We've always been huge fans of books that show you live design projects and introduce you to the real designers behind them books long on 4-color visuals, books that walk you through complex projects and show you how it's really done. PhotoShop 5 Studio Secrets, Revised Edition is a masterful example of the genre. The images are great (you'll recognize many of them). But what really sets this one apart is the text.
Lead author Deke McClelland (also responsible for the absolute classic Macworld PhotoShop 5 Bible) and co-author Katrin Eismann have taken the time to do "exhaustive, free-form, and sometimes fatiguing" interviews with 21 of the digital artists whose work they love and respect most.
Smart as McClelland and Eismann are, they've chosen to morph back into students, and listen rather than speak. You're a fly on the wall, not merely learning step-by-step recipes, but rather assimilating each artist's highly personal vision, philosophy, and inspiration. The book tackles not just Photoshop features, but the entire artistic process surrounding Photoshop. From Sumi brushstrokes to distortions that take your breath away, from fine art to state-of-the-art mattes in The Empire Strikes Back re-release, the work is outstanding. The pace is leisurely, the artists get the respect they deserve, and you will learn something powerfully new and important in every chapter. Review by Bill Camarda (Contributing Editor)