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on August 12, 2010
I'm not new to photography, but I'm fairly new to Photoshop...CS5 in particular. In the interest of quickly getting up-to-speed, I signed up a few weeks ago with an Adobe Certified Instructor to provide personal Photoshop mentoring to me on a once-a-week basis. To supplement these sessions, I also joined NAPP and have watched dozens of their video tutorials; Adobe TV, etc. At the same time, I also picked up another highly respected author's book on CS5 (lets call it the "me" book) to try and put things together. The videos have helped, but I must candidly say that I quickly got lost in complexities of the writing in the "me" book and found it quite frustrating to say the least! Thats not to say that the "me" book isn't well done, but it is clearly written for someone that has had a fair amount of Photoshop experience in the past. IMHO, it's just way too detailed for the neophite user.
Then WOW...fast forward to Scott's new book which arrived at my home earlier this week. What an amazing book this is indeed. BANG...just open up to any Chapter and there you have a very straightforward, concise, step-by-step tutorial to guide and fast-track even the most inexperienced user through the process of getting the very best results out of his or her images. Photoshop frustration has been replaced with Photoshop fun. Trust me, using this book is like having Scott looking over you shoulder as you go through his easy-to-follow methodology. Even the complete novice can process some amazing images the very first time through.
Without reservation, I highly recommend you BUY THIS BOOK!!! Thanks, Scott, I'm having an absolute blast.
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VINE VOICEon August 11, 2010
Scott Kelby keeps writing great books about Photoshop and somehow he makes each new book about the newest release of Adobe Photoshop better than the last. This book is no exception. Whether you are brand new to Photoshop or have been using it since Photoshop 2.0, like I have, you can quickly pick up the book and in a matter of minutes put to use some new technique or learn a new and better (i.e. faster and simpler) way of doing things. If you are a Photoshop user this book is a must have reference to have by your side.

What make Kelby's writing so effective is that he clearly walks you through each step of the process with photos, menus and directions - including before and after photos. His discussion of Camera Raw both basic and advanced is especially useful. His chapter on B&W is awesome. (I'm a former photojournalist with a predilection for Black & White images). But the chapter I refer to over and over, is the common problems chapter. He covers all of the ways to help you improve common image problems - backlit, removing reflections, group photos, and many more. Also not to be missed is his Photoshop Killer Tips section at the end of each chapter. If you are a photographer and a Photoshop user you won't be disappointed with this book.
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on August 13, 2010
I'm a big fan of Scott's books--so clear, practical, and fun to look at. I loved his previous version for CS4. However, this book is virtually identical, with the exception of some material on CS5's excellent new features, such Content Aware Fill. But these are easy to learn from Adobe's online video tutorials. If you already have this book for CS4, there's no reason to get this version. But if you don't have the last edition, you're in for a treat. I heartily recommend it!
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on December 14, 2010
If you are a novice or relatively inexperienced Photoshop CS user, you will likely find this book to be quite informative and helpful. Unlike many programs, Photoshop CS is extremely complex and non-intuitive. Many Photoshop CS users feel they can educate themselves by simply exploring the program but this approach has limited upside potential for most. You will derive much more benefit and enjoyment from the Photoshop CS program with a formal tutorial approach such as in this book. There are frustrations, however: I found some of the diagrams lacking in detail. For example, the author will occasionally refer to icons or functions in the drop down menus without specifying their location. Some of the more complex tasks, such as smart object layering are grossly lacking in precise step-by-step details, or simply didn't work, even when followed exactly as specified in the book.
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on April 29, 2011
I've been using Photoshop since 1996 and back then, the Photoshop tools were rather basic so you had to know your craft. Nowadays, there's tools for everything - and that's what this book is showing - how to use the tools - there is not a single advance tip in here - it's all for beginners only.

Having said that, for this audience, it's a good book that is very easy to understand - however: if you want professional looking pictures, if you're into portrait retouching, professional masking, proficient use of colors etc. etc. this book doesn't deliver. In many examples, i.e. masking or retouching is says "just go on like that until you're happy" - this is where the pro's use their very own techniques (that will save you hours) that go beyond the basic tools, i.e. using different color channels for masking etc.

So this books hides very important steps and hints towards even advanced users (not to speak of pro users).

Also, if you've bought any other photoshop book in the last 4-5 years, you don't need this book, as the few new features can be easily looked up at adobe's website where they have videos for it.

All-in-all: this book is only and really only for beginners as it covers the very basic techniques and tools - for that it's as good as any other photoshop book out there. However, if you're even a tiny bit interested i.e. in producing realistic looking hdr pictures from a single raw, masking and rearranging a complex scene, eliminating noise without losing sharpness, you've got no chance with this book as other tools, plugins and workflows are involved and the author doesn't seem to be willing to tell us his real tricks.

Just look at any professional magazine cover and ask yourself: with the information given in this book, would you be able to produce such an image? If your answer is no, it's simply because the book doesn't tell the real tricks (and there are hundreds of them!); sadly the author mentions zero.
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on April 27, 2011
I love what is in this book, but I have marked it down significantly for what is NOT in this edition: Scott Kelby removed virtually all his tutorials on retouching portrait (people) photos - basically an entire chapter included in the last 3 editions of this book. Three years ago, this book included voluminous tips on portrait retouching like lessening acne, eye and skin retouching, wrinkle removal, and slimming down subjects. In his CS3 Book, this content was an entire Chapter - Chapter 9 with 41 pages of tutorials. ALL of this content is missing from the "new" edition. Why would Kelby do this? For the $$$: Kelby just published a new $49.99 book devoted to portrait retouching. I have no problem with the new book, I just think purchasers of this book got cheated out of a lot of useful content included in the last 3 editions of this book which were deleted to create demand for the new offering. Not cool.
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on September 23, 2010
very good book, gives a lot of tips and useful information on Photoshop for all things photography related.

But here comes the drawback....If you have the previous version there is really not much difference in the two editions and is not worth the price tag for basically an "update" on some new functions.

Wil still read it and keep it handy for references, but I am a bit disappointed.
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on January 29, 2012
If your main goal in reading this book is to learn a few quick techniques for specific, basic photo editing scenarios, you'll likely find something of value inside. However, if you're looking for a serious primer on Photoshop CS5 to build a solid foundation which will allow you to really exploit the power of this complex tool, this is definitely not the book for you.

The real strength in this book, and Kelby's similar book for Lightroom, is the no-nonsense, step-by-step approach for handling very specific scenarios. This will allow a lot of newcomers to get a quick start on using Adobe's products, with minimal fuss. While this format was reasonable for the much less complicated Lightroom product, it really falls short when it comes to something as complex as Photoshop.

A huge portion of this book is dedicated to using Adobe Camera Raw, so people coming from using Lightroom, will likely find the information redundant. It's easy to skip through these chapters, even though those new to Photoshop, could find a few minor nuggets of new information contained inside. When it comes to the core Photoshop topics, you'll find chapters with specific tasks in mind, like "fixing a dull gray sky" or "punching up drab colours". Kelby will walk you through exactly one technique to handle this task over the course of a few pages and then move on to another topic.

The downside, of course, is that there's really no real substantial discussion of a lot of the real fundamental concepts and tools available in Photoshop. Any serious student of Photoshop would really want to learn about the raw capabilities of things like layers, blending, channels, selections, masking, etc, and use example photographs to just illustrate the concept (and not fixing the photograph using a specific technique as an end in itself).

So, while there's really nothing wrong with this book, you really should know what you are and are not getting with this book. My guess is that most people willing to spend the substantial amount of money needed to purchase the software will really want something more comprehensive than what you'll get with this book, though.
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on September 4, 2010
I have been using Photoshop Elements but am totally new to CS5. I was about to buy another book when I read a review saying it was great for those with previous Photoshop experience. Then I read the reviews for this book which said it was easy to follow.

I got the book today and in just a little over an hour I have learned to do so many things with CS5. I am amazed. I am at a new level.

The only criticism of the book is that he is a little hokey in his introductions and here and there. But this is easily forgiven by the ease with which I can read the book and implement his instructions. BUY THIS BOOK. It is terrific. I am already a third of the way through the book and have learned so many fantastic things which I was never able to do in Elements.
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on January 3, 2011
This book has been my Bible of Photoshop Elements 5!!! Everything you ever wanted to know about how the pros make those lousy photos look beautiful is found in the pages of this book.

I'm 70 years old and I love to tell my friends how I can take care of their wrinkles, undereye bags, yellow dentures, bloodshot eyes and all while I remove at least ten pounds from their overgrown frames!! They don't believe me until I do it for them. - - - - - Scott gives all information clearly and concisely, even for a 70 year old to understand, and he does it with humor, which makes the reading and study so much more enjoyable. I take it step by step and nearly always get amazing results in just a few minutes.

At 70 I am all about restoring old photos from my childhood, as well as those from my Mom's. Mom has mild to moderate Altheimers and so she cannot live alone. In the assisted living facility she now calls 'home', there is not much room for lots of pictures on the wall or for huge photo albums lying around. So, for Christmas this year I got her a digital photo frame on which I am continuing to load lots and lots of family photos. It takes only a 10X10 inch space on her wall and runs non-stop so that any time she wants to look, she can. - - - - - I don't know, but I think we will find that it helps her short term memory, which she has the most trouble with. She knows her old friends, but names of her grandkids, great grandkids, and great-great grandkids are sometimes sadly forgotten or mixed up. With the photos there 24/7 with captians to identify each person, I think her memory of them will be kept fresh and accurate. I wonder if Scott thought of this kind of ministry when he wrote this wonderful book?

actingup, not Jane Powell
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