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06-17-2011, 05:56 AM   #1
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What is the Photoshop "bible"?

I have Photoshop CS5 extended plus Lightroom 3 plus ACDSee Pro 4, plus a lot of other editors and maybe 30 plugins or more of one sort or the other that I have collected over the years.

They all have their strengths and weakness'. Anyway with all this software my understanding of how all this works is getting a bit scattered.

Thought I'd concentrate on Photoshop for a while and try to really master it.

Anyone recommend a very complete manual on Photoshop?
Also any recommendations for a dedicated PS forum?

I want something that shows me the full power of Photoshop with no hand holding. Why have Photoshop if not to take advantage of features that no other software has?

Anyway you get the idea.
Any recommendations?


Last edited by wildman; 06-17-2011 at 06:06 AM.
06-17-2011, 06:22 AM   #2
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There is a book called Photoshop Bible. You can buy it here:

Amazon.com: Photoshop CS5 Bible (9780470584743): Lisa DaNae Dayley, Brad Dayley: Books

As for a dedicated forum, though not on PF forums, Adobe has one.

HTH
06-17-2011, 07:30 AM   #3
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Check out books by Scott Kelby.
06-17-2011, 10:26 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
Check out books by Scott Kelby.
The library had a Scott Kelby book on PS CS4 so will try that.

06-18-2011, 05:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Also any recommendations for a dedicated PS forum?
For learning Photoshop, go here (not free, but has tons of learning and community resources!):
Learn Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Digital Photography | NAPP

QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I want something that shows me the full power of Photoshop with no hand holding. Why have Photoshop if not to take advantage of features that no other software has?
I've been using Photoshop professionally (as a retoucher) since 1992, and there are still parts of the app I don't understand or even touch - video editing and 3D objects, for example. Almost every book focuses on certain needs and workflows in Photoshop (retouching, graphic design, motion graphics...). The program is just too vast for a single book to cover "the full power" without being either gigantic or just an overview, and most "bibles" I've perused are both of those.

A good one for photographers is:
http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Photoshop-CS5-Photographers-Ultimate/dp/0240814835/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308401111&sr=8-1

One of the best books I've read recently, and keep as a constant reference, is specific to Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw:

Amazon.com: Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS5 (9780321713094): Jeff Schewe, Bruce Fraser: Books

That book has improved the quality of my Raw file conversion 200%, and I find I'm doing much less retouching to files after conversion.
06-19-2011, 04:58 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
I've been using Photoshop professionally (as a
retoucher) since 1992, and there are still parts of the app I don't
understand or even touch - video editing and 3D objects, for example.
Almost every book focuses on certain needs and workflows in Photoshop
(retouching, graphic design, motion graphics...). The program is just
too vast for a single book to cover "the full power" without being
either gigantic or just an overview, and most "bibles" I've perused are
both of those
I misspoke in my first post.

I do a lot of outdoor shots of birds in deep woods and such. My purpose
is to preserve as much as possible the ambiance of the natural lighting
that I find the birds in as well as preserve the natural colors of
their plumage. In other words I'm trying recreate what nature gave at
the time I pressed the shutter release not just get a pic with a lot of
"pop".

Often this leads to very difficult files to process. Strange color
balance problems and more dynamic range than the gear can handle well
for instance. What I have ended up with is a lot of files I believe
could be recovered well if only I had more advanced PP skills especially
with Photoshop.

What I want to do is learn the skills of manipulating light and color
very well and deeply. I know there are a lot of features in PS I will
never use as you said.

I'm willing to go back to these files and take a handmade craftsman like
approach. Take each file one at a time and treat them individually and
give them a lot of thought and time. I know there is a good image there
I just have to bring it out. But I'm not willing to do this until I feel
I'm skilled enough in PS to push it to it's limits.

So given this what book or books would you recommend?

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. I ran it through ACR
briefly so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.
It was so dark when I took this shot I couldn't read the camera settings well. 600mm glass.

Thanks,
Wildman.

Last edited by wildman; 06-22-2011 at 12:38 PM.
06-19-2011, 05:15 AM   #7
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Looks like a request for mastery of the typical PP tools for photographers, which can be hard to find as an instructional resource. Most books incorporate the more advanced tools useful for graphic designers and digital artists. The internet may be helpful to you: perhaps searching 'selective color' or 'using levels and curves' may point you in the right direction.

This article might help with simple yet robust and very effective colour manipulation techniques: Selective Colour in Photoshop - PentaxForums.com
06-19-2011, 01:47 PM   #8
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Nice photo!

QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
What I want to do is learn the skills of manipulating light and color
very well and deeply.
Book suggestion #1, by Martin Evening and Jeff Schewe, then hours and hours of screen time.

Photoshop is just like your camera - once you recognize the change that a specific dial or setting makes, you play with it until you "just know" when to use it. That doesn't mean mastery of all the tools, either... one of my good retouching friends still does most of his local color corrections on a single layer with the lasso tool (feathered) and the curves dialog, simply because that's all we had in Photoshop 2.5. (He almost fainted when I recently showed him the History Brush (from 1998)!)

06-20-2011, 12:56 AM   #9
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OK.
I have the Scott Kelby book on PS CS4 coming to my library through inter library loan and I ordered the Evening and Schewe book. That should do it.

Maybe in a year I will become a PS guru.

Thanks for all the advice,
Wildman
06-20-2011, 05:44 AM   #10
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Good luck! Your photos are already great, so you won't have as much work to do in PS as me...
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