Having bought my upgrade to the latest version of Photoshop and had a bit of a play with it, it’s time to actually learn how to get more out of it. While there are lots of nifty tutorials in the ridickerous number of photo magazines that I read, I wanted a more general guide to using this ever-so-slightly complicated software. And while there are some good web resources, I’m the kind of old fuddy-duddy who prefers books, which have the advantage that you can read them when you’re not in front of a computer.
As it happens, there aren’t very many Photoshop CS3 books available yet – lots are due to come out over the next few months, but right now the choice is limited. But as one of the few available books is this rather nice hands-on tutorial, things aren’t all that bad. Much of this book is adapted from the Photoshop CS2 version, but it covers the basics of editing, selecting, tweaking, twiddling and a good selection of the newer features.
The bundled CD includes the files you’ll need to work through the exercises, including finished versions so you can compare your efforts with the professionally finished versions. There are also some short QuickTime video demonstrations, which are pretty good.
I got the book a week or two ago, and this afternoon was the first time I had the time and the inclination to start working through it. And having spent around five hours with only the briefest of breaks , I’ve worked through six of the fourteen chapters. All of which has given me a better understanding of such useful things as masks, channels and selections, and a much better idea about making better use of layers. And that’s before I’ve even got to the chapters that are more specifically about working with photographs. Not a bad way of spending a soggy Sunday afternoon…
If you’re looking for a detailed reference guide to Photoshop CS3, this isn’t it. I suspect that the forthcoming Missing Manual might fill that role. The title is more appropriate than usual, because unlike previous versions of Photoshop, CS3 comes with nothing more than a “how to install it” booklet. The full text of the manual is in the actually rather good online help, but that’s a bit tricky to read on the bus. But if you’re after an easy to use guide to getting started with the latest version of Photoshop, then this might just be what you need.
Note: I’ve included an Amazon link above, but they don’t seem to have stock at present. As with all computer-related books, you might get better results from those nice Computer Manuals people.
 And quite possibly the CS version….
 Prehistoric link removed