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on 9 May 2006
In his aptly titled book, Mark Galer pushes Elements' capabilities to new levels. Using crafty work-arounds to reproduce effects and techniques normally associated with Photoshop, he proves that this often belittled program can produce truly remarkable results.

The content is split into three distinct sections: the first concentrates on corrections to the overall image such as straightening and cropping, sharpening and preparing for print. Part two brings a little more creativity into play and features techniques for adding depth of field, changing the lighting tone of a portrait to add mood and airbrushing for a flawless face. The final chapter focuses on image montage. This section has projects for creating professional looking studio scenes from crudely shot subjects; panoramas and merging photos to create high dynamic range images.

The work-throughs are well laid out with clearly presented visuals. The stages are explained in detail, so there is a good sense of why a particular setting or operation is being performed. The text also contains useful tips on the tools being used as well as helpful shortcuts to speed up workflow. My only quibble is the omission of Mac versions of the modifiers for the keyboard shortcuts.

The accompanying DVD contains Quicktime movies of all the techniques in action (albeit slightly abridged versions). The supporting image files are available in four different formats (JPEG, TIFF, PSD and RAW) so the reader can choose to follow the techniques from start to finish or skip the time consuming stages and move on. There are custom settings used for certain stages and a collection of royalty free images to try with the various projects.

I would especially recommend this book to anyone who still believes Elements to be just a quick-fix editor. It's also well worth considering even if you use another program such as Photoshop.
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on 21 April 2006
Mark Galer's new Maximum Performance book looks at both the complex and basic aspects of Photoshop Elements with equal measure. Great for beginners and experienced alike, the title presents all the information you want to know in a very readable format. Stuffed with expert performance tips, easy to follow step-by steps and a very useful free DVD of demos and royalty free images to practise with.

The book contains inspirational portrait, landscape and travel shots by the author and some fantastic Photoshop edits to make your images stand out form the crowd.

Much recommended from me

Tim Daly
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on 4 September 2006
Mark demonstrates very clearly and comprehensively that professional editing can be achieved with this more affordable software package.

All the essential processes are simply explained and the sections deal with the sequences of image processing in a logical manner.

In Mark's usual style, he explains every stage in detail using superb visuals. The accompanying DVD contains super, royalty free, images to work through the projects with.

I would strongly recommend this book to beginners and experienced image editors alike. I learn something new every time I open one of Mark's books.

Well done again Mark.
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on 21 January 2015
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