Yourself Adobe Photoshop CS in 24 Hours, by Carla Rose,
to the web site
(US), $37.99 (CAN), UK £17.99
this latest book in the series, author Carla Rose
newest incarnation of the imaging standard from
Adobe - Photoshop CS (Creative Suite). Photoshop
CS is a tremendous upgrade from version 7 and is
designed to integrate tightly with the other CS products.
The book uses the same format as others in the "Sams
Teach Yourself" series, with the lessons logically
divided into one hour chapters covering the various
feature and function sets found in the new program.
I was initially a little suspicious about this book
when it first arrived in my mail as I was still a
few days away from seeing the live product demonstration
at the Creative Suite event here in London, England.
I wondered just how effectively someone could put
together a book based upon software that wasn't really
on the market yet. I know that it's always a race
to get these books to market and this book shows
some of the signs of this kind of haste. Even so,
I feel that the book has clearly hit some important
parts of its intended target because Carla Rose definitely
aims her book at the imaging neophyte and home user.
One reason the book succeeds in properly addressing
those sorts of users is that the language used throughout
takes an almost conversational tone, making the basic
lessons easier to follow and retain. Because of this
approach, imaging neophyte and home users should
have no problems tackling each technique and any
of the technology discussed.
The book can be described as thorough because it
deals with all of the main components in Photoshop
CS. However, some of the key new features in CS are
glossed over: shadow/highlight correction, match
color, digital camera raw file support, and layer
comps are all just mentioned in passing. Version
Cue, which is another major part of Adobe Creative
Suite is not even touched upon in this book. This
is an oversight which may be forgiven however because
this asset management system is part of the full
Creative Suite and as such doesn't ship with the
stand-alone Photoshop CS. But Version Cue should
still receive some coverage because asset management
(literally sorting, tracking and inventorying all
of your creative work, image databases, etc.) is
such an important part of any creative environment.
Sams Teach Yourself
Adobe Photoshop CS in 24 Hours does not provide many
new creative incentives in its 520+ pages.
The book does not fully convey the real power of the new
product. This book and others like it tend to take a lowest
common denominator approach to their instruction, a methodology
which doesn't always provide key knowledge about the most
powerful parts of a complex product (key knowledge which
invariably helps novices move to the next skill level).
The hourly projects in this book do teach basic use of
Photoshop CS. But let's be perfectly accurate - producing
the majority of projects found in this book can be accomplished
with any number of sub-$100 imaging applications (none
of which have any of the remarkable tools found in Photoshop
CS). I feel that even basic instruction in Photoshop should
always touch on the specific features and functions which
differentiate it from its competition, in addition to providing
tutorial on the common functions in Photoshop which are
identical in competing programs. Absent that approach,
it may be more appropriate to title the book "Teach
Yourself the Basics of Any Professional Graphic & Photo
Cons: Examples leave a little to be desired for what is,
in essence, a professional product. Many of the images
published in the book suffer due to the inappropriate quality
of the paper stock and the fact that the images themselves
are poorly tuned. Examples used in the tutorials are also
lackluster, having a home user type of feel. Very poor
Pros: Easy to
follow. Comprehensive coverage of dialogs. Some good
tips for the beginner. The "Sams Teach Yourself" approach
will get you started with Photoshop CS.
Obviously I'm torn between praising the book and lamenting
the absence of advanced instruction about the most powerful
features in CS. If you are an imaging neophyte and you
really want to learn basic Photoshop use, this book will
be a good start, but it is a book you may quickly outgrow.
For the imaging professional this book really has nothing
to offer. On the other hand, author Carla Rose does a good
job in all her Photoshop education books at introducing
complex products to complete novices and home users. This
one is no exception.
Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to: email@example.com