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The Photoshop CS/CS2 Wow! Book Paperback – 12 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (12 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321213459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321213457
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 4.4 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 780,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Ever since Photoshop version 2.5, The Photoshop Wow! Book has enlightened and inspired graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers around the globe.  This newest edition delivers the familiar award-winning mix of explanations and step-by-step tutorials for creating both commercial and fine-art images, with tips and beautiful galleries that distinguish this book as the most inspiring Photoshop resource around.  Redesigned for easy reference, Photoshop CS/CS2 Wow! also includes new short features in which professional photographers and designers let you in on their creative secrets for quick solutions.  The DVD-ROM includes hundreds of before-and-after tutorial files, Layer Styles and Patterns, as well as Actions, gradients, custom tools, and other goodies. You’ll learn the most innovative techniques for creating and enhancing images, graphics, and type, including:

•    How and when to use the new features in Photoshop CS and CS2, including the Spot Healing Brush, Lens Correction, Lens Blur, Vanishing Point, and Variables
•    How to build your skill with familiar Photoshop features such as blend modes, adjustment layers, channels, and filters
•    How to focus attention on the subject of a photo, retouch a portrait, tint an image, or convert a color image to black-and-white
•    How to bring out your inner artist with Photoshop’s sophisticated brushes and vector-drawing tools
•    How to create dazzling special effects for type and graphics—from custom textures and realistic materials to animation and rollover for the web
•    How to build a striking layout or a seamless composite, including the little details that make a big difference in the art of creating illusions
•    How to keep your creations organized with layers, layer set or groups, layer comps, and Smart Objects

About the Author

Linnea Dayton is an award-winning author of more than 20 books and numerous articles on computer imagery and design, including eight editions of the best-selling Photoshop Wow! Book and two books in Peachpit Press’s popular One-Click Wow! series. She is principal of Dayton & Associates and series editor for the Wow! Book series. Cristen Gillespie begins her journey as a Photoshop Wow! author with this edition. She has contributed to other books in the Wow! series and with Dayton, Davis, and Ben Willmore, authors the "Wow! Factor" column for Photoshop User magazine.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Photoshop Mad on 12 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a long term user of Photoshop I have collected many books, but I was very impressed with this one. It's one of the best. It contains lots of new ideas and the cd includes loads of psd files that you can load up and then take apart to see just how it's done. The chapter on painting techniques was particularly useful. There are lots of things I had previously done in Painter which I thought could not be done in Paintshop, but I was wrong! This book tells it all. For the total beginner however I would suggest starting out with Adobe Classroom in a book as WOW assumes quite a lot of knowledge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Timan on 11 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
I received a copy of one of the older versions of this series and I was impressed by the practicality of the book. I decided to buy the recent book straight away, as I have PS CS, and for me as a progressed amateur it's a fantastic source of useful tips, practical guides and good examples. Way better than the Classroom in a Book series from Adobe in my opinion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have several books on Photoshop CS my favorites being Deke McClellands Bibles, this is just as good to me and I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in Photoshop. The examples are clear with plenty of colour images, the quality of the book is very high far better than the standard Photoshop Bibles and on a par with Deke McClellands Photoshop Professional Bibles. Included with the book is a disc with lots of extras.

I don't have any training with Photoshop but this book is very informative, if you use Photoshop CS/CS2 then put this book on your wanted list.

Was recently quoted £100 to create one image that this book helped me achieve, the same picture would need redoing for different customers at an additional cost of £20 a time. The amount of information in this book is phenomenal and justifies the price, 792 pages of very useful tips and tricks for any level of photoshop use.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 42 reviews
106 of 112 people found the following review helpful
The Encyclopedia of Photoshop CS and CS/2 27 Oct. 2006
By photohobo - Published on
Format: Paperback
Friends, allow me to eat a little crow. Some of you may recognize me as one of the smart-alecks in the Amazon discussions forums below. Many of us were extremely annoyed that this book (which had been pre-purchased over a year ago), failed to materialize, even after several postponed publication dates by the publisher. Some of us grew so disgusted with the delays, we canceled our pre-orders. I was one of those people. But today, guess what the Book Fairy brought me? To make a long story short, I'd forgotten that months ago, in my zeal, I had pre-ordered this book from two different places to see which would ship it first, and I only remembered to cancel one of those orders. I'm actually very glad I did because in my opinion, this book was worth the wait. Should you buy it? Read on...

