Scott Kelby is back with this new digital photography book, “The Adobe Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers.” Everyone who knows Photoshop knows Scott. I have attended a few seminars and conventions where he was one of the speakers. The back cover describes the book as, “His (Scott) easygoing, plain English style of teaching makes Photoshop fun.” I received this book and have found myself taking digital photos more than ever just to play with Scott’s techniques!
The first two chapters of the book deal with file browser essentials. I learned a lot from this section about how to use the file browser. Probably the coolest thing I learned was how to create digital contact sheets for my digital photo cds. These sheets allow you to print a contact sheet showing what is on the cd. No more will you have to load 10 CD’s to find the picture of Aunt Ida.
The next three chapters deal with basic photo elements, namely cropping, resizing, image problems and color correction. Scott demonstrates how to take small photos and make poster-sized prints out of them. Ok, here is my favorite trick from the book, fixing underexposed pictures. Scott shows a before picture where you can barely tell what is in the picture. After applying his techniques, you can clearly tell what is in the picture and no one is the wiser. The “Color Me Badd” section first explains why the default color space is no longer the proper one to select and why changing this before making any color edits is critical.
Chapters 6, 7, and 8 handle techniques for masking photos, retouching portraits, and sculpting. I personally like the tip on how to extract people from their background. This tip allowed me to “change” the background of an image I was in. How many of you have taken pictures with the family only to look at them and realize you have dark circles under your eyes? Scott explains how to remove the dark circles and any other hangover attributes. Here is one tip for all the women (ok and men), removing love handles. Take out excess bulge digitally. I tested this out, but sadly the digital removal does not automatically lead to real-life removal.
Special effects and grayscale are pretty cool too. Scott shows how to “replace the sky.” Another technique I am glad to see in the book is, “Stiching Panoramas Together.” This allows you to take multiple panoramic pictures and stich them together for an awesome huge image. The last of the techniques in the book address professional sharpening techniques. From basic sharpening to extreme edge sharpening, these techniques should be attempted once the previous chapters in the book have been mastered.
The last chapter in the book is the section I think should be called, “protect yourself and get paid.” This chapter shows you how to watermark your images should you need to prove anything to Judge Judy. Scott shows you how to properly show your work to your clients online, how to create picture package layouts and how to send a portfolio presentation to a client. These techniques can also be used for non-business events, i.e. showing your family your pictures.
The first line in this book is, “I had no intentions of writing this book.” I certainly am glad that Scott did because I believe he has written the best digital photography book on the market today. The only drawback is that most of these techniques require Photoshop CS and not everyone has made the upgrade as of yet.
Easy to use, quick learn, all levels covered
Price is a pinch high and you must have Photoshop CS to take full advantage of the book.
The best digital photography book on the market.