on May 30, 2004
Happily, I found much more in here than I expected. Kelby knows his stuff, has it well organized, explains it in perfect detail. You won't get lost in extracting a subject from a photo or doing a little body work to make a good picture great. We all wanted to know how to do those little tummy tucks . . . Kelby saves us a lot of work by showing how to do it right the first time. You will not waste time digging for the right method, it's right here, and he makes it simple to follow.
One complaint: While he uses nice color photos throughout, the top 1 3/4 inches is devoted to title and a narrow photo strip. A lot of wasted real estate in a book only 375 numbered pages long. While the chapters are started with excellent photos, most the photos highlighting the technics are rather boring, but all are useful to illustrate his point. A few were down right annoying (subjective judgement - but that's my perception). Overall, a highly valued, worthwhile addition to my photoshop library, I'm impressed with the technical information, which is what I bought it for.
on April 11, 2004
The book is definately worth the money, and it taught me a lot about using PS in digital photography. Photoshop CS is the first version I've really used other than extremely light touch-up work, and it's a LOT to get into. I didn't know anything about layers, levels, or any of the other terminology. I should have bought a companion PS book first, but live and learn. This is NOT a one-stop resource for people who haven't used PS before.
- Being able to download the stock photos for free and work along with the exercised helps a lot.
- Overall, a lot of "real world" type useful procedures.
- Fantastic color diagrams, examples, and notations throughout. A quality printing job; nothing cheap about it.
- I realize Kelby is a legend in the world of PS, but I'd be happier with less smarmy "stream of consciousness" type prose and more classroom-type tone to the book. His classes may be great, but I'm sure I'd have wanted to strangle him after the first hour. It borders on being annoying when you're just trying to learn to use a program. Less cute, please.
- The book is VERY focused on portraits and other "people" pictures. I don't recall ANY nature or animal shots in the book, and relatively few landscapes.
This book is worth every nickel in my opinion.
on March 22, 2004
This is my fifth Photoshop book, and I wish it had been my first. What were the problems in the earlier book? First of all, some had minimal use of color. Seems funny but I'm sure the publishers saved a ton of money by not using color, or using only a few insert pages for color content. For Photoshop this is silly. This book, like all the New Riders books apparently, uses full color.
Second, a number of books use dreadful images as examples. Now the authors of these books are certainly photoshop experts, but apparently only use 'left-over' images from a previous family vacation in their books. Photoshop experts, but not expert photographers. Scott uses excellent images, most of which were contributed by friends who are excellent, professional photographers! Just browse...
Third, the earlier books were often hard to read; small fonts, a ton of material, lousy layout. Sure they were comprehensive in coverage, but I think too much for a photgrapher. (I now have a good working knowledge of what features were added to every version of PS that ever was, and all about every digital camera the author ever owned. Didn't really need all that.)
Scott's book is really fun to read. He uses humor well, has great images (downloadable from his site) as examples, and covers material needed to turn good photographs into great photographs. You won't find any information on shutter speeds, f-stops, selecting cameras, printers, etc, just Photoshop. Kinda respectful of the reader...
If you're a photographer and you're going digital, you'll have some very specific needs; get Harald Johnson's book on printers and printing, and this book on Photoshop CS.
on March 19, 2004
5 stars doesn't cover it!
I've seen Scott teach live and he is absolutely the most knowledgable Photoshop trainer on the planet. This book is the next best thing to seeing him live. In fact, it may be better because the explanations are just as clear as a live class but you get to keep them right by the computer where you need 'em.
From the comprehensive explanations of how to perform certain editing functions and new functions in CS, to the first class printing (these pages are as bright and crisp as my studio display LCD) this is easily the best computer book I've ever seen.
I have several of Scott's book and the reason they're great is because the approach is NOT like a manual. If you're after a "classroom in a book" you'll be surprised when you get this book. The illustrations are awesome and explanations are concise and step-by-step. There are no assumed steps like lots of books have and the examples cover a wide variety of things digital photographers and retouchers need to know.
This book is for beginners and experts alike because the lessons are structured like a recipie book. The steps are easy enough for the novice to understand and advanced enough so even experts applying the techniques look their best and accomplish their retouching even faster.
If you're the kind of person who prefers to read a book that gives you a comprehensive variety usable examples and clear detailed explanations and supporting illustrations, this is your book. If you want a manual to tell you all about each feature in a dry, clinical manner, find another Photoshop book.
on March 5, 2004
I have never before taken the time to document my impressions of a book. I have just
finished reading The Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby, and I
feel motivated to record my impressions of it. The book is not a large one.
But I have acquired more "know how" in using Photoshop than ever before, even
studying books on the subject several times larger than this one. Scott knows his subject
and he is skilled in ways to share his knowledge with others -- unfortuately a rare skill. I
found his chapters on editing digital portraits particularly useful. Six different ways to
crop a portrait. And, after studying them, I can utilize any one of them. Compensating
for too little or too much flash. Two different methods of removing "red eye". Color
correcting is clearly explained in several chapters. Retouching portraits. Precise
selections, using the pen tool. Enhancing eye-brows, Brightening teeth. Skin softening.