First of all, I'm coming at this from the perspective of a repeat customer. I've been a Photoshop user since version 4, and as such, I'm more than familiar with Adobe's aggravating tactic of providing sub-standard user manuals for their products. This, combined with the fact that Photoshop is one of the most complex, unwieldy, and irritatingly wonderful programs on the market makes it necessary for Adobe customers to buy expensive after-market books to learn how to use the software they just paid an arm and a leg for. (Sorry about that preposition; I've got a lot to say and little time.) Over the years, Peachpit books in general have always been among my favorites and the Wow! Series in particular. The folks at Peachpit seem to put a lot of care into their products: the paper is always bright, slick, and of good quality -- which you will really come to appreciate if your eyes are already tired from a long day or you have poor vision and don't need the added hassle of trying to wade through a 500 page tome written in blurry 6 pt Times New Roman like some other books. Peachpit's text is always wonderfully legible and the images are always clean and colorful and well-balanced. The Wow books have the fantastic ability of combining a ton of very dry, but useful information into a colorful, well-organized interface. The Photoshop CS/CS2 Wow book is no exception.

The chapters of this book are organized in such a way that you can start right at the beginning and methodically work your way through, or you can flip through the pages until you find a photo that inspires you and dive right in. Skill level does not matter here: beginners can follow the well-written step by step tutorials and more experienced users can get the gist of the subject just by glancing at the screenshots.

The book starts right off with a bang: What's new in CS/CS2 gives a nice rundown of the changes that were made in the various versions of Photoshop alongside colorful images which show you the features and tool palettes being discussed. The authors have also used a clever technique of separating the features of PSCS from PSCS2 by using a different colored font (typeface for you nit-pickers) throughout the book. You may think this would be distracting, but it actually works quite well - the flow of the text is still maintained and I imagine that it would be quite handy for people who are still on the fence about upgrading to CS2. Browsing through the book for specific examples of CS2 features is really easy because of the different colored text and may help one decide if the upgrade is worth it. Other useful features are the Troubleshooting Tips, which are scattered throughout the book, like the one of page 33 about the History Tool; these tips describe annoying dialogue errors that you may run across while using a particular tool in PS and ways to fix them.

Other excellent features are the "Exercising" and "Anatomy of ..." sections which are more in-depth tutorials that take you deep into the bowels of some of Photoshop's more intimidating tools like Smart Objects and Masks. My personal favorites are the sections titled "Secrets of the Universe Revealed" in which inspirational images from guest artists are dissected layer by layer so that you can see the techniques used and try them on your own images. Chapter 5 is particularly exceptional - if you have only a limited time to learn Photoshop, I'd advise you to work through this chapter first: it is chock full of yummy tutorial goodness. Among my favorites in this chapter are:

p. 320 - Ron Deutschmann demonstrates an invaluable technique for eliminating lens flare that's so simple, you'll kick yourself for not having thought of it yourself. When I think of all the hours I've wasted doing it the hard way...

p. 321 - "Bringing Out Detail" tackles digital noise, chromatic aberration, and the Shadow/Highlight command in one fell swoop.

p. 338 - Shows you one of the better ways to hand tint a photo. (Alternately, you could buy a program like Recolored which does most of the work for you, but hand-tinting using the method described in this book gives superior results, in my opinion).

p. 344 - A wonderful tutorial by co-author Cristen Gillespie on how to change a daytime image into night, complete with dramatically glowing light from windows.

