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Which book is best for learning Elements? - Adobe Photoshop Elements

What book would you recommend for someone who is computer literate, but new to Elements and editing digital images? Amazon ranks Kelby, Aaland, and Lynch in that order by bestselling. Thanks....

  1. #1

    Default Which book is best for learning Elements?

    What book would you recommend for someone who is computer literate, but new to Elements and editing digital images? Amazon ranks Kelby, Aaland, and Lynch in that order by bestselling. Thanks.
    Kirk_Lindley@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    I have all three of those, plus one more by Katrin Eismann for working with old photographs. The Kelby book is the newest, and it has some excellent things in it. Aaland is still one of my favorites, although I never bought the update for Elements version 2. Lynch is more advanced, but it definitely covers things not addressed by either Aaland or Kelby, plus the CD includes some additional tools that are extremely useful. You wouldn't go "wrong" with any of them, but if you're only going to get one, I think I'd recommend Kelby. My personal opinion, of course.
    Beth_Haney@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Kirk

    The Instruction manual that comes with the retail version of Elements covers the basics, and would be a good start to get you going.

    Dimrilldell
    Dimrilldell@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Kirk,

    I would also suggest taking advantage of the hundreds of tutorials available on the internet. A search with Google will swamp you will hits. Many of those written for full Photoshop are also applicable to PSE. A great site to peruse is Jay Arraich's.

    <http://www.arraich.com/elements/pse_basics1.htm>

    Nancy
    Nancy_S@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Plotkin is useful, although the style will irritate.

    Andrew
    Andrew_Turek@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Aaland's book is a good all-around book.

    If you want a "I just need an answer NOW" book, then Kelby's is your answer.

    If you want a deep understanding about breaking an image into its component parts (color, tone, etc.) then Lynch's book is excellent.
    Lou_M@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Kirk,

    I own the Lynch book and highly recommend it. I've read Aaland and found it useful, too. It all depends.

    When I started out with Elements it was my first exposure a reasonably powerful editing program. I wasn't as interested in the HOW to do things so much as the WHAT to do. The easy "How-to" books just didn't address the issue of "what to do to improve your image quality". In addition, I am not a graphics designer and soon discovered that graphics and design is a whole discipline unto itself. I started out reading some basic material on design concepts and general (digital) imaging. This includes some of the many excellent photography books that are available, too. Then I tried to apply that knowledge within the tool set offered by PE. Finally, I turned to PE specific materials to assist me.

    It's easy to apply a jillion filters and finally come up with something that's interesting. It's a whole different thing to picture the expected outcome and then work toward transferring that mind image to something on your screen. Kind of reminds of chimpanzees randomly banging a keyboard until finally a coherent verse of Shakespeare appears.
    Tony_Weisse@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    I have both M Aaland's book and Richard Lynch's book. They are both good in their different ways but if I had to have only one it would be Richards. That one gives you so much more for the long term although you need a reasonable knowledge of PSE before you start on it.

    As others have said I would start off with the manual and try a few tutorials before deciding on a book to buy. I actually borrowed a few books from our local library in the early days and that worked out well.
    Wendy_E_Williams@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Kirk,
    I have these 3 books. The manual that comes with the program is terse and useful for reference; it is not an "exercise" manual. The Aaland book really takes you through doing things with Elements step by step, and it is fun to work with the tutorials. I went through the book chapter by chapter, took notes as I tried out the exercises on the computer, and to this day refer to it not infrequently. For amplification on specifics I refer to the manual that came with the program. The Kelby book is my most recent acquisition and is a gem, but it assumes that one has some familiarity with Elements, and that can be garnered from the Aaland book. Lynch's book is quite sophisticated and his add-ons, especially curves, justify the investment.
    Ken
    Kenneth_Liffmann@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Is the "Dummies" book a contender?
    Peter_Frailey@adobeforums.com Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Kirk:
    I'm a relative newbie to Elements and only a casual user.To the very good suggestions you've already gotten,I would add "50 Fast Digital Photo Techniques" by Gregory Georges. It covers a lot of ground,and I've found it to be the most fun of any of the aforementioned.If you come to this forum often you'll note that the regulars add this caveat to thier book suggestions ---Play with the program as much as possible.I've found this to be the best advice of all.Even the oos can be a learning experience.Good luck.
    Lou
    Louis_Calogero@adobeforums.com Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    I just got Richard Lynch's (for Elements 2) book from the library. I
    couldn't find Aalands or Kelby's book, but I had my 3 year old with me
    so I couldn't search thoroughly. I would check out your local library
    and see if you can find them there before buying. I also got Lisa Lee's
    book for Elements 1, but I figured I could apply most of it to Elemetns
    2. So far I've found Lee's book very basic and Lynch's book pretty advanced.

