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Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596522964
ISBN-10: 0596522967
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Packed with information, Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual has all the secrets to editing photos and creating superior documents in Photoshop. Author and graphics pro Lesa Snider objectively explains how you can take advantage of all the powerful features, and get the results you want.

"I just saw Photoshop World instructor Lesa Snider's new book, Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual, and it so reminded me of when Deke McClellend used to write The Photoshop Bible, (which I loved) because it literally covers everything about Photoshop (it's nearly 900 pages!). Lesa did a great job on the book, and in my mind, it is the new Photoshop Bible. Way to go Lesa!"
--Scott Kelby, Photoshop Insider

Five Fast Photo Effects in Photoshop CS4
By Lesa Snider

Click thumbnails to open full-size images in a new window.
Quick black-and-white with color tint 1. Quick black-and-white with color tint.

Photoshop lets you easily convert a color image to black-and-white without harming the original image. First, create a Black & White Adjustment layer by clicking the half-black/half-white circle at the bottom of your Layers panel, and then choose Black & White. Tweak the various sliders in the resulting Adjustments panel for maximum contrast, and then add a color overlay by clicking the Tint checkbox at the top of the panel. Photoshop assumes you want to give your image a brown (sepia) tint. To use another color, click the little brown color swatch to the right of the Tint checkbox and pick a new color from the resulting Color Picker.

2. Partial color effect.

To really draw viewer's eyes to the focal point of your image, make the focal point colored and the rest of the image black-and-white. By using the layer mask that tags along with each Adjustment layer, you can hide the effect of a Black & White Adjustment layer and bring back the original color. (Think of a layer mask as digital masking tape.) To create this effect, add an Adjustment layer by clicking the half-black/half-white circle at the bottom of the Layers palette, and then choose Black & White. Tweak the sliders for maximum contrast, and then, on the Layers panel, click once to select the Adjustment layer's mask (the white thumbnail to the right of the layer thumbnail). Press B to grab the Brush tool and, at the bottom of Tools panel, set the foreground color chip to black. (In the realm of the layer mask, painting with black conceals and painting with white reveals.) Next, mouse over to your document and use the Brush tool to paint over any area you want to bring back its original color. If you bring back too much color, press X to flip-flop your color chips so you're painting with white, and then paint that area to make it black and white again.

Partial Color Effect
Portrait popper 3. Portrait popper.

You can make Photoshop add a soft, darkened edge around any photo in seconds...if you know which filter to reach for. Choose Filter > Distort > Lens Correction, then grab the Vignette slider and drag it all the way to the left. To darken the edge color even more, grab the Midpoint slider and drag it slightly to the left. Click OK and you're finished!

4. Background swap.

If you want to add a colorful background to a photo that has a white background, don't waste time creating a selection to delete the background or hide it with a layer mask. Instead, swap backgrounds with the flick of a layer blend mode (blend modes change the way color on one layer interacts with the color on other layers). Simply place the colorful background at the top of your layers stack and use the pop-up menu at the top of the Layers panel to change that layer's blend mode to Darken. Like magic, wherever the two layers intersect, only the darkest colors will remain. If necessary, you can use a layer mask to hide parts of the new background, as shown here.

black and white image converted
Quick color boost 5. Quick color boost.

Photoshop CS4 gives you a quick new way to make the colors in your image pop without harming the original image. It's called the Vibrance Adjustment layer, and you can find it on the right side of your screen in the new Adjustments panel (or by clicking the half black/half white circle at the bottom of your Layers panel). Once you've created the Vibrance Adjustment layer, drag the Vibrance slider all the way to the right, and it intensifies the colors in your image. Happily, it has less of an effect on bright colors (because they're already highly saturated) than on lighter tones, yet it leaves skin tones relatively unchanged.

Look Inside Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual

Click thumbnails to open full-size images in a new window.

Photoshop CS4, page 243 Photoshop CS4, page 244 Photoshop CS4, page 372 Photoshop CS4, page 373

About the Author

Lesa Snider is on a mission to teach the world to create--and use!--better graphics. She's a stock photographer and chief evangelist for iStockphoto, founder of the creative tutorial site GraphicReporter.com, author of Photoshop: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly, 2008), Graphic Secrets for Business Professionals (Lynda.com), From Photo to Graphic Art, and Practical Photoshop Elements (KelbyTraining.com). She writes regularly for Macworld, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Elements Techniques, and Layers. Lesa is also a corporate trainer and teaches at many industry conferences including Photoshop World, Macworld Expo, Mac Mania Geek Cruises, and the esteemed Santa Fe Workshops. Since 2003, she has assisted New York Times technology columnist David Pogue with many projects, including his Missing Manual book series and NYT videos. You can catch her Graphics Tip of the Week live each Wednesday night on the Your Mac Life internet radio show, which she also co-hosts.