p. 348 - Katrin Eismann contributes two beautifully evocative images and shares her techniques on how they were crafted.

p. 349 - Alexis Deutschmann, a young girl, aptly demonstrates her skills as a photographer and Photoshop user by transforming a pretty, but boring image into a dramatic, gorgeous, and frame-worthy picture. If the sight of a young photographer like Alexis producing quality work like this using just her camera, imagination, and Photoshop doesn't inspire you, then I don't know what will.

p. 352 Loren Haury shows how to combine three separate images utilizing the HDR technique.

p. 354 Christine Zalewski contributes a lovely "botanical portrait" that brings to mind the gorgeous, moody orchid photos in the film 'Adaptation'.

p. 359 Begins a section on painting in Photoshop; nothing much new if you own previous PS Wow books, but very enlightening if you don't, or thought you could only achieve these types of apinterly effects and brush strokes in Corel Painter. I've seen many of these images before in previous versions of the Wow series (which is a shame, since, in my opinion, painting and animation are two of Photoshop's hidden treasures), but the images that are new are top-notch.

With few exceptions, Chapter 7 which covers type and vector graphics, is disappointing. Many of the "F/X" look particularly outdated and old to me. Maybe back in 1998 those neon, metallic, and jellybean-colored text effects looked cool for about five minutes, but nowadays there are so many fresh styles being used, it's hard to keep up with them. If you were hoping for fresh text and logo ideas, look elsewhere. Instead, I recommend you keep a scrap book (or dvd collection) of your favorite, most awe-inspiring stuff. You can grab short clips from movie titling (you know the credits that run at the beginning of the film) or from tv, magazine ads, cd covers, snapshots of cool building signs, etc. Still, if you are new to Photoshop or never really explorer the text and vector features, then this chapter will give you plenty to chew on.

Similarly, Chapters 8, 9, and 10 don't have much to offer advanced users or previous owners of a Photoshop Wow book. If you're big into web design, prepare for disappointment. Website building and animation are given short shrift in this book, which is a shame since, like Photoshop's painting tools, these areas are the unmined gems of Photoshop and not given anywhere near the attention they deserve in most books. Especially now that Adobe own's Flash and Dreamweaver! You'd think at least one chapter would pay homage to the amazing, cutting edge websites that are being produced with these programs and Photoshop. Unfortunately, most of the example webpages look flat, old, and uninteresting - nothing like the dazzling array of sites you'll run across in your average day of surfing - and, strangely enough, there's not a single mention of the word "blog", nor any tutorials on how to compose items for one. This really is a giant oversight on the part of the authors, one that I hope will be amended in future editions. There's a lot going on with the web right now and people are very interested in how to make their own photoblogs, or banners, sigs/avatars for forums or chat clients, podcasts and downloadable content for musicians, etc. What a wasted opportunity. In all fairness, this might be beyond the scope of this book; it is after all, nearly 800 pages of densely packed information. Nonetheless, a few mini-tutorials addressing these subjects would have made for a more complete book.


Exceedingly well written: manages to explain complex subjects without resorting to tired attempts at humor nor condescending to the reader.

Well-organized with clear text and sharp images.

Chock-full of both bite-sized and full-sized tutorials.

Outstanding photographic contributions from a wide variety of sources that will both inspire you and teach you how to achieve these fascinating results on your own images.

Huge! Covers nearly every conceivable situation the beginner and intermediate Photoshop user will likely need to tackle at some point.

Companion dvd is loaded with excellent practice images from the lessons, brushes, styles, tools, patterns, gradients and actions.


Chapters covering Type and the Web leave a lot to be desired.

Many advanced subjects like scripting, animation, masking, photo retouching and lighting are given short shrift.

Readers hoping for more in-depth information should look elsewhere.

