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Photo Editing Made Easy Paperback – Illustrated, 31 Jan 2012
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This is a book aimed solely at very beginners and serves as a great introduction to basic photo editing. It only covers the very basics but is great for someone new to digital photography. It uses Photoshop Elements 8 to do the exercises with. Although this is an older version the walk troughs work just as well on version 9 and 10 because the basic editing tools have not changed in the upgrades.
The sections include: 'First steps'
This is a discussion of basic photo editing and how to get your image(s) into elements for editing. It covers some of the basic concepts and jargon used in Photoshop Elements along with organising your work.
The next section is; 'Fix common problems'
This covers all that most people will ever want to do with their pictures - resizing, cropping, straitening and removing red eye.
The next section is; 'Enhance Photos'
Here the reader is taken into some of the intermediate tools found in the software - here you can find out about changing colours, re-composition and removing objects like bad backgrounds etc. Each technique is shown as a screen shot series so it is easy to follow even for the beginner.
The next section is; 'Perfect family shots'
This is quite a good section and some extra tools are introduced in a walk through teaching session. Here you learn how to merge pictures and work on close ups. This section also deals with removing wrinkles from the face and brightening eyes and whitening teeth to produce a professional looking photo. It works very well.
The next section moves you on from the basics into getting creative.
This section is probably going beyond the basics but adds a fun element to photography. Here we are introduced to creating black and white images and tinted images. Part of this section also deals with some of Elements photo restoration tools to bring back to life old and damaged scans. The software does most of the work and the results are very good indeed so those old faded dog-eared prints can be given a new lease of life. The software is quite easy to understand and operate and the results are very good. There is also hints and tips all through and many other projects are explained in this section - for example creating artworks from your pictures, just make sure you have plenty of spare time !!!
The book ends with a jargon buster which will be of use to the absolute beginner.
The book achieves exactly what it sets out to do and makes simple photo editing easy. It does not go into any great depth but that's for other books really. If you have a digital camera and any version of Photoshop Elements and have never really bothered with editing then this book will get you going quite quickly. It is written in a very easy to follow style and every menu and step needed to achieve results is illustrated. A very good beginners book which ever version of Elements you have.
Using Adobe Elements 8 is obviously going to alienate those who use other packages but it would be impossible to cover all of them. Elements is possibly the most widely use (I'm only guessing here) so it makes sense. The main sections are: First steps, Fix common problems, Enhance photos, Perfect family shots, Get creative. These cover everything from using the Elements interface to merging images. Albeit at a novice level.
As previously mentioned, this is very much a beginner's guide so it won't be much used to those experienced in editing. With that in mind, I would recommend this book for those new to photo editing as long as you're using Elements 8.
The book comes in softback and runs to 160 pages using Adobe Photoshop Elements to illustrate the various techniques.
As with most of these guides the book is well laid out with plenty of illustrations to keep you on the straight and narrow. It begins with first-steps, familiarising the reader with the basics of photo editing which is followed by a chapter on curing common problems such as red-eye. The book than splits into chapters looking in more depth at common problems under headings such as enhancing photos, getting good family shots and ending up with getting creative, all with easy to follow examples and instructions.
A couple of problems with the book for me, firstly I find working with selections in Photoshop the trickiest idea to grasp and I feel the book skips it in a couple of pages. I think newcomers to photo editing might find these concepts and techniques a little confusing. Secondly, and I docked a star for this, the book uses Photoshop Elements 8 throughout and we are now onto version 10. As the book is detailed as being published in 2012 I find this a little lax. I know the differences aren't too great but I would have thought a more recent version could have been introduced before publication.
Still if you're looking to get started on basic photo editing you won't go far wrong with this book.
The pictures shown are used to demonstrate the methods are a bit small, so could be more helpful if they were larger, and easier to see. The text is written at a suitable level, and isn't too technical for the average reader.
Since it is a Which? guide, I would not expect it to be an advanced level manual, so I think that it is suited to the target audience.
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