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Showing 1-10 of 124 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 144 reviews
on August 14, 2011
I just need to start by saying that this book absolutely ROCKS!! If you're a photographer or graphic designer who wants to create compelling composites, this is the book for you. One thing that I really enjoy about Matt's book is that the examples are "real world" examples. When you look at the images, you get inspired, and actually want to sit down and take the time to learn these techniques. With other authors of photoshop and photography books, I've often not made a purchase, simply because the images inside or boring. This is not the case with Photoshop Compositing Secrets. I have some of Matt's other books and this is by far his best work yet! Real compositing is more than making a crappy cutout of someone and pasting them in a background. I've easily got through the first 100 pages upon getting it yesterday.

Breakdown:
Real World Examples: Matt's book offers real world examples of how you can use compositing and how to create realistic looking composites. Also, he doesn't just focus on one style. He incorporates all kinds of compositing methods for different kinds of scenarios. Whether it's an awesome senior portrait, or a corporate commercial image.

Selections: This is a key component of creating composite images. Matt does a great job of explaining the amazing refine edge feature in Photoshop CS5. It's not perfect, but when you combine it with some other techniques, you can't loose. (Buy the book to find out what these techniques are).

Practice Files: Matt did not skim on the files. These files have enough resolution to make great selections, therefore add more value to the book.

Photoshop CS5: Another thing that I really dig about this book is the fact that he shares other Photoshop techniques that you can apply to other real world projects.

Bottom Line: This book Rocks! If you want to know how to create awesome composites, buy this book! It is THE BOOK ON COMPOSITING

-Brian Rodgers Jr.
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on August 8, 2011
I love this book. Combining images, and making it look believable is hard, tedious work. In this book Matt Kloskowski lays out exactly how he does it, and actually makes it sound easy, hopefully I'll get to the point where it is.

Some of it was familiar from watching Photoshop User TV, but much of it was new. In one example he explained how he kept track (on his phone) his lens, and focal length, distance from the subject, and how high the camera was from the ground when he photographed his main subject. He then replicated all of this when he photographed the background so the subject would look right when put in that atmosphere.

He covers the shadows (super important to making it look real), the filters, the clipping masks, layer blend modes, and a couple of ways to get rid of that nasty fringe quickly to name just a few of his helpful tips. This is a book that I will keep right next to my computer and refer to any time I am doing a composite.

If you like this book, I also recommend his earlier book Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop's Most Powerful Feature (2nd Edition) which was absolutely wonderful!
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So far I've read up to chapter 7. This is my second Matt Kloskowski's book on Photoshop CS5. The first one was "PHOTOSHOP'S LAYERS" 2nd edition. If you really want to learn the most powerful feature of the Photoshop, read and study this book. Nobody explains so clearly and detailed as Matt does. Finally, I can say confidently that I know Photoshop Layers and Masks. Since then the quality of my photo retouching has gained a new pro-type level. However, this book is more advanced and it's based on pre-existing knowledge of all the stuff you could get from his LAYERS book. Compositing is an advanced technique and I am slightly overwhelmed with the all the tools and techniques I've never knew about. You have to go back and study all step by step procedures again Matt performs with different type of compositing. Of cause, the more I do that, the easier it becomes. So far Matt's second book is as good as his first one. I love it, just it needs more work and concentration and you will become an expert in Photoshop photo editing. I am looking forward to go through all the rest chapters. There are 16 total.
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on August 8, 2011
In real estate it is all about 'Location, Location, Location' In conveying Photoshop techniques to an audience of novices, amateurs, hobbyist s and professionals it is ALL about COMMUNICATION 3x.
I facilitate workshops on a considerably smaller level than Matt Kloskowski and his NAPP brethren and the hardest feat in the presentation is appealing to all talent levels so as to not talk over the novice while at the same time not boring the professionals.
Matt Kloskowski has mastered the art of Photoshop (yes, and Lightroom) and the importance of communicating it.
That being said, the book, 'Photoshop Compositing Secrets' is masterful in the step-by-step processes of creating a great image. I look back at my earlier composited images and while it is easy enough to just blame early versions of Photoshop for not having the capabilities they have now I know the truth how my talents have been raised from Matt Kloskowski's training's through his book (as well as NAPP podcasts and Kelbytraining.com)
I chose to order this for my iPad2 on the Kindle app so I screwed myself from an autographed copy (You may just have to sign the back of the iPad2 next time) but it is so easy to navigate.
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on April 11, 2012
My experience in photo compositing is from GIMP. When I got Photoshop --- I found the interface confusing, probably because it does so much that options for doing things are all over the place. So I needed a book to get started. While I agree with the other reviewers that this is geared toward studio photographers, the lessons are good for someone like me who is quite familiar with compositing, but new to Photoshop. There is a website where you can download the files the book uses and work along, which I found very useful for getting up to speed and learning how the tools really work (eg, the quick selection was nice, but I found it overselected sometimes when using one of the samples --- no matter how small I made the paintbrush). So this book is not the bible in compositing, but it is an excellent way to learn the tools in Photoshop that support compositing.

