on October 16, 2010
Many consider Martin Evening's Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers to be the single best and most comprehensive book available for CS5. This book is a welcome companion that further expands on that book with more detailed examples of professional workflow, retouching and advanced techniques.
The 26 movie tutorials with over 3 hours of content are worth the price of the book many times over.
Interestingly, the first chapter, entitled "Before You Shoot" is a wealth of advice from a seasoned professional on how to prepare before shooting to give yourself a better setup for using Photoshop.
The 2nd chapter is a very detailed and well explained camera raw workflow. Camera raw is a very important part of my processing and this chapter illustrates Raw workflow with beautiful progressive step-by-step images with full explanatory text. The movie tutorial covers these same pages so you have the advantage of seeing his workflow in both the text and in the video. Very well done.
The 3rd chapter you almost never find in a Photoshop book and goes over all the things a good photographer does to guarantee the maximum image IQ before Photoshop is ever opened. There are many jewels here that many photographers may never consider and have a great deal to do with that elusive snap you are looking for in your final image.
The book continues with example after example of fully explained and illustrated step-by-step "how-to's". I've found a wealth of information and technique combining the text with the movie tutorials. These are very well done.
All the example files are on the DVD so you can work alongside the text.
I don't see a list of chapters in the book description, so here they are:
1. Before you shoot
2. Camera Raw workflow
3. Raising your IQ
4. Mending and blending
5. Now you see it, now you don't
6. Retouching people
7. Masking and compositing
8. Photoshop after dark
10. Cooking with Photoshop
11. Robo Photoshop
12. Photoshop output
13. Minding your own business
If you already own Evening's Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers, don't hesitate to buy this book.
I really wouldn't have needed another Photoshop book if I hadn't recently gotten the "extended" version. Having seen this book at a bookstore, I knew that it had an excellent tutorial on a feature that only applies to the extended version (stacking multiple shots to automatically remove variable elements, such as tourists walking in front of a fountain--the fountain remains, the tourists disappear). This wasn't in any of my other books, I needed to this and couldn't locate the video I'd seen it in. That--and maybe some more info on extended--was all I was expecting out of it.
How wrong I was! This book is a treasure trove for owners of both versions. In addition to the information I needed,
--I got a lot of other valuable information I either didn't know previously or had forgotten explained in a refreshingly uncomplicated way;
--I got "old" information presented in a better and clearer way to understand what is happening under the hood;
--I gained additional understanding about why some tools work better in different situations, as well as color spaces, and pre-press;
--I gained a better understanding of tools/functions I knew about but had ignored (such as nearest neighbor interpolation);
--in short, it was like seeing Photoshop from a new and smarter perspective.
I love the way the authors present the material. It is not only in a clear and conversational manner without forced humor, but it is illustrated by tons of screen shots detailing every step. The tone and level is casual, no more technical than necessary, respects your time and intelligence, and can make the most dreary and monotonous task seem entertaining and interesting.
I am a fairly competent Photoshop user for purposes of photography (particularly candid portraits and two-dimensional artwork). I've been using Photoshop daily since version 5.5. I know enough to prepare prints for art books and catalogs and enough to chronicle family events at a quasi-professional level. I haven't come across a challenge I couldn't improvise my way out of in years, so I thought I knew everything I would ever need. Maybe so, but that doesn't mean that I was doing everything the right way or that there weren't easier, better and more efficient ways to work. For example: I was still making masks as I would have several versions ago and they worked fine. I knew there was a new masks panel, but what I didn't realize is how much more functionality and accuracy there is in making masks the new way. And this is just one example. Over the years, I had gotten into a rut, I wasn't taking full advantage of improvements to the program, using the old tools to full advantage, or thinking creatively--I just kept going back to whatever had worked in the past and only incorporating the most obvious additions into my work flow. Big mistake.
This book not only teaches an old dog new tricks, but it would teach a beginning or intermediate user to do things the smarter way from the beginning, to establish an efficient work flow, and to fully understand the many options Photoshop offers you and use them intelligently. I wish I'd had it a long time ago, but I'm delighted to have found it now. It has brought back the excitement and wonder I felt back when I first discovered Photoshop.
