20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
this book is exactly what the author says it is. it shows how to "fix"
print and digital pictures using paint shop pro. it is not a tutorial for
the program. it shows how to do this by using very good color and black and white pictures in a number of studies. the examples are long enough so that you understand the principles but not so long that you lose interest in what you are trying to accomplish.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Matthew R. Johnson
- Published on Amazon.com
As previously mentioned in other reviews this book assumes you know how to find your way around Paint Shop Pro. It's most compatible with versions X through photo X2. He doesn't go into any tools that aren't in all three of these versions so it covers the general usage of specific tools very well.
The author stresses the importance of not trying to "perfect" your photos. Giving good examples of doing things the right way, the wrong way, and stopping when the photo is "good enough." He explains himself very well and has a good method presenting the information.
His use of actual photos that he's fixed before, and has an actual personal connection with really brings this down to the average user who is just trying to fix those old photos and improve upon ones that didn't come out as well as they could have.
My only real criticism is more of a warning to those of you who learn as I do. I learn by example, or in other words I need to follow along with the book to properly get everything down just right. This book does not include a link for downloading these pictures that I have found so without your own photos to practice on as he goes over the different parts, if you learn like I do, will be difficult.
This book is far more about recognizing the different problems with photos and some tips and tricks and methods that the author himself has discovered that work very well. A lot of what he says comes from personal experience. And he goes through a trial and error process for most of the book demonstrating the different things you might try by using the number of effects options and hands-on tools. And he explains them all fairly well. He doesn't bore you with all of the technical aspects of the tools, he simply tells you what they do and gives you suggestions on their proper use.
All in all the book is excellent, he focuses on basic aspects and information rather than focusing on the photo in specific. If you're fixing cracks he won't go into depth about adjusting the contrast unless it's needed. If he's being artistic he won't lecture you on the proper use of the clone brush. He focuses on the task at hand and only the task at hand. Helping you to identify the various aspects of restoring and retouching a photo individually.
I would suggest this to anyone wanting to use Paint Shop Pro to correct photos.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
A common lament among users of Corel's popular Paint Shop Pro series of photo editing programs is the lack of advanced tutorial material. Over time there have been a few professionally done video books and texts offered here and there, and author Robert Correll himself has put together two helpful video books based upon earlier versions of PSP, but in general those efforts concentrate on developing basic to low-level intermediate skills at best. Now Correll and Thomson Course Publishing (since become Cengage Learning) have come forth with an advanced PSP tutorial that goes well beyond the basics of photo repair titled Photo Restoration and Retouching Using Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo.
In his new tutorial Correll (the similarity in names Correll/Corel is pure coincidence) has assembled 73 photo projects, mostly casual photos of his wife and children along with those of assorted kinfolk who were smiling into the family cameras as far back as 1919. The color and black and white photographs presented here have suffered a host of indignities over the years; fading, overwriting and smudges of all kinds, scratches, tears and holes in addition to the usual technical defects caused by bad film, poor lighting or poor scanning techniques. There are, of course, the human flaws as well; a pimple here and there, nose hair, dandruff - it's all here in gory high resolution detail, and each Photo Study's source photo is made available for download upon request to the author. I should add that Correll makes himself readily accessible to his target audience via e-mail, keen on cheering them on in their photo restoration efforts.
Basically each Photo Study begins with a brief background about the subject(s) of the photo. Along the way you will meet the author and his wife Anne and their four small children who are introduced in a light-hearted fashion along with Uncle Jim and Grandpa Bud among others. Then the problems in the photo at hand are pointed out, and Correll begins his repair routine in a step-by-step fashion sometimes diverging to try alternative means of solving the issues being confronted. A pre-release version of PSPP X2 was used to do the repairs, but the included screenshots are taken from PSPP XI. I am still using PSP X, and for the most part had no problems following along though the capabilities of some of the tools in my older version differ slightly from those in the more recent PSPP X2. The Levels adjustment tool is one such example. The text and screenshots are of excellent quality and printed in color on high-gloss stock. My only niggle here is that my 73 year old eyes had difficulty discerning the small text shown in many dialogue boxes, and even my magnifying glass sometimes struggled to make out many of the dialogue settings which are not always specified in the explanatory text.
In Photo Study One the author throws the reader off the leaning tower and right into the heart of photo restoration and retouching with a very challenging photo repair study of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I would have preferred easing into things with a more merciful project, but so much for whining. Perhaps Correll was trying to instill from the get-go a necessary sense of patience and persistence which he emphasizes frequently while stressing the need to be discriminating about one's work. He also cautions a light touch that does not render restore operations obvious to the viewer.
