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When I first started using Photoshop, it was a much simpler program to get to grips with compared to what we see today. Adobe Photoshop CS4 has evolved to provide photographers with all the tools they need, and my aim is to provide you with a working photographer’s perspective of what Photoshop CS4 can do and how you can make the most effective use of the program.

One of the biggest problems writing a book about Photoshop is that while new features are added, Adobe rarely remove anything from the program. Hence, Photoshop has got bigger and more detailed over the last 12 years I have been writing this series of books. When it has come to updating each edition, this has left the question, should I make the book bigger, or should I take things out? For this particular edition I decided to have a complete rethink about the way the book’s subject matter was tackled. This edition of the book is the same size as the previous versions, but it is now completely focused on all the essential information you need to know about Photoshop, Camera Raw and Bridge, plus all that’s new in Photoshop CS4 for photographers. Consequently, if you have bought a previous edition of this book, you’ll find a lot of the content here is new and goes into greater detail than before on subjects such as Camera Raw editing and high dynamic range imaging.

As a result of this editing process, a lot of the older favorite techniques had to be removed. To make up for this I decided to get together with Jeff Schewe to co-write a new Photoshop for Photographers book, which we are calling The Ultimate Workshop. This is a book in which Jeff and I hammer out a series of techniques designed for professional Photoshop users which, as the title suggests, will be like attending the ultimate training workshop on Photoshop techniques.

One of the main selling points of this book is that I work mostly as a professional studio photographer, running a busy photographic business close to the heart of London. On the days when I am not shooting or working on a production I use that time to study Photoshop, write articles and present seminars, which may be one of the reasons why this series of Photoshop books has become so successful. This is because like you, I too had to learn all this stuff from scratch! I make no grandiose claims to have written the best book ever on the subject. I simply write from personal experience and aim to offer a detailed manual on the subject of digital photography and Photoshop, written by somebody who has first-hand professional experience and a close involvement with the people in San Jose who make the Adobe Photoshop program.

This book was initially aimed at intermediate to advanced users, but it soon became apparent that all sorts of people were enjoying the book. Over the years I have adapted the content to satisfy the requirements of a broad readership. I still provide good solid professional-level advice, but at the same time I try not to assume too much prior knowledge and ensure that everything is explained as clearly and simply as possible.

This latest edition has been thoroughly revised to ensure that you are provided with an updated account of everything that is new in Photoshop CS4. As the program has evolved over the years, the book content has had to undergo regular changes in order to reflect the new ways of working. The techniques shown here are based on the knowledge I have gained from working alongside some of the greatest Photoshop experts in the industry – people such as Jeff Schewe and the late Bruce Fraser, who I have regarded as true Photoshop masters. I have drawn on this information to provide you with the latest thinking on how to use Photoshop to its full advantage. So rather than me just tell you ‘this is what you should do, because that’s the way I do it’, you will find frequent references to how the program works. These discussions are often accompanied by diagrams that will help improve your understanding of the Photoshop CS4 program.

We have recently seen the greatest changes ever in the history of photography and, for many photographers, it has been a real challenge to keep up with all the latest developments. My philosophy is to find out which tools in Photoshop allow you to work as efficiently and as non-destructively as possible, plus take into account the changing factors that require us to use Photoshop differently. Hopefully, the key points you will learn from this book are that Camera Raw is the ideal, initial editing environment for all raw (and sometimes non-raw) images. Once an image has been optimized in Camera Raw you can use Photoshop to carry out fine-tuned corrections, or more complex retouching. Although there are lots of ways to approach using Photoshop, you’ll generally find with Photoshop CS4 that the best tools for the job are often the simplest to use! There is much to cover in this book, but you should find that the chapter order plus the accompanying content on the DVD will help enlighten you to the joys of working with Photoshop CS4.