PS: the CD contains actions and other automation options I haven't yet had the time to explore, but I plan to treat myself to a tour after the holidays!
on December 25, 2010
It is a phantastic book - it gives you insight into not only how to get the pictures done which appear on the billboards, but also into the creative process and the caveats when dealing with the ad agency. Just love the content.
Unfortunately, I ordered the Kindle edition. And that means - no DVD with sample pictures, you cannot really follow the book. Apparently, you also cannot download the material (which I would have expected). And there was no warning about that when I bought the Kindle book. So basically, to learn with the respective sample material, I have to buy the paper book as well. :-(((
I am fairly disappointed a) that I pay almost the same price, but a very significant piece is missing b) that there is no way of buying a combined product containing both the Kindle and the print edition c) that after 20 min of searching, I still have not found any way of contacting Amazon to figure out how such a situation should be handled.
on December 26, 2010
Please be aware that this book addresses ADVANCED PS techniques and seems primarily relevant for professionals and advanced hobbyists. To this point, the last chapter of the book addresses business issues related to professional photography such as copyright, marketing, sales, and pricing. Other reviewers have described this book as the missing PS CS5 manual etc. etc.. This is certainly not true and inexperienced PS users would be best served by purchasing one of the many excellent basic PS texts which exist. This book assumes basic to intermediate familiarity with photoshop and its functions. It is further not intended to be encyclopedic. Rather the authors have chosen specific PS techniques to highlight in the various chapters.
Beginning users and even many intermediate users will likely find the information in this book overly specialized and often lacking in detail. For example, the book assumes knowledge of PS commands, icons, keyboard shortcuts etc., and significant facility with layering and other techniques. As such, many of the techniques described lack complete, detailed step-by-step approaches to problems. Its strengths are in its detailed coverage of advanced photoshop raw techniques, particularly editing techniques and PS's camera raw functions and workflow. It also covers aspects not covered in many other PS books such as camera and lens - PS interface issues. It does a nice job in covering issues related to fashion and portrait photography and advertising, as well as landscape photography, including HDR techniques. The illustrations are excellent.
Having said that, this is an excellent book written well in an engaging style by two obvious PS master photographers. Aspiring intermediate to advanced PS users will find a treasure trove of advanced PS "pearls" in this excellent book.
You need not be a Photoshop expert to get plenty out of `Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers - The Ultimate Workshop' by Martin Evening and Jeff Schewe' but I wouldn't rely on this book alone for the basics.
The authors themselves make a key point that it's not essential to master every nook and cranny of the software. What is essential is finding and learning well those features that best help you accomplish what you want to do as effectively as possible.
If you're completely new to software (or software as involved as Photoshop) I think you'll quickly be lost without a basics guide you're comfortable with. The Photoshop help files are extensive but the hyperlinked format, speaking for myself, can be hyper-frustrating.
I had access to Martin Evening's companion volume, `Adobe Photoshop for Photographers', which is massive (700+ pages) and contains far more than what's required for the workshop. I managed pretty well after reading the chapters on Photoshop Fundamentals, Camera Raw Processing, and Image Editing Basics (still, that was a couple of hundred pages in total).
While occasional reference is made in the workshop book to Evening's text, I don't think anyone who's gotten their basic knowledge elsewhere will feel disadvantaged.
Another reason to consider an alternative basics book is the text in the workshop book can be a bit dense and wordy. The authors obviously have plenty to share and the writing is quite good but for a book marketed as a hands-on workshop it can feel as though you're doing an awful lot of reading in between the hands-on.
The tutorials in the workshop book are along the lines of `look over my shoulder then try it yourself using the images provided on the DVD', rather than the more literal `Step 1: Display the X menu and select Y with the mouse', kind you'll see in the PS magazines and other books.
The authors don't assume every reader is a professional like themselves, but they address you as a serious adult and invite you into their world in a way that respects your intelligence and rewards your enthusiasm to uncover the `real stuff' the pros use to get those amazing shots we all admire.
What I found most refreshing throughout the book is the authors' perspective that digital post-production in Photoshop is just one variable component in the contemporary photographer's workflow - sometimes playing a dominant role - other times a minimal or even a non-existent one - but never losing sight of the primary goal which is to meet each client's needs in an efficient, high-quality way. It's a perspective both pro and amateur can relate to - even if your clients don't extend beyond your family members.
