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Photo Retouching with Adobe Photoshop Paperback – 1 Feb 2003
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
1. This is yet another step-by-step tutorial without images to work with. There is no CD and no downloadable files. Since one has to have images quite similar to those in the book (and due to the nature of the tasks discussed in the book these images may be hard to find) in order to reproduce the tutorials, I found that the only way how I could learn anything at all was is to play the steps of image processing in imagination. I discovered a couple of useful tricks while doing it, but certainly the concept "learning by doing" does not work well when the "doing" part is stripped off. The most ridiculous thing in the book is that the author sometimes suggests something like "click anywhere in the blue background". Come on, this book is published in black and white, there are no tutorial images, what are you talking about?!
2. The approach is based on tools, not on problems. Katrin Eismann's book starts with identification of what is wrong with the image - e.g., its too light, or its color balance is wrong, or it has scratches, etc. - and then suggests solution to each particular problem. Each section in Eismann's book is about a particular problem in the image, and a variety of ways how to solve this problem. Gwen Lute's book starts from the tools and techniques; each section is dedicated to a certain group of tools, and it is shown how they can be used. For instance, there is a cection on layers and masks, another section on filters, etc. As practical as this approach is, it does not give you a systematic knowledge how to identify problems in a photograph, and how to solve them. The best you get from this approach - a review of the photoshop tools. You are not getting any better in retouching, though!
- 5 stars: Photoshop Restoration & Retouching (Katrin Eismann).
Exceptional book; one of the best PS books I've read on any topic. Check the reviews.
- 3.5 stars: Photoshop Retouching Handbook (Carol Braverman). Pretty good.
- 1.5 stars: Retouching Old Photographs - Photoshop Methods and Solutions (Michael Kiteley). Serious problems. See my review under that title.
In retrospect I should have quit while I was ahead.
Compared with the offerings above, the Lute book is a sham (and a shame). Poorly written, frequently incomplete explanations, very little useful detail, no accompanying CD or web-site for example images, lots of "white border" per page to make it appear "thicker."
I wouldn't recommend it for beginning, intermediate nor advanced PS users. I literally sold this book on the second hand market two days after receiving it.
I noticed there's an updated version of this book on the horizon (projected availablity: 2nd half of 2002). At this point I would not even remotely entertain the thought of acquiring it unless I read many, many stellar reviews proclaiming a complete rewrite.
Most of the other reviews for this book are right on. Don't waste your hard earned $ on this one regardless of your PS skill level.
You may be thinking, "So why didn't YOU pay attention to the other reviews before buying this book?" Fair question...
I'm a PS knowledge junkie... I LOVE to read about and learn new Photoshop techniques. Though I read the not-so-flattering-reviews before taking the plunge (like you are doing right now), I *hoped* they were too harsh. I *hoped* I'd find a few golden nuggets that would be useful to me. Bottom line: It was about the most useless PS book I've ever read (my personal library consists of over 30 PS books).
My advice: If you're interested in this topic, give serious consideration to the first book listed above and some consideration to the second. If you pass on the last one and this offering, you'll be a much happier camper.
Also, the instructions were not "step-by-step" as promised. For example, page 23 (retouch wedding picture), step 7 said "clean up the final image using various tools and methods for fine turning (i.e. the rubber stamp tool, the eraser tool, the lasso tool). You can see the image below"
This is not "step-by-step" how could I clean up an image using various tools if I was trying to follow the sample? What various tools? Is the rubber stamp tool first and then the eraser tool? This is vague at it best. I looked at the fimal impressive image and still couldn't quite get how the author arrive there.