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Photoshop Fine Art Effects Cookbook: 62 Easy-to-Follow Recipes for Creating the Classic Styles of Great Artists and Photographers (O'Reilly Digital Studio) [Paperback]

John Beardsworth
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

3 Mar 2006 O'Reilly Digital Studio

How would you like to create your own impressionist landscape, a van Gogh still life, or a surrealist Salvador Dali dream world? Or perhaps a classic Ansel Adams photograph of Yosemite or an authentic-looking 19th century Daguerrotype? You can do all of that and more with Photoshop Fine Art Effects Cookbook.

The book tells you all you need to know to turn your original digital photographs into images that mimic the styles of great photographers and painters. From advice on how to develop an eye for appropriate subject matter to 62 detailed recipes that demonstrate exactly how to create an "original" van Gogh, Vermeer, Edward Weston, or Andy Warhol (among others), this book is an authentic guide to understanding and simulating the work of great artists-and a whole lot of fun.

  • Analyzing the styles of great artists: format, composition, angles of view, color palettes, and image textures
  • Shooting for digital manipulation, working non-destructively, making your own brushes and patterns
  • Creating Daguerrotypes, cyanotypes, stop-motion photographs, cross-processed images, Polaroid transfers, and infrared effects
  • Mimicking photographic styles from the pre-Raphaelites and the Naturalists to Jerry Uelsmann and David Hockney
  • Exploring painting and printmaking techniques from Rembrandt to Warhol: Dutch portraits, 18th century landscape painting, Japanese woodblocks, Impressionism, Pointillism, Fauvism, Art Nouveau, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, and Pop Art

Packed with step-by-step instructions, an inspirational selection of full-colordigital imagery, and authoritative information and advice, Photoshop Fine ArtEffects Cookbook is the ultimate guide to creating convincing digital masterpieces in the styles of many of the world's greatest artists.

Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (3 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596100620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596100629
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 23 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 851,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Beardsworth ( is a writer, photographer, IT consultant, and the author of several books on Photoshop and digital photography. He currently resides in London, England.

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Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so helpful 1 Mar 2010
The layout of the book is successful. Clear, attractive and easy to follow. Themed sections build well and inspire investigation. Excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simulate classic art styles with Photoshop 23 Feb 2006
By calvinnme - Published on
This book is in many ways an extension of the recently published "Photoshop Photo Effects", also by O'Reilly and Associates. However, that book was more about photorealistic effects, where this book shows 62 recipes to make a photograph look like a work of art in one of the classic styles. Plus, it manages to double as a short applied book on art history. For each of the 62 recipes, the book first has a few paragraphs about the history of this particular artistic technique and which artists used this style. Next, there is a photograph of something that might have made an interesting subject for one of the artists that used this technique. The author then includes numbered steps as to what you need to do in Photoshop to create each effect along with the resulting intermediate images. The final image that you have might not exactly match what the author shows, because the instructions talk about a range of values on each filter and brush used, not an exact number or setting. I found this book very interesting, but it will take some effort on the reader's part to get good results since you are trying to produce an artistic effect, and that is pretty much in the eye of the beholder. The table of contents, not shown by Amazon, is as follows:

THE ARTIST'S EYE - Subject matter; Composition and the angle of view; Color pallettes and tonal balance

TRICKS OF THE TRADE - Shooting for digital manipulation; digital workflow; Layers and working non-destructively; Using the selection tools; Fine-tuning colors; Filters; Making your own brushes and patterns; Making frames and borders

PHOTOGRAPHERS- Daguerrotypes; Calotypes and salted paper prints; Cartes de visite; Ambrotypes and tintypes; Wet-plate collodion; Cyanotypes; Stop-motion photography; High art and the Pre-Raphaelites; The Naturalists; Platinum paper; Gum bichromate; Autochrome color images; American avant-garde; The Surrealists; Abstract cityscapes; Modernism and the natural form; The Depression Era; Art Deco flowers; The black-and-white landscape; Powerful portraits; Maximizing the mundane; The age of jazz; Photojournalism of the 1960's and 1970's; Surreal photomontage; Tranquil landscapes; Fine art flowers; The kitsch and the quirky; Color landscapes; Lith printing; Split-toning; Infrared black and white; The scraped Polaroid; Polaroid image transfers; Polaroid emulsion lift; The joiner; Cross-processing

PAINTERS AND PRINTMAKERS- Intaglio; The Dutch portrait; The Italian landscape; The 18th century vignette; The luminous landscape; The romantic landscape; Japanese printmaking; The Impressionist landscape; Seurat and the Pointillists; Van Gogh's sunflowers; Nocturnes; Fauve scenes; Klimt and Art Nouveau; Catalan Art Nouveau; Cubism; Expressionism; Classical echoes; The Futurists; Surrealism; Escher-style portraits; The abstract watercolor; Studies of flowers; The Naive Landscape; Silkscreen style; The pop-art comic strip; Swimming pools
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good but some results feel canned 1 April 2006
By David Girard - Published on
As a digital artist/retoucher that comes from a painting and drawing background, I was excited about this title. Achieving realistic effects like mezzotint, oil painting, etc are not easy if you intend to achieve true realism. For the most part, the photo-oriented end results in this book are very convincing (cross processing, Ansel Adams-style landscape, gum bichromate being some examples) but most of the painting and artist ones feel very quick and dirty, without the extra work needed to actually make the results feel painted. Perhaps the fault is with the form: getting the buttery depth of a Van Gogh or the layered overprinting tones of a Hokusai is probably not something you can explain in a one page spread. At worst, the things like the mock Dali and Klimt feel perfunctorily executed and come off as cheeky. If you are a photo hobbyist looking for something easy to whip up the "close enough" feel of a art style without doing it justice, then this title is fine but if you're looking for the techniques a real professional would use to truly imitate art, then you're going to have to look elsewhere for the full picture.
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not-so-fast ... 4 May 2006
By John Stevenson - Published on
Earlier this year I reviewed what many will see as the companion volume to this book ("Photoshop Blending Modes Cookbook for Digital Photographers"), written by the same author. Unfortunately, the newer publication is less useful. It seems to have been written on a pretext that it's clever to be able to duplicate what traditional artists can do. This seems - from my own personal viewpoint - to be greatly undervaluing the power of Photoshop (and similar software). Practitioners of digital fine art should (really, constructively) be looking to explore what the principles of prior and traditional art can mean within a new domain.

