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2 Photoshop Books I Refer To All The Time

photoshop elements for digital photographers adobe cs4 classroom in a book

Having 1 or 2 Photoshop books by your computer is not a bad idea - if not pretty essential - for photographers who use this software.

There are only so many tips and tricks you can learn by your self without the help of some expert guidance. Not to mention the fact that there are millions of ways you can go wrong! I have found these two books to be clear, easy to follow and hugely helpful guides on how to use Photoshop. Scott Kelby in particular knows how to make things crystal clear as well as entertaining.

 

Photoshop Elements 8 Book for Digital Photographers - Scott Kelby 

photoshop elements for digital photographers

Subject
How to use Photoshop Elements to the full. There are 12 chapters: Organized chaos, Raw deal, Re-sized, Color me badd, 99 problems, The mask, Faces, Take me away [cleaning], Special delivery [special effects], Sharp dressed man [sharpening], Best in show [presenting your images], Fit to print.

My Thoughts
That man Kelby again! Well, there's good reason why he's the most successful writer on photography of all time. This is another book that answers the just tell me how to do it demand of most people learning photography.

Once again, Kelby deals with loads of specific little Photoshop tricks, situations, problems and ideas which provide something immediately useful and add up to a thorough understanding of Photoshop Elements.

Explanations are provided in a step-by-simple-step format, which I find so much better than those Photoshop books that ramble on about the various tools. Easily one of the best photography books I own.

Best Thing
In places, the book provides Photoshop Elements tips that involve imitating some of the more complex CS4 features, which make for really stunning pictures.

Worst Thing
Not much comes to mind, actually. The friendly writing style can become a bit of a feature in itself, digressing from the subject - but that's nit picking.

 

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Classroom in a Book

adobe cs4 classroom in a book

Subject
Introduction to all the basic techniques of Photoshop CS4.

There are 14 lessons: Getting to know the work area, Basic photo corrections, Working with selections, Layer basics, Masks and channels, Correcting and enhancing digital photographs, Typographic design, Vector drawing techniques, Advanced layering, Advanced compositing, Preparing files for the web, Working with 3D images, Working with scientific images, Producing and printing consistent color.

My Thoughts
I found this a really convenient way to learn about CS4 because it is essentially a little course in a book. In fact, Adobe do run some kind of qualification scheme associated with their Classroom in a Book range.

Each lesson teaches something new whilst making use of some of the things you've already learnt. I found this really helpful, and the lessons are broken down into tiny single steps to avoid confusion.

It started out feeling like a bit of a dull, schoolroom type learning process but before long it actually became really enjoyable and was the best way to learn how to use Photoshop CS4 without getting into bad habits. So this also makes the list of my best photography books.

Best Thing
Investing a little bit of time in this book/short course makes you feel that you are on a firm footing with CS4 which otherwise may have been a little overwhelming.

Worst Thing
Whilst the step-by-step lessons are super clear, as the book progresses there is the occasional assumption that you know what is meant by something - which is not necessarily the case - causing a few minutes delay on that step.

Kelby Training is probably the best and most trusted source of online Photoshop education.

Learn Photography Online with the Pros Save $10 Now #KTCJQ12

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