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Customer Review

121 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another really practical guide to Elements from Scott Kelby, 21 Dec. 2012
This review is from: The Photoshop Elements 11 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)
I've been using Elements for a very long time and have upgraded every year since version 4. I've also bought Scott Kelby's books from time to time, and usually find that they don't need the yearly upgrade because much of what he says applies to all versions. However as the version 11 of Elemenets is auch a major upgrade I decided to buy the latest volume of The Photoshop Elements Book for Digital Photographers and I haven't been disappointed.

Incidentally I'm also a fan of Barbara Brundage's books, such as Photoshop Elements 11: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) which is also a very worthwhile purchase. The difference is that while Brudage goes methodically through the whole software in great detail, Kelby does more of an overview of the software and then goes into some really practical things like "what to do with grey skies" or "how to make a photo-collage", "trendy desaturated skin look", "creating drama with a soft spotlight" and so on.

The section on the Organizer is quite important because the Organizer version 11 is very different to previous versions. While I though I'd understood all the changes the book made me understand what a powerful piece of software the new Organizer is for finding and cataloguing your photos. Some people don't use the Elements Organizer but I don't think they know what they're missing in the new Elements 11.

I very much appreciate the whole new section in this book which covers the concept of layers. I'm one of those people who's happy with using layers to a degree but I always feel I'm not going as far as I could with them. In Elements 11 we have a whole set of new tools for layers including a much better layer mask tools. I don't think I'd have got to grips with this concept without this book to help me along.

Elements 11 has at last sorted out the many different selection tools which were becoming a bit of a mess in earlier versions. Scott takes you through all the selection methods and tells you when its best to use each one. This version makes it easy to select really tricky objects like a head of hair and its all covered here in the book with some really good illustrations and worked examples.

Scott is very keen on using the Camera Raw editing features of Elements 11. He feels its so good that you don't really need to use the older adjustment methods such as "levels". I think it will take me some time to get used to this and I am pleased to see that he still covers the more traditional methods of editing.

The chapter on printing is really good and Scott shows you have to adjust your monitor correctly so that what you see on screen matches what you get on the page.

Given the choice of any Elements book, I'd go for this one, mainly because it is just so very useful. I don't sit down to "learn" a new piece of software. I learn about it by doing things with it. If I have this book by my side I can dive straight into some really nice projects and produce something I wouldn't have had a clue how to do before. These books aren't cheap but you also have access to an online library of all the photos used in the book so you can practice along with each chapter.

Scott has the ability to take you through some quite complex ideas without you realising quite how complex they are. Some people don't like his informal, slightly jokey style, but I've got used to it over the years and I know that behind it all there's some very solid stuff which he makes really easy to understand.
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