This latest book by Mark Galer "Photoshop Elements 5 Maximum Performance" is a real cracker. It is aimed at those who, having learnt the basics, want to go on and harness the full power of the software. Using the techniques that Mark Galer describes, this book will show you that you don't need the full version of Photoshop to achieve professional looking results - Elements has all the capability required. It certainly lives up to its title, with lots of clever workarounds, tips and tricks to satisfy the most demanding user. Mark has an easy to read, informative and friendly style, with a light sprinkling of humour now and then to relieve the technicalities. The book is divided into 3 parts: Optimise, Enhance and Montage, each with 8 projects. In the Optimise section the projects are: Crop and Correct, Levels, RAW files, Target Zones, Contrast, Hue and Saturation, Sharpening, and Printing. These projects provide the reader with an in-depth knowledge of a typical digital workflow. In the Enhance section the author goes on to various techniques such as Depth of field, Black and White, Low Key, Shafts of Light, Toning, Motion Blur, Glamour Portrait and Character Portrait. In the final section, Montage, there are projects covering: Replacing a Sky, Creative Montage, High Dynamic Range, Creative Text, Panoramas, Hair Transplant, Preserving Shadows and Displacement. All the projects are easy to follow, even though they are sometimes extremely involved. The accompanying DVD, which contains video tutorials for each of the projects, all the images used in the book and other resources is most useful. It's great to see a publisher like Focal Press producing consistently high quality photographic books that are not only attractively presented but also exceptional value. Full colour screenshots are used throughout the book as well as clear step-by-step instructions. In summary, anyone wanting to extract the maximum performance from Photoshop Elements should place this book on their shortlist.
Well I tell you now if you want a book on Photoshop Elements v5.00 that is `par excellance' then this is the book for you. That is to state without any contradiction that Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 Maximum Performance: Unleash the hidden performance of Elements: by Mark Galer, is the best thing since sliced bread. This book is simply fantastic and you will never be bored or intimidated reading it. It is jam packed with information and has tutorials that simply cannot be surpassed, even to the extent of giving a practical video tut on how to set up your printer for maximum resolution and accurate colour printout/management. This is how a learning book should be presented. It has a Dvd attached to the back cover with around 24 free detailed video tutorials in it. Hundreds of free pictures, links to sites, AND a free version of Quicktime v7.00, (a video viewer program) which you will need to install on your computer to watch his tutorials. The tuts on Character Portrait and Gradients are simply astonishing. You do not even begin to relise how powerful this Photoshop Elements 5 software is until you see this guy in action. If I learn only 50% of his knowledge then I shall already consider myself an 'expert'. With practical written instructions AND videos that relate to the exercises in the book, what he does when he TALKS and EXPLAINS to you as you sit there spellbound watching his tutorials, has to be seen to be believed. Listen all this for £ 12.53p !!! (at today's date) Are you kidding??. If I could give this 10 stars I would. This book is, as they say, simply the best -- better than all of the rest. We loved the book and it sits next to my computer as a fixture. I am so glad we bought it which was initially due to the recommendations already here. Highly, highly recommended.
You don't have to have full Photoshop savvy to read this book. If you want a sensational book on Elements 5 that even a complete novice like me can understand, then this is, without question, the book for you. It's fantastic to actually be able to read and SEE what you are supposed to be doing. 5 stars plus from me. (read 10 stars) All IMHO of coarse.
The other reviews will give you a better idea of the content of this book, so I will explain the title for my review.
My father in law had got himself a digital camera and wanted to tweak the pictures a bit. The usual exposure and general composition issues being top of his list. He was using a Kodak freebie at the time and wanted to know if there was a better program "out there" that he could use. As a long time user of Adobe Photoshop I thought Elements would be good for what ailed him.
As it was coming up to Christmas I got Elements and this book for him. I had a week with the book before it had to be wrapped and had time for a quick gleek inside it. I was so impressed with the way the book was laid out and the way the information was delivered that I kept that copy for myself and got him a new unopened copy.
This is a handy book if you you want to learn more about PS 5. However it is not perfect. The writing style is a bit quirky/irritating at times, also the videos on the DVD were made using PS 4! As does some of the text.
This is a very good book to get the best out of PSE. Having worked all the way through it now I've found out I'm amazed of what PSE is capable of. The book covers all the major things you're likely to need to do and gives you a good grounding in the techniques you'll need to get the best out of your photos. I didn't like the attempts at humor that pepper the book which seem completely out of place and caused me more irritation than amusement. Also, some of the techniques you're taken through say do this, then do that, without telling you first why you're doing it. Plus points are the video walk throughs on the DVD which are without the amusement and are very professional. I found it best to watch the video first then read the text on what I'd just seen. It makes more sense and was easier to absorb that way around. Also, some of the instructions on how to do things which are quite common are often repeated. This is a GOOD thing. It reinforces the techniques to make you remember them and also doesn't assume that a method used in an earlier technique was read by someone just dipping in to brush up on a technique later in the book.