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D. Brown (Cornwall, UK)
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Painting Watercolour Landscapes the Easy Way: Brush with Watercolour 2
Painting Watercolour Landscapes the Easy Way: Brush with Watercolour 2
by Terry Harrison
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.49

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looking for a beginners book?, 12 Sep 2010
Firstly I want to say I actually like Terry Harrison's books and approach but if you are a beginner looking for a book to teach you watercolour painting then this is not the book for you. What this book actually does is to teach you how to use Terry's own range of brushes and paints, if you don't have these then this book is all but useless to a beginner.

His brushes make it easy to do certain things like foliage effects but the book does not teach to paint without these brushes. All through the book it says use my sunlit green or midnight green etc and does not tell you how to mix these colours if you do not have them. Also if you are a beginner it misses out so many of the basics such as what do you support the paper, mixing colours etc etc.

There are some nice pictures in the book.... and there are also some really horrible exercise pictures, for example the wave.

If you already own the first volume of A Brush with Watercolour I would suggest that there is very little new in it to make the purchase worthwhile.... the first 50 or so pages just show you how to use his brushes very similar to volume 1.

If you have his brushes and want to paint like Terry then this is the book for you. If you are total beginner then look elsewhere.


Watercolour Boats and Harbours (Ready to Paint)
Watercolour Boats and Harbours (Ready to Paint)
by Charles Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good But....., 27 July 2010
I really like the paintings in this book however I would suggest that some of them are not really suitable for beginners, but at least this gives you the opportunity to progress! Detailed step by step instructions make it east to follow.

There is one HUGE glaring error in this book. Look at the picture on the cover of the book, the reflection of the boat cabin in the water does not match the actual boat, it is reversed, and the aerial is also in the wrong position - Just me being pedantic!!!!! :-)

Still a great book.


Terry Harrison's Sea and Sky in Watercolour
Terry Harrison's Sea and Sky in Watercolour
by Terry Harrison
Edition: Paperback

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Sea Is OK but...., 30 Nov 2009
The sea part of this book is very helpful with some great tips, but the sky is mentioned only in passing. All the colour mixes rely on using Terry's own range of paints, and instructions relate to his range of brushes.

What I found REALLY irritating is that despite Terry telling you how important level horizons are, the publishers have put in lots of pictures without straightening the horizon (this is a photo fault not an artist fault)

Overall an OK book for beginners starting to learn to paint the sea, but for sky painting look elsewhere.


Terry Harrison's Complete Guide to Watercolour Landscapes
Terry Harrison's Complete Guide to Watercolour Landscapes
by Terry Harrison
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.49

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, 5 Nov 2009
Firstly a warning - Amazon suggests a bundle with Terry's Top Tips and Sea & Sky In Watercolour. The sea and Sky in Watercolour book is actually a part of the main book, so do not buy this bundle!!!!!

This book is actually four of Terry's books collected in one volume. There has been no attempt to integrate them into one book, so you get 4 introductions, 4 sections on recommended paints etc. There is a brief section on skies in three of the books etc. This makes it very bitty, insead of topics being grouped together.

The watercolour flowers "book" is a total wrong description. There is ONE complete flower, all the other flowers are either blocks of mauve to represent bluebells or small masked "dots" to represent flowers in a landscape. If you want to learn to paint individual flowers then this is not the book for you.

However on the plus side I love the way Terry explains techniques, and the step by step pictures are very good. Overall it is an OK book, but with a little work it could have been a great book for beginners.


Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: A Professional Image Editor's Guide to the Creative use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC
Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: A Professional Image Editor's Guide to the Creative use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC
by Martin Evening
Edition: Paperback
Price: 24.94

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Huge, 8 Feb 2009
This book is huge!

I have raed Martin Evening's book on Lightroom and like his approach so invested in this Photoshop book. It is a complete Photoshop Bible.

It starts on recommendations for setting up Photoshop. THese chapters are normally the stuff you don't bother reading, but there is some very interesting stuff in these pages.

The book is well laid out, and follows a logical sequence as to how you would use it.

For me everything is explained in a way I can understand, with box outs giving additional relevant information, without muddling the main text.

I would recommend reading it from beginning to end.

I defy anyone to read any chapter of this book and not learn something new, whatever their level of Photoshop knowledge.

SOME of the pictures are available on the accompanying DVD, allowing you to work on he same files and replicate the results in the book.

THere are 2 hours of video on the DVD as well, as sometimes seeing is better than reading.

Great book, which I would describe as the ultimate Photoshop reference.


Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0, Full Version (PC/Mac)
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0, Full Version (PC/Mac)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just The Job, 8 Feb 2009
As someone with a huge collection of images which weren't catalogued or keyworded in anyway I needed a way to organise my images. I was using the rather clunky Nikon software to process my RAW files.

At first I found Lightroom rather bewildering and did not like it. I bought the Lightroom 2 book by Martin Evening and it just clicked!

Image Organisation
I have spent days applying keywords etc to my back catalogue of images. For this I do not find it particularly intuitive. However for the importing of new images, it is very easy to apply keywords to the whole batch, rate them, and edit them.

I have a dual core processor with 2gb RAM, and my only slight frustration is that it is rather slow at generating the initial previews on first importing - it seems slower than earlier versions. With anything other than a relatively new machine, then forget it espicially if you have a large number of images.

It is very easy to filter by keyword and rating, making it easy to manage your images. You will need to invest time in getting the keywords right though to reap the benefits. Searching and filtering is very quick.

Editing
The range of tools is amazing, making it very easy to adjust your images. Again, I would recommend buying a book to explain some of the tools as the names are sometimes not that explainatory, and the results rather subtle.

I particularly like the ability to create a "virtual copy" of a picture. THis allows you to be able to say edit a colour version of the file, then create a black and white version, and have both versions appear in the catalogue. THe second version takes up no space on your disk.

All the edits are only made to your images when the image is exported, so you can make multiple edits to JPEGS with no loss of quality on your master files.

The new adjustment brushes allow you to apply local edits to the picture, such as changing the exposure or saturation of just one part of the image. THis is great for skies etcs, and much more versatile than the dodge and burn tool in Photoshop.

Output
It is very easy to print in multidude of layouts that you can easily change - unlike Photoshop! You can also produce contact sheets and nice looking web galleries that Lightroom can also upload to your webspace.

Summary
For me Lightroom does 90% of what I need for my pictures, yes I still need Photoshop if I need to replace skies etc. but for most people Lightroom is enough.

It is quite a steep learning curve, but well worth it. It is not a package that you can get the most of through trial and error, I would recommend a companion book.

It is not perfect but pretty close for my needs.


Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop's Most Powerful Feature
Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop's Most Powerful Feature
by Matt Kloskowski
Edition: Paperback
Price: 28.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 18 Jan 2009
I must admit I was disappointed when I first received this book. It was a lot smaller than I was expecting. However when I started reading I was very pleased that I had bought the book.

Everything is explained in a clear and concise way with step by step instructions and advice.

It showed me how to do tasks that I had always wanted to achieve but didn't know how.

Overall a good book.


The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers
The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers
by Martin Evening
Edition: Paperback
Price: 30.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lot To Take In!, 18 Jan 2009
I thought I knew how to improve my pics until I read this book. I bought it to learn Lightroom 2, but have learnt so much more. There are many useful tips, tricks and recommended settings to start from. It really has improved my whole workflow, and made a dramitic improvement to my photographs.

It explains everything in a clear and straightforward way. The book is huge though and is a lot to take in, and probably needs more than one reading. I found it best to follow the steps with one of my own pics to see the results on my own work.

I cannot recommend this book enough!


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