Copy and Edit-->Paste (that's just not the way Elements works). The lack of circle, rectangle, and line tools also drove me nuts (no, you've got to create a selection and Edit-->Stroke it!). The Help system/documentation doesn't really cover this well. Now that books have helped me get a good grasp of Elements concepts, what I really need now is a good dose of inspiration and creativity. I was so proud of my creation for Challenge #35, and then I looked at the other submissions :-( But that's OK, I'm learning! :-) [allowsmilie] => 1 [showsignature] => 0 [ipaddress] => [iconid] => 0 [visible] => 1 [attach] => 0 [infraction] => 0 [reportthreadid] => 0 [isusenetpost] => 1 [msgid] => <2ccd9d30.10@webx.la2eafNXanI> [ref] => <2ccd9d30.-1@webx.la2eafNXanI> [htmlstate] => on_nl2br [postusername] => Lou_M@adobeforums.com [ip] => Lou_M@adobeforu [isdeleted] => 0 [usergroupid] => [membergroupids] => [displaygroupid] => [password] => [passworddate] => [email] => [styleid] => [parentemail] => [homepage] => [icq] => [aim] => [yahoo] => [msn] => [skype] => [showvbcode] => [showbirthday] => [usertitle] => [customtitle] => [joindate] => [daysprune] => [lastvisit] => [lastactivity] => [lastpost] => [lastpostid] => [posts] => [reputation] => [reputationlevelid] => [timezoneoffset] => [pmpopup] => [avatarid] => [avatarrevision] => [profilepicrevision] => [sigpicrevision] => [options] => [akvbghsfs_optionsfield] => [birthday] => [birthday_search] => [maxposts] => [startofweek] => [referrerid] => [languageid] => [emailstamp] => [threadedmode] => [autosubscribe] => [pmtotal] => [pmunread] => [salt] => [ipoints] => [infractions] => [warnings] => [infractiongroupids] => [infractiongroupid] => [adminoptions] => [profilevisits] => [friendcount] => [friendreqcount] => [vmunreadcount] => [vmmoderatedcount] => [socgroupinvitecount] => [socgroupreqcount] => [pcunreadcount] => [pcmoderatedcount] => [gmmoderatedcount] => [assetposthash] => [fbuserid] => [fbjoindate] => [fbname] => [logintype] => [fbaccesstoken] => [newrepcount] => [vbseo_likes_in] => [vbseo_likes_out] => [vbseo_likes_unread] => [temp] => [field1] => [field2] => [field3] => [field4] => [field5] => [subfolders] => [pmfolders] => [buddylist] => [ignorelist] => [signature] => [searchprefs] => [rank] => [icontitle] => [iconpath] => [avatarpath] => [hascustomavatar] => 0 [avatardateline] => [avwidth] => [avheight] => [edit_userid] => [edit_username] => [edit_dateline] => [edit_reason] => [hashistory] => [pagetext_html] => [hasimages] => [signatureparsed] => [sighasimages] => [sigpic] => [sigpicdateline] => [sigpicwidth] => [sigpicheight] => [postcount] => 12 [islastshown] => [isfirstshown] => [attachments] => [allattachments] => ) --> book buying advice - Adobe Photoshop Elements
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book buying advice - Adobe Photoshop Elements

I have put my tentative conclusions about book buying below. But since others are much more familiar with the range of books available, I would like to know if people would agree with my assessment. I don't want to be handing out bad advice. 1) If you can afford two books, get the Mikkel Aaland's _Photoshop Elements 2 Solutions_ first and then move on to the Lynch book 2) If you can afford only one book, get the Lynch book if you have some academic capacities, and get the Aaland book if you want to avoid heavy lifting. (Since both ...

  1. #1

    Default book buying advice

    I have put my tentative conclusions about book buying below. But since others are much more familiar with the range of books available, I would like to know if people would agree with my assessment. I don't want to be handing out bad advice.

    1) If you can afford two books, get the Mikkel Aaland's _Photoshop Elements 2 Solutions_ first and then move on to the Lynch book
    2) If you can afford only one book, get the Lynch book if you have some academic capacities, and get the Aaland book if you want to avoid heavy lifting.

