Magazine Reviews (Photoshop)

Contents:

I have a love/hate relationship with Photoshop: I love the program itself; I often hate what people do with it. The ease of compositing, manipulating color saturation and compressing wide contrast ranges allow people to make astounding images. The problem is that now every time I see an astounding image, I think "Photoshopped" and move onto the next.


magazine coverAdvanced Photoshop

A UK based magazine and a hellishly expensive one at that; it's approximately $130/year to subscribe (80£)! Someone will say that you pay that for cable tv in a month, but I sure as hell don't.

It's not a bad magazine. It's nicely laid out and they do put a good amount of content in it—not enough for me to justify the expense, but I do pick these up at used bookstores or thriftshops whenever I can find them. It also comes with a disc of extras and tie-ins to the in-magazine tutorials. I don't think I've ever used one; it's just another thing to get lost.

I'm not a big fan of this thing because I find it a big mess to look at. A lot of the techniques they discuss are those used in display advertising; that's great if you are going for that look, but personally I am not. So I'm typically not interested in extreme compositing, super-saturated color, and creating things out of nothing (i.e. building something up from scratch using Photoshop's many paint and vector tools).

But that's just me. My guess is that the target audience for this magazine is art designers and illustrators rather than straight photographers who use Photoshop as a digital darkroom only, and aren't going for the fantasy element that predominates in this magazine.


magazine cover

Photoshop Creative

Another expensive magazine from the UK (same price as Advanced above). In fact, pretty-much everything I said about Advanced Photoshop above can be repeated here. I haven't seen enough issues of either to be able to tell them apart, except that Creative seems a bit more tutorial-intensive.

Ordinarily I would like that, except that I've tried a few of their tutorials and I have yet to get one to work properly. I can't fault them in that they break things down into steps, and they have thumbnail screen prints to go with the instruction on each step in order to make it fool-proof. I guess I'm a bigger fool because in a 20-step tutorial things always seem to blow up for me on Step 12, so I've pretty much given up on this.

There's also something I find deceiving in their explanations. On the one hand they'll takle Sharpening, and discuss the various sharpening tools, and yet I think they often over-simplify things; a lot of it comes down to showing you how to use the tool and then it's "move the sliders until you see what you like." That does keep the text from bogging down in tedious explanations of what the sliders are doing, but it means you never really learn what the sliders are doing, you just end up pushing sliders and seeing what happens. It's effective but it's not efficient, and if things don't work, you never know why they don't work.


magazine cover

Photshop User

Yet a nother expensive magazine: $100/year for ten issues, same as the newsstand price. Unlike Advanced and Creative, this is from the USA.

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magazine cover

.psd Photshop

Sorry about the French-language-only link. It's the only one I can come up with.

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Shelf 1: Fine Art

Shelf 2: General Interest

Shelf 3: Special Interest

Shelf 4: Photoshop

Shelf 5: No Longer Published

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