The Art of Photoshop CS2 Edition by Daniel Giordan

Reviewed by: Mark Goldstein, November 2005
Published by: Sams Publishing, ISBN: 0-672-32810-0
Requires: Windows 98, 98SE, Me, 2000 Professional, XP Home and XP Pro; 200MB of available hard disk space, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or later, DVD or CD drive
MSRP: $69.95

Daniel Giordan has produced several excellent books on Photoshop and its uses. The Art of Photoshop CS2 Edition is an excellent book which raises the bar when it comes to the quality of the images created by following its tutorials. For owners of the first edition this is not a new book but rather a repackaged version of the original 2002 publication. The materials in this edition are updated with edits and now include a CD filled with the collateral needed to follow the tutorials. When I bought the first edition of the book, I was wowed by the quality of the work produced by Daniel Giordan. This updated version still has the same effect. Anyone buying this publication for the first time will enjoy working through the exercises.

The images in this publication are still eye-catching and feel familiar to me—like wearing a comfortable pair of slippers. The initial disappointment I felt when I realized there was no difference between this and the first edition faded and was replaced by the question of whether or not the information in this publication was still valid with two iterations of Photoshop having been released since 2002. But as in the first publication, the eye-catching and well thought out images are of benefit to anyone who wants to create striking imagery.

The book is a visual exploration of Photoshop's extensive features and of the richly textural images that Daniel Giordan and his team created specifically for the book. The images range from simply textural to the ethereal and rich in metaphor. The book is aimed at individuals who hunger for a creative challenge and also speaks to the digital artist and professional. It features images that are visually rich and complex and also beyond what the average user would normally attempt to create using Photoshop. The book is nicely designed, easy to read and bound in a slightly wider than normal format that is very easy to handle.

Giordan has taken the time to address a multi-platform audience with both Mac and Windows-based shortcuts. This reinforces the comments in my previous review that creating art and design is no longer limited to operators and artists working in the Mac world. The use of metaphoric language and descriptions such as "aesthetic correlation" and "... they seek to imbue the ordinary and commonplace with personal significance and meaning" give this book a sense of artistic and linguistic integrity.

The inclusion of the source images used in the creation of the great final images is something which I applaud as it allows the user to follow and emulate the tutorials found in the book. The absence of a tutorial disk was something which I felt took away from the first edition, so I'm pleased that readers can now benefit from Giordan's excellent source materials.

The tutorials are comprehensively detailed in a clear, step-by-step fashion, with excellent support materials and visual examples. The screenshots and side notes are very useful and provide excellent support as well, enabling the user to easily follow what each tutorial is trying to achieve. In each chapter, Giordan explores and builds on a single Photoshop feature, educating the reader about what is possible when you cast a critical eye on creating an artistic work using that feature. The book quite thoroughly explores layer masks and transformations, curves, color correction, the cloning stamp tool, blending modes, distortion filters, lighting effects and many other features. Successive readings of this book will yield additional information which will reinforce what you learn in your first pass.

Cons: I'd like to see coverage of some of the newer features of Photoshop as found in CS and CS2. Features such as High Dynamic Range, Noise reduction, Color Match, Color Replacement Tool, Shadow and Highlight Correction, Fibre Filter, Lens Blur and Spot Healing would certainly have benefited from some coverage.

Pros: Excellent Presentation. Tutorial CD. Well written. All in all I can't fault the second edition. It's an excellent reference for the more adventurous Photoshop user. It is still one of the best Photoshop resources I own. My favorite images from the book are Trilogy, Dark with Excessive Bright, and On the Edge. To see most of them, visit the book's web site. The site also features some excellent photos by Giordan and is well worth the visit. Highly recommended.

Comments? Questions? Qualms? Technical problems? Send an e-mail!





© Copyright 2000-2006 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | hot news | about us | search | store | subscribe


Forums Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe