Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

Focal Press, $54.95 (768 p)
ISBN-10: 024052604X, ISBN-13: 978-024052604 

Martin Evening, a London-based professional photographer, has updated and expanded his popular and comprehensive book on Photoshop. He explains almost all of the techniques and tools that photographers might need within the program and he makes sure to cover CS6’s new features. Many of the alternative Photoshop materials on the market function like recipe books. They presume some familiarity with Photoshop and give tips and techniques, including specific numbers or levels to enter in order to achieve a given effect.  Evening’s tome, more expansive, is not meant to be merely a recipe book, but to show the reader 'how to cook', providing theoretical underpinning and explanations.

Take sharpening and noise reduction for example; Evening patiently goes through each slider, detailing what it does and why - as well as recounting the evolution both of camera sensors response to noise as well as the improvements in the Photoshop’s ability manage it. Graphically, the book feels well designed, filled with images, screen shots, before-and-after versions, and sidebar facts.  

An added plus to Evening’s book is his easy-to-navigate site  With this latest edition, Evening eschews including a DVD as he has in the past, instead putting material online, including printable .pdfs and instructional videos. Full access to the site requires a login and password included with purchase. With 768 pages of material already in the book, some readers may be intimidated by the idea of going online and getting hundreds more, but it's there if you want it. 

The book’s primary strength then - its exhaustiveness - may also be a liability for some readers who would feel inundated by this volume of information. Evening’s prose is readable and practical, though not terribly colorful, and the book retains a consistent 'text book' flavor throughout. Thankfully, Evening can be playfully self-aware of his potential for a dry technical tone, such as when he insists on the correct spelling of raw (not RAW) files but acknowledges that it is a 'pedantic point'. 

Despite its density, beginners should be able to understand this book, but will need to tackle it in sequence, because they’d likely be quite lost if they arbitrarily opened to a later chapter. Evening imparts much of the vocabulary and menu navigation towards the beginning, and then assumes increased fluency as he goes. That said, with some prior knowledge, intermediate and advanced types could easily take a 'flip to the chapter you need' approach because the book is well-indexed.

Ultimately, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, if you want a thorough and up-to-date understanding of the photo industry's major photo-editing program, I recommend giving Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Photographers a close look. 

'Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Photographers' is available on

Adam Koplan is head of the Performance Department at the Dreamyard Project which brings arts programs to NYC schools. He is also Artistic Director of The Flying Carpet Theatre Co. Follow him on Twitter @FlyingCarpetNYC   

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by or any affiliated companies.


Total comments: 54
By luigibozi (Feb 17, 2013)

check this out:
you can get more than some pages online

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PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (Nov 23, 2012)

"For photographers"? Hmm .. for who else?

By rightwinger (Nov 23, 2012)

The cover pic sucks? Please ignore the most thorough book on any shelf regarding learning CS6. Evening explains it all, Kelby about 20%. I also own Scott's books, because I guess I like a library and in Photoshop there are usually many ways to achieve a task. However, Martin Evening is a master, and if you want to learn to quickly apply a curve, and create an action so you can do it faster next time, go Kelby. If you want to learn all there is about CS6, Martin Evening will pen your book for you. You just need to READ it.....

By Freezer (Nov 8, 2012)

The question is this- How much information do you want? If the answer is- Enough to do certain things quickly, this book is not for you. A much better book would be Scott Kelby's Photoshop book which is great for getting discreet things done quickly. Alternatively, if you want to become relatively expert at Photoshop, and are willing to spend the time to do so, the Evening book is outstanding. He offers enough background and theory to allow you to do things you would never have thought of if you'd only read one of the "cookbook" Photoshop books. Personally, I have both and find they're very complimentary.

1 upvote
By ChrisKramer1 (Nov 6, 2012)

I'll take a look, but I tried a textbook on Photoshop 4 and found the various tutorials on the internet much more rewarding. You know, if you are experimenting with Photoshop, just google "bloom effect CS6" and you will find loads of tutorials. There are also free dedicated websites for LR4, PS6 and Gimp. Plus lots of monthly magazines...

By TLD (Nov 6, 2012)

I've had a copy sitting on my shelf for weeks, but not really got into it. It's too big to read comfortably. It does not open flat, and is difficult to read into the gutter. I got Steve Caplin's How to Cheat at Photoahop CS6 (I had the CS4 version) in the same parcel from Amazon, and made more of an effort with that, so I don't know if says anything.

Model Mike
By Model Mike (Nov 5, 2012)

I bought one of his previous Photoshop books and found it heavy going. Not so much the content, as the author's slightly exasperating tendency to use five words when one will do.

Ben Wilmore's Photoshop CS Studio Techniques covered similar ground and was much more readable, and I still refer to it.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
By tom60634 (Nov 5, 2012)

I purchased the book and read through a bit of it.

