So, I sat down to review my notes for Martin Evening’s latest addition to Photoshop for Photographers, and decided to check out the other reviews on Amazon. As of this writing, there are more than 60, some quite thorough. I couldn’t really find much that hadn’t been touched on, so rather than recap here what you can read there, I’ll just give you my overall impression of the book.
You’ll have to suffer through my article to find out how to get yourself a copy 🙂I’ve been a big fan of Martin Evening for quite some time. His books are amazingly useful, and are suitable for beginners and pros alike. Early sections of Photoshop for Photographers are aimed at covering the basics and tools in detail, then the later sections move into technique-driven approaches, combining tools and methods for specific but common tasks.
Reference material is scattered throughout the book, which is easy to find with the help of the index. I mention this in particular because some books don’t do well in this respect. I rarely actually read through an entire technical or education book at once, so it’s important to me to be able to find what I’m looking for quickly.
I really like how Martin breaks up the sections into broad categories – retouching, masking, automation, etc. This makes the layout well-suited for learning different aspects of photo enhancement in depth, rather than presenting a singular technique only in context of a particular tool. While this latter approach has its place (the first part of the book, actually), Martin takes a more holistic view of retouching and enhancement. I feel this is a great way to get comfortable with concepts and practices.
The sub title of this book is ‘A professional image editor’s guide to the creative use of Photoshop…”. This part I only somewhat agree with. It could have stopped after ‘guide’ and been perfect. The only vaguely negative comment I can give is that the book is not really helpful for all-out creativity. But that’s because the target audience truly is the photography and retouching crowd at the professional level. While you can certainly use this material to get creative, the book takes great pains to show the reader how to use Photoshop for powerful, purpose-driven work on images for photographic excellence.
There are some creative elements, to be sure, but I wouldn’t recommend this particular work by itself to photoillustrators or fantasy compositors. I would, however, recommend this book as a foundation for virtually any photo-based imaging work, with other books coming in for refinement on more specific skills and applications.
Overall, this is a must-have title if you own a camera and Photoshop CS5. And I’m giving away a copy in January 2011. How can you win? Simple! If you haven’t done so, head over and ‘like’ my Facebook page, then post a comment with a link to your own photography. If you don’t have your own work online, or don’t wish to post it, share a favorite photo-related link and give us a few words about why you like it.
On Sunday afternoon, January 30th, I will select a winner at random from those that post. As usual, I can only ship within the continental United States. The winner will be notified privately on Facebook to verify location, so check your preferences to allow messages.
I look forward to seeing your links! Good luck 🙂