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Falls between two stools - OK but there are better guides around
on 18 October 2012
On first flicking through the book, the first improvement over older editions is the addition of colour images throughout. None of them are inspiring photos but it's an improvement over the black and white pictures poorly reproduced on the standard For Dummies paper. As usual we have the cartoons prefacing each section but compared to the jokey style associated with the series I found this a fairly dry read.
This is a 'from the ground up' guide to Photoshop, starting with the basics of a digital image file and quickly introducing more advanced concepts. As the introduction states "If you're brand new to digital imaging... this probably isn't the best place to start" and that applies equally to the book and Photoshop itself. I've used Photoshop for a number of years and still picked up new information from this book but I can see a real beginner struggling and isn't that the target market for the For Dummies series?
Photoshop CS6 is the most powerful and complex image editing tool on the market, normally used by professional or serious amateur photographers and graphic designers, so a For Dummies guide is kind of an oxymoron. The Elements version is available for home and less serious users so explaining the full version in simple terms is a challenge for the Dummies series. A bigger challenge is the sheer number of other Photoshop books on the market, many written by well-known experts on the subject (Martin Evening, Scott Kelby etc).
For the enthusiastic amateur there are more readable books on the market (such as those by Kelby and Evening), and for anyone who wants to learn Photoshop from the ground up there are also better books around (The Missing Manual, for one). This book is OK but there are better.