Tech books are a challenge — they seem to either be more complicated and detailed than I want — or they call me a “Dummie” or “Idiot.” I refuse to buy a book that insults me.

I’ve been looking for a Photoshop book to improve my Photoshop skills a little. I’ve thought of taking a class, and I still may, but I’m not sure I need $200.00 worth of new skills.

One of the books I’ve looked at for Photoshop was directed at people who create scrapbooks. I thought that one might meet my needs since it’s directed at a home user, not an aspiring graphics professional.

It was close, but not quite there.

This one, though, is it. Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements for Teens by Marc Campbell is exactly the Photoshop how-to book I’ve been looking for.

It’s clear and simple and covers just the basics that I need to know. What do I use Photoshop Elements for? Terribly complicated things like adding the (c) symbol to images of my jewelry. I also use it to create shirts for Cafe Press.

I’m not big on re-touching images of jewelry, other than to color correct or white balance. My personal opinion is that jury slides should not be re-touched, and that catalog shots shouldn’t need it. I would rather spend my time making the image right in the camera, than spend five times as long on the computer, reworking a shot.

This book covers the basics without being insulting. The author explains what layers are, how to use them, and what the basic tools are and how to use them. I know those aspects of Photoshop because a friend taught me. This clear and friendly book is like having a friend at your desk with you.

Marc also covers image re-sizing, another basic skill you will probably need as a jewelry artist. Additional sections include: Painting and Retouching Images, Doing More with Special Layers, Making Image Files and Prints, and much more.

If you want a book that teaches you the minimum you need to know to get off and running with Photoshop (and then some), in a clear, non-insulting way, then you will love this book.

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