12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Keys to the CS4 Kingdom for Beginners
What a great book. The book title doesn't do it justice. It not only covers CS4 but also Bridge and Lightroom 2. It is written by a very experienced CS4 user, who is also a gifted teacher. His years in classrooms and seminars show in this book, in the clarity of the explanations, the rationality of the suggested workflow, and the practical nature of the examples and their...
Published on March 21, 2009 by John Jacobson
2.0 out of 5 stars CS4
The only reason for the low rating is that I have now upgraded to Photoshop CS6 so feel like I have wasted my money. Not the book's fault.
Published 11 months ago by Jaz
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Keys to the CS4 Kingdom for Beginners,
This review is from: Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook (Paperback)What a great book. The book title doesn't do it justice. It not only covers CS4 but also Bridge and Lightroom 2. It is written by a very experienced CS4 user, who is also a gifted teacher. His years in classrooms and seminars show in this book, in the clarity of the explanations, the rationality of the suggested workflow, and the practical nature of the examples and their solutions.
The computer instructions are non discriminatory, they include key-specific instructions for both Macs and PCs. If you're browsing the book and are interested in only the sections that deal with Lightroom 2, the book pages are "tabbed" with "Lr" to indicate those sections. There are specific tabs for Photoshop, Bridge, and Adobe Camera Raw as well.
The book starts with very basic information, pixels, bytes, dots, resolution, file formats among others. It moves on to setting up your computer to do photo specific work, recommendations regarding CPU speed and required RAM, and monitor size and settings. An excellent description is given of the RAW image format and why most professional photographers prefer to use the RAW format for their image acquisition The author then goes on to recommend converting RAW images to the Adobe opensource DNG format, and details the rationale for that choice.
After introducing each software package, the author moves on to the workflow of image acquisition, editing, and output. If you follow the suggested workflow, you'll not only work economically, but you'll make occasionally overlooked steps such as image backup a standard part of the workflow. Screen shots are an important part of any computer book, these are a cut above in that they are annotated clarifying comments.
CS4 is a very powerful program, with many features and plugins that a 270 page book will overlook. Nevertheless, the book is an excellent introduction to 3 powerful programs that represent the state of the art in photo editing and output. Highly recommended
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for Beginners and Advanced Users,
This review is from: Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook (Paperback)As a high school digital photography teacher, I have been keenly interested in books about Photoshop for about the last 10 years. The book by Steven Laskevitch is the best. Here's why. First, Laskevitch takes great care to explain things really well. The beginning of the book starts with a glossary of key terms and concepts. Throughout the book, Laskevitch, not only describes in detail how to do something in Photoshop, but he explains clearly what the software is actually doing to an image. Other authors tend to explain how to do something without telling you why. So you are left with getting descent results by using the magic settings set forth in their books without knowing why you choose those settings in the first place. In this book, you will have a better understanding of what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Everybody uses screen captures in books like these. Laskevitch does a better job. This is because he annotates his screen captures with additional notes and arrows to make various Photoshop settings easier to understand. Best of all is his strength as a writer. Laskevitch is concise, clear, and makes a point in a direct manner.
The second reason why I am so impressed with this book is organization. Laskevitch begins with the basics by defining important vocabulary terms and concepts, the ideal configuration for you computer, and the basics of navigating through the software. For the remainder of the book, you are taken through the steps of processing digital images from global adjustments to localized adjustments. For someone familiar with Photoshop, you can sail through the book picking up the new features of Photoshop CS4. For the beginner, you can work through a section at at time and likely have a lot of success as you apply new techniques to the processing of your photos.
The Photoshop product has evolved to become several products within a product. The Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera RAW have radically changed how photographers process their images. Throw in Photoshop Lightroom and the mix can be daunting. Again, precise text and well explained screen captures allow Laskevitch to pull off this feat with impressive results.
If you are only buying one book to learn Photoshop CS4, Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook by Stephen Laskevitch is the one to buy!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook,
This review is from: Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook (Paperback)Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook by Stephen Laskevitch is a great hands on instructional book that takes you beyond the program and really goes in depth from basic digital camera terms to final exporting and printing of your projects.
