Book Review: The Best of Adobe Photoshop, Techniques and Images from Professional Photographers, by Bill Hurter

The Best of Adobe Photoshop, Techniques and Images from Professional Photographers, by Bill HurterThis is not your everyday Photoshop how-to book; not your usual imaging tutorial.

The Best of Adobe Photoshop by Bill Hurter gathers together not two, not three, but 33 master artists (ten are profiled in the book) to share their techniques with you. It’s like having a mastermind of experts around you, showing you how they create their artful photographs.

Now, masters won’t gather around a complete novice to teach him the basics of Photoshop; that’s available somewhere else. Nor would they have the time and patience to teach a point-and-shooter the fundamentals of SLR shooting and enlighten him about things like f/stops and shutter speeds. This book assumes that you are already a photographer who’s comfortable with his digital SLR camera and has a working knowledge of Photoshop, because in many cases the resource artists in the book only outline their techniques, outlines that should be appreciated and fully comprehended by someone with a good working knowledge of Photoshop.

The profiled photographers reveal their Photoshop post-processing techniques in the book, detailing the steps that brought them to the final images. But they don’t hold your hand and walk you through each and every step with a screenshot showing how to click on a tool. The photographer with a working knowledge of Photoshop should be able to catch on how these experts describe their Actions, and benefit from what is shared.

But take heart, Chapter 4 on Photoshop Techniques details the most important things that can bring about vast improvements to a photograph. The author thoroughly explains what Actions are and how to apply them, and instructs you on how to make your own. Hurter goes on to describe and tell you how to make use of Layers and Masks, Plug-ins, and retouching techniques to remove blemishes, shininess and wrinkles and how to enhance eyes and teeth in a portrait.

Sure, if you’re resourceful, you can find plenty of tutorials that deal with the same things on the Internet. But nothing like a good old high-resolution book whose excellent photos can inspire you to achieve artistry in your own work.

Wedding photographers in particular may find the book rewarding. Hurter himself is a top caliber wedding photographer and in this book he explains how he created his superb shots. The aspiring wedding photographer can certainly profit from reading this book.

The Best of Adobe Photoshop, Techniques and Images from Professional Photographers, by Bill Hurter, Amherst Media, 8 x 11 inches, 123 pages, $34.95 USA, $47.95 Canada

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Photoshop Has Replaced the Conventional Darkroom

2. Good Digital Working Techniques
Profile – John Lund and his Animal Antics
Determining Your Camera’s E.I. (Exposure Index)
Profile: Jim DiVitale: Conceptual and Commercial Artist
White Balance
Evaluating Exposure
File Formats – Raw Format, Prepping RAW files for Processing, Adobe Camera RAW, How JPEG Differs from RAW
Color Space
Printing Options
Profile – Glen Honiball: Master Photoshop Retoucher

3. Color Management and Device Profiling
Profile – Rich Nortnik, Jr.: Illustrator Extraordinaire
It’s an RGB World Now
Monitor Profiles
Camera Profiles
Profile – Marcus Bell and the Photoshop “Darkroom”
Printer Profiles
Soft Proofing
Profile – Gigi Clark: Hanging Out at the Photoshop Café
Profile – David Wendt Shoots Beautiful Cars

4. Photoshop Techniques
Layers and Masks
Retouching Techniques – Removing Blemishes, Shininess and Wrinkles, Eyes and Teeth
Profile – Bryan White: Mixed Media Arts
Selective Soft Focus
Soft Focus
Minimize Retouching
Profile – Ctein’s Photoshop Restoration
Color Correction and Toning – Targetting White and Gray Points in Levels, Sepia/Blue Tone, Mixing Color and Black & White in the Same Image, Soft Color
Other Photoshop Operations – Straightening Verticals, Optical Lens Correction, Making Contact Sheets, Liquify, Sharpening
Album Design – Design Templates, Color Sampling
Stair Interpolation
The “Fuzzy Filter”
Profile – Jerry D Works an Award-Winning Image
Profile – Craig Kienast Sees Smoke Signals




Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.