    What I'm really looking for is when to do what and how to do it. (Also,
    I really want to learn how to do accurate selections of complex
    objects.) The color stuff in Lynch's book is pretty advanced, and about
    3 inches over my head, but the step-by-step instructions seem pretty
    accurate so far. I may just have to get out the dictionary to understand
    the difference between Tone, Hue, Saturation and Color :-) Lynch's book
    does seem to be well written, even if it is hard stuff.

    -Trish

    Tricia_Roush@adobeforums.com Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    have Photoshop Elements 2 Solutions by Aaland. It is very good instruction for learning how to use various tools. Highly recommend. It also has a CD with practice images which I really like.

    regards roger s
    Roger_Sinnard@adobeforums.com Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    I now have a collection of PE books that together cost me more than the software! :)

    I bought a beginner's book entitled, Create!, "The No Nonsense Guide to Photoshop Elements 2" by Sismic & Bodenmiller and I would recommend it to any beginner. It not only covers the basics, but it also gives you a taste of painting from scratch in PE2. It assumes you know nothing. Many of the exercises make use of the stock photos that are on the Elements CD.

    I also have Georges' and Aaland's book, and just today got Hidden Elements in the mail. There's something I like in all of them and considering the potential of this software, worth every penny!

    What I would reeeeeally like is a book that leans more towards the artistic uses of Elements. Stuff like what is in the last chapters of Georges' book. I know how to draw and may even know what I *want* to do, but how do I make Elements do it? I think the secret is playing and experimenting...and using those Blending modes, but I need a visual to get me going. If I could see what a tool or effect can do then I could take it from there. :)

    Patti
    Patti_Anderson@adobeforums.com Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    I second what Beth said. I have two of Kelby's book and they are my favorites. They're organized
    in "recipes", and Kelby's explain what he's doing along the way. Fantastic learning experience!

    Ray


    Ray Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Patti, have you tried Al Ward's "Photoshop Elements 2 Special Effects"?
    Barbara_Brundage@adobeforums.com Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    I'm eagerly awaiting the book by our Jodi.

    Leen
    Leen_Koper@adobeforums.com Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Now a book by Jodi would be totally wonderful :)
    Wendy_E_Williams@adobeforums.com Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    "...have you tried Al Ward's "Photoshop Elements 2 Special Effects"?

    Not yet, but I'm on my way to Amazon to check it out...

    :)
    Patti
    Patti_Anderson@adobeforums.com Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Which book is best for learning Elements?

    Each and every book that I have purchased(yes, the used section of Amazon is great) have had their own unique way of teaching, or showing me PSE. I find it difficult to read them all through, so I use them for reference. I look up what I am needing to do, and then read on from there. Then when I have time, that is not too often around here with grandkids, I will try to scan one of the books through, and mark with tabs what I would love to return to.
    I call this information overload, but it sure is fun. Every time I open one of these great books, I run to the computer to try something.
    So I guess what I am trying to say, is all the books have their value and individuality for your PSE work.
    If you find one that you don't use much any more, give it to your local school or library.
    Jane
    Jane_Carter@adobeforums.com Guest

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