LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Mike Gondek reviews: Photoshop 7 Killer Tips by Scott Kelby & Felix Nelson

COW Library : Adobe Photoshop : Mike Gondek : Mike Gondek reviews: Photoshop 7 Killer Tips by Scott Kelby & Felix Nelson
Mike Gondek reviews: Photoshop 7 Killer Tips by Scott Kelby & Felix Nelson
A Creative COW "Real World" Book Review



Mike Gondek examines Photoshop 7 Killer Tips by Scott Kelby & Felix Nelson
Mike Gondek
Mike Gondek
Orland Park, IL USA

©2003 Mike Gondek and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
CreativeCOW leader, Mike Gondek examines Photoshop 7 Killer Tips by Scott Kelby & Felix Nelson and published by New Riders, (2003, 210 pages). Read on to find out why Mike says, ''Everyone who owns Photoshop should get this book.''


Preface
Photoshop books don’t spark my interest much anymore with web & video being so challenging. When asked to review Killer Tips, I jumped at the chance because I saw Scott Kelby speak and he really rocks the house each time. I admit borrowing tidits from Kelby like calling the Satin filter the Satan filter, and the soft light blending mode always gets my students in a romantic mood.

Felix Nelson is a good compliment to Scott as his experience is strong in illustration and photorealistic techniques.

The table of contents at the beginning is not useful, as it is organized by page number and not by content. If you are looking to reference that tip on the shortcut to cycle through the blending modes, you will want to use the index in the back. You have to flip 13 pages of advertisements from the back to get to find the index, and 22 pages from the front. I would have skipped the table of contents and put the advertisements at the end but before the index.

Smaller type for the index would reduce the pages to flip, and lets you see more at a glance. The body copy is a bit large and causes tennis neck when reading. Book publishers often in their contract require authors to do a minimum number of pages, so maybe they needed to fill up a couple of and also kept the screenshots large. Another book by New Riders Press is much worse with exactly 1000 pages called “Inside Photoshop 7”, which burns for about 3 nights your fireplace, and starts off with some nice colors as the CD melts away.

The positives
First you notice this book is printed entirely in color, which makes you want to buy it for the beautiful appearance It is loaded with screen captures which are very visual and helpful. You get a clean layout with 2 tips on most pages. The headlines provide a strong division between tips and help navigate your attention.

Some of these tips are really great, and if you come away with 4 really good ones, that at $10 a tip you already got more than your $39.95. I have high respect for the direction of this book as it is thinking out of the box, and filling a demand users have. Newbees will benefit enormously from this book, and advanced users will have one stop shopping for about 400 tips. I hope advanced users and the authors of killer tips will visit www.creativecow.net and read the excellent killer posts there.

OSX screenshots come out great as they are antialiased, but so is Windows XP, and hope they use some of those next time to support cross platform people.

I want to stress the importance of the content, you would have to buy so many magazines, and search so many web pages to get all of these tips. That is the strength of this book, and you will not regret purchasing it. Don’t let the negatives in the next section make you think this book Is not great, it is a new concept, and think they will do better with the next version, if you voice your opinion.

I have not seen any video material with Kelby, but his sense of humor probably have more impact there. I would like to see Kelby do some other programs besides Photoshop, and think my side would split on After Effects.

Pages 172 & 179 have 2 good tips on color management and explained in the simple easy to understand terminology. Though I knew these tips, it was good to see them explained in a way that people can understand. A book with screenshots making color management easy for everyone to control and not be scared of would be a good book.

Some of the screenshots show good design knowledge. Many Photoshop books are written by technical people with little design skill, and they could never put a book out with these real world tips.

Even a Photoshop Certified Expert might say, “No Way I didn’t know that tip” on a few, and that is what makes this book shine. This is an excellent way to prepare for the Adobe Certified Exam also.

The negatives
Kelby is great in person, but the stories beginning every chapter are not that interesting. Maybe they come off better live, but you will skip the stories as you encounter them, to get to the actual tips in the book. The tips could use a copy revision to condense them.

Page 12 takes an entire half-page to just tell you what I can say in one sentence. The marching ants around your selections can be hidden using Command H(PC: Ctrl H) to hide them.

Page 16 mentions that you can click and drag swatches in your brushes preset manager by holding Command (PC:Ctrl). You actually need not hold down that key.

Page 13 refers to applying the last curve you used by using Option Command M(PC: Alt Ctrl M). Page 17 is the same exact tip just that it is for levels. They really could have wrote this as one tip. Add the option to your keyboard commands for Curves, Levels, Hue,/Saturation to apply the last setting.

Page 18 discusses the pen tool not needing the option/alt key to change tools because there is a checkbox for auto Add/Delete. This misses a really big point, as they forgot about the convert/modify point too which does need option/alt to access it.

Page 42 mentions that you can steal color using the testube on the desktop. They forget to mention how inaccurate that is as it samples in RGB, and needs to be used with caution. You cannot match an illustrator color this way. So this is a killer tip if you work on final production work, or you can even screw up a background pattern matching a graphic this way because of color management.


