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Saturday, June 17, 2006

In the Digital Section

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday at the local Barnes and Noble, browsing the digital photography and Photoshop books. I looked through PHOTOSHOP: Some of My Average Pictures and How I Made Them, by Ferdie Terkle; How To Create Totally Alarming and Incredibly Tasteless Pastiche Monstrosities Using Photoshop, by Semple Kedd; the ever popular Another Photoshop Book that Contains Everything the Other Photoshop Books Do (subtitled "And Absolutely Nothing They Don't—Our Promise To You"), by Slick Pagellan. As others have been, I was impressed by the beautifully produced Someone Else Made Money Off This Idea So Here's My Imitation by Zaphickle Zaphuffle.

I noticed that several books containing the words "for Photographers" in the title promise to waste no space on the many Photoshop features that have nothing whatsoever to do with photography, but then proceed to fill page after page with explanations of basic photographic concepts. These are probably very useful for people who don't understand ideas like "lightness" and "spotting." I admit I wasn't very impressed with Farfel Dolby's Here's Last Year's Book with a '2' After the 'CS,' or with Breaktooth Books' Master Digital Printing If You Have All The Same Software and Equipment I Have, and I'm mystified by Photoshop Explained Entirely In Pictures from We Get Fifty Bucks For This Press, as I have never met a book buyer who refuses to read. Well, okay, I have, but not one who also owns a computer.

A special mention for Gridiron Polecat's Everything I Know In Three Chapters and Then Five More Chapters, which is written in a refreshingly direct style.

All in all, I was impressed with the similarity and the layout of the books on offer. We'll try to visit and perhaps even review a few of the real highlights from time to time.


*Satire Alert. Any similarities of the names and titles in this post to actual books is purely accidental.


Blogger Michael said...

I like "Photoslop for Real Dummies" with HD quality screen shots.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Peter Smith said...

Your B&N experience underscores, again, that Photoshop is a graphics artists' tool and that photographers should start using LightZone.

12:22 PM  
Blogger John Roberts said...

When I bought my first digital camera, I knew nothing about image editing software. I figured I'd need all the info I could get my hands on to learn how to use any of them effectively. At Barnes & Noble there were 2-3 books on Paint Shop Pro, one on Digital Image Pro, none on PhotoImpact or Picture Window Pro, but whole shelves full of books on Photoshop. So the main reason I chose the Adobe product was the number of books available compared to the other brands. I don't regret my software decision, but I now I realize how few of those dozens of books are really worth having.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Don said...

Did you see the similar title:
Some of My Average Pictures and How I tried to Make Them Award Winning with Photoshop Technique by: Tryeden Flopped ??

3:08 PM  
Blogger scotth said...

I guess it is easy to make fun of all the books all out there; there certainly are a lot of them. I have learned a lot from reading books about photoshop, and photography. I still buy books about photography.

The types of books I buy evolves as I do. I might put back a book that tells me about how aperture affects depth of field, for example, but a similar book is what originally helped me figure it out.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

I'm not making fun of all the books out there. I'm only making fun of SOME of the books out there.


7:23 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

So, what are some photoshop books that you *do* recommend?

5:26 PM  
Blogger Daniel Sroka said...

Learning Photoshop by reading a book is like learning how to dance over the telephone.

9:27 AM  
Blogger alemieux3 said...

Can't disagree with that last comment more. When you're looking for a Photoshop book that's actually worth reading look for anything from Deke McClelland and Ben Willmore.

10:00 AM  

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