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First, I want to thank my amazing wife Kalebra. As I’m writing this, she’s lying on the couch across from me reading a book (not one of mine, sadly), but I have to say that just looking at her makes my heart skip a beat, and again reminds me how much I adore her, how genuinely beautiful she is, and how I couldn’t live without her. She’s the type of woman love songs are written for, and I am, without a doubt, the luckiest man alive to have her as my wife.

Secondly, I want to thank my 7-year-old son Jordan, who spent many afternoons with his adorable little head resting on my lap as I wrote this book. God has blessed our family with so many wonderful gifts, and I can see them all reflected in his eyes. I’m so proud of him, so thrilled to be his dad, and I dearly love watching him grow to be such a wonderful little guy, with such a tender and loving heart. (You’re the greatest, little buddy.)

I also want to thank my big brother Jeffrey for being such a positive influence in my life, for always taking the high road, for always knowing the right thing to say, and just the right time to say it, and for having so much of our dad in you. I’m honored to have you as my brother and my friend.

My heartfelt thanks go to the entire team at KW Media Group, who every day redefine what teamwork and dedication are all about. They are truly a special group of people, who come together to do some really amazing things (on really scary deadlines) and they do it with class, poise, and a can-do attitude that is truly inspiring. I’m so proud to be working with you all.

Thanks to my layout and production crew. In particular, I want to thank my friend and Creative Director Felix Nelson for his limitless talent, creativity, input, cover design, overall layout, and just for his flat-out great ideas. To Chris Main and our new way-cool tech editor Polly Reincheld for putting every technique through rigorous testing and keeping me on my toes through the whole process. To Kim Gabriel for keeping us all on track and organized, so we could face those really scary deadlines. To Dave Damstra and his amazing crew for giving the book such a tight, clean layout.

Thanks to my compadre Dave Moser, whose tireless dedication to creating a quality product makes every project we do better than the last. Thanks to Jim Workman, Jean A. Kendra, and Pete Kratzenberg for their support, and for keeping a lot of plates in the air while I’m writing these books. A special thanks to my Executive Assistant Kathy Siler for all her hard work and dedication, and for not rubbing it in my face that her Redskins trounced my Bucs this year.

Thanks to my Publisher Nancy Reunzel and the incredibly dedicated team at Peachpit Publishing Group. You are very special people doing very special things, and it’s a real honor to get to work with people who really just want to make great books. Also many thanks to the awesome Rachel Tiley, Peachpit’s “Secret Weapon,” and to marketing maverick Scott Cowlin.

I owe a special debt of gratitude to my friends Kevin Ames and Jim DiVitale for taking the time to share their ideas, techniques, concepts, and vision for a Photoshop Elements book for digital photographers that would really make a difference. Extra special thanks to Kevin for spending hours with me sharing his retouching techniques, as well.

I want to thank all the photographers, retouchers, and Photoshop experts who’ve taught me so much over the years, including Jack Davis, Deke McClelland, Ben Willmore, Julieanne Kost, Robert Dennis, Helene DeLillo, Jim Patterson, Doug Gornick, Manual Obordo, Dan Margulis, Peter Bauer, Joe Glyda, and Russell Preston Brown.

Thanks to the brilliant and gifted digital photographers who graciously lent their photos to this book, including Carol Freeman, Jeannie Theriault, David Cuerdon, and Dave Moser.

Also thanks to my friends at Adobe Systems: Terry White, Kevin Connor, Addy Roff, Mark Dahlman, Karen Gauthier, John Nack, Bryan Lamkin, Russell Brady, Julieanne, and Russell. Gone but not forgotten: Barbara Rice, Jill Nakashima, and Theresa Ojeda.

Also an extra special thanks to Elements Product Manager Mark Dahm for taking my frantic late-night calls, going above and beyond to help make this book a reality, and helping to make Elements 3 one kick-butt editing app.

Thanks to my mentors whose wisdom and whip-cracking have helped me immeasurably, including John Graden, Jack Lee, Dave Gales, Judy Farmer, and Douglas Poole.

Also, my personal thanks to Jeffrey Burke at Brand X Pictures for enabling me to use some of their wonderful photography in this book.

Thanks to my friend Steve Weiss for helping me so much in this business, and for all your support and guidance over these past few years. It really meant a lot.

Most importantly, I want to thank God, and His son Jesus Christ, for leading me to the woman of my dreams, for blessing us with such a special little boy, for allowing me to make a living doing something I truly love, for always being there when I need Him, for blessing me with a wonderful, fulfilling and happy life, and such a warm, loving family to share it with.

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