The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book
Book Review

The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book
by Scott Kelby

473 pages
ISBN: 978-0-321-50191-2
New Riders Press

Like so many other photographers and Photoshop users, I always look forward with delight when Scott Kelby publishes a new book or updates a previous edition of one of his works.

President of the National Association of Photoshop Users, Kelby has a canny knack for explaining things in short order form. You can always expect him to bring the latest techniques and useful shortcuts for getting things done. This new book, The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book follows that tradition.

If you have the previous edition of this book, you’ll certainly want this newest one if you’re now working in CS3. It’s completely updated with new photos, mostly new techniques, and with Kelby’s signature style and humor. Kelby is the author of nearly all the photos in his book. His photography, to me anyway, has greatly improved, making this book not only instructive but inspiring to look at as a photographer and Photoshop user. I’m often been appalled by how-to photography books that contain second and third-rate photos, but profess to talk about quality photography. The photo examples in this book are varied, from portraits, landscapes, abstracts, product shots, to a few of Kelby’s well done family photos. Each example demonstrates well the possibilities of what can be done with good photography and useful Photoshop techniques.

However, for professional and serious amateur photographers, the most difficult thing about developing a workflow process is deciding which image editing and management tools are best to use. Photoshop is no longer the only game in town. Adobe Lightroom, Apple’s Aperture or iPhoto, iView Media Pro and several other lesser known and useful programs are out on the market today and can adequately address many of the basic and intermediate needs of different photographers. But for those who have very advanced needs as photographers, Photoshop still remains the industry standard.

Photoshop CS3, like its predecessor, comes with three programs that could easily fit the needs of any photographer. In the The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book, Kelby covers all three programs which include Adobe Bridge (a image management program), Adobe Camera RAW (a RAW editing and conversion program), and, of course, the image editing program, Adobe Photoshop CS3.

Topics covered in this book include RAW image processing, such White Balance control, multiple photo editing, noise reduction, fixing chromatic aberrations, split toning, and black-and-white conversion. Other image editing chapters include various short 1-3 page how-tos including resizing and cropping photos, step-by-step color management, B&W conversions, portrait retouching, photo sharpening, and displaying photos.

Besides the excellent photography, the beauty of this 473-page book, like other New Riders books, is the layout. It’s nice size book with plenty of margin area for notes. Chapter headings appear on the bottom of every page, and the step-by-step instructions are nearly perfect. Even if you’re new to Photoshop, you still could use this book, though you might not always understand why you’re carrying out a certain steps. Kelby focuses more on the how than the why in what you do in Photoshop.

“Special Effects for Photographers” is one of my favorite chapters. I applied Kelby’s “Trendy High-Contrast Portrait Effect,” to one of my photographs and it worked pretty well. It was easy to follow the instructions and make changes to fit the character of my photograph. Because I find Kelby’s techniques so useful, I often turn them into Photoshop actions that I can just apply with a click of an F-key.

The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book is one that you’ll want to keep on your book shelf near your computer. My copy has several yellow stickies in it so that I use to revisit favorite techniques as I working on mainly my wedding photography images.

If you seriously want to use Photoshop CS2 or CS3, Kelby the best source to start with and use. rating: 5 out of 5

Bakari Chavanu is a wedding and event photographer. His blog, Forever Moments is updated on a regular basis.

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