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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon November 19, 2008
The author tells us that this little volume will teach photographers what they need to know, and only what they need to know, to process pictures in Photoshop CS4, while being conveniently sized for the traveling photographer. That would be quite an achievement if it could be accomplished.

At first, the individual chapters sound like the author is on the right track. Story tells how to import images into Bridge; select, rate and keyword them in Bridge; adjust them in Adobe Camera Raw; refine them in Photoshop; and finally print them. There is even a chapter full of recipes with recommendations for how to do everything from whiten teeth to correct architectural distortion.

Photoshop is a huge piece of software with all kinds of tools, and while many of them are of little use to the photographer, others that prove useful to photographers aren't covered here such as, for example, the gradient tool and the selection tools. In other cases while a tool is mentioned, there is often no explanation of the theory behind the tool, like the nature of tones, which can be adjusted with levels and curves. I suppose one can eventually figure out how to use these tools, but it would be so much easier if one understood more about tonality. There are some functions that are mentioned, but their full capabilities are ignored, like the ability of the keywording facility in Bridge to import a keyword list, or the ability to create a layer mask to make local adjustments by using the selection tools. Moreover, if all you want to learn is the minimum to process a picture, why spend $600 for Photoshop, when you can buy Photoshop Elements for about $100. The new Photoshop user would be better served by a larger book with more information.

I'm not certain whether this will be a useful guide to a road warrior who is confused by Photoshop. I can't imagine that anyone would be so bold as to try to use Photoshop on the road, without getting the fundamentals down at home first. Then one might need a cheat sheet to remember how to subtract from a selection with the lasso tool, but not to remember the simple steps this book shows.

I suppose for someone who is a little overwhelmed by the strength and complexity of Photoshop, this book might provide a dip of the toe into deep waters. It certainly won't teach you to swim in the Photoshop Sea.
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