Photoshop Books: Well I never knew that!

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 31, 2012

Category: General

Hi Folks,

How’s it going?

Today I want to briefly mention about books…Photoshop books πŸ™‚

Anyone who knows me will agree that I’m a serial book buyer; those closest to me may even say I’m an authors dream…I mean you write a book on Photoshop I’ve probably got it or it’s on order; thankfully nowadays with my iPad I can apply a little bit of stealth when it comes to buying them though πŸ™‚

Now, the other day when I was ordering more books to add to my collection it got me thinking…“Do I know and can I do everything that’s included in the books I already have?”

I posted something similar to this over on Facebook the other day asking the question “Before you buy that next Photoshop book, can you do/do you know ‘everything’ that’s in the books you already have?’ and it sure prompted some reactions.

I love buying Photoshop books, in fact each and every month I’ll spend Β£100+ on new books alone; it’s something I’ve done for a long time as each and every day I’ll dedicate 30 minutes to studying Photoshop outside of what work I’m doing using it.

By asking the question I was kind of eluding to something Zack Arias talks about when it comes to buying new ‘gear’ i.e. “Before buying more, do you know what you can do with the gear you already have?” You see the other day when I was having a sort out I started browsing through a couple of books I’ve had for a few months now; books I’d ordered, skimmed through and not looked at since. However this time when I started looking through them I started stumbling across techniques/tips I’d missed…and really good techniques/tips too!

So, getting to the point of this post…I’ve got a suggestion for you:

Go pick up one of the books you’ve had and not looked at for a while and take a really good look through the pages. If you’re anything like me you’re going to find yourself stumbling across techniques and tips and giving it “Wow.. I never knew that”…Ok so you might not go “Wow” but I reckon you’ll find stuff you never knew was in there πŸ™‚

Oh and one more suggestion…don’t just read it…write down the techniques in a notebook. You may now be thinking why would you do that when they’re already in a book, and yeah that’s a good point BUT what if you can’t remember how to do a technique and what’s more, you can’t remember which book you saw the technique in? From day 1 I’ve always written my own notes so when it comes to refreshing my memory I only need to look in my notebook as opposed to searching lots (and I mean lots) of books…does that make sense?

Right, that’s all from me for today but as always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to make use of the comments section below.

I’ll catch you back here tomorrow when I’ll be posting more details about my new Photoshop “Know How” workshop series,


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  1. Darren House

    Great post Glyn.

    Very True the problem is when you post about how good a book is i just have to buy it.. πŸ˜‰

    I have several books most above, I have worked through several and made notes in a seperate note book which was a tip from you ages ago and it works a treat. Open it one way and it has a process i.e. How to change eye colour *** way. Open it the other way and it has short cuts, tips and tricks.

    Looking forward to the announcement of the ‘Know How’ workshops!

    • Glyn

      Darren…Yeah the note taking definitely helps huh πŸ™‚

  2. Nick McClelland

    Glyn, as someone who is verging on amateur photographer I find myself buying numerous magazines and books but haven’t really immersed myself in Photoshop at this stage. I currently use CS3 and at present would mostly use standard features like levels, curves and sharpening but would like to get a better understanding of layers, compositing and other things. I like the idea of taking on projects that are relatively easy to put together without a lot of expense. If you were buying you’re first Photoshop book knowing what you do now what would be your first choice?

    • Glyn

      Nick, thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Ok my first book would be “Layers” by Matt Kloskowski. Layers are such a massive part of what we do and Matt does a great job of not just explaining them but also showing some great effects and techniaues you can use them for. Def’ a must have book.

      Hope that helps,
      Glyn πŸ™‚

  3. DaveT

    Hi Glyn,

    I recognise the situation. I stopped buying loads of books and mags when I started to run out of room for them – I now try to be selective, and adopt a principle of when a new book comes in one of the existing ones has to go.

    The note-taking thing is a good idea. I bought a hardback notebook, which I use to put notes in relating to articles I read on the web. They are all photography based though. I keep an index at the front of the book so I can find the specific notes I made, and at the end of each note I write down where I sourced the information from should I want to go back and look it up again.

    I suppose if I wanted to get really geeeky, I could explore using something like a database. Maybe Bento might work? Having said that I would think there is an App somewhere that I could use, which would be searchable. If there isn’t one, maybe a developer might want to explore this idea as I bet there are loads of people out there who could do with something to manage all the notes and ideas they have and be able to search them. A database is only useful if you can retrieve the information you need, when you want it, quickly and easily.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post Glyn.


  4. Nikki

    Great post, Glyn. I can totally relate. I am a book-a-holic. I’ve tried to limit my buying and get rid of old ones but it’s still those new ones I want! Especially when it’s a fave author (Kelby, etc). Great idea to go through my current books and actually try some techniques. I will definitely give that a go.


  5. David Kelly

    I’ve always been a bit of bookworm myself Glyn, periodically having to do a cull to get rid of older titles in order make space for new titles. The problem I had was when I reach the my shelf limit and I didn’t want to get rid of existing books. But thanks now to my iPad, I can still buy my books without having to worry about taking up more physical space.
    However the resultant issue I now have though is that it’s just too darn easy / addictive to purchase ebooks, especially when the likes of PeachPit has good books on offer as part of their standard $9.99 book of the week promotion. Just over Β£6 for some of the offering they have is a bargain not to be missed.

  6. Morgana Creely

    I also confess to “too many books not enough time” – however I do eventually work my way through them or pass them on if the writing style doesn’t work for me.

    [Ironically I have just bought the kindle version of “Blend Modes” shown above – something that will be very helpful, and gone to the top of my reading list :)]

    I also keep notes, on my iPad; however for me the best way to remember a technique is to practice it a couple of times. πŸ™‚



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