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Dynamic Learning: Photoshop CS3 Paperback – 26 Jul 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (26 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596510616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596510619
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 1.8 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,966,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


a very easy to read and understand book and with the videos it becomes a very powerful learning experience.
-- BlogCritics Magazine, April 2007

About the Author

Jennifer Smith, co-founder and Executive Vice President of the Aquent Graphics Institute, a subsidiary of Aquent, has been working in electronic publishing for over two decades, and is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities in electronic publishing and design. She has authored a number of books on print and Internet publishing, including the Adobe Creative Suite for Dummies (CS and CS2), Adobe Illustrator Classroom in a Book (CS and CS2), GoLive CS2 Classroom in a Book, and Sam's Teach Yourself Adobe GoLive in 24 Hours. Most recently, she has helped author much of Adobe's internal training for the Creative Suite 3 launch. For more information on AGI, please visit

The AGI Creative Team is a highly experienced group of authors and instructors with a strong track record for developing and delivering best-of-breed books, video content, seminar series, and conferences.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Evitts on 21 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to using this book, but it has proved to be a bit of a disappointment.I think there are better books on using Photoshop CS3
WARNING. Play the videos at your peril!!!! The voice of the woman doing the narrating could cut through solid steel. It is quite awful. Sorry madam, but i suggest you steer well clear of narrating your own videos.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Not for Photographers 6 Sept. 2007
By Conrad J. Obregon - Published on
Format: Paperback
Maybe it's because of the split personality that Photoshop has, being designed for use by both graphics professionals and photographers. Maybe a book that explains Photoshop for graphic artists is different from a book for photographers. I don't think so. And this book is not for photographers.

For a while now I've been thinking that there must be a better way to teach beginners how to use Photoshop. This book, part of a new series by the publisher, looked like it might be a better way. It's not.

First the good points. The book is made up of tutorials that require you to load an image file from the CD included with the book and then perform various operations on the file. The book is written in the simplest, easy to understand language and the tutorial instructions are crystal clear. There are videos tied to each chapter that run on a computer.

Now the bad points. The organization of the book is ill considered, placing information in the beginning of the book that is inappropriate for beginners. The book doesn't provide essential information, particularly for photographers. The videos are a mere repetition of material in the text.

Consider the organization. The book starts out explaining the significant differences between Photoshop CS2 and CS3. But if you are a beginner, the differences are irrelevant. The following chapters deal with compositing pictures. That is one of the last things a beginner needs to know. He or she first needs to know how to manipulate a photograph for tone and color correction.

There is nothing that tells a reader how to get a picture from a camera into a computer, which is a major function of Bridge, an essential element of PS CS3. There is nothing that explains the nature of tonality, the manipulation of which has been essential to successful photography almost from photography's beginning. There is scant instruction on any of the basic controls to manipulate the tone and color of an image.

My first instinct was to give this book the poorest rating possible, but I must confess that some of the chapters on more advanced techniques, like the nature of levels, were quite good (although not good enough to make up for the shortcomings, at least as far as a beginner is concerned.)

As far as I can see, there is no magic bullet for photographers who want to learn Photoshop. A serious beginner might want to start his or her Photoshop learning with Barry Haynes "Photoshop Artistry: For Photographers Using Photoshop CS2 and Beyond (Voices That Matter)", following the book's suggested outline for beginners, and as one's skills developed, to return to the intermediate and then advanced outline. It will be slow going but you will learn what you need to process pictures well in Photoshop. If you've mastered Haynes version of Photoshop you can fill in the upgrade to PS CS3 with Ben Willmore's short and concise "Adobe Photoshop CS3: Up to Speed".

By the way, this volume doesn't cover the latest upgrades to PS CS3, but given the cursory treatment of tone and color controls, that scarcely seems to make a difference to an evaluation of this book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good Introduction to Photoshop 13 Sept. 2007
By Richard M. Geiger - Published on
Format: Paperback
Dynamic Learning Photoshop CS3 is a good Introduction to Photoshop CS3 for people that are starting to use Photoshop. If you are middle to an advanced level user you might find the book too basic. The book covers new features of Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended. It provides information for graphics professionals and photographers so it does have some what of spilt personality but I did not find that a problem because I do photography and web design.

I am making the transition from Abode Photoshop Elements to the Photoshop CS3 Extended so some of the features are new to me. I found the book to be at the right level for someone who is new to Photoshop.

The book gives you three different ways to learn with each chapter in the book. You can read the book, you can read the book and follow the projects that come on the DVD, or you can watch the Adobe Flash videos on the DVD. I found reading the book hard to follow without being in front of the computer and following the project steps. The video does give you enough detail to do the project but the chapter videos are fast paced compared to Training video from, Studio Works, or Total Training. The nice thing is you can look back at the instructions in the book without having to re-watch the video. A nice feature is you can copy the video to your hard drive so you do not have to carry are around the DVD or with online training you have to have an internet connection. I like in the video because there are certain items that are hard to describe on paper which make it so much easy to explain visually. One of the items that is a lot easier to understand by video is the vanishing point filter. The author shows how to put a picture on a white product box.

The book also gives some small demos on how the Photoshop works with other Adobe software such as Adobe Illustrator and shows you how Photoshop work together.

I find when I launch the Flash video for each chapter it does not seem to go anywhere. It takes time to load the video so be patient. When I picked up the book to review it did not realize how extensive the video tutorial was. The book seems expensive at $44.99 because of the size of the book for that price but if you realize how much effort the author has but into the video on the DVD the book is a good value. You get a book, project files, and videos for that price. I think O'Reailly the books publisher should emphasize the how extensive the videos are on the front cover of the book.

