reviews // 2009.03.12 08:10:02 [hh]

Heute in der Kurz-Review: vier neue Bücher zum Thema "Photoshop CS4" und Digital-Fotografie

Heute mal wieder ein Update vom Screen2.0-Büchertisch. Heute unter unserer kritischen Begutachtung: "David Pogue's Digital Photography: The Missing Manual", "Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual" von Lesa Snider King, sowie Deke Mc-Clellands mutimediale Video-Arbeitsbuch-Kombinationen aus der "One-to-One"-Serie: "Adobe Photoshop CS4" und "Photoshop Channels & Masks". Abgerundet werden die Kurzreviews durch Deke McClellands Top 10 Features in "Photoshop CS4".

"Digital Photography - The Missing Manual" (englisch, Softcover, 294 Seiten, 21,99 Euro) aus David Pogues "Missing Manuals" Serie ist ein Praxisbuch, das sich an Anfänger und Gelegenheitsfotografen wendet. Es deckt Kameratechnik, das Fotografieren, Retouche und Verwaltung am Rechner sowie das Weiterleiten und Publizieren im Web ab. Die Tips in diesem Buch sind basisch, aber gut.

Interessanter ist dagegen schon "Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual" von Lesa Snider King (englisch, Softcover, 776 Seiten, 39,95 Euro). Dieses Buch bietet eine geradezu enzyklopädische Aufbereitung aller Funktionen und Arbeitsweisen in der aktuellsten Version von Adobes Bildbearbeitungsklassiker. "Photoshop CS4" ist eine komplexe Software, die nicht unbedingt für gelegentliche Anwender oder Einsteiger geeignet ist. Dieses Buch hilft, eventuelle Lücken zu füllen. Leider gibt es dieses wohlstrukturierte und umfangreiche Buch derzeit nur in englisch. Aus dem Inhalt:

  1. The Basics
  2. Opening, Viewing, Saving Files
  3. Layers
  4. Selections
  5. Channels
  6. Cropping, Resizing, Rotating
  7. Joining Images
  8. Draining, Changing, Adding Color
  9. Correcting Color and Lighting
  10. Photoshopping People
  11. Sharpening Images
  12. Painting in Photshop
  13. Drawing with Vector tools
  14. Creating Artistic Text
  15. Filters
  16. Photoshop and Print
  17. Photoshop and the Web
  18. Actions
  19. Plug-Ins

Ein interessantes multimediales Konzept verfolgt Deke McClelland ("deke Press") in seinen "one-on-one"-Büchern: hier gibt es eine Video-DVD zusammen mit einem Arbeitsbuch. Die beiden aktuellen Bücher "Photoshop CS4 Channels and Masks"
(englisch, Softcover, 471 Seiten, mit 3 Stunden Videos auf DVD-ROM, 39,95 Euro) und "Adobe Photoshop CS4"
(englisch, Softcover, 513 Seiten, mit 4 Stunden Video auf DVD-ROM) sind beide sehr empfehlenswert. Ersteres bietet fortgeschrittenere Methoden zur Selektion und Manipulation von Bildteilen basierend auf Masken und Kanälen. Zweiteres ist eine Art "Best of" seines "Photoshop"-Videoblogs, das 12 Einzel-Lektionen (mit vier Stunden Video) enthält.

Hier gibt es noch Deke McClellands Top 10 Features in "Photoshop CS4":
  1. OpenGL navigation. Forget all that other stuff. Seriously, content-aware scaling? As if. So far as I’m concerned, Photoshop CS4 offers one and only one new feature: OpenGL navigation. Assuming you have a video card that supports OpenGL (most do), then here’s what you get: Slow continuous zooms. Rotate the view. Get the hand tool, toss the image, and watch it sail across the screen. Hold down H and click and hold for bird’s eye. And by God if every zoom level isn’t a thing of bicubically rendered beauty. (No idea what I’m talking about? Trust me, huge.) OpenGL navigation is so good it makes me hate CS3. Some nights, OpenGL navigation and I open a bottle of wine and just talk about how lucky we are just to have met each other. It’s that good.
  2. Content-aware scaling. Part of Adobe’s advance compositing suite, the Content Aware Scale command lets you stretch or squish low-contrast “background” elements independently of high-contrast “foreground” ones. Which means you can bring people together, turn horizontal images into vertical ones, and otherwise transform photographs intelligently. My guess: five years from now we’ll all be mocking this feature for what it got wrong. (The degree to which it can mess up certain images is fantastic!) But in the moment, you’re going to be singing its praises. This is Photoshop’s first truly magical feature since the magic wand. And that was 18 years ago, babies. (Okay, the healing brush was also magical. And that was, what, seven years ago? So we’re talking three magical features in two decades. Got to admit, magic is rare.)
  3. The tabbed-window interface. This feature has already proved controversial, with a few noisy Macintosh users in particular voicing disapproval. But speaking as a cross-platform guy with a decidedly Mac bias, it’s a net-sum gain. You now have the option of docking every image in a tabbed window. Click a tab to switch documents. Drag a tab to reassign priority. Plus, you can drag-and-drop a layer onto a tab to move that layer from one image to another. The tabbed window interface is a masterpiece of design and a thing of beauty.
  4. Target adjustment tool. Associated with three color adjustments—Hue/Saturation, Black & White, and Curves—the target adjustment tool lets you selectively modify colors and luminance levels by dragging in an image. For example, drag on a model’s lips to boost their saturation. No need to isolate a hue range. Just drag. Honestly, if you aren’t loving this tool within a week, check to make sure you have a pulse.
  5. Camera Raw 5. Essentially a logically organized and altogether independent color adjustment application, Camera Raw continues to be that top-secret tool that makes every version of Photoshop worth buying. This time, it offers the equivalent of nondestructive and highly customizable dodge and burn. Which you can apply as brushstrokes or gradients. Plus you can add vignettes inside crop boundaries. It’s like a free copy of Lightroom bundled inside every version of Photoshop. Which given that Lightroom costs more than a Photoshop upgrade, and this is just feature 5 of 10, is fairly significant.
  6. Improved toning tools. Paint with the dodge tool to lighten an image; paint with the burn tool to darken. Only thing, the tools used to suck. Now they’re so good, I actually use them on a regular basis. They’re still destructive (meaning they permanently change pixels), but in a good way!
  7. The enhanced Bridge 3.0. The Bridge is CS4’s asset manager, permitting you to preview and organize your images. Auto-updating workspaces, a review mode complete with image carousel, full-screen preview, folder-independent image collections, and search-based smart collections are just a few improvements. Oh, and you can assemble multipage PDF contact sheets from the Output panel.
  8. The Masks palette. CS4’s other new palette is largely another aggregator, providing convenient access to old features. Three new items: The wonderful Color Range command can now directly generate masks. Color Range can see base colors based on proximity. And you can blur edges parametrically (meaning non-permanently, by the numbers).
  9. The Adjustments palette. Nondestructive adjustment layers (which are independent layers of editable color adjustment) are now handled in a palette. Some folks will love the convenience, others will lament the many changes that were required to accommodate this feature. Mostly, though, the palette aggregates stuff that’s been there for ages. One new item, Vibrance, enhances color intensity without exaggerating noise.
  10. Spring-loaded tools. Temporarily select a tool by pressing and holding its shortcut key. For example, when retouching an image with the healing brush: Press and hold Y to temporarily get the history brush, erase part of your modification, and then release Y to return to the healing brush.