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Foreword: Photoshop Conquers the World

Foreword: Photoshop Conquers the World

“How hard can it be to change the color of a pixel?”

That question was originally asked as a taunt at the Photoshop engineering team by another product group within Adobe, but it is actually a rather interesting question.

It is, of course, relatively easy to change the color of a single pixel. But how do you know which color to change it to? What do you do when the color you want cannot be expressed in the medium where that pixel will be reproduced? And what do you do when you want to change not one but a million or several million pixels?

Photoshop provides a large collection of tools for changing the color of pixels, and it attempts to embody a certain amount of intelligence about those pixels and their colors. But when it comes right down to it, as far as Photoshop is concerned, those pixels are just a bunch of numbers: it has no notion of what they represent. Ergo, while Photoshop will do the grunt work of making the changes, it has to rely on your judgment about what changes to make.

This book will help you develop that judgment.

It's a book about production issues. In general, it addresses the question “How do I make my images look best when reproduced?” and, specifically, it addresses questions involving color correction, color conversion, color reproduction, image retouching, and efficient use of the computer, the printer, and most importantly your time.

David and Bruce take pride in the fact that this book does not discuss Photoshop special effects such as creating chrome or using the pinch filter. Not to denigrate those capabilities of Photoshop or the books that cover them, but you won't miss the coverage. The absence of those topics makes room for Real World Photoshop to take Photoshop's core functions apart, look at how they work, and show you how to use them to get the day-to-day production tasks done.

Photoshop gives you the power to change the color of pixels to your heart's content. Real World Photoshop strives to give you the insights about what changes to make.

Mark Hamburg

Principal Scientist and Architect for Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Systems Incorporated

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