Occasional annoying cross-marketing for other books or software. (Please ignore p.228 which advises you to buy Dan Margulis' Photoshop LAB Color book unless you are a masochist of the highest order. Read the negative reviews on Amazon to see what I mean. Check it out from the library if you must, but don't waste your money on it. You can also safely ignore the advice to buy Corel's KnockOut; it hasn't been updated in years. There are much better products on the market now that give both superior results and customer support. I recommend Vertus' Fluid Mask. Google it; there may still be discount codes floating around.)

So, again: should you buy the book? If you are new to Photoshop, new to CS or CS2, or even an intermediate user, I can, without hesitation say "Yes!". This book is an outstanding value. If you are a person who needs one book - one great book to introduce you to Photoshop and pack almost every conceivable subject into a single, giant volume: buy this book. If you are an advanced user who appreciates having an excellent reference book on hand rather than scouring the web for techniques you may have forgotten or never bothered to learn, then buy this book. However, if you are a person who is interested in learning in-depth techniques covering any of the subjects I've listed in my "Cons" section, sorry, keep looking. This book is not for you. For everyone else, this book is money well spent.

4.5 out of 5 stars.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Something for everyone who uses Photoshop 8 Nov. 2006
By tachi1 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I, too, have complained in this forum about the constant delays in the publication dates of this book. But when it finally came out, I decided to get it and I'm glad I did.

The book is not written expressly for one type of Photoshop user anymore than Photoshop is designed for just one type of user. It runs the gamut from photographers and retouchers of all levels of expertise; web designers (primarily of entry and intermediate level); designers working in different types of media and others who use text and text effects for their work; artists who use PS to create original work or modify photos to simulate artistic effects--to name just a few.

Obviously, there are some parts of the book that do not relate to me, but that is to be expected in an almost 800 page book. But the parts that do apply to me and that I have scanned through today are exceptionally clear, well-written and well-illustrated. Not just with the before and after photo, but with the sequence of steps in between.

Each tool, filter, palette, dialog, setting,and process is explained in a way that the new user will understand and the old user will still find informative and helpful. I've learned things I didn't know, realized things I should have known (but didn't), have been reminded of things I once knew and forgot, and have been shown to use alternate or easier methods than those I've been using.

Another common complaint of persons who, like me, keep up with tutorials, read books and magazines on the subject, and are otherwise submerged in the subject of PS, is the repetition and recycling of lessons and illustrations. I am happy to say that an unusually high percentage of this book is un-recycled material (there are a few familiar illustrations in it, but VERY few).

A quick glance at the cd reveals that it contains an assortment of actions, presets, and styles that many people will find useful in addition to chapter-by-chapter supplemental material for those who are using the book to study or practice techniques. From this assortment, I am likely to be interested in the brushes and one or two presets, but the point is that there is something there for everyone and it comes free with the book, so why not enjoy it.

At first glance, the index seems adequate. Every broad subject seems to be well covered. However, I'm a little weary because, in a book of this length and with such a broad scope, a 16-page index seems a bit short. I haven't tried to find the solution to one of those strange PS issues that sometimes confound me. But, if its not in the index, this is a pretty big book to try to plod your way through looking for some obscure detail you know is there somewhere.

While, a large part of the book does not apply to me, I would have bought it simply for the colorizing black and white photos section. I have purchased several books on the subject of "hand-painted" photographs and all of them put together have not provided the photoshop-specific scope and detail that this book provides in just a few pages.

I have to give this book 5 stars because it has achieved its stated purpose perfectly: it will take any PS project from mediocre or average to WOW while, at the same time, helping you to understand what you are doing and why.

