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Photoshop CS for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide Paperback – Dec 24 2003
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About the Author
In addition to this book, Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas have also written, designed, and illustrated Visual QuickStart Guides to Illustrator, Photoshop, LiveMotion, and Painter. Their books have been translated into 12 languages and have sold more than 1.3 million copies worldwide. They have also taught at Pratt Manhattan, Cooper Union School of Art, the New School Computer Instruction Center, and Parsons School of Design.
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The chapters include:
1 - The Basics
2 - Photoshop Color
3 - Startup
4 - Pixel Basics
5 - Layer Basics
6 - Select
7 - Compositing
8 - History
9 - Adjustments
10 - Choose Colors
11 - Recolor
12 - Paint
13 - Photography
14 - Gradients
15 - Layering Layers
16 - Layer Effects
17 - Masks
18 - Paths/Shapes
19 - Type
20 - Filters
21 - Liquify
22 - Automate
23 - Preferences
24 - Print
25 - Web/ImageReady
In contrast to some of the other Photoshop books I've read, "Photoshop CS for Windows & Macintosh" isn't laid out like a lesson book. It doesn't come with a CD-ROM and lesson files, nor does it present a series of steps for the reader to follow. Rather, it simply explains the different features and functions of Photoshop, with an emphasis on how to use the tools in a variety of situations. This is in welcome contrast to other Photoshop guides, which seem to teach you the base mechanics of using a tool, yet neglect to show you how you can apply this knowledge beyond the lessons presented in the book.
However, it's still possible to work through "Photoshop CS for Windows & Macintosh" as if it were divided into lessons. The chapters are roughly the same length (although there are a few noticeably shorter ones, such as Chapter 21, Liquify), so it's easy to schedule your work and actually follow through with it. I managed to knock out two chapters a day, and finished the book in about a week and a half. Simply set aside a few images to work with, and experiment with them as you read through the chapters. Although you won't have any "correct" images to compare your work to, this can actually be an advantage. There's not always a "right" and "wrong" way when it comes to graphic art, and by focusing on how to use Photoshop in a variety of situations, you learn how to apply the tools creatively and intuitively. In short, after reading "Photoshop CS for Windows & Macintosh," you'll find yourself able to tackle new projects with confidence and ease - your skill won't just be limited to tasks similar to the lessons in the book.
In addition to offering a wealth of useful information, the authors do so in an organized and pleasant manner. The layout of the book is attractive, and is filled to the brim with helpful pictures, illustrations, and screen shots. The main downside is that almost all the pictures are black and white, and printed on standard paper. Although this can make the chapters on color a bit less effective, I generally didn't mind the black and white graphics. The authors include SO MANY pictures, that to present even half of them in color would be cost-prohibitive. Indeed, at $24.99, "Photoshop CS for Windows & Macintosh" is one of the more affordable guides out there. Those Photoshop books that run a similar length yet are printed on glossy paper with full color images sell for at least twice as much. For the frugal Photoshoppers out there, this is a great value! My only gripe in regards to the pictures is that the authors include a 32-page insert of color artwork created solely in Photoshop. Although it is interesting artwork, I think that their budget for color prints would have better been spent on instructional photos instead of being used to showcase the work of a few artists.
"Photoshop CS for Windows & Macintosh" is both a helpful and comprehensible introduction to Photoshop for newbies, as well as a useful guide for the more experienced Photoshop user. Of all the books I've read, it's the only one that makes a handy reference book. Whenever I find myself stuck, it's the first book I reach for. And at a such a (relatively) low price, it gives you quite a bang for your buck!
The book has no color examples in the step by step instructions although there are some sample artwork in the middle of the book that is fully colored.
The book has plenty of details from the beginning. The first few chapters explain each of Photoshop CS tools, navigation, selections, etc. The book does have lots of explainations for its step by step instructions but its not a bad thing if you have the patience to read and understand the author's concepts and apply it. There are other books that are quicker and more to the point then this one but it does do a pretty good job of explaining even without all the pictures in each step by step.
I would recommend this book but there are other books out there that I liked better for beginners like Kelby's. The book seems to read too much like a textbook but it's not a big of a deal. Sometimes you get bored of reading all the details and information but they are all things that you can later apply once you get the hang of the basic stuff. Recommended but not the best book for beginners. Makes great supplementary book if you had photoshop experience.
despite my first frustrating experience with it, i actually tried to consult this oversized paperweight on a few other random questions and found it to be equally inscrutable.
perhaps the fault is mine since i have no background in graphic design at all: i am a physician by trade and artist by hobby. my brother gave me photoshop as a gift, thinking that i might enjoy it. i have since come to enjoy it, but no thanks to this clear-as-mud text.
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