Bruce Fraser’s Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2 is the best sort of computer book. It doesn’t attempt to just lamely reprint the manual with more pictures and smaller words, it actually tries to explain to you how best to use a program, giving you not only techniques but motivations for those techniques.

In this case, the program that’s thoroughly explained is Photoshop’s Camera Raw “plugin” and the new Bridge file selector — which means, in practical terms, that Fraser covers the part of the digital photography process that occurs after taking the picture, but before opening it in Photoshop. If you weren’t aware there was anything to be done there, this isn’t the book for you (though if you’re shooting with a DSLR and not using RAW format because you’re intimidated by the apparent complexity, maybe it is); if, on the other hand, you’ve been wondering just what all the knobs in Camera Raw do, and how best to use Bridge efficiently, this is a superb book that you simply must own.


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