Everyday Photoshop for Photographers by Julie King, ISBN 0-07-225437-8

Reviewed by: Thomas V. Kappel, April 2005
Published by: McGraw-Hill/Osborne Books
Requires: N/A
MSRP: US$39.95, Can$57.95

Digital photography has arrived and in a big way. It has taken over the professional photography world as well as the home consumer market and has done so very quickly. So fast in fact, that it has caught some of the camera and film manufacturers completely by surprise. There are many reasons for the rapid adoption of this technology, but I believe the main reason is control. The person behind the camera has more control than ever before over the look and final quality of the picture produced.

Photos can be taken, examined, deleted and retaken within moments on-site or while you're still on the one time family vacation. Multiple pictures can be taken at various exposures and the bad shots simply deleted. More pictures can be taken and simply stored on reasonably priced memory cards; hundreds and hundreds of pictures on one card. These pictures can then be edited, cropped and made perfect back at home. This brings us to the ultimate control over the picture creation and final photographic print: the digital darkroom. The premiere computer program for the digital darkroom is Adobe Photoshop and Julie King’s Everyday Photoshop for Photographers is a Photoshop instruction book expressly written for beginning and advanced photographers.

The nearly 350 page book is divided into four parts. Part One, Into the Digital Darkroom, is a basic lesson in the Photoshop program itself. It covers Palettes, tools, options, rulers, and guides in chapter one. In chapter two, you move into pixels, colors, color channels and color printing with the meaning of RGB, CMY and CMYK explained. The last chapter in this first part is a quick lesson on how to open and organize the various photo files and includes information on importing files from your cameras.

Parts Two, Three and Four get into the meat of using Photoshop to edit and manipulate pictures. Part two deals with Photoshop basics and covers protecting & copying photos, brush options, color controls, masking and of course the ultimate control—layers (usually the most difficult to understand Photoshop concept). Part Three explains exposure and color techniques in three chapters and Part Four covers retouching, with chapters on spot removal with the healing brush and touchup work to cover scratches, blemishes, other flaws and custom patches to hide large defects.

Finally, Part Four covers color management in Chapter fourteen; printing and sharing your photos in Chapter fifteen. Many of you may feel this book is worth its price for just this part alone. If you have ever struggled with trying to make your prints come out looking like they do on your monitor then the information on calibrating your monitor or profiling your printer will be like gold to you. The last chapter also teaches you how to set print size and resolution, how to do contact sheets, preparing photos for the web, and the use of JPG, TIFF and PSD file formats for printing and distributing your pictures.

Cons: There are not many cons to this book. It focuses on the use of Photoshop's toolset in photography, but does not go into depth or detail on filters such as artistic, brush-strokes, texture or any of the hundreds of third-party Photoshop filters that can change photographs into different types of works of art. There is very little discussion on the best way to scan photos or slides into the program (1/4 page only) or the differences in the many file formats that can be loaded, edited and saved using Photoshop. Still, a book to cover all of this would probably be twice as thick, much heavier than the 1.8 pounds it already is, and twice as expensive. If you need to know all of these additional capabilities and features, you'll have to purchase other books or, perhaps, Julie King will write another book to go along with this good one.

Pros: This book is printed in full color on high quality paper with lots of figures and examples of the Photoshop interfaces with menus and picture examples to go along with each chapter. There are green time-saver tips, red watch-out tips, and blue remember-tips throughout the book. There is a good balance between explanations on how and why to do things and step-by-step instructions taking you through some of the more difficult or important program functions. Where applicable, professional photography techniques are explained and examples shown on how to do them in Photoshop. Techniques are given such as boosting reds and yellows to produce an effect like a warming filter on a camera or removing red-eye found in flash photos. Professional darkroom emulation techniques and tools are also discussed including the use of dodge and burn, light and dark exposure controls and bellows controls and techniques used with darkroom enlargers to level horizontal lines and compensate for lens distortion.

Julie King is also the author of Shoot Like a Pro: Digital Photography Techniques from McGraw-Hill/Osborne, and Digital Photography For Dummies. With Everyday Photoshop for Photographers she has provided another great guide for anyone who is moving into digital photography or who already has a decent start and is looking to take the next step. Recommended.

Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to: whine@kickstartnews.com





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