Ease of Understanding/Practicality 24/25
Additional Features 25/25
Taking digital photography to the professional level using an image editor is one thing but understanding and actually performing the editing is another. That's where books and videos come in to help you with step by step instructions to understand professional image editing programs such as Adobe's Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom 2 with some additional work in Adobe Bride with Adobe Camera RAW.
Stephen Laskevitch brings not only use of these two programs with a detailed coverage of both programs but additional great references and descriptions of basic digital photography concepts. This book includes all the material you need to go from clicking the button on your camera to the final project export or print.
Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook includes detailed help for Lightroom 2, Adobe's image management tool, and Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Bridge which is a format and parts of Photoshop CS4. The book really is a great tool for the beginner to Photoshop and gives some great references not only for the program but also for working with it.
Don't be scared off if you do only have Photoshop CS4 as this book really covers that program well and the additional help with Adobe Camera RAW will be quite useful. Adobe Camera RAW discusses and shows how to use parts of Photoshop called Bridge and the regular Photoshop CS4 to do image editing on RAW format pictures that are the highest quality you can take using a digital camera.
Hints and tips abound throughout the book and start with your work environment and using good lighting and a decent monitor to get the best color when looking at the pictures you're editing. If things do not look good when editing images on the computer and monitor your final result will not look good so the author adds tips for starting to use your program such as room lighting.
You go from here with preferences and settings in Photoshop CS4 that really gives you an indepth understanding of how to use the program and set things up when you initially install it. Image editing would not be complete without the panels and tools and he explains how to arrange and use the tools in all the panels and menus to the best work flow for your projects.
You go on from here with importing images in both Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4 so you understand the benefits and differences of each program if you have them. I have used Lightroom 2 for many multi image processing functions and for me it is handy but not necessary.
It does save me time when resizing images or converting a file of images to a certain format and this is one of the main reasons you may want to look into purchasing Lightroom 2 if you have not already. Lightroom 2 is a great program for batch editing and for managing your entire image library on a computer to keep your work flow smooth and uncomplicated.
Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook takes you through both JPG and RAW formats for basic and advanced editing along with showing examples on real world pictures of what they are discussing so you know what the topic is. You can see in a real picture the effects they are trying for and the finished effect or adjustment so you get the best understanding and idea of what you're doing with the program and individual adjustments.
From basic image color, brightness and enhancements to final touching up and even to those expert effects the book hands you all the tools you need to learn from an expert. Stephen Laskevitch is an Adobe Certified Instructor who has been teaching individuals and companies workflow of their digital assets so he knows what he's talking about.
The book is a simple and intelligent flow from basic importing and working with the entire file of pictures you just got off the camera or card to basic image editing and on through to final editing and then storing, exporting and printing. The book also continues this flow in pictures that really helps with making sense of what is going on like a sequence of cropping and straightening.
He draws in bold highlight on the pictures he is talking about and shows you the tool to use and the effects he is talking about, in this case in Lightroom 2. He draws on the picture in red the effect of straitening a pier and where he is looking at on the picture to see the effect and what he is lining up.
He also circles the tool in the corner so you know this is what he is using and what the program is showing to achieve the effect. He uses these add on drawings with bright colors to pictures on single ones as well as multiple shots to show the effects from one picture to another as well.
This attention to detail and trying to really help you see what the topic is and what it really means in a picture really helps you understand the basics he is discussing. His help and understanding of real world work really helps in giving you a depth of understanding that will sink in and help you understand what digital photography can do for your images.
Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook ends with some professional effects and really helps you understand that there is much more that you can do once you have mastered image editing. I really enjoy how he has given each topic a clear section and goes from one program and format to show the same effect, adjustment or topic with each.
The author uses his workflow to give you an understanding of what each topic and goes through each program that uses this adjustment or effect to show how to do it. There are the three main parts that the book shows for most effects and adjustments using Photoshop, Lightroom and Adobe Camera RAW but some topics will not use all three.
Using this workflow plan for chapters really helps you understand what to do with each image and gets you from one end of your project to the finish. This type of workflow is how you will normally do your image editing and having the book laid out the same way makes sense.
Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook is a great help and a fantastic companion to Adobe's Photoshop CS4 or Lightroom 2 to really help you understand and perform image editing, image management and better workflow for professional results. I highly recommend Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook for a fantastic step by step guide for learning Photoshop CS4 or Lightroom 2.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook,
This review is from: Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook (Paperback)Photoshop CS 4 is the 11th major release of this well-known software package. It is intended for professional photographers and graphics designers, and perhaps some amateurs with deep pockets. It is absolutely dominant in its field, although some observers maintain that the open-source GIMP is almost as good (it isn't).
To use the software to best advantage you will need "high-end" (expensive) equipment-- a camera which captures images in RAW format, a high-resolution scanner, and a computer with plenty of memory and processing power.
Author Stephen Laskevitch proceeds to describe how to work with the software, treating each major module in turn. The book is written in narrative style, and is not a typical handbook, which would likely be full of data. The author does not step you through the various features of image correction, but guides you in overview fashion. This makes for a smoothly flowing narrative and a highly readable style.
The book is printed in color throughout, and the illustrations are superb. Every page has the appropriate logo for the module under discussion printed in the margin, so you will never get lost. The book is up-to-the-minute on the very latest Photoshop CS4 software, particularly the Lightroom 2 module, which is a relatively new feature of the Photoshop software package.
The official release of Lightroom v2 was on July 29th 2008, along with the release of Adobe Camera Raw v4.5 and DNG Converter 4.5. (DNG stands for Digital Negative). Adobe has added DNG Camera Profiling to both releases. This technology allows custom camera color profiles to be created by the user and saved.
Personally, I do not have Photoshop CS4, but use an earlier version. Therefore I do not have some of the features discussed in the book--but most of the material in the book works for me.The book should be useful to anyone with the original CS version, through to the current CS4.This a beautiful book, written by an expert and a pleasure to read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CS4 made simple,
This review is from: Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook (Paperback)This is an excellent book, whether you know photoshop or just starting. It's simple to navigate through, practice with and so much more. Best of all it's SIMPLE! Yes you don't have to be a wiz at computer technology. If you just want to learn the tools to do the work this is the book for you. Steve makes it easy and simple. Just like his classes. He make it easy to understand, which is also important, not just the doing. I'm an artist and have only the desire to get to where I want to go, and this book does that. Steve is a wonderful teacher and this book shows it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for people who doen't want or need to be experts,
This review is from: Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook (Paperback)I've recently started my own business as a pet photographer, and I had very little experience with any post-processing software. I bought Lightroom, mainly because I couldn't afford Photoshop, and because I had heard that it was easier to learn than PS. Later I did end up buying PS CS4 because I needed to do more than I could in Lightroom alone.
Of the many books I purchased to help me learn these powerful applications, this book has just the right balance of containing the information I need and not a lot of stuff I don't, and presenting that information in a way that I can understand. After reading this book, I have refined my workflow to where I'm using Lightroom for 90% of what I need to do, and Photoshop for the other 10%. The book not only covers "hows" and "whats" of button, sliders, and adjustments, but it covers just enough philosophy and theory to help me understand the "why."
I highly recommend this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine reference for any strong Photoshop collection,
This review is from: Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook (Paperback)Cutting-edge developments in Photoshop lend to Photoshop CS4 Photographer's Handbook, a coverage central to nearly all photography workflows, Photoshop or not. CS4 is a milestone in the program's history, and this comes from a teacher and practitioner who creates a step-by-step guide to provide a clear workflow for editing photos in CS4 and its companions Camera Raw and Lightroom 2. A fine survey of techniques and real-world applications makes for a fine reference for any strong Photoshop collection.
2.0 out of 5 stars CS4,
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This review is from: Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook (Paperback)The only reason for the low rating is that I have now upgraded to Photoshop CS6 so feel like I have wasted my money. Not the book's fault.
2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful,
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This review is from: Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook (Paperback)I've not finished reading this book, but, I would give some caution to following the authors example on the bottom of page 39: lightroom> Preferences> Presets dialog page is shown with the "Store presets with catalog" box checked. Now, if you do this in Lightroom 2.6, you may do some beating of your head against the wall trying to determine why your Lightroom Plug-ins (define 2.0, Silver Effects, etc) and user added presets are no longer visible for use in LR 2.6 editing or printing.
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Photoshop Cs4 Photographer's Handbook by Stephen Laskevitch (Paperback - February 26, 2009)