    (Since both books are published by the same publisher (Sybex), I would suggest that they be available together as a package, as introductory and intermediate texts, with some discount. As it is at the moment, you can get both for a total of $56 including shipping from Amazon, if you don't mind waiting a week or two for delivery. I ended up paying $44 (including tax) for just the Lynch book.)

    In any case, can this advice be improved upon?

    Paul (Bullen)
    Paul_Bullen@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: book buying advice

    I have both books and they are complimentary in scope. $56 is a great price. One needs to master the material in the Aaland book before embarking on the Lynch book which is more advanced in concept.
    Ken
    Kenneth_Liffmann@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Also is the option of looking for the used books on Amazon, I have had very good results with this, every one I have purchased has been in new or almost new condition, and sometimes less than 1/2 price. You just have to wait a bit longer to receive them.
    Jane
    Jane_Carter@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: book buying advice

    OK, I guess I will stir the waters a little bit. Personally, I wouldn't go purchase a lot of books. I wonder how many people actually take time to read the help file that comes with Elements. There's actually a lot of excellent information provided there. And there are some excellent web sites that have tutorials that are very good. But in my opinion, the best thing anyone can do is start out by experimenting on a couple of non-critical photos. Find out for yourself what the different features in Elements will do for you. Get a feel for the program under your belt, and then take a look at the books that are available. I found that I had quite a different perspective on what I was interested in after I had played with Elements for a while. Nobody should expect to put out a masterpiece on their very first project. Everyone should take the time to become familiar with the different brushes and filters and masks, etc., etc., etc.. What Elements books have I purchased? None yet. There is a lot about the program that I still don't understand, and therefore don't use. But I'm able to get the results I want. I'm not bragging, believe me. But on other forums not even related to Elements the new users often ask questions like, "What will happen if I...." The program is sitting on the computer right there in front of you. Try things out, and if they don't work don't save the file.
    Jim_Hess@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Jim, I think it's a matter of personal learning style; some derive the
    maximum benefit and quickest education from books and tutorials, while
    others thrive on a learn-by-doing approach such as you've describe.. I'm in
    the first category, I believe, and have amassed a fair number of Photoshop
    and Elements books. For me, the books not only show me the basics, but also
    give examples of techniques and hidden capabilities that I would never have
    been exposed to otherwise. But that's just my way - everybody does it
    differently, and that's great!

    Chuck


    Chuck_Snyder@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Chuck,

    Good point.

    Jim
    Jim_Hess@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Oh yeah. I knew a fellow that could only process information by writing it.
    I am ashamed to say that I found it very amusing to see him constantly
    writing,..... and I mean constantly. At meetings, at lunch and I was told
    he even wrote while in the rest room. Not just notes; Full word
    descriptions of what he saw, heard and thought. It never ended. (sorry, I
    am chuckling about this again)

    But I myself like Jim learn PSE mostly by experimenting, reading "help" and
    of course this forum :)

    Pete



    Pete_D@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: book buying advice

    The best learning uses a balance of those resources. The help files are good, but it is quite useful to see the examples that the books give us. Internet resources are amazing; it is the collective wisdom of all of us using the program. It's a lot easier, and more efficient, to consult a book for the basics and use the internet for more in-depth, specific research. Trial and error leads us to questions that can be answered quickly by the book and internet resources.
    I learned to program javascript this summer by looking stuff up online. Then I got a book (one book, not a pile) at the end of the summer, and my efficiency shot up.
    I think people (my dad!) make the mistake of buying a whole bunch of books, and then hardly using any of them, or feelig overwhelmed. Better to just buy one or two books, and use them until they can no longer answer your questions.
    Eric_Matthes@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: book buying advice

    I go with Chuck on that subject. I do buy books (not tons, but let's say, many!) because they show
    me how to use the various tools in an integrated way. I mean individually, for the tools, on-line
    help and manuals are ok. But, say the layer's blending mode, they can be very handy for various
    things (retouching a picture for example), but I wouldn't have figured this out by myself. So
    before I buy a book, I take the time to look through the procedures shown and if I see stuff I would
    have never imagined doing, then the book is made for me!