I then decided to go to the web site that is advertised as the replacement for the dvd that normally accompanies a book of this nature and expense. The website while reachable would not download the materials as promised.

As far as I'm concerned a waste of money and time.

If you have it review his CS5 book or borrow it (or his CS6 book) from your local library, and then enroll for a month to kelbytraining and/or for the new features reviews and explanations, you'll be ahead in money,time and aggravation.

By NancyP (Nov 5, 2012)

From past experience, Evening's books take some self-discipline to work through, but are well written and logical. I consider the books as the ultimate reference books on basic Lightroom and Photoshop operations.

For some reason, the book was impossible to get a month ago - glad to see it is now available.

By showmeyourpics (Nov 5, 2012)

I believe that Evening's and Kelby's publications complement each other very well (I always purchase both) and provide the best available Photoshop references. Lynda's tutorials are also very good but I agree with their limitations as expressed by jwhig

By jwhig (Nov 5, 2012)

I have in the past bought Scott Kelby's guides to Photoshop and Lightroom. Earlier this year I bought Martin Evening's book on Lightroom 4. It is heavy reading compared to Kelby but covers everything while Kelby covers a range of features but not comprehensively. He may be easier to read but Martin Evening wins on detail. As this review says, he teaches you how to cook while Kelby offers a number of recipes.
I agree that tutorials are easier to follow but more difficult to go back to than a book and potentially much more expensive.

By rightwinger (Nov 5, 2012)

Agree, I buy Evening's books first, however becoming somewhat thick headed in my old age, I usually follow an exercise in the book with a Lynda or Kelby video, that has been my best learning method...YMMV...

1 upvote
By CameraLabTester (Nov 5, 2012)

Good luck to the new book.

Often times, tutorials and lessons are better understood when motion, movement and animation are utilized to explain a point, such as in a video clip.

It is better to view the sliders working than to just read about sliding it.


Paradigm Changer
By Paradigm Changer (Nov 5, 2012)

There's something broken with the hues on the cover. Not pretty at all.

1 upvote
Erik van den Elsen
By Erik van den Elsen (Nov 6, 2012)

...thanks for mentioning this most important point about the book...

1 upvote
Paradigm Changer
By Paradigm Changer (Nov 6, 2012)

Yeah, right? The profienciency of the author in creating and selecting a suitable cover image would seem to be kind of relevant. Thumbs up, Erik.

By nightshadow1 (Nov 5, 2012)

Another excellent book by Evening.

When purchasing a new or upgraded program, I always am happy when Evening releases his latest.

Buy it... it is the CS6 bible!

By Camediadude (Nov 5, 2012)

I came here just to gaze at the girl.

Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Nov 5, 2012)

The cover of this book is truly awful (no offence to the lovely model).

I wish technical photo books didn’t so often veer into tasteless and borderline offensive photos of sexualised young women clearly aimed at unimaginative old men.

Do authors and publishers not realise that some potential readers don’t want every example photo to be of a supposedly demure blonde with her mouth open, airbrushed to within an inch of her life lest a stray hair ruin the fantasy (see last page spread above)?

I don’t want this. I can’t imagine what women make of it (cue five women defending the practice…).

Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Nov 5, 2012)

I haven't had a chance to check out the book yet, but the cover photo is not promising. If the goal is to make a beautiful woman look like a department store mannequin with eyes illuminated from behind, then I want no part of it.

By marike6 (Nov 5, 2012)

Totally disagree with Mr. Dilworth. The image is lovely, and there is nothing remotely sexual about it. If you are going to interpret every image of a female model as "sexualized", you are going to have a tough time photographing people. Maybe you could put female models in burkas? Or perhaps you can just accept and celebrate the human form and it's beauty, and realize that not everybody shares such puritanical hangups.

I mean honestly, now a headshot of a woman is "sexualization"? Talk about PC run amok.

M Jesper
By M Jesper (Nov 5, 2012)

Correct me if i'm wrong, but I don't think he meant sex as an activity but simply gender. The point being, of all the things to photograph in the world, it had to be a young woman. Because apparently that's what it takes to sell a photography book these days ?

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Nov 5, 2012)

You’re attacking straw men, marike6. One of the reasons I protest at this kind of cover is that it militates against the very appreciation of human form and beauty that you claim to defend.

Instead, it serves up the fantasy of an ostensibly demure girl – invariably dyed blonde – with slightly dated makeup (to be more accessible to slightly dated men, I presume), a dumb facial expression, an open mouth, and often an absurdly frilly dress (as here). Stray hairs, wrinkles, and spots are replaced by an imagined flawless perfection.

The result is thought to be a universal fantasy among likely readers.

Well, I’m saying:
• it’s not universal
• it’s offensive and cynical of you to think I’ll buy your book because it has a nubile young woman on the cover
• it’s tasteless. It has no style. Engage your imagination if you must use a pretty woman to sell your book.

