This book is aimed at an intermediate user. This book has hundreds of pictures and specific tasks are made easier to accomplish by giving them a title that makes sense, such as: Gray Day Recovery, How to Remove Vignettes, Portrait Tone and Contrast, Freaky Amazing Details, Glowing Lines and Dust.
I love that there are plenty of screen shots, with very descriptive captions so you don’t have to go searching through the body text to figure out what in the screenshot is important.
I really like how the author collaborated with many other Photoshop users and incorporated their tips and tricks into the book. As every serious Photoshop user has their own favorite tricks, we get to see some of the best, from a wide variety of seasoned users, from illustrators to photographers to fine artists.
The author is trained as a physicist (seriously) and offers some very technical details for the more technically-inclined readers. If you want a deeper understanding of the math behind blend modes, be sure to check out Chapter 7: List of Blend Modes. That chapter gives very technical descriptions of what each blend mode will do (complete with mathematical equations such as this one for Linear Light:
Output = Base+2*(Blend-.05 // For values of Blend > 50% (Linear Dodge)
I honestly don’t understand the math, but fortunately, right along each math equation is a handy screenshot, filled with rainbow colors that illustrate what the blending mode does.
There is really no substitute for just digging in and spending many hours experimenting with blend modes while referring to quality reference material. However, this book will definitely help speed up the process of understanding blend modes.
Part I: Blend Mode Basics
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: General Techniques
Part II: Creative Techniques
Chapter 3: Photography
Chapter 4: Photographic Manipulation and Compositing
Chapter 5: Design, Painting, and Illustration
Part III: Blend Modes in Depth
Chapter 6: Decoding Blend Modes
Chapter 7: List of Blend Modes
Part IV: Appendices
Appendix A: Color Modes and Bit Deoth
Appendix B: Blend Modes Reference Table
Appendix C: Online Resources
Appendix D: Blend Mode Tools Matrix