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Book Reviews

Idiot's Guide to Digital PhotographyHow to Photograph Your Baby: Getting Closer with Your Camera and Your Heart 
by Nick Kelsh
Hardback, 96pp, ISBN: 1-55670895-5

Parents like to take pictures of their babies.  That statement is about as surprising as saying the sky is blue.  Nick Kelsh has succeeded in creating a book that is as useful to a "point and shooter" as it is to the pro shooter - and he does so without ever using a technical term.  The only place the phrase f-stop appears in the book is in the introduction where he explains that he won't be using it!

This book is about composition and a few basic techniques. They are presented in 9 pull-out lessons.  The print is big and the prose approachable and easy to read.  The tone is fun, not serious or too technical, as so many photo books are.  Because it's easy to read and understand, it would make a wonderful gift to new parents so  they could learn to take great pictures, that will become treasured memories in years to come.  

This guy loves kids.  If you do to, this book should be in your photo library.

Paint Shop Pro 6, Visual Insight    
by Ramona & Joshua Pruitt
Softcover, 400pp, ISBN: 1-57610525-3

As is often the case in the digital world, this book is already out of date as Jasc has released version 7 of Paint Shop Pro (though almost everything you find here is can be used with version 7).  We often include references to Paint Shop Pro in our digital articles since so many folks use this great package.  At $99 it includes most PhotoShop tools that an amateur is likely to want to use, and in some ways is easier to use than PhotoShop.

The one complaint we do hear is, while there are shelves of books on PhotoShop, there are few on Paint Shop Pro.

This book is divided into two sections.  The first essentially duplicates the manuals that come with Paint Shop Pro; but a large portion of Paint Shop Pro users download their copies from the Web and will find this section extremely useful.  

The second half of the book is divided into projects that show what steps are necessary to achieve specific effects; removing red-eye for example.  The projects approach makes this book more useful than a pure reference manual.  

The only area I thought the book was lacking was in it's coverage of the various filters that ship with Paint Shop Pro - an area that confuses a lot of beginners.  Otherwise it's a very good overview of the program and it's capabilities. 

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