    Online help is fine for a precise description of a tool, recipes are Ok, at best. But to learn how
    to make a crystal ball, for example, you can't find this in help, neither in the recipes. Once I
    learned how to make a crystal ball, I can make a wine glass, a window, etc.

    For PSE, the instruction manual is quite complete at listing and describing the tools, but not using
    them in a workflow or to achieve a complex task. I needed more help than what it provided.

    For other softwares, I will need a book I can search and find what's missing in the on-line help or
    the manual. In that case, what I do is I take each book (well, those that appears to have a
    reasonable price / quality ratio) and search for specifics, and look up in the pages for what I
    searched. If I can't find anything, or that I need to constantly rephrase my search to find
    something, the book isn't for me.

    My best books are Photoshop 7 Wow book and Photoshop 7 Down & Dirty Tricks (many of these lessons
    can be adapted for Photoshop Elements). Also, The Photoshop 7 book for digital photographers (this
    one is not easily adaptable for PSE).

    Ray
    P.S. If an editor could make a book that stays open with a plastic spiral binding... That would be
    the icing on the cake!


    Ray Guest

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    Default Re: book buying advice

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    Dick_Smith@adobeforums.com Guest
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  11. #11

    Default Re: book buying advice

    JIM,
    I tend to buy too many books just as I do with equipment. I should do more with the experimenting factor but, doggone it, I'm simply too fascinated with this Challenge. My PSE Users' Guide book stays open pretty good and shows the wear to prove it. I am definitely one in favor of formal classes. Better still, ones that cost $$. I need the discipline!
    Marty
    Marty_Landolt@adobeforums.com Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Ray and Eric hit it on the spot: books, tutorials, and help systems are all complementary to each other.

    The Help system and doentation are very good at the 'what', but very light on the 'when' and 'why' of things. I've done more with Elements in the past few weeks (with Aaland's and especially Kelby's books) than I have in the previous year.

    For someone not used to image editing programs, Photoshop is hard to get a grasp on. It's getting better as I read books, but I remember the frustration of not being able to, say, click on a layer and do an Edit-->Copy and Edit-->Paste (that's just not the way Elements works). The lack of circle, rectangle, and line tools also drove me nuts (no, you've got to create a selection and Edit-->Stroke it!). The Help system/doentation doesn't really cover this well.

    Now that books have helped me get a good grasp of Elements concepts, what I really need now is a good dose of inspiration and creativity. I was so proud of my creation for Challenge #35, and then I looked at the other submissions :-( But that's OK, I'm learning! :-)
    Lou_M@adobeforums.com Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: book buying advice

    This is a great discussion - very helpful to me as I tend to buy too many books as well. Then, it occurred to me in the midst of printing a number of the discussion strings from this forum that I could create my own book by simply hole-punching and putting in a binder all of the discussions I have printed - kind of a "duh??!!" experience! And, my new "book" contains only the ideas/directions, etc. that match my current needs for using PE2. Just a thought! Betsy
    Betsy_Burch@adobeforums.com Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Betsy,

    I have done the same for my camera and for Photoshop 7. I have gathered a number of tips and
    recipes (I've either created or got from the web), made them into a Word doent, that sits on my
    desktop. I've created an index and a table of content and now, I am able to find everything I need!

    Ray


    Ray Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Lou,

    There's a book I got on sale (20$) entitled : Creative Thinking in Photoshop. You might wanna take
    a look at this one. Don't buy it if it's at the regular price, it's not exactly worth it. Not that
    the book is bad in itself, it just wasn't *exaclty* what I was looking for. But for the price, it
    was ok.

    Ray


    Ray Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: book buying advice

    It may surprise some...I DEFINITELY think you need to try to read the manual and learn the basic tools and functions before bothering with a book.

    My personal idea would be to experiment...however, that is pretty vague. What might be more helpful is to gather up a few images and set goals for correcting each. for example, "1) learn how to correct red-eye, and 2) work with the red eye tool and clone stamp" Biting it off in little bits -- 1-2 tools a day for a month -- will get you up to speed pretty quickly.

    I'd be glad to help some people out with that right here on the forum (or on mine). I don't think you should have to buy a book to cover the basics. That really should be part of the program!