The first tutorial on Raw Camera processing is a case in point. The authors explain that 90% of what needs to be done to most images can be done right here in Raw Camera parameter mode, and it can often be done more easily and efficiently than by using the pixel-based tools in the main Photoshop application. I'm not sure how Adobe feels about that, but you have to appreciate the honesty.
In spite of the authors' approach of mastering a focused subset of features, there's an enormous amount covered in these tutorials. Generally speaking, Evening tends towards beauty subjects while Schewe favors outdoors, still lifes, and complex composites for advertising. Fortunately it's not necessary to work through the chapters sequentially so readers can zero-in on their own interests.
I found my way into the book through Chapter 5 that includes a number of concise retouching tutorials, no more than few pages each. This was a goldmine for someone like me relatively new to retouching, both fun to work through and practical. One section titled `The Photoshop Diet' demonstrates how to magically slim down your subject's figure (within limits of course). Others describe techniques to remove stray hairs, color roots, and enhance existing hair color. My favorites show how to remove unwanted fixed obstructions marring an otherwise great shot, eliminate tourists from popular outdoor subjects, and even remove leaves and petals from a shot of your lawn!
For me that chapter and the following one on portrait retouching were the most relevant. But seeing how complex composites (like the classic liquid droplets on a surface) are created in other tutorials using layering and filtering techniques really piqued my curiosity to try my hand at it.
I think what sets the book apart from other Photoshop books I've browsed is the professional credibility on the pages, a sense of this-is-what-works-in-the-real-world that makes studying these chapters great fun. Once you've gotten your bearings with the software this is a more than worthwhile place to be that will elevate your skills to the next level and change the way you view digital images, professional or otherwise, forever.
on January 6, 2011
Does the world really need one more "how-to" book on the digital image editing process...particularly for Adobe Photoshop (still the 800-pound gorilla in this immensely competitive field)? The answer is "probably not," unless it brings something quite special to the discussion. Fortunately, in this case there's more than enough to make it highly worthwhile, at least for a somewhat narrow audience.
Printed technical books are increasingly challenged by the monumental changes going on with the distribution and consumption of information. But generally we still have to read to absorb the data, whatever the delivery system may be, and for some complex topics (with advanced Photoshop a good example), having a real textbook to study and then refer back to on a regular basis is a very good idea.
First, about the authors. While there are many Photoshop experts with great writing skills, few are as deep inside the business or as directly involved in improving the imaging industry's processes and methods as Martin Evening and Jeff Schewe. Their credentials are simply of the highest order, and if you're serious about digital imaging you'll pay attention to what they have to say. That doesn't mean there aren't a host of ways to get to the final product (i.e. to capture, create, produce, and deliver high quality digital images), but learning specialized skills from these pros can't help but advance your cause in this intensely competitive field.
What does The Ultimate Workshop cover? Think of it as a masters course on using combinations of intricate Photoshop tools to achieve a particular objective, such as compositing, mending & blending, and HDR (to name but a few). All start with the assumption you pretty well know the basic program. This is definitely not a beginner's book, though certainly anyone with a serious interest in digital imaging can glean a lot of important and valuable material from it. But those who will benefit most will have a good mastery of Photoshop fundamentals in order to be able to appreciate the explanations of underlying conceptual and technical foundations of many processes as well as the elaborate interactions of various tools.
And it's not just about using the program. Since imaging starts well before and ends well after the Photoshop program itself, additional important sections cover preparation prior to capture, automating image editing and optimization processes for efficiency, making the highest quality prints, and dealing with the business of photography. There's also a DVD containing many of the printed images and a number of PDFs and QuickTime movies containing even more information on selected subjects. All told, it's a wealth of valuable information.
Recommendation: Highly recommended for anyone who regularly uses Photoshop to accomplish advanced, complex imaging tasks. You'll have to really concentrate to absorb it all--it's like getting "the rest of the story." This is definitely upper-level material. Those just learning Photoshop would be much better served with any number of more fundamental "how-to" books or video tutorials, but once the basic foundation is established this "workshop" will help you move to the next level in maximizing the capability of this powerful program.
