Photoshop Elements 3 Solutions: the Art of Digital Photography

by Mikkel Aaland. 352 pp. plus CD. Sybex, 2005. $39.99.

You may have seen Mikkel Aaland share his Adobe Photoshop Elements savvy on TV shows like Screensavers or Call for Help. Now his tips, techniques and solutions for first-rate photo editing are available between the covers of Photoshop Elements 3 Solutions, The Art of Digital Photography.

Aaland gets us oriented to Photoshop Elements 3’s new features with chapters on how to import and manage files using the Organizer (Windows only) and File Browser (Mac and Windows) and on how to use the Quick Fix and Standard Edit modes in the redesigned workspace to perform general photo fixes.

Building on this foundation, he then focuses on methods for improving particular kinds of photos and photo subjects. The “Better Faces” chapter teaches techniques for working with eyes and lips, whitening and fixing teeth, fixing hair and getting rid of glasses glare, while the “Making Photo-Realistic Composites” chapter shows how to combine elements from multiple images.

Better product photos can mean better sales from eBay or from bulletin board flyers and the like. The “Better Product Shots” chapter shows how to fix keystoning, add depth and improve the background and lighting of your product photos. It also shows how to put together your own impromptu mini photo studio. Other chapters cover making panoramas with Photomerge, imaginative tips and tricks for handling type, how to prepare images for presentations and the Web, how to work with Camera Raw, and Windows- and Mac-specific techniques for processing, printing and sharing files.

The appendix gives a soup-to-nuts rundown of Photoshop Elements 3’s features, tools and preferences for ready reference.

The CD-ROM that comes with the book contains practice images (more than 100 of them) as well as a variety of software and plug-ins to try.

Photoshop Elements 3 Solutions, The Art of Digital Photography is a treasure-trove of techniques for amateurs and more serious photographers. Highly recommended.

– Elsa Travisano

Copyright ©2005 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the June 2005 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.