Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop CS in 24 Hours Paperback – 13 May 2005
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About the Author
Carla Rose, a photographer, artist, and award-winning writer, is the author of more than 20 computer books, including Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop in 24 Hours and Sams Teach Yourself Digital Photography and Photoshop Elements All in One.
Kate Binder is a graphics expert who works from her home in New Hampshire. She has written articles on design tools and techniques, publishing workflows, and photography for magazines including Publish, PEI, and Desktop Publishers Journal. Kate is also the author of several books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mac OS X, Easy Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, and Easy Adobe Photoshop Elements 3, and she is the coauthor of several more books, including Microsoft Office: Mac v.X Inside Out, SVG for Designers, and Get Creative: The Digital Photo Idea Book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Author: Carla Rose
Publisher: Sams; 3rd edition (May 13, 2005)
Reviewer: Dorothy Freeman
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Intrigued by the title's promise, I recently checked out a book called "Sam's Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop CS2 in 24 Hours" written by Carla Rose. I design newspaper and magazine ads, brochures, fliers, posters, web pages and newsletters for an art museum. I've learned to use most of my software programs by the seat of my pants with only a handful of one-day workshop training programs. The trouble with 8 hour workshops is they are only effective, for me, if I can return to work and immediately apply the new knowledge to my daily tasks.
I've been using Adobe Photoshop for about two years, to crop and resize photos and to change them from color to grey scale. Most of the other skills I brought back from my workshops were quickly forgotten. Trying to retrieve this information, months later, for a special application was extremely frustrating and usually resulted in me altering my designs to accommodate my limited skills.
I don't know how long it would actually take for me to find twenty-four free hours in my busy job. But, what I did find in this book is a very clear and concise primer on "How to do just about anything you'd ever need to do with Adobe Photoshop." Even if you don't have time to actually "do" the chapter lessons, this format makes it easy to access information and directions on how to do anything you want to do in Adobe Photoshop CS2.
The book is divided into 24 "hour" chapters that start with a bulleted list of what you'll learn in the hour along with "Did You Know" and "By the Way" tips presented as sidebars which are easy to ignore or access depending on your skill level. The chapters end with a summary along with a short Q&A workshop, a quiz and applicable exercises. Again, making it easy to skip information if you don't need it or don't have the desire, or time to become an expert. The lessons are loaded with illustrations, conveniently placed near the explanatory text, making it unnecessary to flip through pages. It also includes a "Color Gallery", a group of plates that clearly illustrate some of the important color applications.
The book starts with the basics of learning how to create a new image, finding out what's in your toolbox, along with an excellent shortcut chart, and what all the menu options are. The book ends with an appendix of illustrations for each of the 17 program palettes.
I would recommend "Sam's Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop CS2 in 24 Hours" to anyone who uses Adobe Photoshop. Even if you don't have the latest version of Photoshop, you can still find clear directions for how to select areas, transform images, adjust colors, use layers, create paths, work with text, apply masks and filters, repair and enhance photographs and prepare your documents for printing or the web. For serious Photoshop users there are 2 chapters devoted to special effects, plug-ins and add-ons.
Compared to my New Rider's thousand page tome, "Adobe Photoshop: Limited Edition" written by Gary and Barbara Bouton, accessing information in this book felt like a walk in the park. I especially appreciated the author's straight forward style with none of the cutesy, made-up characters and scenarios that I find so tedious in the popular "for dummies" books.
So then landed in my lap this book. After struggling with "Photoshop for Dummies" and others of it's ilk this book was a godsend. Whats the point of talking about text masking techniques and CMYK versus RGB when all you really want to know is what is this brush and what does it do exactly? And this book is aimed squarely at this hapless audience, i.e. me. It has a series of logical steps that lead you steadily and carefully by the arm through all PS's set of labyrinthine and amazing (and you will be amazed) menus, tools, and functions. And it does it all very well apart from the occasional hiccup when something doesn't quite make sense, which leads me on the final chapters, or hours, of the lessons in this book, which is where it starts to come apart unfortunately.
The problem comes when it finally comes to the knotty task of original composition, and here it's as clear as mud. For instance in hour 18 it asks you to create a background using the gradient tool.. but it hasn't taught you about how to use that yet, that doesn't come until later in hour 20. Oops. Whats worse is the rest of the task is simply too advanced for the reader at this level of tuition to be able to grasp. Later in hour 20 it asks again for a original composition and reason goes completely awol, totally out the window here too. For instance: "Make a selection of the upper third of the sky... add clouds... and then do the same with the lower half". Right, so is that half the remaining two thirds of the sky or half the rest of the picture or what?!? Then: "I just create a brush that looks like a boat and add them to the picture..." uh, how do I do that then? Nowhere does it explain in the book how to do this. Theres some poor editing in the in the final chapters and it's a shame because it really lets the side down and it drops my review from a 5 to a 4 star.
However if you can ignore the hapless attempts at tuition at original art and when it sticks to what it's good at, namely teaching you the basics of what the various tools are and how they work, and fortunately thats 95% of this book, then it's very good indeed. This is simply the only Photoshop book thats aimed at newbies that I've come across that actually does what it says on the label. Highly recommended.
Overall, the book is very boring and somewhat difficult to follow. If you check out the earlier editions in this series (teach yourself PS in 24 hrs), you'll find out they didn't get a decent feedback except for some comments from the so called Adobe Certified Experts saying 'this is really good'. Well, being Certified Experts only means you have good skills in using PS. When it comes to judging a book, I'd rather trust readers like myself. Actually, I have gone through reviews of most PS (7, CS and CS2) books I could find on Amazon. You know what? This series is probably the only one which got bad reviews consistently. So, think again before you pull out your credit card.
By the way, I give the bad rating not because I spent money on the book. Fortunately I borrowed it after I got the software. Instead, I bought books by Martin Evening, Deke McClelland (the Bible) and Jack Davis (wow book). I am also waiting for the Real World PS CS2 coming out. I think all those are much better than this one.
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