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The Photoshop Channels Book 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321269065
ISBN-10: 0321269063
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Using Photoshop without taking advantage of channels is a bit like attempting to make a fine recording with nothing but a crummy cassette recorder: You can do so, but the results won't be very satisfying. However, if you're new to the world of digital imaging--perhaps because you've just found your way to Photoshop after purchasing your first digital camera--you may find channels daunting. With this book, you don't need to! As you work along with author (and National Association of Photoshop Professionals president) Scott Kelby on the book's results-intensive tutorials, you'll quickly discover the amazing things you can accomplish, using Photoshop to separate images into channels so that you can then alter the image's color and opacity, duplicate it, move it, and more. Also covered are all of Photoshop's newest channel-related features, including an improved Histogram palette that displays channels in color with a dynamic view of how filters, curves, and other settings will affect tonal range and bit depth.

About the Author

Scott Kelby is President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) as well as Editor-in-Chief of both Photoshop User and Mac Design magazines. Scott also serves as Training Director for the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour and is the Technical Chair of the PhotoshopWorld conference. Scott has written numerous books on Photoshop and is the creator of the best-selling Killer Tips series.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (February 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321269063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321269065
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nor'easter VINE VOICE on April 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book hoping to understand the holy grail of channels and what they could do for me in my everyday work with Photoshop. After reading this book I came away believing that for the most part one can do without understanding or using channels. I fault the author for this outcome who as one reviewer noted seemed to have come up with the idea of a book about Photoshop channels and then scraped the barrel for ways to actually use channels in Photoshop. There are a few good sections such as how to boost sharpening with channels but for the most part the examples given are of very obscure use in the real and practical world and i doubt I will ever have the need to use them. I also agree with the reviewer who noted that Mr. Kelby glosses over explanations in his examples so one would be hard pressed to use the technique on his/her own for their particular picture because he didn't explain his choice of settings, i.e. the big picture. In conclusion, there has been a market for years for a book on Photoshop that dealt with understanding the use of channels. This book did not meet my expectations and I came away only slightly more educated in the use of channels. It seems that Mr. Kelby saw a marketing opportunity and seized it without really giving his readers the quality book they deserve. As Mr. Kelby jokingly (?) says in his introduction, anyone who buys his book either has a burning desire to learn about an obscure topic like channels or throws their money around loosely. After reading the book, I now read this as a very interesting comment which may reflect Mr. Kelby's own feelings about his final product. One could do far batter with Dan Margulis' book on Lab color as one reviewer mentioned. Leave this book by Mr. Kelby alone unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book that seemed to never arrive. Announced last summer some time, many of us waited and waited, watching the delivery date recede. When it finally did arrive the book turned out to be just slightly disappointing.

Kelby seems to have committed to a book on channels and then realized he had to fill pages with nothing but techniques that somehow use channels. The result is a book that stretches to find a way to work channels into the discussion or veers off into little used techniques only because they make use of channels. How often will you work with spot color? Not unless you do prepress work for newspapers.

That said, the useful chapters are pretty useful. But if you ordered Dan Margulis's book on LAB color while you were waiting for Kelby to finish writing, you got the bible before you got the Cliff's Notes. Margulis does the heavy lifting. Kelby keeps it pretty light and breezy.

Some of the best stuff in here is about mixing channels or overlaying them to create better contrast or to control blown highlights etc. Doing that can create some side effects that are often corrected with a final layer blending technique called "Blend if". In the several cases where Kelby uses "blend if" he never tells you why he chose the settings he did, so his technique is really only useful if you want to correct the particular photo he uses as an example. Rather than teaching us about spot color, it would have been much more helpful if he had spent more time and ink teaching us the "why" of the blending technique.

I still found the book useful and enjoyable, and I still review it often just to make sure I completely grasp the techniques. I just wish Kelby had used the pages to go a little deeper into the useful stuff.
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Format: Paperback
If you're just learning about channels, and want to learn ways to make your images look better, this book is a good start. Scott Kelby is certainly one of the most prolific pundits in the PS world, and here he assembles techniques from many sources. Explanations are simple, the techniques are tried-and-true, and the writing is not bad (albeit a bit corny). You'll get a lot better at Photoshop by incorporating these techniques into your workflow. It is indeed NOT meant for Elements users, and assumes use of CS2, although most methods can be used in earlier versions with minor modifications.

If you're looking for a treatise on the theory behind channels and color spaces, look elswhere (like Dan Margulis' work). But if you want to avoid the lofty explanations and just get in there and make your images great, this is the place for you.
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Format: Paperback
Scott Kelby's newest book, The Photoshop Channels Book is the kind of book that you simultaneously love and hate. You might love it because the examples are clear, step-by-step procedures for selecting, compositing, adjusting tonal range and sharpening images based on the red green and blue components of an image (otherwise known as channels). And you might love it because all of the example images are available for download. It is a decent tutorial for those who want an easy introduction into what is too often a subject characterized by difficult jargon and inexplicable explanations.

But in the end you will hate this book because it is superficial. It does not provide you with the depth of understanding available for example, in Katrin Eismann's superb Photoshop Masking & Compositing (New Riders, 2005 ISBN 0-7357-1279-4). It is further flawed by self-indulgent flights of fatuous humor. This kind of "humor" wears thin very. People who buy this book want real solutions to real problems, not pages juvenile humor. I am also disturbed by continuing references to Mr Kelby's other publications. I don't want to spend money for advertizing.

Beyond my love-hate ambiguity, I have some real questions about the point of this book. Without doubt channel manipulation is an important tool for those of us who are advanced Photoshop users. But that group of people needs much more than this superficial book provides. It seems to me that Ms. Eismann has written the quintessential book on this topic, and, coupled with Bruce Fraser and David Blatner's comprehensive Real World Adobe Photoshop CS2 (Peachpit Press 2006; ISBN 0-321-33411-6) you will have covered 95% of the knowledge you need to be a Photoshop power user. And for those wanting a more basic grounding in Photoshop I strongly recommend Tim Grey's very clearly written books (Color Confidence and Photoshop Sybex 2006 ISBN: 0471786160 and CS2 Workflow;Sybex 2005 ISBN: 0782143962 )
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