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This review of How to Cheat in Photoshop CS3 was submitted by DPS reader Brian Harvey. Thanks Brian!
Last week I purchased How to cheat in Photoshop CS3 by Steve Caplin and wanted to let other DPS readers know just how helpful it is as a resource.
This book (and DVD) is one of the best purchases that I’ve made for a while and has taught me so much already. Here are a few of the highlights and reasons that I’m glad I bought it:
It is full of information – this is not a light book (it is in it’s 4th edition) – there’s no ‘fluff’ here. It’s just over 400 pages of genuine learning. Add to that the DVD which contains movies that show you many of the techniques outlined in the book and you’ve got a book with great theory but also lots of practical examples (I need the practical – I’m more of a visual learner).
Useful Techniques – what I like about the topics covered is that they cover real stuff that you will want to know how to do in your day to day photography post production. A lot of these photoshop tutorial resources get a little too technical and cover ‘cool’ stuff that I’d never use – this book is much better. Sure it does cover some bizarre topics (like how to make a stature more human like) but the basic stuff we all need to know is there. There are so many little shortcuts and tips along the way that I’ll use forever.
Well explained – I’m not a very technical person so need to be walked through this type of stuff step by step – this is how this book does it, one step at a time.
Humorous – Steve comes across as a funny (and slightly bizarre) guy in this book. He brings humor to it and this makes what could otherwise have been a heavy book into a more readable place.
DVD – like I say above, the DVD has some great movie examples. It also has hundreds of images that you can use for practicing the techniques and other useful tools. To me – the DVD is what takes this book from being good to great. It even worked on my Mac!
Good for beginners through to more advanced users – I’m fairly new to photoshop CS3 and find this a really helpful book. Yesterday showed this book to my brother who uses photoshop all day every day and he couldn’t put it down either. While he knew a lot of it he told me that he found a few new ideas for saving time in it and that it is good for people who don’t just use CS3 but other photoshop versions.
I would give this book a rating of 9 out of 10. The only reason I pulled it back from being a perfect score is that once or twice in it I found that it went above my head. To be fair – Steve does say that this book assumes a basic understanding of Photoshop. I don’t really mind this though because the few parts I didn’t understand as a beginner drew me to go and learn them – which helped me even more.
PS: This book was advertised at $40 but I found it at different shops for as low as $30 so shop around a little. Even at $40 it is worth it – but I can’t pass up a bargain.
Note from Darren: Amazon have it on special at the moment for $26.37.
Want to write a photography book review for DPS? Contact Darren with details of the book you want to review.