Friday, January 19, 2007

Fabulous Photoshop Book

Photoshop CS2 is an amazing program with so many capabilities and features that the learning curve is quite steep. Various books, web sites and magazine articles have helped me over the years as I've sought to utilize more of Photoshop's capabilities and to enhance aspects of a particular photo. Nothing like necessity forcing one to learn another skill in Photoshop.
My new favorite book is Vincent Versace's "Welcome to Oz: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop", published in 2007 by New Riders. Vincent walks the reader step-by-step through the process of optimizing 5 different still photographs. Included with the book is a CD containing high-res versions of the 5 still photographs used as examples and enables the reader to follow Vincent's steps.
Vincent begins with the usage of image maps that provide a template for optimizing an image's depth of field, lighting and light-to-dark range. From Chapter One alone, I have learned several masking techniques, shortcuts, as well as how to utilize the Filter>Render>Lighting Effects feature in Photoshop more effectively.
Several years ago I shot an image of the hillside village of Gordes in Provence on film. I've scanned the image and played around in Photoshop before, but never achieved the look I was striving for. Along came "Welcome to Oz", and I have finally made a print that conveys the scene the way I wanted. See the before and after examples above. Can't wait to see what new skills and techniques await in the four remaining chapters.

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