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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Photoshop CS is enormous. It can be very difficult to know where to start -- or where to go next. Maybe you’d like an easy, accessible guide to Photoshop CS, one that’s especially well organized, so it’s simple to find the answer you need right this minute. Maybe you’d like a book that’s readable enough so you’ll use it to explore corners of Photoshop you’ve never worked with. Either way, Photoshop CS All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies delivers the goods.
Barbara Obermeier owns her own graphic design studio, so she knows what it’s like to need answers on deadline. She also teaches computer graphics at Ventura College and UC Santa Barbara, so she’s learned exactly how to “un-befuddle” Photoshop novices. (Maybe that’s why the legendary Deke McClelland turned to her when he needed a coauthor for his Photoshop for Dummies books.)
In Photoshop CS All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies, Obermeier organizes Photoshop into ten “mini-books.” In Book 1, Photoshop Fundamentals, you’ll get thoroughly comfortable with Photoshop CS’s challenging user interface. Image Essentials covers the “nitpicky but critical” details of image size, resolution, pixel dimension, image mode, file format, cropping, and more. (There’s even a little basic color theory, in case you missed that in college.)
There’s a full mini-book on Selections, in which Obermeier covers every Photoshop CS selection tool -- as well as the “powerful, albeit sometimes unruly” Pen tool and Paths palette. She then turns to painting, drawing, and typing, covering everything from vector shapes to filling and stroking, creating type to masking, shaping, and warping it.
In her mini-book on layers, Obermeier walks you through creating a multilayered composite image and offers practical guidance on managing layers for maximum efficiency (including a full chapter on layer styles and clipping groups).
You’ll find mini-books on channels and masks, and on retouching/restoration -- as well as detailed coverage of filters and distortions. The latter includes a look at Photoshop CS’s handy new Filter Gallery, which consolidates multiple categories of filters into one editing window. (About time!)
Last but not least: separate mini-books on Photoshop for the Web, and for print. (Especially helpful, the Print book’s coverage of contact sheets, picture packages, and Photoshop CS’ new Photomerge and PDF Presentations features.)
As Obermeier observes, “Sometimes, knowing how to use a tool doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what to do with it.” That’s where this book’s “Putting It Together” sections come in. So you’ll find step-by-step procedures that pull together all the features you need to perform a wide range of essential tasks.
For instance: making a photo gradually fade from color to grayscale. Masking hair or fur. Creating that angelic “glow” around your subjects’ heads. Sprucing up scanned halftones. Making your own background textures. Creating snow, rain, and wet effects. Correcting tinted, faded photos, cleaning up line art scans...or, conversely, making new photos look old. Fixing underexposed foregrounds in photos -- or resurfacing wrinkles. With all these projects, this book’s as practical as it is readable. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.