I bought the kindle (for PC) version of this book and have it installed on two of my PC's. Love the fact that the book does not take up shelf space this way and that I can highlight areas and make notes.

I've modified my review down to 4 stars because I found I cannot print portions of this book (Kindle edition) without copying images of pages and printing them. This means I cannot read and work through exercises in the book without an extra monitor - one for reading and one for going through the exercises in Photoshop. Other than that, I like the book and the Kindle version, but this is a major drawback in buying a Kindle version of this book in my opinion.
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on January 16, 2012
Look at the ratings. There is a reason virtually every reviewer assigned 5 stars to this book. I've worked with Photoshop for a good 20 years and still on a steep learning curve. In my erstwhile quest for competency, I must easily have a good $500 bucks invested in books, videos, etc.

I can say, hands down, this is absolutely the best ever book on Photoshop techniques.

Note this is NOT a beginner's survey, and for that I'm grateful. If I have to ever again struggle through pages and pages telling me how to OPEN a File, or SAVE a File, I'll probably hang myself.

The author wisely assumes that the reader has at least working knowledge of the basics of Photoshop, including working with layers and layer masks (ashamedly, it's only been within the past year or so that I finally bit the bullet and started using layer masks... wow, what a quantum leap in capability!)

Matt approaches the compositing issues (and what else IS Photoshop if not a great compositing tool?), through an extended series of actual image projects, and provides the working images for your own practice via an accessible weblink.

The process to combine several images into one, as might be expected, is pretty similar, regardless of the subject. Yet, amazingly, with each new sample project, Matt introduces a slightly different approach to achieve the same end results.

After you read through the very detailed and well-explained steps of each project, you'll be amazed at all the new techniques and shortcuts you will have learned.

Now that I've finished the book, I plan on starting back on page one and actually working through each project to further cement my new-found knowledge.

I'm rather glad that I bought the Kindle version (you DO know you can buy Kindle books at usually big discount from hardbound? and you do NOT have to own a Kindle.. just download the free Kindle app for your iPhone, iPad, PC, or Mac, and view the whole book in color on your desired device).

I literally keep my PC Kindle app active on my PC for quick reference to this book (it's nicely indexed too).

Although I do own a regular (non-color) Kindle, I wouldn't recommend this book for that medium, since you really need full color to appreciate the incredible work the author has done. However, I've successfully worked through this manual reading it mostly right on my iPhone.

