an earlier version, this book leads you on a straightforward path to great results.

“Nat Coalson is passionate about sharing his experience and knowledge on Lightroom 4 to help you professionally organize, process, and present your images. This book has been completely revised and updated to include the newest Lightroom features to make your images look their very best!”
— Katrin Eismann, Chair, Masters in Digital Photography, School of Visual Arts, New York, New York

Learn to

  • Organize your photo library to quickly find what you’re looking for
  • Optimize every photo with powerful, easy image adjustments
  • Edit videos and publish your finished clips to the web
  • Create beautiful photo books, web galleries, and slideshows
  • Synchronize your collections with photo-sharing and social media websites
  • Print photos with precise color accuracy
  • Use the map to plot locations where your photos were take

I wrote this book so that photographers can learn Lightroom as easily as possible. My goal is always to strike a balance between simplicity and thoroughness and I’ve tried to make the topics easy to learn while providing enough technical detail for a practical, useful mastery of Lightroom.

This book is for photographers who don’t want to figure everything out themselves but still want an in-depth understanding of Lightroom. The concepts and instruction in this book are based on what I’ve learned teaching countless clients and students over the past six years since Lightroom was first released. Over the years, most of my clients and students have been wedding, portrait and event photographers with a results-oriented focus. Lightroom isn’t necessarily something these folks do for fun; they want to accomplish something important, as quickly and easily as possible. This is what I’ve tried to provide in this book. Of course, for the photographers who enjoy taking their time to finesse each image to perfection there is plenty to sink your teeth into. I’ve addressed the most important challenges–and opportunities–inherent with using this powerful software.

Lightroom has come a long way since it was first introduced in 2006. Version 4 offers a host of new and improved features as well as bug fixes and support for the latest cameras. Adobe has done a great job of addressing the real-world needs and concerns of photographers and version 4 provides most (if not all) the tools the vast majority of photographers will need to work with their images and videos.

Lightroom makes it easy to work with your photos, but it is not easy to learn. And Lightroom 4 is much more complex than the first release with vastly increased capabilities and many more options. One of the challenges in writing this book was handling the different approaches for explaining how the software works and what to actually do with it. There were two main issues I’ve tried to address: 1) what are the important issues to resolve in the typical digital photo workflow, and 2) how does a person use Lightroom to do these things? In this book I’ve done my best to explain both how the controls work and what to do with them to make your own photos look great.

From my past two Lightroom books, I’ve received many comments and supportive feedback. I’ve done my best to accommodate as many requests as possible with this version. My hope is that this will be the only Lightroom 4 book you need and that once you get to know Lightroom 4 you’ll enjoy using it as much as I do!

Note from a reader:

“Dear Nat,
I recently purchased a copy of your new book on LR4, replacing the copy of your book on LR3 as I’ve upgraded my software.

I would like to thank you for creating and publishing these excellent books, they are simply the best references I’ve located for use with this outstanding software – keep up the great work, you are very talented!

Best Regards / Bill”

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Lightroom 3: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Process

I’ve worked my entire adult life in digital imaging, from managing high-volume production departments to running my own photography and printing businesses. And for many years, I’ve been teaching photographers how to be self-sufficient when it comes to working with their digital images.

Having used all major image editing software released over the past twenty years, I now choose to use Lightroom because it allows me to work quickly, helps me deal with large numbers of images and lets me get back to enjoying the creative aspects of photography.

From my experience, I know how hard it can be to learn new ways of doing things–especially computer stuff. Unfortunately for a lot of photographers, struggling with digital processing can take the fun out of photography. Trying to figure out the intricacies of file formats, resolution, color management, etc., and even simply where to put all the files can be daunting tasks. Worse yet, sometimes it’s hard just to know the right steps to get the best quality from a single photo!

It’s my mission to ease your pain; to show you that you really can be in control of your entire imaging process, and help you develop a personalized workflow that fits your style and needs. My students frequently tell me how liberating this is: to comfortably handle all the files coming off the camera and residing on hard disks, to work methodically through a known sequence of steps and to produce finished pictures that you’re proud to show other people. This is at the heart of the photographer’s experience, and I want you to know this sense of confidence and capability.

I’ve taught large groups and individual photographers alike. Over the years I’ve learned where people get stuck. I understand the pitfalls new users face when first starting to use Lightroom as well as the concerns of more experienced users looking for ways to tweak their workflow for better performance. I want to help you overcome these challenges.

My goal for this book is to teach you to effectively use Lightroom 3 as quickly and easily as possible. My writing has been heavily influenced by my experiences working with clients and students, and I’ve approached the content of this book as I would tutor someone in a one-on-one training session. The order in which concepts are presented and the emphasis I give to certain aspects of the workflow are unique among books of its kind.

