The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Layers Book

The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Layers Book, by Richard Lynch ★★★★
This is an excellent though the advanced text on Photoshopping. I remain with the continued quest to produce a perfect photograph. Unfortunately, not only must one have the right tools, they also need the skills. Regardless of one’s skill with Photoshop, obtaining a properly taken photo in the field remains the most important, and requires the most practice. Unfortunately, one often wishes to obtain a photograph at a given setting, when the light isn’t right, and it simply isn’t possible to remedy the photographic technique to make a classy photograph. Unfortunately, it is those situations where Photoshop isn’t able to make up for field problems in order to help one get a prize-winning photo. Yet, the quest remains. Lynch takes Photoshop to another level. Having now read several intermediates to advanced technique books on Photoshop, I’m realizing the multiplicity of techniques to obtain a quality product. Lynch’s system uses multiple baby steps, each step forming another layer in the photo-editing process. This can become quite cumbersome but allows a person to safely retreat when the outcome seems to be going in the wrong direction. Sometimes, the steps are quite numerous in order to achieve a given effect, yet he repeats the technique enough times that one figures out what he is doing, and is able to duplicate his process. This is not an easy book and would be the best read more than once to grasp the techniques he is pointing out. Sometimes, he carries editing a little too far, in that much of his portrait works ends up slightly artificial, yet, it is probably the technique of most magazines. I had wished for more landscape and other forms of photography in the book. All in all, this is a valuable book to grasp. My last few Photoshop books will be a Channels and Masks book, and then yet one more Layers text. Hopefully, my photographic output will improve through all this effort.