I hate to admit it, but it was worth the wait.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Brilliant Photoshop book 3 Dec. 2006
By Mara Kurtz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Congratulations to Linnea Dayton for making this version of Photoshop WOW the best ever. I would definitely choose this as the one book I would take to a desert island with my MacBook Pro. While not for beginners, everyone who is reasonably comfortable with Photoshop will find this book invaluable. The organization is superb and almost every topic imaginable is easy to find and demonstrated with clarity and precision. This is truly "everything you ever wanted to know about Photoshop." Dazzling!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Packed to the Brim with Information for Users at all Levels 13 Jan. 2007
By Diane Cipollo - Published on
Format: Paperback
I can remember a time not too long ago when the first reaction I would have had to a book as large as this one, which has 800 pages, would be that the book must have mostly black and white illustrations with just a small center section of color images. Today, this assumption would be wrong. Linnea Dayton and Cristen Gillespie have beautifully color-illustrated this book throughout and have packed it to the brim with great information for Photoshop users at all levels. Of course, if you have been using Photoshop for a while or have one or more of the many Photoshop related books, you will probably recognize some of the information in the book. But even so, this book will serve as a major resource to answer just about any question you have. And, those who are just discovering the popular Adobe Photoshop software are lucky to have a book such as this at their side from the start.

Most Photoshop related books have one purpose or goal. This purpose may be to present a collection of "tips", a series of tutorials or a gallery of projects created by today's professional artists as a source of inspiration. This book has all that and more for both the CS and CS2 versions of Photoshop. However, when a technique or feature is specific to only the latest version, the authors clearly indicate this and you are not left confused. What I appreciated about this book is that, although it has a lot of information for the photographer and photo related projects, there were also whole chapters dedicated to digital painting, web and animation.

Not surprisingly, the book begins with a "What's New in Photoshop CS/CS2?" section and then covers the Photoshop basics. The rest of the book contains chapters dedicated to using digital color in Photoshop, enhancing and correcting photographs, digital painting, type and vector graphics, styles and FX effects, project production, web, video and animation. Each chapter has several sidebar sections such as the "Find Out More" section which gives page numbers for other parts of the book that have information related to that chapter's topic. I especially found the "Secrets of the Universe Revealed" section useful. For example, in the Painting chapter, the well known digital artist, Cher Threinen-Pendarvis, shares her technique for creating a color palette and image composition from a reference photograph. You will also find each chapter's Gallery and accompanying overviews of the artist's creative techniques very interesting and inspirational.

As I mentioned, my favorite chapter was dedicated to digital painting and covers several digital painting techniques including how to simulate painting with watercolors over scanned line art, a wet-on-wet technique with Photoshop's Smudge brush, and painting with the Pattern Stamp and Art History brushes.

The DVD contains before and after example files for the tutorials in the book as well as a collection of preset tools, actions, styles, textures, patterns, gradients and effects. I found the preset WOW Actions fun to explore. These mini-programs can create more sophisticated styles and effects than cannot be obtained using the Photoshop palettes.

Linnea Dayton is an author and editor of many Photoshop related book projects and this is the ninth version of Photoshop WOW! that she has co-authored. Cristen Gillespie has co-authored and contributed to many Photoshop related books and magazine articles.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The only Photoshop book you will ever need !!! 14 Feb. 2007
By Natanya S. Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off this book is Great, I honestly found everything i was looking for in this book. All the Photoshop books i brought before this book was a waste (you wold have to buy at least 10-20 to get all the elements that is covered in this one book).

I have to be honest if you know nothing about photoshop then maybe you should buy an introductory book and learn the toolbars and photoshop environment the purchase this book and read through it. this book is not really so much for novice or beginners(let me retract my last statement if you are easily self taught and or a fast learner. then this book might be all you will need.) this book is geared for get it done quick and it truly have that WOW! factor.

I love this book and will honestly suggest for any photoshop/imageready 'bum' who is truly addicted to this program. If you find yourself using photoshop in the wee hours of the morning because you lost track of time, if you like to create flyer,poster, realistic artwork,different types of fonts, or if you just simply can not get enough of the program and still waiting to creat your masterpiece then this book is definitely for you!

I promise it will be one of the best investments you've ever made...
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