Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Well written, concise and helpful - but not for the Photoshop newbie
on April 3, 2014
The book description states it is “the essential reference for photographers of all levels using Photoshop.” I respectfully disagree. This book is not for people new to Photoshop and newbies will likely get lost and frustrated if this is their first jaunt into figuring out the many amazing facets of PS, and I would hardly call this an essential reference (the crappy index ruins that). Having said that, if you have experience in PS, it offers some great tips and is definitely worth the read. If you are an intermediate (as I am) or advanced user, you likely will find some helpful tools in this large 700+ page book that’s well illustrated.
Here is my personal opinion after having just finished reading this book, and why I consider it to be average rather than super good or super bad:
• Index is woefully lacking, which renders this less useful as the resource book it purports to be
• You MUST have some experience with PS – some concepts are simply mentioned with nothing further, and if you don’t know what they are you will have to look elsewhere to figure out what the author is talking about – it is written as if the reader has at least an operational knowledge of PS (just as one example, the author briefly mentions alpha channels and how they are similar to mask channels, but does not go into detail on either – if you don’t know what channels are, you will not get an in-depth explanation of that here)
• The book contains some great information and tips on structuring workflow from capturing the image all the way to print
• The writing is concise and in short enough blocks that it is easy to read a while, practice, take a break, then read a little more
• The images and many of the examples are great, and some of the images are available online to download and practice yourself
• There are many points when the author says “for more information go to the website and read pdf blah blah blah” – so be prepared to have to use supplemental materials from the web that are not included in the book (not my favorite task)
• There is a HUGE amount of material and reference for using Camera Raw (in fact a nearly 140-page Chapter 3 is nothing but raw, which is about 20% of the book, and then raw is mentioned sporadically throughout after) – if you only shoot in jpeg or you use some other process and will not use Camera Raw, just know that probably 25% of the book is devoted to raw processing, and the author’s thinking seems to be that much of what needs to be done to an image should happen in Camera Raw before it even gets into PS for further editing (a point with which I happen to agree, but only because I shoot raw and use Camera Raw to process my photos)
• Finally, I’m both an intermediate user of PS and a fairly adept photographer, and I don’t believe this is the best that could be created for a photographer – I know in my circle of photographer friends, they are more interested in shooting than photoshopping, and so a book written in the style of a McClelland or Kelby might be more suitable for those individuals who just want to know what settings to use without the why, and without all the history about the evolution of PS and how things came to be as in PS6 this author sprinkles throughout the book
All in all this is a good book, and a decent read. I’m glad I read it and I learned several things that I now routinely use, and the workflow information and the raw information (for me, since I always shoot raw and use Camera Raw) were the most helpful.