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on 7 September 2011
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.
0Comment19 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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. You really do need to be very familiar with those tools to make good use of this book. If you fit that profile, this book will probably be very useful. If you do not fit the profile, you may need to first ascertain those areas of your expertise which are deficient and that need to be improved before committing to this book.

Recommended, but only for the more advanced Photoshop user.
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on 24 August 2011
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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on 27 November 2011
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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on 2 November 2013
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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on 15 November 2011
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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on 23 April 2012
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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on 21 November 2011
Great book from Matt Kloskowski. Good for all photoshop users and photographers. The transaction was timely and delivery was flawless
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on 12 October 2011
I didn't rate this as excellent as it does something so many Photoshop trainers do - they tell you exact numbers to set each parameter to. Please stop it. I want to know what to look for (both to aim for and to avoid) when choosing a setting in a dialog box. My pictures will each require unique settings and achieving those is an artistic decision and I would like to know in which direction to head off in to achieve the look I am hoping for. Simply telling me "set the radius to 10" doesn't teach me anything. That apart there's a lot of good stuff here and some great tips too, so its 4/5.
11 comment9 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is the second book I have purchased by this author, and I really like it. I have more comprehensive books on photoshop, which go into massive detail about how to do everything, but I just don't get on with them. The problem I find is that it is such a powerful tool, there are many different ways to achieve the same result, so I get lost. This book is much simpler, as each chapter takes a photo and works you through how the author got there. So for example, the fundamental issue of selecting parts of the image. Lots of different ways to to do this, but this book just concentrates on how to do it properly with the quick selection tool. Each chapter is an exercise, so you only get something out of it by working through these, and for once the downloads actually work (unlike some other books from this publisher). Overall, very happy that I bought this.
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