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The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers Paperback – November 3, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0596521936 ISBN-10: 0596521936 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596521936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596521936
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,767,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Portable Photoshop advice you can take anywhere

About the Author

Derrick Story is the digital media evangelist for O'Reilly Media. His experience includes more than 20 years as a photojournalist, managing editor for O'Reilly Network, and a speaker for IDG, PMA, and Santa Fe Workshops. He is the author of Digital Photography Hacks, Digital Photography Pocket Guide, 3rd Ed., and his latest, The Digital Photography Companion.

More About the Author

Derrick Story is a photographer, writer, and teacher. He's authored many books including the "The Digital Photography Companion" and "The Digital Photography Pocket Guide." Derrick's video tutorials are available through, featuring Aperture, iPhoto, and general photography titles. His photo articles are a regular staple for Macworld Magazine and TechHive.

Derrick runs a virtual camera club at, featuring weekly photography podcasts, reader-submitted photos, reviews, and pro tips.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
The book is easy to read, understand, and follow.
Dominique James
Aside from Photoshop proper, I found the concise override of Adobe Camera Raw extremely helpful.
David J. McKee
I am organizing while reading which is what is taking me so long to get through the book.
Milton E. Anglin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
The author tells us that this little volume will teach photographers what they need to know, and only what they need to know, to process pictures in Photoshop CS4, while being conveniently sized for the traveling photographer. That would be quite an achievement if it could be accomplished.

At first, the individual chapters sound like the author is on the right track. Story tells how to import images into Bridge; select, rate and keyword them in Bridge; adjust them in Adobe Camera Raw; refine them in Photoshop; and finally print them. There is even a chapter full of recipes with recommendations for how to do everything from whiten teeth to correct architectural distortion.

Photoshop is a huge piece of software with all kinds of tools, and while many of them are of little use to the photographer, others that prove useful to photographers aren't covered here such as, for example, the gradient tool and the selection tools. In other cases while a tool is mentioned, there is often no explanation of the theory behind the tool, like the nature of tones, which can be adjusted with levels and curves. I suppose one can eventually figure out how to use these tools, but it would be so much easier if one understood more about tonality. There are some functions that are mentioned, but their full capabilities are ignored, like the ability of the keywording facility in Bridge to import a keyword list, or the ability to create a layer mask to make local adjustments by using the selection tools. Moreover, if all you want to learn is the minimum to process a picture, why spend $600 for Photoshop, when you can buy Photoshop Elements for about $100. The new Photoshop user would be better served by a larger book with more information.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dominique James on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Through the years, Adobe has kept up with its robust pace of adding new and more powerful tools to Photoshop. If you've been keeping track, it has turned out to be a never-ending cycle of a new release superceding an old one. This, in part, has made Photoshop the undesputed weapon of choice of countless creative professionals. As we understand it, the evolution of Photoshop has one purpose: to address the insatiable needs of all sorts of creative digital artists in their quest to perform impressive feats of amazing visual acrobatics.

But as Photoshop grew into one gigantic digital Swiss army knife, with more and more new cool features heaped on top of previous ones, it has grown so big that no one, except perhaps Deke McClelland and a couple of other guys, is expected to learn and use everything it has to offer.

Imagine Photoshop as New York City. Countless people living and working there. Each one goes about doing his own particular thing, and yet, no one is expected to do everything. In very much the same way, while many different people use Photoshop, each one goes about it in his own way, focusing and mastering only the use of a handful of its myriad tools to do a job. Anyone who has been using Photoshop for quite a while still gets surprised at a few "new" things they discover they can do with it.

Of course, in time, it is possible to learn everything about Photoshop. But really, it seems unnecessary. With too many things going on in a gigantic digital editing tool, trying to learn and master all that Photoshop has to offer can be time-consuming, and somewhat of an unnecessary burden. It makes sense, therefore, to simply focus only on certain tools and features that are most useful to what one wants to accomplish.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Milton E. Anglin on November 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't made it all the way through the book yet but what I have been through has been excellent. I have been shooting digital for several years and my workflow has been rather a hit and miss proposition, mostly miss. I am now following the advice Derrick gives in this book and things are starting to look up. I am organizing while reading which is what is taking me so long to get through the book. I wish I had this book when I first started shooting digital. I wouldn't be so far behind. I am adding Aperture to the workflow outlined in the book. If you are just starting in digital photography get this book. It will help you get organized. If you have been shooting for quite a while get this book before you shoot any more. It isn't easy to go back over several thousand pictures but I know that things will be easier in the future. The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers (Digital Media) UPDATE: Now that I have finished the book my opinion has not changed. I highly reccomend this book for anyone starting out and for people, like me, who need to get organized.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Cooper on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Adobe Photoshop is a forbiddingly complex program. Many books on the subject make the mistake of emphasizing this complexity by seeking to cover every aspect of its every possible application. This approach is not suitable for photographers, who know that they need to be conversant with only certain groups of functions, but who need help in determining which groups are important and how best to utilize them. Without assistance this is not an easy task, and is invariably time consuming.

In this book, practicing professional photographer, lecturer, author and podcaster Derrick Story sifts the wheat from the chaff and demonstrates through clear and simple examples how efficient and effective use of the Photoshop CS4 suite (including Image Downloader, Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw) lies primarily with an understanding of the logical workflow that it facilitates.

Written in a pleasantly conversational but never condescending manner, the book comprises six main sections -- one for each of the workflow steps.

First is the importing of images using the Image Downloader function of CS4, including titling and addition of meta data which is most efficiently done in this environment.

Then comes the use of Adobe Bridge in rating images to establish a work priority, and in keywording to make later searching and organization easy and efficient.

The following two sections deal with basic and advanced editing of RAW (and now also JPEG and TIFF) image files in Adobe Camera Raw. A typical Raw workflow is laid out step-by-step, and the new localized editing functions of ACR explained and illustrated. The philosophy is that as much work as possible should be carried out non-destructively in ACR before resorting to Photoshop for the fine tuning.
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