book reviews

How to do Everything with Photoshop CS2 by Colin Smith

This book was my introduction to Colin Smith. Prior to reading the book I decided to visit his site to see what kind of designer he is, and how he uses Photoshop. His site listed some of his awards and displayed some of his techniques, of which I might add are pretty impressive. After visiting his site I decided to read/skim through the book to see what kind of information he would present. Being that I've been using Photoshop for some time, I wasn't expecting to learn much from the book. I was expecting a bunch of very basic information for users new to Photoshop. To my surprise the book covered everything from the fundamental to the more advanced techniques and tools used in Photoshop.

The information was well written and to the point. The wording wasn't cumbersome which made the reading interesting as opposed to the boring monotony of user manuals. The writing felt more like a conversation as opposed to a read, of the which I enjoyed.

Not only was the information thorough, so was the colorful layout. The colors were used in tandem with the layout making it easy to follow the topical layout. The colors in the layout as well as the colorful images used in the tutorials were eye catching and interest keeping. The colors were useful in conveying the information provided. This also helped as a reference guide, because each topic was emboldened in a purple font making it easy to flip through and find the topics that may catch your interest.

Also included was a behind the scenes gallery with techniques from Photoshop professionals. This section introduces the reader to real world techniques used by professionals in the design industry. I particularly liked this section, because I'm always interested in how others get to the end result. The step-by-steps were easy to follow along and even recreate.

I would recommend this book to the novice and any ongoing Photoshop user. The book was well put together and entertaining. I would have liked it better if the book came with a bonus CD of images or plug-ins. Even still, the easy to use style makes it a welcome addition to any Photoshop library.

Reviewed by: L. Taylor