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Photoshop CS4 After the Shoot 1st Edition
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More About the Author
I bought my first camera right after graduating from high-school. I instantly fell in love with photography. A couple of years later I began to work for one of the largest photo processing companies in the country, Fox Photo. We had several labs across the country, but only one professional lab at that time. It was located in San Antonio, TX, which is also where Fox's corporate headquarters was located. The pro lab was in the same building as one of the huge "mother labs", so on average we had about 150 people working there throughout a 24-hour period.
In the early days, for someone who was interested in photography, Fox Photo's Pro Lab was an incredible place to work. It was like having a job in a candy store. I was not only exposed to lots of amazing photographs and the photographers who made them, I also worked with some of the smartest people in the industry. All of them were willing to share their knowledge, as well as their photographic equipment.
Having a state-of-the-art pro lab at my disposal made it possible to burn through lots of film at a fraction of the usual cost. I was able to improve my photography and technical skills at a very quick rate. It wasn't long before I was landing freelance commercial gigs, photographing a wide range of subject matter for publications, advertising - and even album covers.
I continued to work in and consult for photolabs. They ranged from large labs like Fox, to small mom-and-pop operations that were usually in the back of photo studios. I got to see how lots of craftspeople created works of art from average images. I also became an expert in color management and color correction.
In the mid-90's my wife and I moved to Portland, Oregon. I quit shooting and focused on my job at a local pro lab. In 1999 I decided I was burned-out on the lab business and ready for something different so I quit and took a two-year sabbatical. During the first few months of that sabbatical I purchased my first digital camera and a copy of Photoshop. It wasn't long before I fell in love with photography all over again.
I worked with Photoshop every day and read every relevant book I could find. In the beginning the learning curve was steep. But I had two things working for me: I was already comfortable with computers and I knew what quality photographic prints were supposed to look like. All I had to do was figure out how to use Photoshop to create them from digital files.
Within two years I was ready to begin offering post-production services to several local photographers. In 2002 I started my business, The Digital Darkroom, (). For the first year or so I concentrated on helping photographers create really great prints from their images - (the same thing I've always done). Then, in early 2004 I began to teach photographers how to digitally edit their own images. I soon realized that it's more powerful to teach people how to catch fish themselves than it is to sell fish to them. Ever since then I've been focused on teaching photographers to manage their digital workflows and how to create high quality files from their photos.
I work with a wide range of professional photographers who shoot subject matter ranging from advertising to wildlife. I help them with Photoshop, Lightroom, and digital workflow. I lead workshops and offer private one-on-one training. I am an Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert and an Adobe Certified Instructor for Photoshop CS4. These certifications, are important, but it's really all of the experience I've gained over the years helping professional photographers - whether they were shooting film or digital - that gives me my unique view of Photoshop and how it's used to help photographers reveal their true art.
Top Customer Reviews
The author suggests we read this book thoroughly and sequentially before using it for reference. Of course, this is always a good idea but, as one who has been using Photoshop for many years, I'm looking for a book to guide me through interface changes and new features after upgrading to the latest version of Photoshop and therefore want a book that is well organized for reference. Thus, I take a hard look at the table of contents and peruse the index pages before buying (see companion website). I appreciate the color coded tabs in the upper right of the page which enables a quick jump to the chapter that is needed to address what confounds me in the new version of Photoshop. It would have been nice to have an icon indicating features unique to CS4, but the author does a good job of introducing user interface changes in chapter 5 "Learning to Use the Photoshop Workspace."
One of the coolest things about Photoshop (and the reason it is so widely used) is the amazing depth of capability and features within this application. This means there are always new tricks to discover and potentially better ways to accomplish your tasks. I really like how this author balances his content between digestible explanations and step-wise tutorials (which I feel is the best way to pick up something new).Read more ›
The book begins with a discussion of Adobe's bridge, used for downloading, organizing, and labeling images. Equally important, this is where images are tagged with keywords to permit their easy retrieval months or years later. In this section, Mark does a great job of providing strategies to enhance organization and labeling / tagging. He presents rationales for various approaches to file organization, yet still leaves the final approach to the user.
In Chapter 4, Mark tackles the raw file conversion process, explaining the power hidden in this format. This chapter explains why the digital photographer should "shoot for highlights", and thereby make optimal use of the camera's sensor. There (and in Chapter 6) lies a nice introduction to histograms which can be confusing to the uninitiated. Reading this section is a "must" for those who have only shot film or jpgs previously.Read more ›
I look forward to reading the "tips", "notes", "caution" and "see also" references that appear on every page because each is a pearl of wisdom. This book is organized very much like the way Fitzgerald writes about organizing digital files. It's clear, easy to understand and concise. I've been calling it "my CS4 Book for dummies."
After reading about the keywording hierarchy I spent more than two days going through my files and naming everything. This has saved me soo much time looking for things. All I have to do now is search by topic. It's so easy.
Fitzgerald's explanations and tutorials are easy to follow which leads to quick mastering of new skills; like taking all the mystery out of calibrating your monitor, understanding histograms, color space, setting up color profiles (something that confounded me for a long time). The monitor calibration tutorial is fantastice, it's so easy to do and few people do this on a regular basis. The whole chapter on understanding color was revealed in a very straight forward and understandable manner. I totally get it now!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mark Fitzgerald presents the details of how to be both creative and productive in CS4. His explanations provide an easy-access, easy-to-implement, easy-to-understand model for... Read morePublished on May 19, 2010 by Karey K. Wise
This is the second of Mark's books I've used. Since I started using Lightroom I had to change my entire workflow and have since used his Lightroom Bible. Read morePublished on February 26, 2010 by Debbie Schwab
After upgrading from CS3 to CS4 I was looking for a book both to help me learn the new features of CS4 as well as add to my general knowledge base with Photoshop. Read morePublished on August 9, 2009 by Stuart A. Levy
Any book that can help me succeed in my work flow as a photographer and gives me an expanded knowledge of a complex software as photoshop, I'm interested in adding to my... Read morePublished on August 5, 2009 by David Hitchcock
Mark Fitzgerald doesn't just write about Adobe Photoshop CS4, Adobe Light-room, etc. he teaches it. I've attended several Photoshop and Light-room workshops from Mark Fitzgerald... Read morePublished on July 29, 2009 by Robb Drake
As in his previous books, Mark does an excellent job of giving the readers a thorough yet easy to follow explanation of the most important aspects with just enough of the fine... Read morePublished on July 25, 2009 by Christopher K. Sollart
Photoshop, any version, can be overwelming to learn how to use. I've never found the interface to be very easy to use, until I found Mark as a resource. Read morePublished on April 24, 2009 by D. Currier
I have been using Photoshop for about 7 years (Adobe Photoshop 7) and would consider myself aware of what Photoshop offers, but certainly not all knowing. Read morePublished on April 17, 2009 by Advance Camera
Another WINNER from Mark Fitzgerald. This really does a good job of describing the components and functionality of Adobe CS4. Read morePublished on April 13, 2009 by John Sanders