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Another useful Photoshop book, but not the most inspiring.
on 1 November 2010
Smashing Magazine is an online presence, where you can pick up some great ideas and techniques to fuel your creativity. Aimed mainly at web designers, there are also plenty of things of interest for general computer / Photoshop users.
This book is a collection of interesting design ideas, with recipes for users to try at home. It is based on Photoshop CS5, so is dealing with the very latest iteration of a very well known image editing package.
If you have been using almost any version of Photoshop for more than 4 or 5 years, then you will probably find quite a lot of this book familiar to you. An awful lot of this stuff is freely available on the 'net already (and a fair bit of it in the 'Help' files that come built in to your software - but who reads the 'Help' files, right?), so you might be forgiven for wondering why you should actually pay for a collection of such stuff.
Well, despite all I have said above, I personally own a huge number of books about Photoshop, and even find new stuff in them after working with this package since the early 1990s. It is good to have a reference to hand that you can draw and write on - and most of my books are now covered with 'notes to self' about the new features (and sometimes failings) of the program, 'how to' instructions, etc.
So, overall I would recommend that you buy a book like this one, or one of the 'How to Wow' series, and work your way through it and learn some impressive techniques and use the book as a 'workbook' rather than a bible.
Not a book for the complete beginner, but an interesting addition to the library of Photoshop reference out there.