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Read this First, Before Something Bad Ha... > Does this make the book too advanced...

Does this make the book too advanced?

Absolutely not. That’s because my goal is to present all these techniques in such a simple, easy-to-understand format that no matter where you are in your Photoshop skills, you’ll read the technique and rather than thinking, “Oh, I could never pull that off,” you’ll think, “Hey, I can do that.”

While it’s true that this book includes many advanced techniques, just because a technique is advanced, doesn’t mean it has to be complicated or “hard to pull off.” It just means that you’ll be further along in the learning process before you’d even know you need that technique.

For example, in the retouching chapter, I show how to use the Healing Brush to completely remove wrinkles, and that’s what many photographers will do—completely remove all visible wrinkles. But an advanced Photoshop user might retouch the photo differently, because they know that a 79-year-old man’s face shouldn’t be as wrinkle-free as Ben Affleck’s. When they do a similar retouch, they’re not going to remove every wrinkle—instead they’ll be looking for a way to just lower the intensity of the wrinkles, so the portrait looks more natural (and the photo appears unretouched). To do that, they’ll need something beyond the basic Healing Brush technique—they’ll need a more advanced technique that may require a few more steps along the way, but produces far better results.

So, how hard is it to do the advanced “healing” technique we just talked about? It’s simple—duplicate the Background layer, remove all the wrinkles using the Healing Brush, then lower that layer’s Opacity a bit to bring back some of the original wrinkles from the layer underneath (see page 190). It works like a charm, but really—how complicated is that? Heck, anyone that’s used Photoshop for a week can duplicate a layer and lower the Opacity, right? Right. Yet few photographers know this simple, advanced technique. That’s what this book is all about. If you understand that line of thinking, you’ll really get a lot out of this book. You’ll be able to perform every single technique—you’ll be putting to use the same advanced correction and retouching techniques employed by some of today’s leading digital photographers; yet you’ll make it all look easy, because it really is easy, and it’s a lot of fun—once somebody shows you how to do it.

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