Book Review - Adobe Photoshop CS one-on-one by Deke McClelland
To say I am "graphically challenged" would be an understatement. For whatever reason, I just have a hard time envisioning what I can do with images and colors. To help solve that issue, I got a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS one-on-one by Deke McClelland. In short, this book is packed.
The book is organized into the following 12 lessons: Open and Organize; Highlights, Midtones, and Shadows; Correcting Color Balance; Making Selections; Crop, Straighten, and Size; Paint, Edit, and Heal; Creating and Applying Masks; Adjusting Focus; Building Layered Compositions; Text and Shapes; Layer Styles and Adjustments; and Printing and Output.
Each lesson starts out with an "About This Lesson" page, which gives you an idea of what you're going to cover. It ends with a "What Did You Learn?" exercise where you match the concept with the description. And in between is the excellent material on how to do what it is that's being covered. Interspersed throughout the text are "Pearls Of Wisdom" which are short 5 to 10 line sidebars that explain a concept or a slant on the material that you may not have realized. And McClelland doesn't just explain how to do things, either. He goes into the concepts behind how graphics and color work, such as how to read a histogram or the difference between 8 vs. 16 bits per channel. So when you get done with the book, you should have a greater understanding and appreciation for the art of graphical manipulation.
But you're not done yet. The book comes with a CD that includes video lessons that follow along with the book, as well as the files you'll need to do the exercises. Unlike most CDs that are included in a book, this is one that actually enhances the value of the material instead of just allowing the publisher or author to charge more for stuff you may never look at.
On the aesthetic side of things, the book is really stunning. High-quality paper and beautiful colors on the examples. The only flaw I can mention is that my copy must have gotten a bad batch of paper at the printers. A small number of pages are flawed (ingrained folds) and a couple of the graphic screen shots are blurred to the point of not being able to read the text. Even with that, there is nothing that takes away from the usefulness and quality of this effort.
If you use Photoshop and want to learn how to utilize it to the fullest, you owe it to yourself to check out this book.