for Right-Brainers: The Art of Photo Manipulation,
by Al Ward, ISBN: 0-7821-4313-X
V. Kappel, September 2004, send
to the web site
$49.99, Can $69.95, UK £34.99
I don't believe it's possible or necessary to learn
everything there is to know about Adobe Photoshop.
As with most good software, you only need to study
and learn how to do something specific in the program
when you need to and are ready to do it. Consequently,
I go for books that provide information in the areas
of my needs and interests. Photoshop for Right-Brainers
is such a book.
Today, with digital photography, home photo printers
and the greater ease with which we take pictures,
manipulation of the results, and printing of photos
for sale and enjoyment, a book based solely on photo
manipulation is timely. This book, as with most Sybex
titles dealing with art and photography, is beautiful.
Full color glossy pages, Windows XP Photoshop menu
screen shots and a CD-ROM filled with the source
files and software tools round out at least a physical
description of the book itself. Inside is where we
look for the gold in the instructions and information.
this book there are ten chapters, an appendix of
additional information, and a total page count
of 332. The ten chapters are divided into two parts;
Part 1 being Tools and Techniques of the Trade taking
up chapters 1-4, and Part 2 being "Digital Intensive:
Photography as Art" completing the book.
In part one you become the doctor for the extreme
makeover of any photograph that happens to end up
on the operating table under your mouse pointer.
There are chapters on Digital Liposuction, Digital
Face-Lift, Face-Swapping, Adding Hair, Tattoo Removal,
Erasing Wrinkles, Removing Acne and Blemishes, Whitening
Teeth, and Altering Eye Color. The medical community
certainly lags behind Photoshop in the real world!
The artist side, or perhaps the sales and entrepreneurial
side, will be excited and enchanted with chapters on Displaying
Your Work, Landscapes and Nature, Animals, Objects, and
People as Art. The Displaying Your Work chapter takes you
through Saving Images for the Web, PDF Presentation, Creating
a Contact Sheet, Photomerge, and Adding Metadata to an
Image. As I said earlier, there is also included a CD-ROM
with all the images and files utilized throughout the book.
You are always able to compare what you've done in the
lesson with the expert files on the disk. That's always
I need to do a lot with the photos I've taken over the
years so I was particularly interested in Part 1 of the
book. It explained how to remove tattoos and other parts
of a photograph using the clone tool. I was shown how to
use the extract filter to remove hair from one photograph
and place it on a man in another. Instant hair! I went
off and messed with the clone tool and the extract filter
for hours and came away learning a lot and with much better
pictures in my collection.
I scanned in
some old B&W photographs and am working
now in the section of the book titled: “Adding Color
to Black-and-White Images.” This looks so neat I've
just got to try it on some pictures of my family from a
time long before color was as readily available.
Photoshop for Right-Brainers is nott the be-all and end-all
of instruction on enhancing photos, repairing them, correcting
them, or making a truly bad photographer look good, but
it does add to your knowledge, will help you improve your
photo collection, and is one heck of a lot of fun. This
book is also definitely not for beginner s.Youneed to
have a solid grasp of concepts such as layers, some skill
with all the basic tools, familiarity with the menus, and
some experience with the program. If you fit this bill,
are a photographer or photo artist, then I recommend Photoshop
for Right Brainers as $50 dollars worth of knowledge, entertainment,
and better photographs for your family, in your collection,
and on the wall for sale in some gallery.
Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org