Adobe Photoshop Master Class

Part coffee table art book and part teaching guide, this book is aimed at experienced users of Photoshop who employ the package in creative and artistic ways.

The author is an artist rather than a graphic designer, with extensive photographic connections. In Adobe Photoshop Master Class, he presents some of his work and explains the processes behind it.

The first few chapters, the Essential ones, guide the reader through the fundamentals of the digital process: Photoshop basics, monitor calibration, scanning, tone, colour, sharpening, file size and resolution are covered. Then come the Core chapters, which are named not for the software techniques but for the visual principles, and include such topics as scale, proportion, multitone, focus, and multiple exposure.

Each Core chapter follows the same pattern. One of Caponigro's works is presented with his thoughts about the image and the story behind it, followed by detailed technical explanations and discussions indicating how he achieved the final result, illustrated by thumbnails. Finally, there is a concise step-by-step guide to the method used.

One slightly annoying aspect of the book is that all the screenshots and key commands are geared to Mac users.

Many of the author's works appear to incorporate photographs he has taken himself, which means, of course, that these photos must be scanned into the computer. It seems a marked oversight that there is no substantive discussion of the pros and cons of digital cameras in this context.

For accomplished and creative users of Photoshop, this book should certainly present inspiration for further exploration of this package's many capabilities.

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