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First Book, or is Hidden Power the first book?

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  • First Book, or is Hidden Power the first book?

    I have recently ordered PSE3 after having spent a month using the free trial version of PSE2. I will get a manual with PSE3, I believe. Down the road (December?) I will get Hidden Power. Do I need a "first" PSE book, or does Hidden Power provide enough of an overview to serve not only as a tools book but an intro to Elements?

  • #2
    Hidden Power falls into the "Advanced" category of books and it will give you a great deal of help with Elements but if you are a beginner then I would suggest that you also buy one of the starter books which will cover the basics in a simple manner.



    • #3
      I don't know that I would consider Hidden Power to be an introductory book. Certainly it was created with a more advanced user in mind. It does not go through use of most basic tools (though there are instructions on using clone, healing, levels, curves, and many of the tools I consider --and outline as--the basic tool set). I feel that most basic instruction and orientation can be had by reading the user manual...ahem...and just playing with the tools.

      That said, I have received quite a few emails from people who are both good with computers and with photography who have said it was a good introductory book. Please note, good with that I mean someone at least competent in installing and uninstalling programs, with 3 or more years of computer experience, and serious amatuer status as a photographer. A competent photographer who is frustrated with computers may have too much of the technological leap, and a competent computer user with little photographic background may care less for the approach, that tends closer to a photographic perspective.

      You'll be able to follow the step-by-steps at whatever level--you just might find it hard to understand what is going on.

      Did that help?

      PS - i DON'T recommend starter books if you are serious about image editing because you will quickly outgrow them, and you'll have wasted the investment. In my mind you will do better with a few targeted web tutorials and the manual than with a book that re-hashes the manual--albeit in a friendlier way. My book is made to be one you won't soon outgrow...and I'll admit it isn't light reading. It compresses most of my Special Edition Using book from 900 to 300 pages, and adds some theory.
      Last edited by Richard_Lynch; 10-16-2004, 06:24 AM.


      • #4
        Thanks. As I am an advanced computer user and a competent amateur photographer, I will first work with the PSE3 manual and see how I do. I became somewhat familiar with levels while using the demo, tinkered with layers but never really commited to using them, and took advantage of some sort of background brightness tool to help fix up my outdoor shots with bright overcast skies but poor on-the-ground light. So I think I can go without the beginner book for now.

        I do feel like browsing in the bookstore a bit, just to be sure. Are there any beginner books that are better than the others, or are they all pretty much generic.

        thanks everyone


        • #5
          Seeing that you are not an absolute beginner I would suggest you take a look at Photoshop Elements 2 Solutions by Mikkel Aaland. It covers the basics but it also covers slightly more complex things and some special effects. It was the first book I bought and it gave me a reasonable grounding in how to do things before I move onto Richard's book which gives a much more in depth view into Elements. I have been using Elements for a couple of years and haven't bought a lot of books but those two are the ones I would not be without ... and I still use both.

          A lot of tutorials are aimed at full Photoshop but with work arounds and a reasonable knowledge of Elements they are useable .... there also are a lesser number of good tutorials designed specifically for Elements ... one site I really like is:

          If you scroll down the screen you will find quite a few tutorials ranging from simple to more complex.

          Good luck but most of all enjoy using Elements



          • #6
            Sorry forgot to mention.

            Try this for a list of books and brief reviews.




            • #7
              Thanks both, tremendous help. Look forward to becoming a true Elementer... no, a good Elementalist... that doesn't sound right, how about a competent Elemenist...

              oh, fu-gett-abowt it! Back to dealing with my pix.


              • #8
                I got a couple of beginner books form the local library and the four week loan period was about as long as I wanted them for! If you have a decent library it may be a good starting point for introductory stuff.


                • #9

                  How about this...if you have questions, ask them here! I'd be glad to hear about them and answer them as time permits.


                  • #10

                    How about this...if you have questions, ask them here! I'd be glad to hear about them and will answer them as time permits.


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