30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Best general Photoshop book I've ever seen.
, December 4, 2010
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop (Paperback)
I really wouldn't have needed another Photoshop book if I hadn't recently gotten the "extended" version. Having seen this book at a bookstore, I knew that it had an excellent tutorial on a feature that only applies to the extended version (stacking multiple shots to automatically remove variable elements, such as tourists walking in front of a fountain--the fountain remains, the tourists disappear). This wasn't in any of my other books, I needed to this and couldn't locate the video I'd seen it in. That--and maybe some more info on extended--was all I was expecting out of it.
How wrong I was! This book is a treasure trove for owners of both versions. In addition to the information I needed,
--I got a lot of other valuable information I either didn't know previously or had forgotten explained in a refreshingly uncomplicated way;
--I got "old" information presented in a better and clearer way to understand what is happening under the hood;
--I gained additional understanding about why some tools work better in different situations, as well as color spaces, and pre-press;
--I gained a better understanding of tools/functions I knew about but had ignored (such as nearest neighbor interpolation);
--in short, it was like seeing Photoshop from a new and smarter perspective.
I love the way the authors present the material. It is not only in a clear and conversational manner without forced humor, but it is illustrated by tons of screen shots detailing every step. The tone and level is casual, no more technical than necessary, respects your time and intelligence, and can make the most dreary and monotonous task seem entertaining and interesting.
I am a fairly competent Photoshop user for purposes of photography (particularly candid portraits and two-dimensional artwork). I've been using Photoshop daily since version 5.5. I know enough to prepare prints for art books and catalogs and enough to chronicle family events at a quasi-professional level. I haven't come across a challenge I couldn't improvise my way out of in years, so I thought I knew everything I would ever need. Maybe so, but that doesn't mean that I was doing everything the right way or that there weren't easier, better and more efficient ways to work. For example: I was still making masks as I would have several versions ago and they worked fine. I knew there was a new masks panel, but what I didn't realize is how much more functionality and accuracy there is in making masks the new way. And this is just one example. Over the years, I had gotten into a rut, I wasn't taking full advantage of improvements to the program, using the old tools to full advantage, or thinking creatively--I just kept going back to whatever had worked in the past and only incorporating the most obvious additions into my work flow. Big mistake.
This book not only teaches an old dog new tricks, but it would teach a beginning or intermediate user to do things the smarter way from the beginning, to establish an efficient work flow, and to fully understand the many options Photoshop offers you and use them intelligently. I wish I'd had it a long time ago, but I'm delighted to have found it now. It has brought back the excitement and wonder I felt back when I first discovered Photoshop.
PS: the CD contains actions and other automation options I haven't yet had the time to explore, but I plan to treat myself to a tour after the holidays!
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