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The Photoshop Show Starring Russell Brown
The Photoshop Show Starring Russell Brown
by Russell Brown
Published by Adobe Press - 168 pages (includes a CD)
List Price: $35.00 / Amazon Price: $24.50
You Save: $10.50 (30%) & this item ships for free
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Buy this book at
Buy this book at
(find a free sample of Chapter 1 in PDF form at end of review)
reviewed by Eric Martin

The Photoshop Show Starring Russell BrownRussell Brown states in the introduction to The Photoshop Show that his goal is to introduce new ways of thinking for working inside Photoshop - and in this he pulls through spectacularly.

By using project files and walking through them step-by-step, the lessons are easy to grasp and to apply to real-world situations.

Right from the start Russell Brown does make you think in new ways, and by doing so opens up avenues of thought you may never have discovered on your own and which will lead you to innovative ways in dealing with various goals in Photoshop. For instance, removing some stuble from a man's face may prove daunting at first, but Russell Brown shows you a simple, easy and effective method using the Healing Brush Tool.

The first part of the book is a good way to learn some solid basics, including good techniques for turning color photos into black and white, creating the illusion of motion by applying motion blur and radial blur, using channels and layer masks to merge and stitch separate photos together, creating realistic textures, and learning how to remove the background of a photo using the Magic Wand, the Background Eraser and the Extract filter.

I really enjoyed Chapter 1, Pinfeathers, which shows you how to reveal more detail in oversaturated photos, and is a nice intro to working with channels. As a bonus, this chapter also includes a chart that explains many of Photoshop's blending modes.
(find a free sample of Chapter 1 in PDF form at end of review)

In Part Two of the book, Russell invites effects artist John McConnell to walk you through the steps needed to transform a normal face into a Frankenstein face.

I found this part of the book a little disappointing because the lessons learned are for techniques that are way too specific for the general user. For instance, how many times will you need to know how to attach a bolt to the side of someone's head? Or paint neck incisions with ghastly stitches? Or create a lobotomy scar that is held together by giant metal staples?

The Photoshop Show Starring Russell BrownMOVIES ON CD
Russell Brown is famous for his infectious wacky sense of humor, and you'll experience some of it by watching the accompanying QuickTime movies that are included on a CD that comes with the book.

The movies really help with the project's concepts, because when you see an expert executing these techniques everything suddenly clicks. It is also important to note that listening to Russell is both entertaining and somewhat hypnotic.

This is a thoroughly informative book that covers a wide range of Photoshop techniques. Russell Brown is a true Photoshop guru who has been involved with the program since its creation, and many of the tips in this book are fundamental. These are tips that you will only need to learn once and will then have in your arsenal forever as a Photoshop user. These tips are indicated throughout the book as Super User Tips, and have there own cartoon-like dialogue box, so they are easy to spot.

The book is very well designed with large color photos and clear, detailed instructions, and the various screenshots and accompanying project files keep you from getting lost when you attempt these techniques on your own.

All in all, with this book Russell Brown delivers another one of his energetic and enthusiastic performances (amazing but true!), and gives us a valuable Photoshop learning tool.
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The Photoshop Show Starring Russell Brown
Free Sample Chapter - Chapter 1 "PINFEATHERS"
The Photoshop Show Starring Russell BrownThe above link is to a PDF file (725 KB). Just click the link to open the PDF file in your Web browser or to download the PDF to your machine. To open the PDF, you'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download here.

PHOTOSHOP SHOW STARRING RUSSELL BROWN,  pp. 3-11, ©2004. Reproduced by permission of Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Peachpit Press.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Visit Peachpit Press on the web at
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The Photoshop Show Starring Russell Brown
Adobe creative director Russell Brown was a key contributor to the launch and development of Photoshop 1.0 and has continued to evangelize the software at seminars and events around the world ever since. Russell has made appearances on NBCs Today Show and has been the featured speaker at numerous events including Macworld, Seybold, AIGA Design, and more.
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The Photoshop Show Starring Russell Brown
List Price: $35.00 / Amazon Price: $24.50
You Save: $10.50 (30%) & this item ships for free
Buy this book at
Buy this book at
Buy this book at

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PHOTO CREDIT: This tunnel (Detroit) changes colors as you walk through.
© 2002 ademuu - [from iStockPhoto]

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