I found the book a good learning tool as long as you what a book that covers information for graphic professionals and photographers. As some one that is use to Adobe Photoshop Elements and moving to the full version of Photoshop I found the book helpful for me to understand Photoshop CS3.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Dynamic Learning Photoshop CS3 10 Aug. 2007
By Edward Laskowski - Published on
Format: Paperback
Dynamic Learning-Photoshop CS3
This new book teaches the workings of Photoshop CS3. The book consists of 13 Lessons (chapters) and an index, in 349 pages. The first lesson describes the new features of Photoshop CS3, of which there are quite a few. Further lessons teach the use of Selections, Layers, Painting and Retouching, Filters, Smart Objects, and creating images for the Web, video, and print.

The book is printed on glossy paper with illustrations and screen captures in color throughout. There are useful tables, such as the one describing all the tools, another on understanding file formats. Lesson 8 has a good Color Primer section which describes the RGB and CMYK color spaces.

The DVD which comes with the book has all the images used the lessons, plus 13 tutorial videos(about five minutes each) corresponding to each of the lessons in the text. This book provides a good working knowledge of the Photoshop CS3 program, for the reader.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A wealth of information 16 April 2009
By K. Tangeman - Published on
Format: Paperback
For anyone intimidated by Adobe's Photoshop CS3 mountain of information and how to approach it, there is the helpful book, DYNAMIC LEARNING PHOTOSHOP CS3, which includes video tutorials and lesson files on DVD. Dynamic Learning has a series of books, and Photoshop CS3 is easy to find, just look for the blue frog! Also included is Jennifer Smith, certified Adobe expert, who will instruct you through the thirteen DVD lessons which are explained in much greater detail in the corresponding thirteen lessons outlined in the book.

System requirements for Windows or Mac, how to load the lessons and the lesson files, the importance of resetting your defaults for each chapter and everything you could possibly ever need to know is covered in careful detail. A newcomer to Photoshop could easily follow these instructions. Each and every step is explained down to the smallest detail, in a clear and concise way.

I found it helpful to watch the video first, read the lesson through and then actually do the lesson in the book using all the expanded explanations. (We all know a video is worth ten thousand words.) This allowed me to set my own pace, quickly glossing over what I already knew about Photoshop and to spend more time on what was new to me.

After the start up session, Dynamic Learning digs right into doing a little creation. Instead of the boring part of getting to know your way around the tools and palettes and the layout of your workspace, you get to actually do a project first. I found this interesting and a way to encourage me on to the following lessons.

The tutorials are great, Ms. Smith whisks you through the lessons and a slider makes it easy to back up and go over the instructions as often as is necessary for you to grasp the concept of that lesson.

Each chapter concludes with a self study project and review questions along with the answers right there where you need them. The projects reinforce what you have learned and can be fun, whether you use the provided images in the lesson files and/or substitute your own, which can make it more interesting and personal. These projects also let you evaluate how much you have learned or if you need to reconsider backtracking on the lesson.

Overall, I found a wealth of information spread throughout the lessons regarding color and its importance as to how it conveys when printed, displayed on a monitor or viewed on other devices. And, if understanding color is the life blood of Photoshop, then layers is the muscle to support and manipulate it. Two lessons are devoted entirely to learning the effectiveness and value of layers. If you can master layers, you have unlimited flexibility to generate creative images, your creative images!

In case anyone wants to further pursue their Dynamic Learning experience, there are resources beyond this book and DVD. Training videos and conferences are available as are in person seminars conducted by the authors of the Adobe Suite series. Information is also available for educators on line.

Considering the expense of Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended, the small price paid for Dynamic Learning Photoshop CS3 seems like a worthwhile expense. The books step by step learning process is a great aid to becoming proficient with Adobe Photoshop CS3 and that's why you bought it in the first place.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Includes training videos too 26 Sept. 2007
By Linda - Published on
Format: Paperback
I can't imagine another software program that has inspired more third party books than Adobe Photoshop. Which book should you buy? With all the competition, you want the best value for your money. This book is one of a few that I have recently seen which comes with a DVD. The book is in full color and divided into lessons. The DVD contains the files you need to follow the lessons step by step. There are also 13 video tutorials on the disc and a bunch of other resources you can use to learn more than what is in the book.

As you may know, you pay quite a lot to purchase training videos, so getting 13 tutorials with a book is a pretty good deal. You get the best of both worlds--training videos and printed lessons you can follow at your own pace. The videos that come on the DVD included can be viewed with Adobe's free Flash Player. Since most web browsers have the Flash plug-in installed, I was able to drag and drop each video into my open web page to view it. Flash videos are quite clear and easy to look at. They are also very small in size compared to QuickTime and other formats but you wouldn't know it to look at it.

In this book, the lessons try to teach you how Photoshop works by using particular projects. One project teaches you all about using Layers and another is all about making selections. With Photoshop, some of the lessons require many steps. I don't always remember all the steps later. I have come to the conclusion that when I see certain effects that I would use a lot, those are the ones I try to learn most intensely. Like many of us, I have a digital camera and take a lot of pictures. Pictures of people can usually be improved upon whether it is just blurring the background to focus more on the person or adjusting the color so the skin looks more natural. It is also fun to occasionally do something crazy--like adding a duck to a picture of hundreds of penguins (one of the lessons in this book).

The pages are nice glossy paper in full color, making it a pleasure to look at.
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