6 x 9in
When I reviewed Scott Kelby’s How Do I Do That in Lightroom? my conclusion was that it was a great book for those familiar with the program. It’s not a training manual that starts at the beginning and strives to develop knowledge and skills; rather, it takes an approach that helps to enhance your work in the program.
Having now completed How Do I Do That in Photoshop? I can conclude precisely the same- a great book to enhance knowledge and use as a reference, but not a training manual. For me, it wasn’t as helpful as I am not too knowledgeable about Photoshop. Unlike Lightroom, which is a program for the pragmatic, Photoshop is a program for the creative. When Kelby gives a tip in Lightrooom, it’s obvious why you’re learning it. But with limited knowledge about all the possibilities in Photoshop- and not being able to imagine why I would need a certain skill- it becomes a bit odd to have a tip on how to erase part of a letter from font you’ve used in an image. Why do I want to erase part of a letter? Won’t layers allow me to keep the font out of the way of necessary imagery? Now, I’m sure there’s a great reason for this tip- it’s just not at all apparent to me.
Kelby’s chapters focus on topics including the interface, tools, Camera Raw, layers, adjustments, video editing, special effects, sharpening and “other stuff”. All are interesting, but some are of questionable value. For example, editing video really isn’t a popular Photoshop “thing” for most people. Final Cut, iMovie, Premiere Elements and Pro are built and well-suited for video- Photoshop is simply not the right tool, so why waste time addressing it? Similarly, Kelby’s Photoshop for Photographers books have been criticized for the amount of time spent discussing the use of Camera Raw, a separate program from Photoshop that is of limited use today since most photographers are using Lightroom, included in their CC subscription, for their raw work. It just seems that time can be better spent than covering things that can, but likely won’t, be done in Photoshop.
Despite these distractions, Kelby again entertains and shares valuable tips in his book. Photoshop is so large, so complex, and so powerful that help is required for all users, especially those who are self-taught and may be missing some great shortcuts. Kelby’s How Do I Do That in Photoshop? is a fun glance about this overwhelming interface with some insights, tips, and ideas, all presented in short order and with humor. Unlike the intimidating textbook Photoshop books, this is a brief and relaxing read. Enjoy!
basketweaver3 (verified owner)
I found How Do I Do That in Photoshop very useful and useable. The book is not a course in using and mastering Photoshop. This book gets me to the information I need/want in order to accomplish a specific task. I do not have to read through a lot of information to get to the information that I need. The instructions get to the point and lead to successful outcomes in editing my photos. At some point I hope to delve more deeply into Photoshop, but for now this book helps me get the results I want. Great information concisely presented and some laughs along the way.