40 Digital Photo Retouching Techniques

Author: Zack Lee, Youngjin com, YoungJin.com
List Price: $16.99
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ISBN: 8931435029
Publisher: Sybex (01 August, 2003)
Edition: Paperback
Sales Rank: 18,527
Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5
Useful digital photographers handbook
40 DIGITAL PHOTO RETOUCHING TECHNIQUES.
YoungJin.com
Sybex Books http://www.sybex.com)
ISBN 89-314-3502-9

The fact that this book is not a large manual is a bit of a change from the norm, but then it doesn't have to be to do the job that it sets out to achieve. That is to give the reader exactly the information required to do the most common tasks that are required by the new user of digital cameras.

It does not go into lots of detail that is unnecessary for the audience that this book is aimed at, which is the new user of a digital camera who wants the best images they can achieve without a lot of learning.

It is not a dummies book, it just sets out the most common things that you may need to fix up after taking your photos with your new digital camera or scanned images.

Unfortunately the makers of the cameras do not tell you that there are generally certain steps which must be taken to improve the quality of your images once you have them in your computer. You can of course, take them to a photo shop to have the enhancements done for you, but this book helps you to do all those changes yourself. In effect it is a "User's Help Manual" in disguise.

Sensibly the book bypasses the complex learning curves and esoteric information that puts most learner users off even doing the most basic touch-ups that can turn an ordinary snapshot into a worthwhile image with much more of the detail enhanced, which is why the shot was taken in the first place.

Included with the book is a trial version of Adobe's Elements 2 which can be used to follow all the lessons in a simple, easy to follow fashion. This is a sensible way to market the program, and it certainly looks easy.

I would assume that unless you are studying photography and using a photographic manipulation program, all you want to do is have the best image you can get in the fastest time. After all, the learning curve is way to big for most users to bother with.

The book starts out introducing the user to the Elements 2 interface and explains what you are going to see, and what it means. This leads into opening files (images/photos for newbies) and is the only book that I have seen that lists double clicking the desktop to open the explorer panel as a shortcut.

Once you are familiar with that and can find your images you are given instructions on particular methods of saving your images once you have made your alterations, and why you use different methods for your final result, be it for print, slideshow or the web.

Web users need to be aware of file size constraints which are not considerations for other types of image storing, and this is something that gets overlooked very easily, especially when email is involved.

After that the reader is taken directly to the correction techniques for the most common problems to be encountered, and how to remedy them. This is the main body of the book and is where it shines.

The reader is shown, by means of simple instructions using screen captures, what it is that they need to do to get much more from a quick snap that didn't quite come out as planned. No need to understand what is behind the fix, just follow the instructions and if you can do what is explained, then you can apply the same fix to your own images, it is that simple.

Utilise this 200 page, glossy paper, almost pocket sized book to add makeup, take away blemishes, add and remove colour, change colour and antique images. You can also add special effects to enhance and alter images sensibly to achieve a totally different effect.

BOTTOM LINE.

This is a great book for the newcomer to digital photography, and the techniques will apply to almost every photo editing software, not just the Elements 2 program packaged as a trial.

The book is almost an ad for the program but that isn't a bad thing, just good marketing, and if it helps to get the most from your new images then it achieves what it set out to do.

This book is definitely a must for beginners to check out and keep beside the computer.

Tim Skyrme (2003)
http://www.artzend.com

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