Is this book for you?
This book is for every Photoshop user from advanced to beginner. The screenshots will help beginners do all these tips, and there are some really great tips for advanced users. They could have proofread the book a few times and added a few tips while being on the topic, but this book is worth the price if you want to pick up some new features and tips form Photoshop that are not in the online help.

Over this book is spectacular, but it was slapped together a little quickly and lost a few cows for repeating content and having a tip adding noise to drop shadows in one chapter and about picking up the object color in the other end of the book.


Conclusion
Everyone who owns Photoshop should get this book. The tips are not in the Photoshop manual, and can only be learned by using Photoshop daily for a long time or reading these 200 pages of killer tips.

More proofreading the tips to make them clear, concise and organized in content would make this a 5 Cow book. Reorganize the content by the names of the palettes themselves, and the chapters will have clearer division for readers to find them.. Photoshop 7 Killer Tips gets a respectable 3.5 Cows which is slightly above average. Kelby & Nelson can do better, and even a few more tips to the next version.





Click here to visit Creative COW's user forums and many other articles if you got here by a direct link to this page





Related Articles / Tutorials:
Adobe Photoshop
Going from Aperture to Lightroom? Put it in the Cloud!

Going from Aperture to Lightroom? Put it in the Cloud!

Why Wait for Apple Photos? Adventurer and editor Jigs Gaton takes us through some easy steps for migrating your photo library from Apple's Aperture and iPhoto into Adobe Lightroom.

Tutorial, Feature
Jiggy Gaton
Adobe Photoshop
THE BLUR LAB

THE BLUR LAB
  Play Video
Adobe Photoshop CS6 includes three new blurring filters. Rich Harrington will show you new ways to blur specific areas in a photo, as well as achieve tilt sheet and vignette effects.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Richard Harrington
Adobe Photoshop
THE ADAPTIVE WIDE ANGLE COMMAND

THE ADAPTIVE WIDE ANGLE COMMAND
  Play Video
Adobe Photoshop CS6 adds to an existing feature that you may not have even been using called Photomerge. Rich Harrington will show you the new Adaptive Wide Angle command to remove all of the lens and perspective distortion in merged photos. You will also learn how to use these exact techniques with video footage, too.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Richard Harrington
Adobe Photoshop
COACM: Plug In, Tune Out

COACM: Plug In, Tune Out

Adobe created quite a stir when it recently announced a public beta for the next major update to Photoshop. Is this the result of some very smart marketing, or perhaps an act of desperation, due to the harsh economic realities facing most creatives these days? What is the future of this critical production tool?

Editorial
David Biedny
Adobe Photoshop
Lite Bite: 10 Years Younger Using Gaussian Blur and a Mask

Lite Bite: 10 Years Younger Using Gaussian Blur and a Mask
  Play Video
In this "Lite Bite" tutorial Martin Ainsworth quickly demonstrates to ability to give someone a slightly younger appearance using a Gaussian Blur and a Mask to get some very effective and quick results.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Martin Ainsworth
Adobe Photoshop
Lite Bite: Using the High Pass Filter to Sharpen Images

Lite Bite: Using the High Pass Filter to Sharpen Images
  Play Video
In this very quick "Lite Bite" tutorial Martin Ainsworth demonstrates the effectiveness of the High Pass Filter to sharpen images and it's a lot quicker and easier that you might expect.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Martin Ainsworth
Adobe Photoshop
Lite Bite for Photoshop: Content Aware Fill vs Patch Tool

Lite Bite for Photoshop: Content Aware Fill vs Patch Tool
  Play Video
In this "Lite Bite" tutorial Martin Ainsworth gives a quick overview of when and why to use the Patch & Content Aware tool to aid Photographic editing.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Martin Ainsworth
Adobe Photoshop
Lite Bite for Photoshop: Using Droplets in Adobe Photoshop

Lite Bite for Photoshop: Using Droplets in Adobe Photoshop
  Play Video
This "Lite Bite Tutorial" will help you speed up and automate your work flow by using droplets created from actions in Photoshop. In a matter of minutes you will be up and running. The process is the same for both Mac & PC users.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Martin Ainsworth
Adobe Photoshop
Lite Bite for Photoshop: Using Masks on Groups

Lite Bite for Photoshop: Using Masks on Groups
  Play Video
Using masks to speed up web design can help you show multiple graphic ideas with the least amount of effort for best effect. In this tutorial, Martin Ainsworth willl show you how to add a mask to a folder and add content to it.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Martin Ainsworth
Adobe Photoshop
Lite Bite for Photoshop: Creating Custom Actions

Lite Bite for Photoshop: Creating Custom Actions
  Play Video
In this "Lite Bite" tutorial, quickly setup custom actions to speed up your photography workflow in Adobe Photoshop to rotate and add adjustment layers for 'Cross Processing' and 'Black & White.' This is a valuable time saving tutorial.

Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Martin Ainsworth
MORE
© 2016 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]