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Real World Adobe Photoshop CS 6th Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342245783
ISBN-10: 0321245784
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Professionals in visual media face the "real world" every time their work goes to press. As authors Blatner and Fraser point out in the introduction, "In this new age of desktop prepress, there's simply no one you can ask [what values you should enter in the Color Settings and Proof Setup dialog boxes]." You need to be able to find the answers yourself to this and other critical Photoshop questions; the technology is changing too fast to rely on the guys at the end of the project to fix your errors. The authors want you to develop your "spidey sense" which is where, "in a crunch, you've gotta have an intuitive, almost instinctive feel for what's going on in Photoshop, so you can finesse it to your needs."

That's the philosophy behind the Real World series: finding the solutions to common problems and preparing your work so there're no unhappy surprises when you go to output, whether that's print, PDF, or Web/multimedia. First, this book goes over the essentials: the work environment (tools, palettes, preferences), working with images (resolution, mode, up- and downsampling), and the huge area of color management.

Once readers have those issues under their belts, they can work on techniques: tonal and color correction, selections and channels, using adjustment layers to have the perfect digital darkroom, and a variety of ways to sharpen an image (not just a blanket application of Unsharp Mask). Later sections cover spot colors and duotones (essential to every print designer's workflow), capturing images (effectively using your digital camera and scanner), and building a digital workflow using the new Camera Raw capabilities in CS and the improved file browser. And there are some great final chapters on compositing, retouching, typography, automation, outputting, and the Web.

Throughout the book there are tips and tricks that help you work more efficiently in Photoshop, for example, holding Shift while using the Move tool to take a selection from one image to another of the same pixel resolution allows you to pin-register that selection, landing it in the same location in the second image that is was in the first. This isn't a step-by-step lesson-style book. It's more the essential resource you'll read through when you first get it and always keep on hand when your "spidey sense" needs recharging. --Angelynn Grant

About the Author

David Blatner is a Seattle-based graphic arts consultant specializing in electronic publishing. He has authored or co-authored several books, including the award-winning bestseller The QuarkXPress 4 Book, InDesign for QuarkXPress Users,and Real World Adobe Photoshop 7. Bruce Fraser has authored or co-authored several books, including Real World Color Management, and Real World Adobe Photoshop 7.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 6th edition (March 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321245784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321245786
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,863,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By V. Maciulski on September 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
At over 900 pages, this book is formidable. Some beginners may be intimidated by its sheer size and weight. But, if you want thorough coverage of Photoshop CS, how to set it up, use it, tweak it and troubleshoot problems with it, then this is the book for you.

I was surprised that they started out by telling you how to build your "Photoshop System." They give advice on choosing your platform, and what you need in terms of horsepower (GHz), OS, RAM, etc. They go on to give advice on upgrading to CS and tell you what's new. (And they tell you where to find some "Easter Eggs.")

At page 555 they continue the "set-up" theme with sections on capturing images and building a digital workflow. "Capturing" covers digital cameras, scanners and photo CDs, with good advice on how to get the best image capture into Photoshop. "Building a Digital Workflow" explains the essentials of "Camera Raw," metadata and the File Browser to manage you photos. (If you're trying to capture b/w line art, it's better to scan as a high res grayscale and then use sharpening and threshold.)

They do a good job at explaining bitmaps vs. vectors, and how resampling or changing image modes affects your document. (You should use "Bicubic Smoother" for upsampling and "Bicubic Sharper" for downsampling.)

Since Bruce Fraser is co-author, the 100+ pages on color theory and management are excellent. (There are over 60 more pages on color correction, 50 more pages on spot color and duotones and yet another 50 additional pages on tonal correction.) If you buy this book, you don't need an additional book on color management.

I personally got a lot out of Chapter 10, which covers sharpening. It gave me a better understanding of how it works and how to do a better job when retouching photos.
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Format: Paperback
I wouldn't write this except for the fact that nobody else has mentioned this book's major strength. It is exceptionally well written. It is quite obvious that the authors have taught this material in the "real world".

It addresses tasks that we need to perform but often can't even define. It follows with examples and explanations that have wider applications. The result is a real education. You understand how to think about digital images and where to begin to find ways to your objectives.

A lot of people who have made one picture in Photoshop write books on how to be an artist and "all you have to do is..." drivel. This book is not an ego trip for an amateur writer. It is insightful and should motivate you to make photographs and eventually use more than the 2% of your digital camera's potential that you now use.

If you want a sample of what to expect, look up Bruce Fraser and you'll find some of his articles on-line. Try [...] If this stuff makes sense to you, you should buy this book. If it seems over your head, study it until you understand it, then buy this book.
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At the outset, the authors say that this is not the book for tips and tricks on how to get the coolest special effects, but rather a book for moving images through Photoshop, from image acquisition through final output. I'd add that neither is it a book for the raw newcomer looking for a handholding step-by-step guide to the basics. It is instead a book for the person who's past the basics and wants down-to-earth, practical advice on how to move to the next stage - the creation of great images using this superb piece of software.

Almost every page of this book has at least one valuable nugget of information. The authors cite example after example from their personal experience. Most of the time, they not only suggest what you should do, they tell you why. It's hard to pick out one chapter or section to praise, because they're uniformly excellent.

One minor quibble - the authors are unapologetic Mac users, and they do not even follow the normal practice of giving keyboard shortcuts for both Mac and Windows environments. Also, the simple scripting example is in Applescript instead of the cross-platform Javascript. But if you can keep in your mind that Option means Alt and Command means Control, this will not detract from the value of this superb book.
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Format: Paperback
Real World Adobe Photoshop CS is a hefty tome with over 900 pages. To some that might be a curse; to others like myself, a blessing because we need the detail that leads to understanding. This is not a book that is in the `cook book' style, that is, one in which the authors provide a series of instructions (like recipes) to do this, do that, set this to this value, set that to that value, click here, click there, and, viola, success. There may be some success in this approach, but there is very little understanding. As I look back on my previous experiences in trying to learn Photoshop, this was the style of book I usually chose. Yes, I was able to do some wonderful things in Photoshop, but really did not understand what or why I was doing certain things in the program. Thus, the next time I tried to do something, I was fairly lost, having no basic understanding of the program itself. In a nutshell, this book is both an extensive learning tool and reference volume in one. Their approach to learning is to first ensure that the reader is well grounded in several basic concepts that underlie all successful attempts at working with image editing. These concepts, Image Essentials, Color Essentials and Color Settings, form the bedrock of most, if not all, understanding of image editing programs. Do they make it easy? Not necessarily, but they do make sure that you do have access to a complete treatise on each of these subjects. Woven into this material, is their experience in the `Real World' of imaging, thus furnishing the reader with solid reasons why this or that is important. As the authors point out through out the text, Photoshop is an extensive program. Even a book this size cannot cover every little aspect of it. Only by obtaining the basics from a book like this and using that knowledge to build experience can one hope to become proficient in the real world of Photoshop. David Blatner and Bruce Fraser make that `Real World' more understandable than most.
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