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Professional Photoshop: The Classic Guide to Color Correction (5th Edition) Paperback – November 30, 2006

79 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321440174 ISBN-10: 032144017X Edition: 5th

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Editorial Reviews


"?a wealth of information on this crucial, complex subject?Star Rating ****?" (Mac World, December 2002) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Bring your images to life!

The common-sense, by-the-numbers approach of Professional Photoshop has changed the way professional retouchers, photographers, and artists prepare their files for print. Although many of the corrections are technically difficult, the concepts are logical and can be understood even by color beginners. This extensively revised edition, covering versions through Photoshop 7, continues the tradition of introducing astoundingly effective, previously unknown methods.

Here’s what the experts had to say about the best-selling Professional Photoshop 6:

"This is the best guide to color correction there is, period. The information on color correction by the numbers is invaluable for anyone involved with the commercial application of photography and is especially pertinent for digital photography that can be used in print. This is a book that you will want to re-read numerous times."
–Lee Varis, Digital Photography for Graphic Designers

"Dan is the experts’ expert on the logical and effective ways to make any image look its best when printed. He has a very likable writing style that integrates metaphors and examples from other disciplines to engage your interest and explain his techniques."
–Jay Nelson, Design Tools Monthly

"The cover would have you believe that this is a book about digital prepress color correction, which is like saying that Leonardo da Vinci was a medical illustrator. Margulis’ real agenda is to teach us to look critically at digital images, to understand what we see, and finally how to reason from our understanding toward an image we can take pride in. Best of all, this book is a fun read about a subject that’s hardly a great party topic, written with wit, and illustrated with impressive corrections of some profoundly discouraging original images."
–User manual for dPhoto software

In addition to its relentless exploration of curves, this volume teaches:

  • The uses of LAB color correction
  • How to bring out detail in the most important areas of the image
  • Precision control of unsharp masking
  • Channel blending to build contrast
  • The pivotal role of the black plate
  • Blending in Luminosity mode
  • Custom profiles to correct hopeless images
  • A powerful new overlay blend method that will revolutionize the handling of faces
  • Control of all facets of the separation process
  • The unwanted color and how to exploit it
  • Correcting for factors beyond the photographer’s control

Includes a CD-ROM containing many of the images plus extra instructional material! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 5 edition (November 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032144017X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321440174
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Ken on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Well, it appears that Amazon has folded all the 4th edition reviews into this new edition's page. I'm not sure what to think of that. This book is 90% new material, it is almost a new book entirely. It has similar goals to the previous editions though. So, here's a hint, if the review was written before the fall of 2006 it is about the older editions which are very different from the current edition.

What NOT to expect:

- Learn how to use photoshop, you better know this already

- Step-by-step how-to algorithms for you to follow, you are taught concepts and generic techniques instead

- 100% clarity on a first reading

- Gobs on CMYK (you'd only expect this if you'd read older editions). Thankfully the book is far more balanced to modern workflows where we often don't need to go there anymore. Older editions were more CMYK based. That said, he includes all the relevant old material on the CD and this book still has way more CMYK than anything else out there. He is very balanced in his approach in my opinion, very refreshing.

- The same as the old editions. Source and output technology change. Dan learns new tricks. Dan changes his mind on somethings. So does the rest of the community. There is LOTS that is new in this edition.

What to expect:

- Extremely powerful techniques. Their power lies in their flexibility, the problem is knowing when to use them and only experience will help you there. The book does give you some hints though, when it can.

- A bit of contraversy. Dan has opinions. He states them clearly. He usually has good facts backing him up.

- Having to play with actual images yourself to enitrely comprehend the whole.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Thomas L. on May 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've had people tell me my portraits look like they were taken in a studio, or with a high-end digital camera. The fleshtones are smooth and warm and the lighting is flattering. It wasn't always that way. I use a standard point-and-shoot autofocus/autoflash compact digital camera, and I used to have problems with skin tones in my prints being too red or green or blue -- you name it. But three simple secrets turned my dud snapshots into professional-looking portraits: create visual angles when posing your subject, use a bounce flash off the ceiling, and apply the techniques in this book to color-correct your images before printing them. Correcting by the numbers is a sure-fire way to remove the bluish color cast caused by a digital camera flash or to make flat lighting more dramatic. These techniques will let you make the most out of every photo you take. Simply convert your photos to CMYK, apply the corrections, and convert back to RGB. By focusing on getting the numbers balanced, you'll get powerful results without resorting to guessing. I can vouch for it -- nobody who has seen my pictures has figured out I'm color-blind.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Martin L. Davis II on December 4, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike most Photoshop "how to" books, this one wastes no pages defining the use of tools and features. It assumes the reader is a competent photographer who is comfortable using digital imaging editing programs, and begins with the author's philosophical groundwork for image enhancement techniques. The book utilizes "all 10 channels" in the RGB, CMYK and LAB models as appropriate for analyzing and correcting images. This is a book that repays repeated study. Outstanding.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Fred Drury on November 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you're in the color correcting business, you most likely already know Dan Margulis' work well. If your serious about getting color right and don't know Dan's work, now's the time!

Although the book's title says it's the 5th edition, most all the images and discussion are new ... the primary difference is that the new edition is increasingly aimed at those of us shooting digital, and working in the RGB color space.

In the first half of the book, the author teaches color correction 'by the numbers' and you'll spend lots of time checking the Info palette. He uses a minimum of the many fancy tools included in Photoshop, primarily focusing on Curves and sharpening (USM). His color correction objectives for each image are to use the full tomal range possible and to give the viewer no colors they won't believe. There are numerous worked examples, all of which are on the CD included with book. Working along with Dan is far the best way to learn these techniques.

Once you've absorbed the basics, the second half of the book shows you the moves that separate the pros from the rookies. This is not an easy read, but the author provides interesting diversions along the way, and once again works with images included on the CD. As with Dan's earlier book: 'Photoshop LAB Color', I found myself revisiting chapters and going over examples again and again. And every time I went back over an example I found myself learning something new. The three most important issues dealt with in this part of the book for me were: the advantages of RAW, alternative sharpening techniques used in conjuction with masks, and a number of ideas presented throughout which help one optimize color correction workflow.

Like a fine meal with a great wine, this is a book to be savored, again and again.
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