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The Photoshop Blog offers the latest Photoshop news and software updates, Photoshop tips and tutorials, and random thoughts from graphic artist and Photoshop expert Jennifer Apple.
Interview With Glenn Honiball - Author Of Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio
by Jennifer Apple
Everyone wants to know what the best Photoshop screen is. What are your recommendations concerning LCD or CRT?
Well, I have to admit I was very slow and hesitant to buy an LCD screen. The earlier models had poor blacks and just didn't have the picture quality of the CRT's. Having said that I broke down recently and purchased a 24" widescreen DELL LCD monitor. DELL had a terrific deal at the time and it was far cheaper than the Apple screen and it is slightly larger too with more adjustments.
The picture quality is terrific, lots of screen space and it looks darn cool too! I am used to evaluating color on screen by the numbers I read with the eyedropper tool and the info box. I don't rely purely on the visual look of the image on screen. No screen will display color perfectly, but I do make every effort to make sure that I get the best I can out of a monitor. I use a calibration device to create a profile of the monitor with the calibration device.
You have to have complete precision in your work, so how do you handle your color management?
In a closed loop environment color management can work well. The problem I face is that I get client files from all over the place. Many files that come in from clients have profiles attached to them and I typically leave them as supplied unless I am told otherwise.
Some clients may not even be aware of the profile attached to a file and some may, but for me to start converting them or attaching another profile may cause problems so I leave them alone. If I create a file from scratch I can then choose as to how I want to handle the file, but that is rare. Creating files for newsprint, billboards or specific output devices I may then apply a certain or custom profile so that it best suits the needs of the output device or print medium to get the best results.
Can you tell us a little about your book and at what level it is aimed at? Can a complete beginner get something out of it?
The book is written with the understanding that the reader has some basic working knowledge of their retouching program. If the person reading the book has a basic understanding of their retouching program then the techniques discussed are designed to give people the knowledge to execute a job with the minimum of effort in the most effective manner to get the job done right from family photos to high-end ad agency work.
I say 'retouching program' because although the book has been written with examples from Photoshop, the techniques described can be applied with any retouching program. It's the concept of the techniques that work. It's like any computer program.
I've used this example before, but you could give me the best accounting program on the planet, but I still have to come up with the correct numbers to plug-in. It won't make me a great accountant just because I have a great program.
Will there be other books?
Not sure about other books, retouching is my thing and has been for over twenty years, all of which has been done on a computer.
Will you be revising your book down the road?
There may be a revision down the road, no plans yet, but I have basically given up all of my techniques in this book. I'd have to think pretty hard to come up with more! This book was written because every other Photoshop book I have seen was basically a writer reading off a string of commands and hot keys to create various effects which really didn't have much to do with the reality of the job of retouching.
I have never come across a book that tells one how to do day-to-day retouching that a typical professional retoucher is asked to do in a typical day at work by ad agencies and art directors. Deadlines are short, there is no time for playing around and trying different techniques, clients expect the job to be done right in the shortest amount of time. The techniques I outline in the book reflect this.
I've trimmed all the fat off trial and error and get right to the point. I have tried to explain the techniques as if I am sitting behind a retoucher walking them through the techniques. People have commented that it is an easy read.
How's the reaction been to the book?
The reaction has been remarkable. The book made it into the top 100 list for computer books on Amazon.com (USA) and Amazon.ca (Canada) - I have been told that this isn't typical.
I have had emails from India, all over Europe, Asia and North America. I think this has to do with the fact that the book isn't written like a typical retouching/Photoshop book and the techniques haven't been discussed before.
Well, that's all for now. Thanks Glenn, and good luck with your book!
See a case study of Glenn's work in our Inspiration Section.
Buy Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio at amazon.com (34% off).
Download a sample chapter - Chapter 2: Shadows and Light in PDF format.
Visit Glenn Honiball's website.
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