I have been using Photoshop for over a decade and during that time I have used various training resources including the books by Scott Kelby and the videos on Lynda.com. I think that the Kelby books are good for first time users of Photoshop since they give a good background but omit a lot of advanced features and methods. The training on Lynda is diversified and outstanding with lots of videos to choose from, but some people prefer to have the training in written form.
I approached the Ultimate Workshop by Evening and Schewe wondering just how much new information and advice this additional would offer. It turned out, quite a lot. Where the Ultimate Workshop truly shines is in the presentation of advanced techniques not covered in any other training resource that I have used. The authors effectively convey guidance on image manipulation, tricks and process workflow based on their vast experience.
The Ultimate Workshop is not a beginners book for Photoshop. A certain level of experience on the part of the reader is assumed. Whereas Kelby walks the reader through the steps to accomplish certain tasks and even suggests settings, the authors of the Ultimate Workshop assume that the reader already has a knowledge the layout of Photoshop and how to use filters and layers, for example since the location of these tools are not included in the instructions. Therefore, the Ultimate Workshop is ideally suited for people who are already at an intermediate or above level with Photoshop.
The authors of the Ultimate Workshop approach Photoshop with the philosophy that an amazing photo is not born in Photoshop. There is a strong emphasis in the book on getting the photograph you need before you take it to Photoshop. For example, an example is shown for night photography where the scene is chosen before the sun sets. The authors show through other examples that even digitally manipulated images which are created in Photoshop need to be thought out before the elements are photographs so that the elements that are used will create the desired end result.
The authors do a very good job at presenting the image processing techniques to the reader. The image processing steps are presented in both text and images. The authors also included side blurbs to explain terms or steps they thought needed additional attention. The tone of the text is casual and the reader is treated intelligently. What I really liked was the sense of honesty that the authors conveyed. For example, when discussing content aware fills, the authors warn that the automated approach won't work every time, despite what the training books say. The authors explain that everyone, including themselves use examples that work and this can lead to false expectations if it wasn't for them revealing this to the reader.
The authors go further than just image processing to also include a chapter on creating actions in Photoshop. Given that the rest of the book assumes a level of experience with actions, it is surprising that the authors treat the recording of actions as if they are presenting it to beginners. However, by doing so, the authors convey some good advice which can be used by both beginners and more advanced Photoshop users.
Another chapter is devoted to choosing the correct printer to use with Photoshop and how to get the most out of your prints. People who need to provide CMYK images to publishers will find the advice given by the authors to be particularly useful.
What I was surprised and disappointed by the abrupt end of the last chapter of the book about archiving and file formats. The authors could have added an ending to the whole book to emphasize or summarize main points or even a summary of their workflow. While the ending of the book certainly does not distract from the wealth of information in the book, I do think that it was an opportunity missed by the authors.
An additional point to be made is that although there are image processing steps shown in the book which are particular to the Photoshop CS5 extended version, many of the techniques shown in the book can be applied in earlier versions of Photoshop as well.
The DVD which comes with the book includes sample images, additional chapters, QuickTime videos and even layer styles that you can add to your own library. The DVD is a great resource to go beyond just reading and to actually try the same steps on the sample image.
In summary, an excellent resource for intermediate or beyond users of Photoshop. The experience of the authors which is conveyed in the book, the effectiveness of the text and images to clearly show the image processing steps and the resources given on the DVD make this a very worthwhile book for anyone who uses Photoshop.
Since the book description on Amazon does not include a chapter summary, the chapters of the book are:
1. Before you shoot
- Emphasizes the importance of planning your photograph before you shoot
2. Camera Raw workflow
- Steps for processing images in RAW
3. Raising your IQ
- Points to consider to improve the image quality of your photographs including using the mirror-up mode, lens corrections and capture sharpening.
4. Mending and blending
- Steps in Photoshop to retouch photographs
5. Now you see it, now you don't
- Removing unwanted objects
6. Retouching people
- Portrait retouching
7. Masking and compositing
- Creating composite images and masking
8. Photoshop after dark
- Night photography
- Creating HDR images and combining multiple images into one image
10. Cooking with Photoshop
- Content aware scaling, b&w conversion, solarization and other darkroom effects including adding borders.
