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Book Review – Complete Photoshop CS3 For Digital Photographers by Colin Smith and Tim Cooper

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Complete Photoshop CS3 For Digital Photographers is the latest edition of the book that was written by Colin Smith and now includes Tim Cooper who has enhanced a number of areas of the book including the Camera Raw and printing segments. The book as been rearranged to provide more of a real world workflow, and been enhanced to include the new features included within Photoshop CS3.

Complete Photoshop CS3 For Digital Photographers is intended for two groups of people. First, the photographers out there who have made the transition from film to digital. The authors intend to help you make the best use of the darkroom on your desk. Second,  the amateur photographers and the hobbyists. This book will attempt to take the mysteries out of Photoshop and bring the ability to master the creation of great images. Complete Photoshop CS3 For Digital Photographers contains 12 chapters within 442 pages and a CD-Rom

Chapter 1, “Getting Started Using Bridge” begins by explaining file formats, resolution, ISO and other items that you need to be concerned with while creating your photographs. It then explores the asset management program contained within Photoshop called Adobe Bridge. The authors will guide you through what you need to know to use the newly updated Bridge 2.0.

Chapter 2, “From Bridge to Photoshop: The Adobe Raw Converter” dives even deeper in to the photographic file. You will learn of the advantages of shooting and processing 16-bit RAW images. With the latest version or Raw, you can even process your JPEGs as well.

Chapter 3, “Cropping and Perspective” shows you how to crop your images to make them the size that you need. It also explains how to correct common problems that you may run into such as chromatic aberration, exaggerated perspective and tilted horizons.

Chapter 4, “Tonal Corrections and Enhancement” explains the how’s and why’s of the new digital dark room. You will learn how to use histograms as a visual cue on where lighting problems exist within your photos as well as how to correct the problems within Photoshop.

Chapter 5, “Color Correction and Enhancement” continues this discussion and takes you beyond by teaching about bringing out the best color in your images.

Chapter 6, “Local Enhancements: Selections and Masks” explores how to make finer detailed changes. Up till now you have been working on an image wide scale, now you will work with specific sections of an image.

Chapter 7, “Sharpening and Noise Reduction”, guides you on how to bring out the best in your images by the use of Noise Reduction Filters, Smart Sharpen and Unsharp Mask.

Chapter 8, “Sizing and Printing Your Images”, helps you to get your vision from monitor to print. This can be difficult because of the way monitors interpret images is different from the way that printers do. Here you will learn to use printer profiles. You will also learn how to properly resize images.

Chapter 9, ” Image Retouching” gets into digital cosmetic surgery. Here you will clean up red-eye, remove blemishes, clean teeth and trim waistlines.

Chapter 10, “Frame and Color Effects” begins the creative aspect of the book. Here you are taught how to convert color images to black and white, change the depth of field as well as how to frame photos.

Chapter 11, “Special Effects” shows you how to turn pictures into hand drawn images and paintings as well as other fake effects.

Chapter 12, “Combining Images for Creative Results” finishes off the book with effects like creating panoramas and montages.

Complete Photoshop CS3 For Digital Photographers provides a comprehensive overview of all the techniques that you will need to enhance your digital photography. It explains a lot of complex material in clear language that is generally easy to understand. It is organized in logical progression, and the accompanying CD-ROM contains bonus video training. Also included on the CD are all of the image files for working through the tutorials in the book, as well as some demos of popular Photoshop plug-ins.

If you are looking to move from film photography to digital, or if you already take digital photographs and want to learn Photoshop and how you can make your photographs more appealing, then Complete Photoshop CS3 For Digital Photographers is a really good book to take you down the road to better photos in no time.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
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