Photoshop CS4 Classroom in a Book

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Classroom in a Book, by Adobe Systems ★★★
This is an introductory text and workbook for learning Adobe Photoshop. It intends to take the beginner and provide a variety of possibilities as to what Photoshop can do for you. It is easy to read, and with few mistakes. The book provides a very broad spectrum of the functionality of Photoshop, including such things as publishing issues, 3D modeling, vector drawing, and working with scientific drawings, as well as working with usual landscape, portrait, and street photography. This is the strength of the book, in that one finishes this book realizing that there is a vast amount of possibility in the manipulation that one could do to a certain photo, and provides a wonderful artistic tool to express the imagination. The book is very weak in making one competent at Photoshop. One is directed through a number of projects, but rarely ever given an explanation as to why you are doing that or given an explanation as to how you plan out a project to accomplish your tasks. On the many tools, you are simply given the settings, without being told what all the various settings do. They lead you quickly through channels, layers, masking, etc., without giving you a clue as to how to use these modalities for your own projects. Thus, the book falls seriously short of instilling basic Photoshop competence and acts more like a Photoshop showcase. Coming from Adobe, they should be ashamed of what they have published, especially for the high price that they charge for this book. You will definitely need to read another text in order to gain Photoshop competence.