Wish I could give this TEN stars! Without question the best Photoshop book ever!
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on March 20, 2015
Anyone who does significant compositing should probably read this book. It's an accumulation of a few (very few, by the way) tips and tricks to do better work. Since there isn't all that much to it, except practice and careful application, there's a fair amount of repetition. It approaches the subject through a number of examples of how to composite for certain results. I don't think you'll be disappointed you bought it. One annoying thing was that the author, like others in the Photoshop world, are into "edgy" portraiture, that is, to the rest of us, using lowlife models and bringing out their "I haven't bathed in two weeks" look. Thus, there's little attempt in the compositing to enhance the subject's beauty or attractiveness. However, as the cover shows, an edgy model and trashy background can sometimes result in a fantastic composite.
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on August 9, 2011
This book is superlative in every way, and is written by a true master of Photoshop. An important point needs to be made: this book will save you $money$. Compositing photographs necessarily requires that you remove (or mask out) the subject from its background from one or more photos. There are many Photoshop plugins available to help you with this process, and some are quite expensive. Matt uses the Refine Edge Tool already in Photoshop CS5 to accomplish this (even on fly-away hair) and explains its nuances, negating the need for purchasing these plugins.

This book is so well written that one can delve into any page, any where in the book, and not be lost. So, whether or not you are a fan of Joel Grimes, Dave Hill, James Quantz, Jr., Justin Paguia and the like, this tome is destined to become a classic reference - a must have for every Photoshopper.
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on February 20, 2012
All I can say is WOW! This book is amazing. I have purchased about every photography and Photoshop book on the market in the last 2 years in order to self train in these 2 disciplines and this book has single handily done more to improve my skills in the area for which it is meant than any other. Between this book and the Joel Grimes videos on kelbytraining.com I am going to be a compositing fool for the next year! When you read this book, be prepared to jot down notes for the dozens of compositing ideas you will have of your own, this book is THAT good at its subject.

Seriously, I typically do not leave 'fanboy' reviews like this but I am giving credit where credit is due here.

The one word of caution I would suggest here is that compositing in general is not something that a complete Photoshop 'newbie' should take on directly. You can get there, but if you are brand new to photography I would learn all the basics of Photoshop as a tool by watching all the kelbytraining.com videos you can and then watch them again to learn the program first. If you are this 'newbie' (like I was a year and a half ago) then look forward to this book after you have your base skills or you may find this book frustrating and hard to follow. If you have the base Photoshop skills, then this book will take your skills and potential for Photoshop to a new level.

Well done Matt...
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on August 16, 2011
I've followed Matt K's work over the years and have always picked up a tip, technique, or new way of doing things. After seeing work from photographer Joel Grimes, I was intrigued by his techniques. Along comes the Photoshop Compositing by Matt Kloskowski and expected a few selection & removal techniques, and related methods. But I was blown away with the amount of content Matt covers in this book. This is a thick book but what's great is that you can jump to any chapter and follow a technique - you don't need to go through the book in order. But more importantly is the content. Matt takes you through each step needed to create not just a good composite, but a perfect one. Nothing is left out, even selecting wild strands of hair. Over the years in my 3D work, I've learned a lot about scale and proportion. In my photography work, this plays an important role and Matt makes sure to instruct on it. One of the most over looked techniques with compositing beyond scale is color. Composites that look fake often do so because the background is one tone while the subject is another. Matt makes sure that you're aware of this and instructs you on how to blend color tones for a seamless integration. Shadows are key to adding depth and realism and there's excellent information within the chapters showing just simple, but effective techniques for blending shadows.

Over the years, a number of books and tutorials show you some amazing technique - and then you find out you need a third party plug-in. Matt talks about this and as such, shows you techniques directly in Photoshop, but then adds in a third party option so you can see the difference. It's a very honest and straight forward tome, that gives you the feeling Matt is sitting there next to you teaching you these cool lessons.

I could have used this book a few months back when I shot a cover for a local magazine, compositing 8 different people into one shot. I did it the old way. Photoshop Compositing would have saved me a couple of hours of work on that project alone. I couldn't recommend this book more to any photographer full time or part, who wants to take their work to the next level. For the portrait photographer - forget about that stale grouped family shot. Matt covers compositing techniques to seamlessly blend multiple family members for one great image. At our studio, we often get tired of using the same backgrounds and many photographers know, those canvas backdrops can be expensive. Buy a $40 roll of gray paper, get Matt's book and you can put anyone into any location you want.

Get this book!
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