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Photoshop Compositing Secrets: Unlocking the Key to Perfect Selections and Amazing Photoshop Effects for Totally Realistic Composites Paperback – 29 Jul 2011


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Photoshop Compositing Secrets: Unlocking the Key to Perfect Selections and Amazing Photoshop Effects for Totally Realistic Composites + Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop's Most Powerful Feature + Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop (Voices That Matter)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (29 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321808231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321808233
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 20.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. Cudlip on 7 Sep 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought I knew my way around Photoshop CS5 pretty well with good use of many techniques I'd learnt over the years. I bought this book thinking I might be a little disappointed at its content but because it was written by Matt Kloskowski ( I have some of his other books) I thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did. Not only did it highlight some of my bad habits, it also showed me that I'm wasting a lot of time doing it the way I was. The book has a link to a download site for files and videos etc for all the chapters totally over 3.2GB if I remember correctly so you can practice with the actual images used in the book. I feel the book is slightly overpriced but still worth the money as its already saved me a lot of time in only 2 days! A good read and worth having in my opinion.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andy_atGC TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 July 2012
Format: Paperback
The author is one of the leading educators/lecturers in photography and the use of Photoshop; Scott Kelby is the other and they have sometimes written in partnership and run courses together, perhaps in person but certainly as DVD-based CBT.

One reviewer has down-rated this book because he claims that it does not mention that it is specifically for Photoshop CS5 users; in fact that phrase appears on the first line of the first chapter, so could not really have been much clearer. Perhaps it should have appeared on the cover but there is little that could be achieved in CS5 that was unachievable in CS4. Admitted, a few menu items were moved and some things modified slightly but most would remain valid, as it probably will in CS6 which I have yet to see or to use.

Do not confuse Compositing with Composition as the phrase is generally used in photography and art. Compositing involves taking elements from two or more images and merging them into something new. Composition concerns itself with the arrangement of the major components of an image so that they draw the viewer's eye to where you need it to be or away from where you do not. An example of compositing may be to remove the sky from one image where there is clear cloud structure, a good sky colour etc and to add it to another where the sky is ill-defined and featureless.

Although it is Photoshop that is the medium here, similar techniques can be employed in other photo-editing software, but Photoshop happens to be the software of choice for the author and most serious users.

This is a book for the more advanced Photoshop user as it employs layers, masking and other more complex techniques for many of the examples and tutorials.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Kay F Lane on 27 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
Great book. Nowhere does it say that it is for photoshop CS5 users only. If you don't have CS5 then don't buy it.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By G. Ritchie on 24 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
Matt Kloskowski is one of my favourite writers and broadcasters about all items photoshop. This book is a very good instruction on this popular but sometimes difficult technique. All images in the book are available to download from the web, and so you can use them to perfect the different techniques explained, and compare your efforts with his.

A basic working knowledge of photoshop is required, but you do not need any more than that. It is well laid out as a book to read, or to dip into for ideas and advice. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Kallio on 15 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
A great book with projects that really inspired me to go out and do composites. The only negative is, that it utilizes a lot of features that are only available in CS5. I think this should be mentioned in the cover.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Pru on 23 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great book for learning techniques for planning and carrying out composites. But in doing so, it teaches you other great techniques that cover many other aspects of Photoshop.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ST84 Photography on 2 Nov 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this as I don't do much compositing work, but I find I need to have this skill for some client work. Usually when shooting buildings and the weather isn't perfect, or photographing people.

This book excels at teaching you how to work with composites involving people. Packed with varied examples, and covering everything from shooting/sourcing images to combining them in photoshop, it is my go-to reference for any work of this nature.

It is really only compatible with CS5 and higher (e.g. the Creative Cloud version of photoshop). Shame this wasn't made more clear in the book's description, but the author couldn't have feasibly made a book that gave a comprehensive overview of how to use CS5 features and also gave a similar level of quality instruction to users of older software.

More pertinent is the fact that the book doesn't really deal with non-portrait situations where you might want to composite images. A classic area where this technique is used is in adding different skies to landscape/building photographs. Depending on the weather, this can look very natural or completely fake. It would have been great if Matt had included a small chapter advising photographers on how to get the best results in this kind of situation - i.e. how to make sure the lighting works, and/or how to judge the limits of what backgrounds could realistically be dropped in. Nothing like seeing a low-contrast flat looking building with a bright and saturated blue sky behind it to know that this area of photography could be much improved upon.
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