One great advantage of the book for me was that I became acquainted with several tools that I had, frankly, not previously employed in my photo restore efforts since beginning to work with PSP about 6 or 7 months ago. The Saturation Up/Down and the Lighten/Darken tools are just two such. I was also introduced to the Displacement Map under the Effects menu. This looks like an interesting Effects routine that I intend to explore further. The final chapter of the book presents a few creative applications using some of the Effects menu options, but frankly the author only scratches the surface here, though his results are impressive. An imaginative author could easily employ the PSP Effects tools in a tutorial presented solely upon their own merits, and I am sure Mr. Correll would be the first to agree.
In addition to the photo exercises, Correll offers interesting background information about scanning photos, organizing and archiving them as well as helpful printing tips. He also interjects along the way a few useful editing tips and tricks that he has discovered through his personal experiences using PSP.
Does the author leave anything left unsaid? Well, in a word, yes. Not every tool and adjustment in the PSP arsenal is acknowledged its fifteen minutes of fame, though all the heavyweights certainly are, but there is an appendix to the book that does give a brief rundown of each and every tool. However, there is no mention of the hidden tools to be found in the Unused Commands section, some of which can be quite helpful in certain circumstances. Plug-ins are not touched upon nor is the use of scripts, even those pre-defined scripts included with PSP. The author has a tendency to use the High Pass Sharpen adjustment as opposed to the Unsharp Mask, but his reasons for this apparent preference are not stated. He also likes to work with photos in .tif format as opposed to the more common .jpg/.jpeg file format, but again reasons are not stated though I presume they have something to do with a lesser likelihood of introducing artifacts into a photo during the restoration/retouching process.
I personally would have liked to have seen Photo Studies that put to work a few PSP capabilities that I am largely unfamiliar with. In this category I would include the Hue Map tool, and a few exercises using the Create Mask from Image procedure would have been a very welcome addition. In fact, I would have liked to have seen a few more exercises using masks in general though there are 3 of them. Masking, I think, is a weak point for many, including even PSP buffs far more experienced than I am.
All in all, however, this is a powerful tutorial that ought to be a part of every PSP enthusiast's personal library - it is a text that is sure to be referred to again and again. It is my hope that Mr. Correll's tutorial does well in the marketplace thereby launching further PSP instructional texts from this very knowledgeable and photo-savvy author. In my book, Correll's tutorial, Photo Restoration and Retouching Using Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo, gets a well-deserved 5 stars.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Pros-finally a book for PSP! Full color! Tons of screen shots! Easy to read.
Cons-The author states that this book does not teach PSP, which is true. But I assumed that meant it would still teach the restoration and retouching tools PSP offers, but it does not. This is my big issue with it. For instance, in PSP with the Highlight/midtone/shadow window, you're given the option of "absolute" or "relative" adjustments. I don't know what the difference is or when to use which. As the author/book does not "teach PSP" I still don't know. The book follows along as the author corrects his own photos, so in the section on this (pg 74), he simply states he used the relative method with no explanation of why. There is very, very, little "teaching" of the various tools/options. So, if you don't know what each option does, for instance, under Digital Camera Noise Removal before the book, you won't after it, as that's not "taught." I didn't want a book that taught me basic PSP use, but I did want one that would teach me when to use Histogram Adjustment versus Histogram Stretch, but it's not this book.
My second issue is with the size of some of the screen shots on the printed page. When the whole screen shot is shown on the printed page, it's about 3" square. The before/after preview window takes up maybe 1" on the page, about the size of a postage stamp. And the author says "see the difference?" Are you kidding me??? I went and got some magnifying glasses and still couldn't make out a difference on something that small. One time I actually carried the book to a light, held it as close to the bulb as I could, put on my magnifying glasses and still could not see the difference between the before and afters! Granted, this is due to my age...I'm at that age where I don't require prescription glasses but my eyes aren't as young/good as they use to be either.
I did enjoy reading the book, and I did get some tips that will be useful, so I am giving it a few stars. But I am still going to have to purchase another book to teach me the actual restoration tools and the theory of when to use what.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
As a relatively experienced user of Photo Graphic programs, I can recommend this book as a tool to gain depth in the use of Paint Shop Pro. I particularly liked the abundant color photos and the complete text that went along with each project. This is not an introduction to PSP, but how to optimize productivity using the program.