This is a great book! I was searching through my Photoshop class notes and hunting in my textbook, trying to solve a retouching problem on a photograph. Then I went to the index of my new Deke McClelland Photoshop CS2 One-on-One book. It has a wonderful index with clear and detailed listings. I was able to go directly to the chapter that would solve my problem.
This book comes with its own teacher. There is a DVD with two hours of lessons. First you are supposed to listen to the lecture, then read the chapter, then do the exercises and answer the questions at the end of the chapter. This is actually fun to do. The book is very detailed and has lots of pictures as well as colorful inserts and “pearls of wisdom” which are either shortcuts or advanced learning tips. The DVD includes pictures that you will work with as you learn each lesson. The first thing that your teacher Deke McClelland has you do is change some of your preferences to match those that he uses. This will save you time as you go through the learning process.
Each chapter starts with a broad overview of the topic. Then he has a section that describes the projects that you will be doing, and he tells you which files to open from the DVD. As you read through the chapter, there are sidebars with more detailed descriptions of the topic under discussion. At the end of each chapter there is a quiz called “What Did You Learn?”
For example, Lesson 6 is called “Paint, Edit and Heal.” It is about painting and using the brush engine; adding color and texture; retouching a face using dodge, burn and color replacement tools; and restoring a damaged photo. The next lesson deals with masks and channels and the interesting ways in which they can be used. From there he goes on to filters: blurs, sharpening, other distortions and the new vanishing point filter. He not only explains what these things are supposed to do, but actually shows you how to use them in specific projects. There are two long lessons on layers, styles and specialty layers, and a lesson on text and shapes, the vector-based duo.
The earlier lessons in the book are about organizing and naming photos, the basics of automated color correction, color balance and making selections. The final lesson is about printing and output. Deke even includes a little disclaimer about what he doesn’t include in this book such as actions, photomerge, save for Web commands and ImageReady. It will be a long time before I am ready to tackle those!
This is an excellent book for home study. It is clear and logical all the way through, and is greatly enhanced by the projects and exercises. I had previously used his One-on-One for Photoshop CS. That is also a good book for learning, but I felt that the DVD with the CS2 book is more complete and more useful.
Both books are available at http://www.oreilly.com/.
Adobe Photoshop CS2 One-on-One
By Deke McClelland
First Edition July 2005
512 pages, $39.95