Sample review: “I have been using Adobe Lightroom for a little over a year and while I am deeply impressed with it (I recommend it highly) I always felt that I simply didn’t have a clue about how to use it properly.

Adobe has tonnes of excellent on-line help material for Lightroom including hours of video tutorials. The company runs a helpful forum for users and those users themselves have set up a vast array of websites and blogs dealing with the program. Full marks to all of them and thumbs up to Adobe for creating the best imaging program I have ever used.

But I could never get a handle on how I should be approaching the “workflow” or method of working with my photos in Lightroom.

For me Lightroom is not just some place to play around with pictures; it’s more like a giant mansion filled with rooms crammed with mysterious machines, secret passages, and stuff that looks a bit like magic. I was always more than half lost in the Lightroom mansion whenever I processed photographs.

Until Nat Coalson’s book that is.

I am about a third of the way through it and if I stopped reading it now I would still consider what I have learned as worth the price of the book. Indeed, as the headline to this review says, I would have been happy to have paid twice as much for just the little I’ve got out of it already.

Mr Coalson writes the way I think he must deliver his training programs. There is a strong sense of one-on-one teaching in his writing and it pays off in ways that everything else I’ve read concerning Lightroom failed at.

One of the problems with Lightroom, for me, has always been the bewildering series of options, features and menu selections. I never really knew what half of them did and of the other half I hadn’t a clue about which choices to make. Those choices are all explained nicely in the book, not in the sense of what they do, but what they can mean for your work, for your images. And if you still aren’t clear on what option to choose he usually finishes off the section by telling you what his personal choice is which at least gives you a very well informed place to start.

The section of the book I have completed deals essentially with how to get your images into Lightroom in an organized way, how to sort them, judge them, and get everything lined up before diving into the actual processing. This is a critical phase of what Adobe calls the “workflow”. While there is no one way to go about the workflow the ways I was using were wasteful and utterly draining of my time and energy.

Reading about workflow in Lightroom always used to make me feel like someone was painting varnish over the surface of my brain. I just couldn’t get the concepts, the details were byzantine, and it just all seemed way too bureaucratic and anal.

Now I don’t even think about the process. It is all transparent and effortless.

I set up the program and my picture files the way he recommended. I found the options and features I liked. And I started to get-stuff-done — quickly.

It used to take me an hour or more just to get a hundred or so shots sorted and evaluated, ready for full scale image processing. But now I can zap through a hundred shots in a handful of minutes.

I am really looking forward to the next two thirds of this book.”

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Lightroom 2: Streamlining your Digital Photography Process

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the primary software-of-choice for today’s digital photographer. As a new tool, using Lightroom requires mastering new skills—not always an easy task. Compounding the challenge, many photographers don’t have fundamental knowledge of digital image processing. Lightroom 2: Streamlining your Digital Photography Process offers you  the digital imaging fundamentals and the Lightroom-specific skills you need to quickly learn and retain a mastery of Lightroom.

Written and designed by a professional photographer, designer, fine art printmaker and instructor, this book is designed to simplify and accelerate the learning process and is unique in both content and presentation. Nat Coalson is an Adobe Certified Expert in Lightroom and Photoshop, and has taught photography and imaging classes and workshops for many years. The approach taken by Lightroom 2: Streamlining your Digital Photography Process is based on over 20 years of professional experience in photography, printing, and imaging, and the methods of instruction were developed through the author’s work with students and clients.

At 400 pages, this book clearly explains how to use all of Lightroom’s controls, and much more. Beginning with the original image capture, all the way through importing, editing, processing and presenting photos, the text also explains fundamental imaging concepts every modern photographer needs to know. Not just the “how” but also the “why”. Not just recipes, but core skills you will use again and again. And by developing stronger technical skills, you will be able to focus more on creative expression.

Sample review: “I was honestly a little leery of purchasing another Lightroom 2 book. I had a few kicking around the house already and I doubted there was anything left to learn that I couldn’t find for free online.

I was wrong.

If you’re in the market for a single Lightroom 2 book – buy this one. For those of you who have followed Lightroom from the beginning there are great tips and shortcuts to be found. For those of you who are new to the Lightroom work flow this is the book for you. “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2: Streamlining your digital photography process” will help unlock all of Lightroom’s potential.

Ok, I know that sounded a bit like a commercial. It isn’t. I was just pleasantly surprised to be learning new tips and shortcuts that I will use and that will save me time.

So what sets this book apart from the others?

It’s simple really – Mr. Coalson sticks to one thing and one thing only; moving images through the Lightroom pipeline. He’s not trying to make you a better photographer, he just wants you to take care of your images, manage them and then reach your end goals. He wants you to be a more organized photographer.”

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Other Recommended Reading for Photographers

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