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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 six-year-old son Jordan. 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 have to thank my wonderful, crazy, hilarious, and loving dad Jerry for filling me with childhood memories of nothing but fun, laughter, and love. His warmth, compassion, understanding, ethics, and sincerity have guided me my entire life, and I could never repay him for all that he’s done for me. I love you, Dad.

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 compadre Dave Moser, whose tireless dedication to making everything we do better than anything we’ve done before, is an inspiration to our whole team. He’s an amazing individual, a great friend, and an awful lot of fun.

Special thanks to my layout and production crew. In particular, I want to thank my friend and Creative Director Felix Nelson for his limitless talent, boundless creativity, input, and just for his flat-out great ideas. To Kim Gabriel for doing for such an amazing job of keeping us all on track and organized—I can’t thank you enough. To Margie Rosenstein for adding her special touch to the look of the book, and to Dave Damstra (the best layout guy in the business) for giving the book such a tight, clean layout, and to Dave Korman for his help in getting it out the door. To Daphne Durkee for stepping in at the last minute to help proof the book.

I’m very thankful to have Chris Main as the Tech Editor for all my books. He’s a very dedicated person and tech-editing wizard who catches the little things that other tech editors might’ve missed. His comments, ideas, and input have improved every book I’ve written and I can’t thank him enough.

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 keeping me on track and focused, and for doing such a wonderful job, all the while keeping such an amazingly upbeat attitude, even though her Redskins lost to my Buccaneers 35 to 13. (I’m going to pay for that one.)

I want to thank my longtime friend and first-class Editor Richard Theriault. This is the 12th book Dick has worked on with us, and we’re totally hooked—we couldn’t do it without him, and we wouldn’t want to if we could.

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 book for digital photographers that would really make a difference. Extra special thanks to Kevin for spending hours with me sharing his retouching techniques.

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, David Cuerdon, Robert Dennis, Helene DeLillo, Felix Nelson, Jim Patterson, Doug Gornick, Manual Obordo, Dave Cross, Dan Margulis, Peter Bauer, Joe Glyda, and Russell Preston Brown.

Thanks to the brilliant and gifted digital photographers who graciously lent their talents to this book, including Carol Freeman, Todd Morrison, Jim Patterson, Dave Moser, Julieanne Kost, and Jeannie Theriault.

Also thanks to my friends at Adobe Systems, Barbara Rice, Terry “T-bone” White, Addy Roff, Gwyn Weisberg, John Nack, Kevin Connor, Tanguy Leborgne, Rye Livingston, Karen Gauthier, Russell Brady, Julieanne Kost, and Russell Brown.

Thanks to my Editor Steve Weiss for his unwavering commitment to “create great books,” and my heartfelt thanks to Nancy Ruenzel, Scott Cowlin, and everyone at Peachpit Publishing—they’re really great people who continually strive to produce very special books.

My personal thanks go to Jeffery Burke at Brand X Pictures for enabling me to use some of their wonderful images here in the book.

And most importantly, my deepest thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ for always hearing my prayers, for always being there when I need Him, for blessing me with a wonderful life I truly love, and such a warm loving family to share it with.

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