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Straight forward and to the point training with one of the best interfaces I have ever seen.

Video Training Review – PhotoshopSecrets CS3 For Digital Photographers With Colin Smith From PhotoshopCAFE

PhotoshopSecrets CS3 For Digital Photographers is contained on a single DVD that runs over 6 hours and is available either as a DVD, or as an instant download. It is aimed at new and relativity inexperienced Photoshop users, but even more advanced users will walk away with many new techniques. The author goes over the basics in 43 lessons that will take you on an in depth tour of Photoshop CS3. I have provided a complete listing of the lessons included in this training at the conclusion of this review. For my review I will summarize the areas of instruction as they are presented in the training.

Lessons 1-7 cover working with Adobe Bridge. In these lessons you will learn how to import all of your photos directly from your digital camera, and process them for use in Adobe Bridge. You will learn how to get around in Bridge, how to use its sorting features, how to add keywords to aid in searching and tagging. You will learn how to rename your photos all at once. You will understand what metadata is, and how to make it serve you, as well as other shortcuts to make your use of Bridge more efficient.

Lessons 8 – 11 introduce Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and what you can do with it before you ever get into Photoshop. In these lessons you will begin by learning how the pros use the new ACR within their workflow. You will learn to edit multiple images with one stroke, as well as how to edit JPG and TIFF images. You can use ACR to retouch your images non-destructively, as well as applying techniques such as split-toning, sepia and grayscale to add creativity to your portfolio.

Lessons 12- 27 show you how to correct your photos with a wide variety of techniques. You start with opening up shadows and restoring highlights and then, using the eyedropper, you can begin to add luster back into dull images. You will then begin to work with curves and understand what they are for and how best to use them.

Next is color correction for making the color look right. You will again use curves to correct color casts and make your images look right. For the hard to fix images, you will learn about Lab Mode and the power it contains.

Image courtesy Colin Smith and PhotoshopCAFE Cropping will allow you to cut out unnecessary space from your photo and compose a better looking image. Sharpening techniques are explained along with giving you two techniques that help you get the best results. Then there is high pass sharpening that is non-destructive and is frequently used by the entertainment industry.

Finally, we have Healing and Red-eye removal to eliminate blemishes, pimples, and of course, red-eye. Noise removal eliminates that ugly graininess that can make your image look bad. You will learn about straightening techniques to realign crooked images, patch techniques to remove reflections from glass, and a weight loss program that doesn't make you give up food.

Lessons 28-37 focus on tools and techniques in Photoshop that will have you looking like a pro. First, you will begin by learning how to use the new Smart Objects and non-destructive Smart Filters. Then you will build a panorama from stitching 9 photos together. You will use Vanishing point to add logos to 3d surfaces. Cloning with the new Clone Source Paths is explained. Then, instead of using the traditional dodge, burn, and sponge tools, you will learn how to use layers to get the same effects with better results.

You will learn about several techniques to cutout images like a pro. First you will use the new Quick Select tool and learn how to use Refine Edge to get crisp clean cutouts. Then you will use Extract to remove an object from the background. Finally you will learn how to extract impossible images by using color ranges from within a photo.

Next you will learn techniques for creating Black-and-White photos from your color images. Then you will learn about High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. This is where you bracket your shot in the camera using multiple images to bring out the detail; HDR is especially effective in low level lighting situations.

Image courtesy Colin Smith and PhotoshopCAFELessons 38-43 finish up with some specialized techniques. First you will learn how to emulate neutral density filters to bring out the color in your skies without loosing your shadows. Then, you will use masks to affect localized adjustments. Depth of field will be used to target focus to a particular object in your image. Finally you will create a gritty effect, a soft glow appearance, and learn techniques to turn your photos into paintings.

There are a lot of things that I like about PhotoshopSecrets CS3 For Digital Photographers first and foremost I like the layout and the presentation of the material. It is straight forward, concise, and complete. It is easy to understand and follow along with. The images are included so that you can work with the author as you learn the techniques as presented. Sprinkled throughout are many tips that will make your life easier.

Next I absolutely love the interface of the video. As you can see from the image above, at the bottom is a navigational control. The dialog to the left is also a retractable navigation control that shows the information on the chapter that is highlighted. The dark background eliminates distracting items from your field of view. At the top, if you have question, you can click and be taken to the PhotoshopCAFE forums to ask your questions. It is very well thought out and extremely user friendly.

The retail price of PhotoshopSecrets CS3 For Digital Photographers is $99.99 USD, but for a limited time you can get it for $79.99 and save 20% when you purchase it from PhotoshopCAFE. I highly recommend this video if you want to get the most from Adobe Photoshop CS3.

Listing of Lessons on PhotoshopSecrets CS3 For Digital Photographers

  1. Import from Camera – 5:57
  2. Bridge Overview – 6:07
  3. Bridge Sorting – 5:17
  4. Bridge Keywords – 6:31
  5. Batch Rename – 5:16
  6. Metadata – 7:35
  7. Bridge Tips – 6:02
  8. Camera Raw Workflow – 28:04
  9. Batch Camera Raw – 3:31
  10. Camera Raw retouch – 11.05
  11. Camera Raw creative – 8:38
  12. Shadow/Highlight – 3:45
  13. Eyedropper – 8:27
  14. Contrast – 6:27
  15. Curves Overview – 14:56
  16. Color correction – 4:13
  17. Color correction curves – 4:43
  18. LAB mode – 7:20
  19. Cropping – 4:57
  20. Sharpening – 11:31
  21. High Pass sharpening – 2:14
  22. Healing and Redeye – 1:22
  23. Noise – 6:17
  24. Straighten – 4:35
  25. Lens correction – 6:12
  26. Patch – 2:07
  27. Weight Loss – 3:56
  28. Smart Objects – 14:08
  29. Panorama – 6:48
  30. Vanishing point -12:03
  31. Cloning – 10:33
  32. Dodge and Burn -10:01
  33. Quick Select/Refine Edge – 10:43
  34. Extract – 9:50
  35. Color Range – 18:26
  36. Black and White – 4:52
  37. HDR – 9:45
  38. Split ND – 5:23
  39. Masks – 8:19
  40. Depth of Field – 10:51
  41. Gritty effect – 6:07
  42. Soft Glow – 4:44
  43. Photos into paintings – 6:25

About T. Michael Testi

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

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