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We recently launched a challenge that invites Safari Books Online subscribers to write a book or video review and in exchange for their review, we’ll enter their name into a drawing to win an eReader of their choice. We also invited non-subscribers to sign up for a free trial of Safari Books Online so they could get in on this challenge. The more reviews they write and share, the greater their chances of winning.

The following book was reviewed by Peter Tran, a Safari Books Online subscriber:

 Title: Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature, Second EditionBy: Matt KloskowskiPrint ISBN-10: 0-321-74958-8

Pub. Date: October 29, 2010

Publisher: Peachpit Press

Here’s an overview of the book:

“In 2008, Adobe Photoshop pro and best-selling author Matt Kloskowski broke new ground teaching Photoshop by focusing on the one thing that makes Photoshop the amazing (and sometimes difficult to understand) program it is: layers. Now, Matt returns with a major update to the book that explains “the key to understanding Photoshop”  in the same concise, easy to understand way that’s made him so well known in the field of Photoshop training.

When asked about the original version of this book, Matt said, “I wanted it to be the Photoshop book that I wish was around when I was first learning.” This update improves upon that concept. Within these pages, you’ll learn about:

  • Working with and managing multiple layers
  • Building multiple-layer images
  • Blending layers together
  • Layer masking and just how easy it is
  • Which of the 25+ layer blend modes you really need to know (there are just a few)
  • Using layers to enhance and retouch your photos
  • All of the tips and tricks that make using layers a breeze
  • Plus, a new chapter on advanced layer techniques and compositing to help take your work to the next level

If you want to fully understand layers in Photoshop, this book is the one you’ve been waiting for.”

Here is the review by Peter Tran:

The 2nd edition of Matt Kloskowski Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature has been updated for Photoshop CS5. Matt didn’t just regurgitate the same information with this update. He went above and beyond the call of duty refreshing everything about Layers including new material (Chapter 10) on advance techniques, blending, and compositing. What I really appreciate is Matt’s attention to detail. All the examples are new even the first chapter introducing Layer Basics which the first edition already does a commendable job. I was blown away that Matt went through the trouble to update all the examples. If you have the first edition, it’s like having 19 examples to work from (9 from 1st edition and 10 from 2nd edition). Be forewarned, other Photoshop topics are briefly introduced as appropriate to help further illustrate how Layers can be leveraged to enhance your photos, but it will not go into any details on these topics. I would recommend having other Photoshop books around for reference. If you’re new to Layers, then I recommend going through the book from start to finish. Matt holds your hands on the earlier chapters telling you exactly where to click and showing you several places where Layers can be selected. In the later chapters, he’ll assume you already understand what he means by “adding a layer mask”. It’s an understatement to say Layers is Photoshop’s most powerful feature. Matt does an excellent job of teaching a difficult subject and making it accessible to any Photoshop users. I enjoyed his books so much that I also joined Kelby Training where Matt provides video instructions on a range of subjects including Photoshop Layers and Lightroom 3.

Check out this book on Safari Books Online.


Tags: layers, Matt Kloskowski, photoshop, review book, Safari Books Online,

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