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Customer Review

121 of 130 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much help if you shoot outdoors, September 21, 2011
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This review is from: Photoshop Compositing Secrets: Unlocking the Key to Perfect Selections and Amazing Photoshop Effects for Totally Realistic Composites (Paperback)
Matt is a great teacher and there's lots of good stuff in this book, but be warned. If you think it's about pulling folks out of your back yard photos and putting them someplace else, you'll be disappointed. The majority of this book is about how to set up and light your subjects in a studio against a seamless background so they'll look right when you mask them out and put them into another shot. This is all good information for folks with studios and multiple lights, planning in advance to composite the shot.

I was hoping to get a lot more information on masking, and maybe some on color and temperature balance so things looked real. Instead I got "Plan ahead, write down the focal length, f-stop and distance from your subject, then set your camera the same when shooting the background; note the spot where your subject would be if he was actually there, then back your camera off the same distance you shot from in the studio. In my amateur world, it'd be a lot easier to just transport the subject to the location and take one shot.

The book was definitely NOT a waste of money, and I got several good things from it. There were good tips on masking, but masking from a seamless background is not that hard. I'm an amateur with one removable flash, two reflectors, and no studio, I don't get paid for my work, I just wanna have fun in my hobby. I could have got everything of interest to me in far fewer chapters. This book is more for professional photographers and graphic designers.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 7, 2011, 2:58:12 PM PDT
CMOS says:
They probably should've entitled this "Photoshop Compositing for Hollywood Style Effects" as it would imply reliance on greenscreen type techniques to get the subjects extracted cleanly and lit a certain way.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2011, 10:34:46 AM PDT
Jack Winter says:
Not really; some of the stuff liked how to use "Refine Edge" dialoge box and using outer glow on hair was really useful.

Posted on Oct 26, 2011, 6:09:21 PM PDT
i had a feeling it was a studio book v a creative idea book. this review was very helpful as i'm looking for the ideas book as already know how to do selections.

Posted on Nov 7, 2011, 12:38:00 AM PST
Valerie says:
Thank you for the insightful review! I too shoot outdoors, and was looking forward to a book that could help me creatively...and this book is not what I was looking for. I have already had plenty of portraiture/lighting experience. From the title, I thought this book would be the one. Do you by chance have a book you would recommend??

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2011, 6:56:50 AM PST
Jack Winter says:
No ideas on books, Valerie, but the Version 3 masking software from Topaz Labs is pretty good. http://www.topazlabs.com/remask/

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2012, 7:19:11 PM PST
grt0106 says:
If you use Elements, go to http://www.photoshopelementsuser.com and if you use Photoshop go to http://www.photoshopuser.com
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