- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: Adobe Press; 1 edition (May 28, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321306147
- ISBN-13: 978-0321306142
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Adobe Photoshop Master Class: Maggie Taylor's Landscape of Dreams 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Maggie Taylor's digital photo collages have been described as a contemporary exploration of the Surrealist world view. In Taylor's strange, parallel universe, birds ride bicycles, ideas materialize in the shape of clouds, and wings sprout from the backs of prim Victorian women. Starting with objects that she finds on eBay, in flea markets, and in her own surroundings, Taylor then uses her flatbed scanner, Adobe Photoshop, and an Iris printer, to produce images of surprising beauty and emotional impact.
Adobe Photoshop Master Class: Maggie Taylor's Landscape of Dreamsoffers a close and richly illustrated examination of Taylor's practice, tracing her images from inspiration through execution. Taylor explains her influences, both in art and in her own life, and takes the reader inside the making of some of her intriguing, painterly work. Along the way, we hear from respected artists and critics familiar with Taylor's work, and from the artist herself, in conversation with the author.
Illustrated with more than 65 color plates,Landscape of Dreamsis essential reading (and viewing) for all those interested in applying technology to a creative personal vision.
About the Author
Amy Standen is a journalist who works in both print and radio. Formerly a technology editor for Salon.com, she is a senior editor at the environmental quarterly Terrain as well as a producer for "Philosophy Talk," a syndicated public radio show. She also works as an oral historian.
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Top Customer Reviews
(If you are not familiar with her work, go to her website: [...]
Maggie Taylor has taken the inspiration and guidance of contemporary surrealist masters like Jerry Uelsmann and Duane Michaels and expanded into an arena of deep color based multiple subject imagery, somewhat ala Gregory Crewdson. The interaction of each altered component in her montages hints at psychological storytelling. Moreover, most of her images have a painterly, nostalgic quality to them, making them appear richly filled with a deep feeling of belief that the subject actually could exist - or have existed. I admire her art work immensely, as I know that each piece of her work takes months to complete and each image is assembled with dozens upon dozens of sophisticated Photoshop layers, and only after hours of experimentation and thought. Her technical detail is very good, but the true beauty of her work lies in her artistic decisions regarding composition and the interaction of the subject matter. The color/shading and layer manipulation makes the images beautiful to look at - but it's really the thought of the subject composition that causes them to be so hauntingly deep in emotion and have such tremendous subconscious impact.
However, you are reading this review regarding the book - and not solely for a review of one of my favorite artists. So here are Landscape of Dreams' "positives" and "negatives".
In summary, the positives of this book include (not in any particular order):
1. The book contains many high quality color images of Maggie Taylor's work. These wonderfully colored reproductions alone make the book worth acquiring.
2. The interviews and verbiage are very interesting and honest. No hyperbole, just good conversations with the artist and some interesting commentaries from critics and other artists.
3. There is an overview description with photographic image steps of how she assembles the images. Several descriptions of image making gives us Photoshop students a summary idea of the basic elements of layer construction she utilizes as well as a distilled and simplified description of, what must really be, a very complex thought process.
4. There are some examples of early work and written biographical portions that imply the reasons she creates and how she "moved" into the technically complex multi-subject area of photographic image making in which she now resides. This may give beginning artists a sense of direction, or inspiration, and should aid in reinforcing the attributes of patience and experimentation that seem to be required in order to develop a "style".
Here's the one negative:
1. The subtitle "Master Class" is very deceiving - as the instructional part of the book is lacking in detail regarding the exact Photoshop tools and techniques she uses. In other words, although the rough basics of her compositional techniques are covered, be aware that this book is not a precise "step-by-step" instructional road map covering the myriad of Photoshop techniques she uses in her image making. I would like to see Adobe name other books of this type "Master Artist", for it is NOT an instructional tool worth the words "Master Class".
In summary, this is a wonderful book where the positives far outweigh the one negative. Every time I look at the images in Landscape of Dreams, they inspire and enthrall me. Photographic students along with Photoshop veterans, art lovers in general, and even those looking for intriguing coffee-table fare, will be far from disappointed if they purchase this book.
If you are not looking for instructional techniques, but interested in a wonderful photographic artist that will stimulate and enthrall you, it's highly recommended!
While there is some exquisite imagery and artwork within, this book is written with much of the hyperbole of art criticism today i.e. "Isn't this artist wonderful and completely groundbreaking and influential, oh my!". This is not to say Maggie Taylor isn't a talented and provacative artist but I don't feel she is re-creating and re-directing the surrealist movement as we know it as this book might begin to lead one to believe.
The author, Amy Standen, writes much more about Maggie Taylor's life and inspirations than her actual work and even less about her creative process involving photoshop. There is one step-by-step tutorial (which is available as pdf dowload with a little searching on the internet, I had it before I bought the book, actually it's why I bought the book) and even then it assumes much about the knowledge of the reader. There are several in-process works which show images of each in various stages of completion but talks little about the down and dirty photoshop techniques used to create them.
I would have liked to seen much more in the way of tutorials and creative process in the literal sense. It's more than acceptable as an "art" book rather than a "photoshop master class" book but let's call it what it is...
Now comes digital photography and powerful editing software that allows the creation of photographs of things that never were. These new images are produced from multiple photographs so carefully merged that they appear original, just of something that never was.
Most of the images in this book are simply shown with a bit of text that describes what the artist was trying to do. With some others a series of intermediate steps are shown to show how the artist got to what was wanted.
This is not a text on how to use Photoshop, instead it is an illustration of what can be done. Great Images.
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