Slimming and trimming. Turning a frown into a smile. The list goes on and on. Things
from which an amateur digital photographer is sure to benefit.
on February 15, 2004
Scott Kelby has written a great book for digital photographers employing a "cookbook" rather than the more intimidating comprehemsive "users manual" approach to this intimidating program. This book will get you using the most useful features of this program quickly and effortlessly.
You need to understand however that this is not intended as, nor is it a comprehensive users manual. Kelby employs a simpler approach. By enabling the reader to delve quickly into the most useful features of the program he can then explore the more daunting aspects of the program at his leisure. I've found that this approach to learning nearly anything works best for me. To concentrate exclusively on the mundane details of any subject to the exclusion of the more interesting practical aspects nearly always leads to boredom. Kelby has avoided this pitfall.
I've read other Photoshop books and none of them have been as useful or practical as this one. Photoshop is chock full of features tailored to the needs of the digital photographer and Scott Kelby has gone far towards making these accessible even to the neophyte.
on February 11, 2004
I am a Photoshop book junkie. I consider myself an apprentice user of Photoshop with my interest primarily in digital photagraphy. So when I saw this book I did not hesitate to take it home.
At first I read through some of the interesting techniques and tips shown throughout the book without actually trying any of them in Photoshop. However, it wasn't until I opened Photoshop and turned to the section on color correction that I realized what a great instructor Scott Kelby is.
The short section on Color Correction of your photos was worth the price of the book! I have read several other Photoshop books but none of them have given me the results that I got when I went through the four or five pages Scott devoted to color correction using the "Curves" tool (Page 115). What a difference. When I completed the adjustment of my first photo I placed it along side the same photo I had adjusted using techniques shown in other books. There was no comparison. Scott't technique resulted in much richer and vibrant colors that were true to my recollection of the original scene.
Kudos to Scott and his straight forward teaching techniques.
on January 9, 2004
Perhaps the best Photoshop book for digital photographers on the market. If you are looking for a book that goes into the technical science of color management or delves in the algorithms behind curves and levels then this isn't it.
What it is is a collection of (brilliant) how to's for digital photo management and correction - what to do when your fill flash was too bright, How to recover an underexposed image. How to turn a snapshot into a poster sized print with mininal loss of detail. The absolute best ways to get maximum sharpness without experiencing color halos and image degradation. How to prepare flesh tones for a CMYK press. Matching color and tone throughout a series of images. Etc.
You can even download the example images in the book, try the techniques out and compare your results to Scott's. If you are a digital photographer who would rather spend more time in the field shooting and less at a computer endlessly tweaking curves and levels and you are looking for a book of down and dirty tips, tricks and how to secrets of the pros then this is it.
Way to go, Scott!
on December 25, 2003
I've read a lot of books about Photoshop, and Scott Kelby's are by far the best and most helpful. This book's writing, layout, and topics make it an easy-to-use-and-understand goldmine for digital photographers at any level of experience.
(...) If you buy this book with this title, you will see a different cover, and it is indeed about Photoshop CS. As far as Scott's humor in the books, I find it refreshing and enjoy it, especially compared to some of the dry, dense, incomprehensilble stuff in other books.
(...) Yes, the book uses Macintosh screen shots, but the difference between Mac screens and Windows screens in Photoshop CS is nil. The small, consistent, differences in Mac and Windows key strokes are spelled out every time keys are mentioned and are not at all difficult to deal with. Kelby never suggests a fixed set of values for "Custom Grayscale Using Channel Mixer," (...) Kelby's suggestion to back up to CDs is a useful one, to be followed or discarded by each reader. How can making the suggestion be a fault? (...)
If you use a digital camera and Photoshop CS, this book will be a huge help for both doing and learning. And it's enjoyable!
on December 24, 2003
First off the red/black book cover shown (Dec 2003) with this description is wrong. That's the PRIOR edition, for Photoshop 7. The book I have is teal and white, and is most assuredly all Photoshop CS.
Okay, now that that's done..... this is a great book for people working with digital photos in Photoshop. I think the thing I liked best is that Kelby is straightforward and approaches it from a perspective of not telling you all about HOW to take the picture, but how to improve it once you've got it in the camera. If you're looking for f-stops, lighting tips and camera tricks, this ain't your book.
If, however, you're looking for ways to improve your digital photos in Photoshop; from sharpening without harshness, to great greyscale photos with sizzle, and a thousand other things, then you'll get great tips in this book.
In addition to the focus and content in each chapter, he has what he calls "advanced" tips in the book...don't skip over these... they're great and they are often more involved stepwise (nothing that can't be followed!)--but the results are impressive.
Yes, Scott has a very informal writing style--if you've read any of his other books, you'll know what I mean. If you haven't, be aware that he doesn't preach that he's THE Photoshop guru, he's more than willing to learn from anyone and then shares those tips with everyone. Sometimes his tangents are so funny I have to wonder what WAS in the Mountain Dew he was drinking.