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Mastering Photoshop Layers Book Review

Express Summary

Mastering Photoshop LayersMastering Photoshop Layers by Juergen Gulbins helps amateurs and digital photographers alike to quickly familiarize themselves with how layers work in Adobe Photoshop while optimizing time and effort for digital image processing. It covers an incredible amount of information, from showing what different icons stand for, what each adjustment does, to the effect one or another technique has on processing time.

The book explains basic and advanced digital image editing techniques thoroughly. It follows the principle of basics first, then details. Beginners will benefit from a clear and in-depth description of most tools, panels, functions, best practices and techniques to help them find the combination of techniques that better suits their purposes. Intermediate users can focus on the digital image editing techniques that are new to them or refresh their knowledge of what is available in the current version of the software.

This 298-page book is published by Rocky Nook and is available in both paperback and electronic Kindle edition at Amazon.

Book Review

With the incredible and speedy surge of digital photography, the desire for processing digital images efficiently has greatly increased and turned towards the main-stream of digital artists. Mastering Photoshop Layers by Juergen Gulbins is a comprehensive guide to Photoshop layers which are one of the most pervasive features for creative image manipulation. This book aims at helping save time and effort while processing digital images with Photoshop's extensive set of tools.

Photoshop layers and tools are powerful options for image processing. This book shows a varied selection from simple to complex corrections and effects that can be achieved using Photoshop. Program icons and keyboard shortcuts, didactic illustrations of the different panels and menus as well as downloadable image examples abound in this book. Pertinent diagrams and illustrations tremendously help while following steps to complete tasks.

This book is divided in ten sections that cover Photoshop-layer topics including: Using layers for selective or global adjustments; Layer masks and selections; Blending modes and merging layers; Smart objects and filters; Layer styles; Organizing your layers and even alternatives to layers. A final section offers sample edits, making sure that the reader has numerous examples to try out techniques described in the book.

Mastering Photoshop Layers includes detailed step-by-step coverage of key photographic topics such as focus stacking, panorama stitching and HDR blending. These techniques are often automated by software to give results quickly but Photoshop layers can be used to produce results which are higher-quality and more fine-tuned.

For readers with a basic level of experience with Photoshop, this book is a great resource. The structured, detailed information and examples contained herein, will make understanding and using layers for digital image processing easier from the start. Basic layer techniques are described in detail at the beginning of the book and become a reference point for more advanced processing work in subsequent chapters. Summaries, time-saving shortcuts, tips and tricks and recommendations are shown at the end of each chapter.

Intermediate Photoshop users can benefit from the thorough descriptions of what Photoshop layers can do, or refresh their knowledge of what's available. The book contains very useful notes regarding subtle differences between the most current versions of the software Photoshop CS6 and CC with references to previous versions when necessary which have slight differences in their user-interface panels and functions.

The author clearly masters Photoshop layers and provides alternatives when other solutions exist that can render superior results. Plugins, external tools and even Adobe's Camera RAW are referred to and described when more appropriate for a certain task.

Overall, the book is well written with a highly instructional style. While dense in some parts due of the amount of included details, such as functionality required for described editing techniques, this book makes an excellent reference for everything Photoshop layers can do for digital photographs. Complete novices may have trouble following though as prior Photoshop knowledge is obviously assumed, as is necessary for any book teaching an advanced topic.

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