The Photoshop Elements 4 Book for Digital Photographers

Computer programs can be confusing and hard to run unless you know what you’re doing or know where to get help. You buy a program for fifty or more dollars and still can’t use all of its features without spending hours trying to figure them out from the help section of the program. Buying the book that should have come with the program (not to be confused with the series of books by that title) can be a costly prospect as well. Many times I have bought a program and spent hours cruising the information highway we know as the Internet to figure out many of the parts of the program I just scrimped and saved to get.

I have had Photoshop Elements 4 for a several months and just bought the companion book to the Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 called The Photoshop Elements 4 Book for Digital Photographers. I have written some tutorials about this program but wanted to get a handy book to refer to when working with Elements. One reason I wanted a separate book for some of those harder to accomplish editing areas was so I don’t have to run to the aid of the rest of my household when they are trying to do things with Elements. I wanted a book that was not a step by step in how to create a certain kind of special photo effect or project but a step by step in the use of each part of Elements. For instance when I have a portrait I want all the things I need to accomplish to that photo like fixing blemishes and adjusting skin tone in one area of the book so we can refer to this book when we are accomplishing things like this. I have seen other books for Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 4 that have projects and other special picture editing tips but I don’t want a book or reference that tells me how to create only one project type at a time. I want a reference guide to help with each function in the program.

This book tells in chapters the functions of the program and tells how to use each feature, instead of telling you what photo project you want to create and then going step by step to accomplish this. The book tells in simple language and with plenty of pictures how to use many of the features of the program and has many special tips and techniques all in sections that make sense. All the portrait enhancements are in one chapter and others have things like color corrections, cropping and resizing, organizing and printing out your finished photos. Many of the things you would want Elements for is in this book. I recently did something many people are starting more and more to do with digital photography. My son is graduating high school and with the rising cost of photographers I went the do it yourself route and took his pictures myself, or my wife did most of the actual shutter bugging. I did the editing, and used step by step instructions on how to fix blemishes, adjust skin tones and all the other things professional photographers do to photos to get them to that finished look you see in the yearbooks. This book has those instructions in easy to follow steps with everything you need to know for doing your own portraits and all kinds of other image editing.

You can do this kind of professional looking editing with a decent camera and Photoshop Elements 4 along with a good book for step by step tutorials. When we took the pictures in to get reprints and wallet sized pics, Walmart asked for the photo release from the professional photographer who took the pictures or they would not reprint them. My wife had to explain that she took them and they finally believed her. Looking at the back and having no watermark from a photographer helped a bit but this shows what you can do with some practice and a decent set up with help. The help comes from the book; the rest is taking the time and practicing with the program to get those images you want.

Chapters of the book are Organizing, Working with RAW Images, Resizing and Cropping, Color Correction, Fixing Image Problems, Masking, Retouching Portraits, Removing Objects, Special Effects, Photo Restoration, Sharpening, Showing Photos, and Creating Presentations. This book covers all the things that are in Photoshop Elements that you will be doing with photos and images on a regular basis. Maybe not all the time with every photo but the many things that will become part of photo editing is here. The author of the book is Scott Kelby, editor and publisher of Photoshop User magazine and editor of Nikon’s digital software magazine. He has also worked with Adobe and their Photoshop programs for years, he is training director for the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour, is featured in a series of Adobe Photoshop training DVD’s and has been training Adobe Photoshop users since 1993. I liked another of his books, The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers, but decided to go with this one as it goes more in depth with this program and this version of Elements.
I like this book over several others including the book from Adobe because it gives each chapter to the same area of editing and gives in clear step by step instructions what your doing and how to do it. Many of the books I have seen out for Photoshop Elements 4 are either those project books with many things I don’t care about in them or have too much of the things that I already know like the organizing. Many of the things in this book are laid out by the tool or by the type of thing you’re trying to accomplish, not the total project your trying to accomplish or some special type of photo you want to create.

The Photoshop Elements 4 Book for Digital Photographers gives you the help you need when working with photos. It tells you step by step how to do the things you will be using Photoshop Elements 4 the most for. The book is laid out so you can easily accomplish the editing if your images and gives you instructions for the one area everybody uses their cameras for, pictures of people.

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