Book Review: The Adobe Photoshop CS Book for Digital PhotographersReviewed by Gary Hendricks
o you have a problem editing your digital photos? Maybe youíve taken a ton of during your last vacation, but are not sure how to clean them up. Or perhaps youíre a traditional film photographer who needs help in the realm of digital photography.
Well, the Adobe Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers is the book for you. This book shows the exact techniques used by digital photographers in cleaning up their images.
Itís written by Scott Kelby, who is President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). This is a trade organization for Adobe Photoshop users, with thousands of members in the US and 63 countries. Scott is also the editor of various Photoshop magazines and is a leading Photoshop trainer.
The book itself is not meant to be an exhaustive reference on Adobe Photoshop CS. What it does, and does extremely well, is to show you the inside tricks that experienced photographers use. Youíll learn how the pros correct, edit, sharpen, retouch and present their photos to their clients.
File Browser Basics
In Chapters 1 and 2 of the book, youíll learn about the file browser within Adobe Photoshop CS. Scott shows you have to perform basic navigation tasks and the layout of the menus and commands. Thereís a nice tutorial on digital contact sheets which allow you to print an inventory of the pictures on a CD. This makes looking for a photo much easier.
Basic Photo Editing Techniques
Chapters 3, 4 and 5 expose you to basic image editing techniques in Adobe Photoshop CS. Youíll learn stuff like cropping, resizing and color correction. If you have a lot of underexposed pictures, the book shows you how the professionals fix these. I also particularly like the trick on taking small photos and blowing them up to poster size, with minimal loss in quality.
There are many other techniques illustrated in the book. Throughout Chapters 6, 7 and 8, you learn techniques like masking, retouching and sculpting.
Have dark circles around the subjectís eyes? No problem. The book shows you clearly how to remove those ugly patches.
Want to change the color of the sky or the background? Itís simple to do by extracting the subject from the background.
Youíll also learn about the different types of sharpening available in Adobe Photoshop CS, how to stitch panoramic scenes and watermarking. Watermarking is important for stamping your photos with your personal signature.
Scott also shows you how to package your pictures. From creating a website, to burning a picture CD, the book shows you how using illustrative step-by-step examples.
I thought one of the shortcomings of the book is the fact that it is slightly biased towards portrait photography. Many of the examples are geared towards portraits. Iíd like to have seen more examples of other genres of photography, like action shots or landscape photos. In any case, this is a minor flaw.
In summary, the Adobe Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers is a fun to read and extremely informative guidebook. Youíll learn the tricks of the trade and how the pros editing and retouch their digital photos. Whatís more, itís written by one of the leading trainers on Adobe Photoshop, and should be an essential tome on any digital photographerís bookshelf.