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Product Details

  • Series: Missing Manual
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596522967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596522964
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Brown on January 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Adobe Photoshop is one of the most complicated and powerful computer graphics programs available for general consumer use. Because of the growing popularity of digital photography, photographers of all skill levels are plunking down up to $700 for the program so that they too can "Photoshop" their images, however, many of these buyers will find the their initial attempt to use the program frustrating and the results of their efforts less than they expected. As a result of the complexity of the program a veritable industry consisting of Photoshop associations, conferences, instructional videos, podcasts and books has developed over the years. Lesa Snider King's new book, Photoshop CS4 The Missing Manual is a very worthy addition to this collection.

As is the case with all the Missing Manuals, this book takes the reader through a well structured, in-depth inspection of the program's capabilities. The author has provided some excellent examples that allow the reader to read through the book as a tutorial or simply to refer to it as a reference text. I've used Photoshop from the first CS version to the latest CS4 and have a number of books on the subject yet I was able to pick up a number of very useful tips in the first 250 pages by working along with the examples in the book. In addition, the author has sprinkled some general graphic tips throughout the book that are very useful to those without a background in design.

I think that this book is an excellent resource for Photoshop users of all levels. For the beginner it will provide an excellent tutorial, while the more advanced user will find it a useful reference. It has found a permanent place next to my computer.
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I had never used Photoshop before so I thought this would be the best place to start. And I did learn a lot about Photoshop from this book and it is a great book for the novice. But as a photographer, the 'candy' came on page 354 (of 750!): "Camera Raw ... is hands down the easiest place to fix your images". This is a plug-in that comes standard with Photoshop but is a stand-alone program. Pages 354 - 362 cover the basics of Camera Raw and the section ends with referring the reader who wants to know more to other books. After reading this section I can already see I will be doing most of my work in Camera Raw and only opening Photoshop itself for some fine-tune work on some of my photo's. So 8 pages dedicated to the area where I will be spending 90% of my time leaves me a little unsatisfied.
If you know nothing of Photoshop and want to make your own pictures, do web design, etc. then this is a great book to teach you this fantastic program but for photographers who don't care a lot about drawing or adding text, I would not recommend this book. Instead look for something specifically written for photographers that includes a discussion of Camera Raw.

It would have been nice if I had known this book only covers the program Photoshop, one of a suite of programs sold as Photoshop.
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Format: Paperback
'Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual' is a 750+ page book that will show you ALL the ins and outs of using Photoshop CS4. Tailored towards the newbie Photoshop user, the content here is anything but newbie! With 19 chapters of content and in FULL FULL FULL color, this is a great learning tool to getting through all the ABCs of Photoshop!

McKinnon Overview

01. The Basics
02. Opening, Viewing, Saving Files
03. Layers
04. Selections
05. Channels
06. Cropping, Resizing, Rotating
07. Joining Images
08. Draining, Changing, Adding Color
09. Correcting Color and Lighting
10. Photoshopping People
11. Sharpening Images
12. Painting in Photshop
13. Drawing with Vector tools
14. Creating Artistic Text
15. Filters
16. Photoshop and Print
17. Photoshop and the Web
18. Actions
19. Plug-Ins

This is an easy book to put a stamp of approval on and it's another gem in the Missing Manual line of books, one of the greatest technical publishing lines out there today!!

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I gave this book 5 stars because it is everything I expected it to be. A photoshop for beginners, which is what I exactly was at the time I purchased it.

I was a bit disappointed at first because the flow of the book did not seem to take me in a direction that I thought was not teaching me how to use Photoshop in the best manner, but by the time you get near the middle of the book, the author ties everything together nicely.

This book is a great starter for those who are getting into Photoshop for the first time. Once you master the basics taught to you in this book, I recommend doing a google search on the words "photoshop tutorial" and visit some websites where photoshop experts give you step by step projects to work on. This book combined with that will enhance your skills in no time.
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First, let me say that I am an advanced computer user, but a novice in terms of using Photoshop. So I was in the position of having to teach myself the entire program from the ground up. While there are video tutorials available from some really good places, I never really liked learning that way and prefer a great manual instead if one exists. Luckily, I bought this manual after buying a couple of other ones, such as Photoshop CS4 Digital Classroom.

This book is exactly what you need if you are learning from the ground up. It provides a VERY well instructed process for each and every chapter in the book that takes you from the basics, such as introducing you to the User Interface to the more advanced functions of Photoshop. Each and every step is explained well and there are many photos that are referred to showing what they are talking about. Each photo is explained and there are descriptions of all functions they are referring to. Truly, if you follow my advice and read this book without skipping any steps you really can't go wrong. Also, I would encourage everyone not to skip certain chapters, even if you think they may not be useful because most likely some technique will be useful at some point later on.

I would also like to point out they cover Brushes very well in this book too, something that some books skip entirely or simply gloss over focusing more on those that are photographers. So, those looking at learning the art aspects of Photoshop certainly are not left out. There is even a real good chapter all about making creative text styles. That is another reason why I prefer this book to some others, it simply is one of the most comprehensive books I have read that is also concise.
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