    Post questions or send me an email (check my profile).

    Richard Lynch
    Richard_Lynch@adobeforums.com Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Richard,

    I think there is a time and place for everything. A book, for me, is really fine when I am in the
    subway train, or at lunch time. This forum is fine when I work in front of the computer.

    Learning the tools is fine, and I did it. Now, if I want to acheive a creative image (from scratch,
    just like Jodi does, for example), the PSE manual is really of little help. Sure, I'll know how to
    use the tools, but I still won't have no clue as to where to start, how to build my various
    elements, etc. That's why I believe books that show how to do stuff are great. Once you get the
    general idea, you may experiment and create your own path.

    Also, there are two main types of book : Photo restoration and Creativity help. There are probably
    other books around, but those two types are the most common. I prefer the second type, books that
    help me create stuff.

    Ray


    Ray Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: book buying advice

    "A book, for me, is really fine when I am in the subway train, or at lunch time. This forum is fine when I work in front of the computer."

    I don't know...I'd hate for people to read any of my stuff when they weren't in front of a computer as there is no way to follow it and test it out. I write with the idea in mind that people are sitting there (like I am) hands on the controls.

    "Learning the tools is fine, and I did it. Now, if I want to acheive a creative image from scratch, the PSE manual is really of little help. Sure, I'll know how to use the tools, but I still won't have no clue as to where to start, how to build my various elements, etc."

    The same advice I gave earlier applies in a slightly different way. You don't go trying to create a scene with, say, birds in a field without having some sense of putting objects together...how they are effected by light and shadow, etc. Teaching that in an Elements book can only be rudimentary...while I think there are some advanced examples I can think of off the top of my head, it breaks down into highlight and shadow (for shaping and texture), and tone and color...The intangible part is your ability to envision the result, and the latter is very difficult to teach. I'd go in a different direction entirely and suggest a studio art class!

    You might benefit from various effects books (like Al Ward's: <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764525972/newwriting/> ). what I'd do to practice is create objects from scratch that you might want to use in a scene. For example, you might try to create a bicycle tire (more difficult than you might think!), or other static objects (windows, walls, patterns, textures)...Even simple objects like billiard balls can pose interesting challenges. there aren't many books that walk you through object creation...most get involved with simple things like red-eye.

    Name an object...we could take a look at some approaches to creating it.

    Richard
    Richard_Lynch@adobeforums.com Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Richard,

    I won't argue with you that reading a computer book in front of the computer is the preferable thing
    to do. I don't know for others, but I do read an entire chapter in advance before I actually
    proceed in trying the examples in the book. Many times, it helps to understand the general
    direction which I'm embarking on, and clears away some questions that would pop up while doing the
    exercises. I read a chapter while going to and getting back from work, always carrying PostIt
    bookmarks in my bag. When I see something I don't understand, or an example that strikes me, I put
    a sticker on the page, to make sure I'll try this one the same evening. The way I see this, it's
    like getting ready for a class. I don't usually wait for the teacher to read the book in front of
    the class, I tend to arrive a little prepared ;-)

    I have Al's book (I said I didn't have a ton of books, but I do have several ones!). This is
    exactly the kind of book I like. It shows how to create stuff. From there, I got the idea and
    created other things. Photoshop 7 Wow Book is also great for that. And, of course, I have your
    book (for that matter, I wrote to you for some questions, a few months ago). At the time I was
    trying to read it, it was way over me. Now, I think I should revisit it.

    But currently, I'm working with Bryce, so I have very little time to play with Photoshop / Photoshop
    Elements. Consequently, I have very few questions on creating particular stuff. Thanks for the
    offer anyway!

    Ray


    Ray Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: book buying advice

    Ray wrote: <<P.S. If an editor could make a book that stays open with a plastic spiral binding... That would be the icing on the cake!>>

    Have your icing with the cake, Ray. Take your most used PE or PS reference books to the nearest office supply store (e.g. Office Max, Staples) and have them put a metal spring type binding on for you. A basic black metal spiral at Staples costs me under under $5.00. Worth every penny! Be sure to ask for the metal spring type, not plastic.

    Patti
    Patti_Anderson@adobeforums.com Guest

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