Anytime Scot Kelby’s publisher sends over a new book, I get excited. Scott works really hard on all of his books and they are almost universally big hits. Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop is almost certain to be another.

If you make portraits and want to deliver the best possible image to your clients, Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop will help you do just that.

It’s designed for everyday photographers who just want to know what they need to do in Photoshop to deliver the kind of results that professional retouchers do. It’s not a primer on how to get a job as a professional retoucher or even intended to train you how to become one. Rather, it’s a primer on how to quickly, efficiently and terrifically retouch a portrait so that the subject will love it.

There is plenty of step-by-step information on retouching skin, eyes, nose, lips, and eyes. Scott also offers tremendous slimming techniques that will make every client who’s a few pounds to the wide side happy. I really appreciate the before and after examples which help people who learn best by simply seeing.

As with similar topics covered by Kelby, his approach here is to offer lots of practical advice including checklists and workflows. It’s not pie in the sky – it’s meat and potatoes. It’s step-by-step instruction with the trademark Scott Kelby sense of humor thrown in for good measure.

I tried several of Scott’s techniques listed in the book. I already do a fair amount of retouching, but I have to say even I learned some new (and better) ways of doing what I had been doing in the past.

The illustrations are terrific and really help to accurately drive home the teaching points. The book is written conversationally and is easy to digest in bite-sized chunks.

At around $30 this 384-page, well-organized book is a no-brainer for anyone who wants to do their own retouching. It will still be valuable five years from now no matter what new techniques are introduced down the road. And at this price? Well you’d spend a great deal more on classes, DVDs etc.

If you are the sort of person who can learn from reading a book, and if you want to do your own retouching in Photoshop, Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop is your book.

Highly recommended.

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