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Photoshop Compositing Secrets: Unlocking the Key to Perfect Selections and Amazing Photoshop Effects for Totally Realistic Composites 1st Edition

137 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321808233
ISBN-10: 0321808231
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Editorial Reviews Review Exclusive: Bonus Content from Matt Kloskowski, Author of Photoshop Compositing Secrets

In the first part of the book, I walk you through ten things you need to know about compositing. Here are three of those things to get you started right away.

[Click Photo for Exclusive Content]

Which Comes First, the Background or the Subject?

Don't Kill Yourself on a Selection if the Detail Isn't Important
Darken the Feet

From the Back Cover


Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (August 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321808231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321808233
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Matt Kloskowski is a Photoshop guru and author of nine books on Photoshop, Elements, and Illustrator. Matt teaches Photoshop and digital photography techniques to thousands of people each year. He co-hosts the top-rated video podcast Photoshop User TV and also hosts the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips and Photoshop Killer Tips podcasts. He's built a massive library of DVDs and online training courses, and writes regularly for Photoshop User magazine. Matt is an instructor at the world's premier Photoshop event, the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and works in Tampa, Florida, at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

147 of 157 people found the following review helpful By John Haldane on August 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received my book yesterday and quickly sat down to devour it. The first chapter was good for compositing techniques and covered ways Adobe Photoshop CS5 and three different add-on software products (costing from $49 - $199 each in addition to Photoshop) could improve the results of your efforts.

The rest of the book involved descriptions of various composite photos including single image used as background and main photo, series composites of individual shots or action shots, and various was to make cool backgrounds pop. It was all very interesting but in each case (except for a single use of football players in action that was not covered in any detail), the emphasis was on how to light figures in your studio, how many lights, what color backdrop, etc. Chapters on HS Portraits, family pics, advertisements, office pics, etc. all required shooting the individuals in a studio.

I shoot animals in nature and sometimes the background is better changed because of cars, man made structures, or other intrusions. I do not have the luxury of creating lighting and poses just as I want them. Hence, I was greatly disappointed in this book.

If you have a studio and want to composite studio shots, the book is a great tool! It is well written and descriptive.

If you do not have a studio, don't buy the book. The description does say "portrait photographers, designers of all walks of life, and even retouchers" but I didn't read "studio photogs only" in that. My bad; don't let it be yours.

I am giving 4 stars because it is well done, but not for all photographers.
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112 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Jack Winter on September 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Matt is a great teacher and there's lots of good stuff in this book, but be warned. If you think it's about pulling folks out of your back yard photos and putting them someplace else, you'll be disappointed. The majority of this book is about how to set up and light your subjects in a studio against a seamless background so they'll look right when you mask them out and put them into another shot. This is all good information for folks with studios and multiple lights, planning in advance to composite the shot.

I was hoping to get a lot more information on masking, and maybe some on color and temperature balance so things looked real. Instead I got "Plan ahead, write down the focal length, f-stop and distance from your subject, then set your camera the same when shooting the background; note the spot where your subject would be if he was actually there, then back your camera off the same distance you shot from in the studio. In my amateur world, it'd be a lot easier to just transport the subject to the location and take one shot.

The book was definitely NOT a waste of money, and I got several good things from it. There were good tips on masking, but masking from a seamless background is not that hard. I'm an amateur with one removable flash, two reflectors, and no studio, I don't get paid for my work, I just wanna have fun in my hobby. I could have got everything of interest to me in far fewer chapters. This book is more for professional photographers and graphic designers.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Tenna Merchent on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. Combining images, and making it look believable is hard, tedious work. In this book Matt Kloskowski lays out exactly how he does it, and actually makes it sound easy, hopefully I'll get to the point where it is.

Some of it was familiar from watching Photoshop User TV, but much of it was new. In one example he explained how he kept track (on his phone) his lens, and focal length, distance from the subject, and how high the camera was from the ground when he photographed his main subject. He then replicated all of this when he photographed the background so the subject would look right when put in that atmosphere.

He covers the shadows (super important to making it look real), the filters, the clipping masks, layer blend modes, and a couple of ways to get rid of that nasty fringe quickly to name just a few of his helpful tips. This is a book that I will keep right next to my computer and refer to any time I am doing a composite.

If you like this book, I also recommend his earlier book Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop's Most Powerful Feature (2nd Edition) which was absolutely wonderful!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Edwin Zapata on August 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
WAO! I must say I am totally impressed!!! I have seen some other online classes from the author and also read some other of his books and articles so I kinda knew this was going to be good, but he has outdone himself this time! It doesn't matter if your are relatively new to Photoshop or if you have more experience, you will find something new to learn in every project. There are various different projects in the book, each one cleverly designed to help us see the different problems we may find and how to solve them. He clearly explains how and why he used the techniques so you will be able to apply them to your own projects when needed. You can even download every photo used in the projects to follow along. Also you will find very different approches to compositing on every chapter, so we can think in a lot more ways to use compositing as a tool to achieve results that we may not be able to get otherwise. Matt teaches us a lot of tips to help us get the work done better, faster but without forgetting details. For me, just the tips shared in the first chapters about selections, extracting and planning ahead, saved me a lot of time and in my opinion are well worth the price of the whole book!!!
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