Plus, the book gets off to a definitely poor start. The second and longer of two introductory sections is titled "The Tricks of the Trade". Well it would be better if just some of the "tricks" had been explained in full and more accurately. Say, how to make a selection in Photoshop from the best available precursor (a black-and-white alpha channel). Or say again, how to make tonal corrections to the original photograph using a luminance mask. Then again, the first (and shorter) of the introductory chapters, titled "The Artist's Eye", is just a teaser. This topic - pre-visualizing what can be achieved as an output image when composing the original photographic input - could have benefited from a much more detailed explanation/argument. Indeed, it could even merit an expansive concluding chapter (but the book doesn't have one of those at all ....). This is, after all, at the very core of what the user could harness to any given artistic objective.

Additionally, I think that it's strange that a book such as this simply makes no reference at all to what could be printed from the recipes it contains. Some of the finished (output) images might look quite intriguing as 3 by 5 inch reproductions in the book - but does the methodology hold up if you're targeting a 20 by 36 inch output (say) on a large format printer? And what to do if that's not the case? Finally, and in common with the earlier companion volume, this book suffers from strange and inconsistent layouts of screenshots and text, plus all sorts of technical and editing omissions/errors (which include, for example, having the wrong screenshot in the wrong recipe - see p.108).
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to the Past 2 Mar 2006
By Conrad J. Obregon - Published on
"Photoshop Fine Arts Effects Cookbook" provides recipes for Photoshop users to manipulate their works to look like the styles of great photographers and artists from the past. The recipes include creating images that look like Daguerreotypes, or platinum prints, or the work of photographers like Ansel Adams and Jerry Uelsmann. Beardsworth also shows how to make one's photographs look like the work of Canaletto or Turner or one of the impressionists.

Before turning to the book's merits, I have to offer an opinionated view. One of the first questions in my mind was why one might want to do this? I often suggest that photographers would benefit from considering the old masters but not to the extent of duplicating their styles precisely. Certainly I could understand if one had a client who said "I want a picture that looks like Van Gogh!" But I believe that serious photographers as well as other artists start with a vision of what they want their picture to accomplish. Their task then becomes to find the medium and techniques that best achieve this goal. Painters paint because that's the way they believe that they can capture their vision. Photographers take pictures instead of painting because they think photographs are the best way to get at their "truth". Now, there is nothing wrong with using any tool available to bring one's vision into the world. If you want to scratch the wet emulsion on a negative to create your image, that's okay with me. I might not understand your image, but that's a completely different story.

Perhaps my question is not why one would want to imitate another art form or technology but rather how many artists want to do this? I immediately think of the work of painters like Gerhard Richter or Chuck Close who have painted works that are, at first glance, indistinguishable from photographs. Of course, this ambiguity may be exactly what these artists were aiming for. But generally speaking, it is the technique of the media that artists hope to use to lead to the discovery of the vision.

There are plenty of photographers who are pushing at the edges of their medium, like Freeman Paterson and Tony Sweet. And there are plenty of photographers wanting to pay homage to the past. (I can remember standing at Tunnel View in Yosemite at sunset, tripod to tripod with nineteen other photographers, hoping for a gathering storm.) However, I'm not certain that there are many photographers who believe that adopting the techniques of painting is the way to express their vision (although perhaps there are some sitting out there just waiting to learn how it can be done.)

Having said that, Beardsworth does an excellent job of providing us the recipes to recreate these works. I only tried a few recipes, but my Ansel Adams knockoff looked more like Adams then anything I had ever done. My impressionist photograph looked like it belonged in the Salon des Refuses. My Japanese woodblock photograph was less successful but this was more from the use of an inappropriate photograph then from anything the author explained. Besides providing the recipes, the book also includes an intense refresher course in Photoshop tools. The author also tries to tell us how to visualize the way a particular style will fit a subject. He's less successful on that account, but I suppose he could have filled an entire book with just that advice.

I wish that the author had been able to incorporate pictures of works originally created in the duplicated style, but I understand that the fees museums charge for reproduction would probably have made that prohibitive.

Finally I must confess that despite my skepticism, some of the recipes appealed to me. I certainly wished that I had had Photoshop available to me twenty-five years ago when I was a black-and-white fine arts photographer. My work might have looked more like that of A. Adams. But then again, that might not have been me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rhondda Boy 11 Jun 2007
By E. Jenkins - Published on
I would like to thank John Beardsworth for writing this book as it has given me much pleasure in replicating his creations and following his recipes are so easy. The quality of the printing of the book is superb.I look forward to hours of enjoyment making my own paintings.
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