11. Robo Photoshop
- Actions and automated RAW processing workflow
12. Photoshop output
- Printing your images
13. Minding your own business
- Adding value to your photographs, archiving and some business advice
In addition, the accompanying DVD includes seven chapters not found in the book:
- Camera Raw sharpening
- Preparing images for print
- Color Management
- Refine Mask command (CS5)
- Extending the Range (HDR Pro - CS5)
- Camera Raw localized adjustments - (From the CS4 book)
- Preparing screen shots for publication - (From the CS4 book)
The additional chapters are presented as PDF files.
on November 1, 2010
I have always considered Martin Evening's Adobe Photoshop for Photographers series of books to be the best and most comprehensive book available. This book expands further with more detailed examples of professional workflow, retouching and advanced techniques.
There is a wealth of advice in the first chapter from a seasoned professional on how to prepare before shooting. It is like this: if you know an address, you will drive to it; but if you don't, you will drive round and round wasting precious gasoline.
I strongly recommend this book to all who want to stay in shape and don't forget the Photoshop techniques, which are not being used in their everyday Photography.
on December 17, 2010
This book is quite a value. While loosely intended as a companion book to Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers, it's also effective as a standalone. Martin Evening and Jeff Schewe have put together a nearly seamless set of tutorials that cover several different types of photo editing situations. While the reader may not have an interest in every single area (the landscape photographer may not care much about fashion retouching), there is useful information in every segment.
Photoshop is a huge program and can be quite daunting to the first-timer. I've been using it for a few years, but it's still surprising how much I've missed. It's understandable: if you're on the hunt for a particular filter, you're likely to pass right over a number of unfamiliar menu entries. Many of those entries are doorways to entirely new concepts. The writing here is very clear, with each section written primarily by a single author. The examples are well-chosen and the printed graphics are generally good, if occasionally a bit small. A huge amount of ground is covered. There's even more on the Camera Raw importer (save your money on those expensive de-noising plugins) and Bridge. There's a nice section on conversion to black-and-white, with other tips on removing stray hairs, creating 3D panoramas, HDR, star trails, and creating intentionally unrealistic images. The authors also address 'Actions', the powerful scripting capabilities of Photoshop, as well as copyright protection and some other business-related questions. There is also description of features in the extended version of the program--enough to make me wish I had it. This includes powerful 3D functions and image-stacking.
This is not a complete list. There's plenty more. I should point out that the writing betrays no bias toward PC or Mac. In cases where keystrokes might differ, both platforms are covered equally.
I would have been completely satisfied if this was as far as it went. It's a good book, full of information. But that's not all. There is an included DVD. This contains most of the images in the book--freely editable--that the reader can use to solidify learning. There are also many movies, working through the book chapters step-by-step. I liked these a lot. The viewer can see in real time exactly what differences each parameter can make.
One time through won't be enough for me. This volume will stay close by and should serve as a valuable reference. It will make me a better photographer, in part because I'll be a better editor, but also because I'll be able to plan better during a shoot. Not everything in life is a bargain. But this is.
I have Martin Evening's Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers, and it's incredibly detailed - almost encyclopedic - in its coverage of the essential tools and processes in Photoshop. This one covers some of the same material, but as the title suggests it's more workshop than reference. The authors lead you through a number of fairly sophisticated workflows for solving specific problems or creating specific results. This is not a beginner's guide to Photoshop, but more like a master class for photographers who want to understand how Photoshop works and how to make it work for you. Each tutorial is clearly illustrated, and explains both the how and the why of each major step. They don't, however, go over the basics - they presuppose a reader who understands the interface, who's got a fairly decent level of competence using the various tools to make selections, work with layers and masking, apply effects and adjustment layers. The ideal audience for this one is the experienced photographer, who's used Photoshop to enhance images but wants to take it to the next level and produce professional quality seamless work. One thing that readers of Evening's other works would know is that he loves the Camera Raw features of Photoshop CS5, and they outline here how to use it efficiently. I found the discussion of camera optics fascinating - and now I understand why more megapixels is not necessarily better, and also why digital sharpening is almost always essential no matter how good the image. There's a very cool chapter on taking advantage of the automation tools in Photoshop, something I'd never done. There's also a chapter that touches on the business end of photography - how to make money with Photoshop, something that both of the authors know about. It's a very worthwhile guide, well written and clear, and covers a wide range of essential techniques for photographic enhancement.