With each new Photoshop release, the engineers at Adobe pack more powerful features into the program. Of course, this means a flood of new books that are designed to help you get a handle on all the new features.
However, not all of the Photoshop books on the market really teach you how to use the software to its full potential.
Enter the Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop, a complete tutorial for Photoshop CS5, written by two world renowned Photoshop experts Martin Evening and Jeff Schewe.
Billed as “the must have companion for any serious Photoshop user,” this is not just a book, it’s a total multimedia workshop training package. I got my hands on the book a couple of months ago and so here’s my review.
Unlike many of the other other CS5 books out there, this one doesn’t just cover what’s new, and in fact, it doesn’t even teach you the basics of how to use Photoshop. Instead, it shows you in-depth how to master the features of CS5 so that you can use the take full advantage of the program and produce the highest quality imagery possible.
The book is broken down into 13 topic-based chapters, each of which are designed to simulate an actual workshop session. It shows you the specific methods, tips and techniques that are needed to complete each process, and explains, in detail, how it all fits into your complete workflow. Here’s the complete chapter list and what’s covered.
- Before you shoot– Considerations for planning your shoot.
- Camera RAW workflow– Processing and optimizing your images.
- Raising your IQ– Fine tuning and image correction.
- Mending and blending– Retouching and pixel editing.
- Now you see it, now you don’t– Selection, removal, fill, slicing and channels.
- Retouching people– Fashion, beauty, portraits, skin blending and retouching.
- Masking and compositing– Masking, layers, lens blur, using Smart Objects.
- Photoshop after dark– Combining images, photographing at night, removing noise.
- Photomerges– Photomerge, Merge to HDR Pro, creating and stitching panoramas,
- Cooking with Photoshop-Content aware scaling, darkroom effects, B/W conversion.
- Robo Photoshop– Actions and batch processing.
- Photoshop Output– Printing, CMYK output, fine art printing workflow.
- Minding your own business– Adding value to your images, archiving & making money with Photoshop.
The chapters are well written and clearly notated whether they’ve been written by Martin, Jeff or both, and every single page features screenshots and photographic examples to illustrate the topic or method that’s being explained. There are also tons of sidebar tips and explanations that help you better understand just what you’re doing and why.
Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop also comes with a DVD that contains over 26 tutorial videos, (over 3 hours of movie content) as well as help guides, multiple page PDF tutorials, all the sample images for each chapter, extra actions, styles and other goodies. The DVD alone is well worth the price of the book, so including with the price of the book makes this package an incredible value.
If you’ve read Martin Evening or Jeff Schewe’s books before, you know that they’re both excellent, no nonsense writers and teachers, so having a book that’s written by not just one expert, but two, means having one of the best, if not the best Photoshop CS5 reference book around. Whether you’re looking to become an expert at retouching, or if you want to be more efficient at outputting professional quality digital image files for print or for commercial clients, this book will advance your skills to a new level of mastery and Photoshop expertise.
The bottom line is this: if you’re a professional photographer, then you’ll definitely want Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop. I’d also highly recommend it to amateurs and hobby photographers, because you’ll learn a whole lot in 426 pages from a pair of experienced experts.
However, if you’re totally new to Photoshop and Adobe digital imaging software, I might recommend Adobe Digital Imaging HOW-TOs: 100 Essential Techniques for Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3 and Camera RAW 6, as it’s geared more towards helping new users get up to speed with the basics.