The Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements 2
||Author: Richard Lynch|
List Price: $40.00
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Publisher: Sybex (December, 2002)
Sales Rank: 1,297
Average Customer Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 3 out of 5
Mixed: Good tools, Poor editing
If you scan through the previous reviews, you will find that those folks who are familiar with the full version of Photoshop are raving about the tools provided and explained in this book. The beginning Photoshop Elements users are having a great deal of trouble. The reason: experienced users are not following along with the examples and the newbies are.
Fact is, there are a large number of mistakes remaining in the book, even if you were able to find the errata on the author's book site. For example, the first big project leads you through creating color separations. There are two errors in the step-by-step instructions. One step for each is a +120 hue adjustment and the next should be -120 but the minus sign is missing. Users will find that they repeated the previous step and do not get the desired result. Additionally, the step changing one of the layer blend modes to 'screen' is omitted for each primary. The user will never get the greyscale result.
There are numerous other editing problems as well. Stuff listed as appearing in the appendix is actually in the tools, and at least one of the practice files is named incorrectly. There are numerous small linguistic errors, such as using the word 'effect' when the word 'affect' is correct. Clearly this book was rushed into print before many aspects were finalized.
That said, the tools are in fact very valuable, and the book goes well beyong simple follow-the-instructions explanation of Photoshop Elements. This sets this book apart from most others; you will know not only 'How' but 'Why'. I would recommend this as a second book to anyone who has some experience with Elements and can recognize why some of the practice instructions are not working correctly. They will also better appreciate the value of the tools.
While this book has a special section for color plates that are important for following the instructions, my impression is that a number of publishers are producing comparable yet cheaper books using color throughout.
For the first time Photoshop Elements user, I would heartily recommend Scott Kelby's book "The Photoshop Elements Book for Digital Photographers". (New Riders) This book more than covers the basics of photo retouching and enhancement and is extremely fun to read. Every page is a full color page and it's $10 bucks cheaper. You will enjoy the book and will enjoy Elements even more.
To Richard Lynch: Your work is a valuable contribution to the Photoshop community. Find a better publisher!
Rating: 5 out of 5
I have to say I'm flabergasted over this book!!! Being a professional photographer and having used Photoshop for a long time, I doubted the usefullness of Elements when I bought it. As I worked with it, I found it to be a great "backup" program for me to Photoshop. Mainly because I could accomplish several of the same tasks that I did in Photoshop, only quicker and less labor-intensive.
Then along came this book. I hesitated for a long time before buying it...my line of thinking being that I had all these tools in Photoshop and I knew how to use them, so why buy the book. I just decided what the hell, bought it, and couldn't believe it when I tried the tools. I can accomplish all the same things in Elements that I do in Photoshop ver batim. Now if only we could get a plug-in for the healing brush......hey Richard...are ya reading this for when PSE 3 comes out????
I would like to address the Portland, Oregon reviewer's comments. If you're having that much trouble, I suggest you either learn how to operate your computer, learn how to use Elements and the plug-ins, or find something else to do. Richard Lynch did an excellent job of writing this book. There's strength in numbers, and all the reviews except for yours liked the book and the software that came with it and it doesn't appear that anybody else is having trouble running it.
In short, Elements is a great program, Hidden Power is an excellent book that opens up the full creativity of Elements. I highly recommend both!!!!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Great text, but not for beginners
Although I haven't viewed all of the PE books, Hidden Power must rank with the best. I have to agree w/ the other reviewers that one must have a understanding of general photographic principles and digital photography. Coupled with the CD, you can treat this as a class or workshop. Each chapter deals with a technique or concept with exercises and examples, with step-by-step instructions. The first five chapters on gradients, histograms, curves and unSharp masks have some of the best explanations I've seen. And the CD alone with "big" Photoshop-like tools may be worth the price alone. If you need a text on PE for photographers, this is it. And if you're new to digital photography, buy a companion intro text recommended by other reviewers.
· The Photoshop Elements Book for Digital Photographers
· Photoshop Elements 2 Restoration and Retouching
· Photoshop Elements 2 Solutions: The Art of Digital Photography
· Photoshop Elements 2: 50 Ways to Create Cool Pictures