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Three books that changed our digital world  
Wednesday, August 3, 2005 | by Rob Galbraith

The explosive growth in digital photography, and digital imaging in general, has led to an avalanche of books meant to help tame the pixels in one's life.

There are three that have been released in the past half-year or so that we've found particularly interesting and helpful: Mastering Digital Printing, 2nd Edition, Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Photoshop CS2: Up to Speed.

Mastering Digital Printing, 2nd Edition by Harald Johnson. If you think this is yet another inkjet printing tome, think again. While there is a copious amount of useful information on producing good-quality inkjet output, the 398-page book enthusiastically explores many other facets of digital printing too. We bought Mastering Digital Printing, 2nd Edition to learn more about making prints with Epson and Canon printers; what we got was a book chock full of facts and recommendations on papers, inks, framing, print permanence, using a print service, making professional photo books and more.

Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2 by Bruce Fraser. Few authors are better able to explain how Adobe products work than Bruce Fraser, and his latest book is no exception. Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2 explains every button, knob and slider in v3.x of the Camera Raw plug-in with Fraser's usual level of accuracy and clarity. We don't necessarily think that Camera Raw is the be-all-end-all in RAW conversion tools, but when we wanted to make sure we understood every facet of the plug-in and its integration into CS2 and Bridge, this book is where we turned. Rounding out the 314 pages of content are sections on metadata, automation and the nitty-gritty of the camera RAW formats themselves.

Photoshop CS2: Up to Speed

Photoshop CS2: Up to Speed by Ben Willmore. This is perhaps the most useful book we've picked up on Photoshop in a long time. Not because it explores every nook and cranny of the program, but because it painstakingly outlines what's new in CS2.

We had already fully-switched our workflow to CS2 by the time this 192-page book arrived, and in fact had been working away in the latest version of Photoshop for several months. And yet, the number of feature additions and changes large and small that Photoshop CS2: Up to Speed brought to our attention made it easily worth its sub-US$20 price tag.

Ben Willmore's Digital Mastery web site contains a 3-page downloadable PDF that is adapted from content in Photoshop CS2: Up to Speed.

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