There are plenty of PS (Photoshop) books out there; most are good. The problem is picking the right one.
Certain things are essential. High quality printing. Easy to follow examples and tutorials. Logical flow (simple to complex).
Then, it has to match and be just slightly better than the reader's current capabilities. Just as a beginner would get lost in an advanced book (like Deke's Channels and Masks) and an advanced reader would find an introductory book a waste of money, middle level PS users need to find just the right book for their current skill set.
For me, this book was a perfect fit. Photography (and digital darkroom work) are a hobby that takes 10-15 hours a week. I like to learn new tricks and techniques. I like to learn ways to work faster and smarter. This book helped me with that on all points.
First, some advice: The first chapter has a series of settings and shortcuts that Deke uses and that he recommends. Follow this...
I used to avoid Photoshop. Too complicated from what I'd heard. I used the software that came bundled with two cameras: the Canon 350D (Rebel XT in the USA), and the Fujifilm X10. Both were okay. In 2008, I got to try Photoshop as part of the Adobe Creative Suite. I was blown away by what it could do. But I had no idea how to go about learning how to really use it. I googled learning software and McClelland's book consistently came up. So I bought it on spec. Perfect purchase. The book is beautifully laid out and carefully put together. The lessons build in sequence and the learning curve is steep. The included...
The book is more informative and goes in to more depth and creativity than comparable books such as the Classroom In A Book series. Deke writes with a down to earth and humorous (without sounding contrived) attitude while fully maintaining the integrity and technical aspects of the material.
Since Photoshop is a program designed for photo manipulation it is difficult for me, as an artist, to find a book that teaches specifically to my needs. As I am an illustrator and surface designer, I have not found a book on Photoshop that teaches from that perspective. But this one is the book I favor and that I use most often for reference.
I have not taken advantage of the lessons from the CD that is included, so I can't comment on that. However, I have enjoyed his video lessons on lynda.com and they are great. I imagine it's pretty much the same.
This book is a definite must for your graphic arts/Photoshop library.
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