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HALL OF FAMEon 23 April 2009
How to Cheat, is a somewhat misleading title, as its not immediately obvious that this is a comprehensive look at the tricks used by Photoshop montage artists. But having said that this is a very useful series of books dealing fairly specifically with the building up of composite images in Photoshop.
Steve Caplin is an accomplished montage artist and many of his illustrations have graced the pages of the Guardian and the Independent, and he brings a lot of his experience into the techniques presented here.
How to Cheat seems to approach each new release of Photoshop as a challenge to present new tools, techniques and material, and this pays dividends to the reader as the accompanying dvd contains pdf files of many of the tutorials from previous editions.
The author seems to have spent some time getting to grip with the new tools of CS4 and finding some real world application for them, and so the book serves as a good catch-up to familiarize the reader with some new tools, but by no means is Cs4 a must have as techniques are backwardly compatible on the whole.
This book is balanced very well for its intended audience, those already comfortable using Photoshop, and as such the content here is of high value with little padding explaining the interface and so on, the tutorials all fit neatly over a two page spread, and on the whole the examples are very clear and to the point.
The first section deals with the fundamental skills required for the rest of the book, selection, masking, the pen tool, layers and image adjustment, well worth a read through no matter how keen your skills.
After the fundamentals catch-up the bulk of the book then tackles the various montage skills, setting the scene by looking at composition and perspective, the perspective chapter is excellent, easily tackled and incredibly useful.
A book packed with techniques, and Steve Caplin seems to put a lot of effort into making each version stand on its own, with fresh tutorial, techniques and the latest Photoshop features in context, the authors experience and enthusiasm make the tutorials very readable, and the book as a whole a recommended reference for the Photoshop montage artist, or even the intermediate or advanced user looking for some catch-up or fresh ideas.
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on 11 December 2009
I had seen 'How To Cheat in Photoshop' around for a while but for some reason had not bothered to buy. As it turns out that was probably one of my worst decisions.

Having now purchased the latest CS4 version, I have not stopped with it. The book is absolutely brilliant if you truly want to perfect your PS skills not only for pleasure but for business as well you will not be disappointed.

Caplin does assume you have some knowledge of the programme, hence it is not for the very first timer, (and he does say something like, "this is not a how-to learn PhotoShop book"). However, if ever any of the work he demonstrates or writes about starts to look complicated, he does provide clear instructions.

Moreover, because the book comes with a link and permission to join the How To Cheat in Photoshop (HTCIPS) website forum, your learning will have no boundaries. By joining in the forum with all the other HTCIPS aficionados you will very soon pick up new tricks and skills that propel you forward at a pace.

Out of all the PS books I have bought I have learnt more from this one book than any other, even though the author says it is not a 'How To' book! This has proved to be the best money spent and already I have learnt more in a month, than I learnt in 6 months with all the other so-called 'How-To' books I own.

I cannot recommend it highly enough and I am really enjoying the HTCIPS forum, where I have met some really nice people from all corners of the work, who are all too willing to offer advice and guidance. Do yourself a favour go and buy it now! You won't regret it, I certainly haven't.

Mark Goodwin

PS
Just in case, I have no connection with the author or the publisher of this or any other of Steve Caplin's works, other than being a very satisfied customer. (Which aint easy where I am concerned).
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on 31 July 2009
I have already worked thru two great scott kelby books on photoshop. The seven point system and CS4 book for digital photographers.
Having a established a fair level of understanding this book takes you to teh next level. If you wnat to work on challenging and interesting photo montages Caplins is the book for you.
I also bought the Kelby Down and Dirty secrets, which is fine but a definite second place to Caplins book
Highly recommended
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on 11 September 2009
I already had 'How to Cheat in Photoshop CS3', but there is enough new stuff in this CS4 book to warrant purchasing it.
The book is full of hints, tips and shortcuts, and Steve Caplin has the knack of making quite complicated methods seem easy.
Although aimed at photomontage, any Photoshop user at any level would find this book valuble.
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on 12 February 2010
this is a pretty good book and comes with a dvd with pics used and vids to go with them so you can do the same thing as the video.some of the tutorials are not on the disk but thats because the book is just showing you what can be done when you get the hang of using photoshop better.unless its just me i did fing some of the keyboard commands were not correct so a little knowlege of photoshop would be in your intrest.i had to do some of the chapters a couple of times as i did not get the hang of it the first time or understand why things did what they did so it would be a good course of action to do either the whole book twice or just the topics you want twice but make sure you understand what is happening and that way you will grow and learn a lot.good book and iam still working on the tuts.dont rush the tasks.remember its not a race and the slower you do it the better you will be
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on 31 August 2013
I borrowed this from our local library again and again and decided I had to have my own copy!. I am a frequent PShop CS4 user and photographer and defy anyone to go through this book without saying "ooh, that's just what I've been trying to do"
However, it's not incredibly in depth but means that you can do all the "useful" things in Photoshop without getting bogged down with all the screen layout and tool layouts that can take up so much time with other manuals.
Recommend for non-professionals
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on 21 November 2013
Didn't live up to expectations and the disc supplied with it simply didn't work properly. No doubt the publishers would have replaced the disc but I'm not sure it would have been worth the bother.
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on 20 April 2013
Steve Caplin certainly knows his stuff the book is full of interest projects tips and methods it will be keeping you glued to your computer
Excellent book
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on 24 October 2009
If you are good at photoshop then this a great help to jump from chapter to chapter.
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on 26 July 2011
Good book. Easy to use.
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