Wednesday, 11 July 2007

'Must Have' Books on PhotoShop/Lightroom

Further to my recent post extolling the virtues of Adobe's Lightroom - here are a couple of 'must have' books from the King of all things PhotoShop - Scott Kelby.

The first is Scott's book on Lightroom, and is a brilliant introduction to this new software and what it can do for your images. He covers pretty much everything, in a step-by-step way so that first time users will feel confident almost straight away.
This is what Adobe's manual 'should' have been, although I guess if it was then Mr Kelby would be out of a job.

If you've seen any other Scott Kelby PhotoShop books than you'll kinda know what to expect. Heaps of examples, step-by-step screen shots, and lots of quick tips make this a 'must have' if you are new to Lightroom - or even if you've been tinkering around with it since the beta release.

The one major difference between this and his other books is that the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers (yep, that's its full title) is meant to be read from start to finish. Scott takes you through a 'workflow', from import and sort, through to manipulation, print and show. It's all covered.

If you've had Lightroom for a while but feel a little intimidated by it, just got it and want to get to grips with it quickly, or even maybe contemplating getting it in the future - then this is 'the' book for you. Highly recommended.

Another 'highly recommended' book is Scott Kelby's 'Photoshop Channels Book.'

Now this one isn't for the faint hearted. It's more for the intermediate to confident Photoshop user and unlike most of his other step-by-step guides, it assumes a certain level of understanding from the get go.

Understanding channels is incredibly useful when masking, using certain sharpening techniques, and to really come to grips with colour manipulation in Photoshop. It's written with digital photographers in mind, but graphic designers will also benefit from getting hold of this book and really coming to grips with the myriad uses for channels in their work.

When I first heard Scott was doing a whole book on channels I thought 'jeez, how boring'. But boring it aint. It's amazing what can be achieved through the use of channels, and you'll be inspired in no time to start using them to make the most out of your own images.

One particularly cool effect Scott outlines that I can't wait to use for my own work is 'adding a beam of light' to create drama to an otherwise flat portrait. The applications for wedding images will almost be endless. Roll on next wedding season!

The Channels Book is also one that Scott recommends you follow pretty much chapter by chapter, although once you have it would be a book that you could dip into whenever you wanted for a quick refresher.

Kelby's a genius at teaching difficult techniques as simply as possible. If you come across any of his books, check them out. Oh, and while your at it, do yourself a favour and BUY IT!

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