Book and DVD contents

The DVD contents are presented in the form of a Photoshop CS4 Help Guide. Load the DVD into your computer and for improved performance copy the contents across to your hard drive. Double-click on the start.htm file to launch the DVD contents into your web browser. The Photoshop Help Guide contains movie versions of many of the step-by-step techniques shown in this book, is designed to run on Macintosh and PC systems, and only requires you to install Flash and QuickTime on your computer in order to view them. If you should experience any problems running the disk, please always refer to the FAQ section on the disk or on the website for guidance on how to configure your computer for optimum viewing. Educators may also be interested to know that the images used in the movies are provided on the DVD, along with the relevant extracts from the book in PDF format.

About the images on the disk

You can access most of the images shown in this book, but not all of them. The reason for this is that some of the photographs, especially where models are featured in the picture, do have restricted usages that do not permit me to simply give them away. And some of the other images were kindly released by fellow photographers for use in the book only. So although there are quite a few pictures you can play with, you won’t be able to access every photograph you see in this book.

Book website

There is also a website set up to promote this book where you can find many active links (including those mentioned in the book) and Help pages should you encounter problems running the movies from the DVD:

Rod Wynne-Powell

Over the several editions of this series of books, I have been able to elicit the technical help of Rod Wynne-Powell to check the accuracy of what I have written, and double-check, and sometimes modify, the techniques I have discussed. His enthusiasm and dedication to this task continues to be invaluable – if I am puzzled by some aspect and ask his advice, he will diligently seek out the answer, either through his contacts or via the Web, and provide me with a comprehensive reply accompanied by his own evaluation.

I put his name forward to my publishers, Focal Press, when they were considering their forthcoming Workflow series, and he was accepted, so he is now to join their team of authors by writing about the other aspect of many photographers’ lives – the operating system that underpins the Mac user’s platform for Photoshop, Bridge and Lightroom – Mac OS X. The book, Mac OS X for Photographers was published in 2008 and I wish it every success.

Rod offers training, consultancy and retouching under the banner ‘SOLUTIONS photographic’ and is able to boast having trained photographers in both France and Italy as well as those from all over the UK, mostly on a one-to-one basis. Rod can be contacted via email, Skype and telephone:

Skype: rodders63
T: +44(0)1582-725065
M: +44(0)7836-248126


I must first thank Andrea Bruno of Adobe Europe for her suggestion that I write a book about Photoshop aimed at photographers and thank you to all at Focal Press: David Albon, Ben Denne and Hayley Salter. None of this would have got started without the founding work of Adam Woolfitt and Mike Laye who helped form the Digital Imaging Group (DIG) forum for UK digital photographers. The production of this book was done with the help of Rod Wynne-Powell, who reviewed the final manuscript and provided help with technical advice and assistance, David Field who provided PC tech edit advice, Matt Wreford who helped with the separations, Soo Hamilton for the proof reading and Jason Simmons, who came up with the book layout template. I must give a special mention to fellow Photoshop alpha tester Jeff Schewe for all his guidance and help over the years (and wife Becky), not to mention the other members of the ‘pixel mafia’: Katrin Eismann, Seth Resnick, Andrew Rodney and Bruce Fraser, who sadly passed away in December of 2006.

Thank you also to the following clients, companies and individuals: Adobe Systems Inc., Neil Barstow, Russell Brown, Steve Caplin, Ansell Cizic, Kevin Connor, Harriet Cotterill, Chris Cox, Eylure, Claire Garner, Greg Gorman, Mark Hamburg, Peter Hince, Thomas Holm, Ed Horwich, Carol Johnson, Julieanne Kost, Peter Krogh, John Nack, Imacon, Thomas Knoll, Bob Marchant, Marc Pawliger, Pixl, Herb Paynter, Red or Dead Ltd, Eric Richmond, Addy Roff, Martin Soan, Tresemme, Gwyn Weisberg, Russell Williams, What Digital Camera and X-Rite. Thank you to the models, Courtney Hooper, Natasha De Ruyter and Alex Kordek, who featured in this book, plus my assistant Harry Dutton (who also stars as a model in a few shots!).

Lastly, thanks to all my friends and family, my wife Camilla who has been so supportive over the last year, and especially my late mother for all her love and encouragement.

Martin Evening

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