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For anyone who is serious about Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop CS3 For Photographers is a must have.

Book Review: Adobe Photoshop CS3 For Photographers by Martin Evening

I am going to be honest — this is the third copy of Martin Evening's book that I have owned. I first found it with the release of Adobe Photoshop CS and was awestruck by how useful this book was. When CS2 was released, I picked up that version and donated my copy of the CS version to a local library. Now it appears I will be doing that again.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 For Photographers is not a beginner's guide, although a sharp student may want to have it around because as they become more adept with their Photoshop skills, they will want to expand their techniques with the ones contained within the pages of this book. Rather, it is a reference book for all things Photoshop dealing with photographs. There is a reason the book is subtitled "A Professional Image Editor's Guide to the Creative Use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC."

Adobe Photoshop CS3 For Photographers is really a reference book for both advanced amateur and professional photographers. It is a listing of every conceivable technique that a photographer may need to implement in the pursuit of creating digital photographic images using Adobe Photoshop. It contains 15 chapters covering over 700 pages.

Chapters 1-3 are more of an introduction to the changes and new features that come with Adobe Photoshop CS3 as well as a guide to the physical layout of the Photoshop interface. Here the author goes into some basics of working with images, configuring Photoshop, and working with the basic components such as Adobe Bridge and working with plug-ins.

Chapter 4, "Basic Pixel Image Editing" introduces you to the basic Photoshop image adjustments. These are things that you will do to each image that you process and so it is important to understand these fundamentals. Chapter 5, "Camera Raw Image Processing" shows you the "second" method of processing images, the first being the ones you learned in chapter 4. By working with the new version of Camera Raw, you can process your JPEG and Tiff as well as your RAW images. Here the author explains the Camera Raw workflow.

Chapter 6, "Fine-tuned Image Corrections" now gets into specific corrections to images. Previously you have been working with global changes to an image, now you will correct things like color fixes, use of the healing brush, and blending using adjustment layers and layer masks. Chapter 7, "Image Retouching" covers the methods of image enhancement. Here you will learn the basic techniques of retouching images to clean up dust spots, red-eye, or remove blemishes as well as many other techniques.

Chapter 8, "Layers, Selections and Masking" explains the tools and strategies for shooting pictures with the idea of making composites images. This chapter also serves as an introduction to Layers, the feature in Photoshop that allows you to stack changes and images on top of each other for effects. Chapter 9, "Darkroom Effects", does just that, shows you how to duplicate traditional darkroom effects such as split color toning, black and white solarization, and color overlays.

Chapter 10, "Photoshop Filters" addresses the use of filters from within Photoshop. Here the author focuses on the filters that he feels are most useful for Photographers. Even though there are more than 100 filters that come with Photoshop and more that you can purchase as add-ons; once you get comfortable with the ones explained here, you will be able to work with almost any of them with ease.

Chapter 11, "Image Management" covers the basics of what is commonly known as workflow. And since this book is about Adobe Photoshop CS3, that means Adobe Bridge CS3. Here you will learn all about what it takes to manage a lot of images. Chapter 12 "Color Management" will teach you about calibration of your equipment and about the various color spaces that are available for your use as well as converting from RGB to CMYK.

Chapters 13 and 14 are all about output. The first deals with output to the printer and is all about creating proofs and how to get the print you want. The second deals with output to the web and file formats and how to get a web gallery set up. Chapter 15, "Automating Photoshop" is all about creating time-saving scripts to perform common tasks. These are also known as Action Scripts and can be a great time-saving device.

One point to note, there is a DVD that comes with the book. On the DVD are many of the images you see in the book. Not all of the images are included. In the introduction the author explains that some of the images in the book, especially the ones with the models, are copyrighted for restricted use and cannot be given away. I know if I were a professional model – you should be glad I am not – I would not sign away use rights except for certain conditions. There are also 110 minutes of video tutorials, additional tips, and a keyboard reference guide.

To me Adobe Photoshop CS3 For Photographers is just about the most important reference book I have. It covers just about all aspects of Photoshop and presents them with an eye toward the working photographer. It is written by a professional photographer for professional photographers. It covers both the Mac and Windows platforms in a clear and concise manner. For intermediate and advanced Photoshop users, it is the definitive word on Photoshop. For the beginner, with other sources for additional foundation, it will make you that advanced user. For anyone who is serious about Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop CS3 For Photographers is a must have.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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