By eye-spy (Nov 5, 2012)

I'm sure you are fully aware that as well as being an author Martin Evening is a well established hair style photographer. He has photographed many award winning hairstyles and he uses those photos to illustrate his books. The styles, poses, demeanour, dress and retouching are all in line with current market trends.

Stu 5
By Stu 5 (Nov 5, 2012)

Eye-spy, good to see you took the time to read up about Martin Evening before jumping to conclusions. This is a typical hairstyle photographers photograph. The retouching is what the market expects to see as it is all about the models hair. Stray hairs are not tolerated is this market area and have to be taken out. People will some times spend hours and hours retouching a single photograph to make sure it is perfect. The makeup is not dated either. The photo is not clearly aimed at unimaginative old men. It is aimed at women who are either going to be looking at the photo in a hair product magazine advert or in a hair salon.

1 upvote
By pcassel (Nov 5, 2012)

I understand Dilworth's concerns but he also much take into account that Evening does not shoot landscapes or still life scenes for a living. He's a high fashion hair photographer and as a pro must meet the demands of his market. Were his photos to reflect reality, he'd not only sell none, but he'd soon be beggared.

By marike6 (Nov 5, 2012)

I'm not attacking anyone. I'm saying that to criticize a random headshot as sexualization just because the model happens to be attractive is not only a stretch, but an extreme position that reads way too much into a simple cover image.

It's just bad pseudo-psychology to posit that the author is trying to sell his book using sex from a simple retouched cover photo of a woman by a well-known Photoshop expert. How silly.

By gsum (Nov 5, 2012)

Here we go again. Another poster attempting to demonstrate his PC credentials with a bit of PC absolutism. We don't need to be patronised by you Mr. Dilworth.

Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Nov 5, 2012)

I agree wit h S. Dilworth to some extent, especially after the rather inane tutorial by M. Evening we had recently.
There is no question that a pretty face captures my attention pretty quickly, so that serves the marketing of such books very well. But would it not be more interesting to do something a bit more creative? rather than the usual high fashion look. Isn't the goal of great photography to be creative rather than Slave to Fashion? : )

So, even though I agree w S. Dillworth, I think he goes a bit too far.


1 upvote
By KodaChrome25 (Nov 11, 2012)


It's what he does. The book is just an extension of it.

By roby17269 (Nov 5, 2012)

I've just finished reading it and it is excellent as the previous editions.

My only comment is that it is better to have read the previous editions, since not only some chapters have not been repeated (they are available on the web site), but also some interesting techiques to create sharpening and NR actions (mostly around creating masks that reveal or protect edges) and beauty retouching techniques

By gl2k (Nov 5, 2012)

I'm always skeptical about books. Today the internet is so full of information that 5 min with Google brings up more than one can digest.

By marike6 (Nov 5, 2012)

You may be able to find plenty of retouching tutorials but you won't find such a comprehensive work. This book must be in it's 5 edition, and is one of the standard works on PS.

Besides, much of the content online is just copy and pasted, or even complete pirated works from authors sharing their expertise.

By ms18 (Nov 5, 2012)

I recommend Linda Videos.. videos are better than books..

1 upvote
John Gerecht
By John Gerecht (Nov 5, 2012)

Videos are not always better than books. There have been many times I've wanted to look up an obscure feature and have gone to my library. Videos, whether Lynda or NAPP, don't pretend to be comprehensive: this book is pretty darned comprehensive.

Also, I've had my internet connection fail, but not my computer, if you depend solely on, you'd have a problem looking up a technique.

But when I want to know how something works that has a video available, that's often the easiest way to learn.

Joe Josephs
By Joe Josephs (Nov 5, 2012)

According to the review ... "With this latest edition, Evening eschews including a DVD as he has in the past, instead putting material online, including printable .pdfs and instructional videos. Full access to the site requires a login and password included with purchase".

Does this mean that someone borrowing the book from their local library will not have access to the above material?

1 upvote
Chez Wimpy
By Chez Wimpy (Nov 5, 2012)

"Borrowing" books is so 20th century. I prefer the 21st century neutral terms like "visual based intellectual piracy."

1 upvote
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Nov 5, 2012)

I have an earlier version of Martin Evening's book (CS4 I think) and although chuck full of detail, a lot of new features are really far better served with video tutorials, even though for review a written summary is better than having to search through a video. I note that on-line materials, available to purchasers, include video tutorials, but have no idea how much.

I have been really impressed with the CS6 tutorials found on, which costs $25 per month, or less if you get a longer period of subscription. I found a ton of material that I did not know about and found very valuable. There are free video's that you can try in each section, so you can judge for yourself.

At this point I find I get a much more out of video tutorials than when I simply read information on a page with anything that is a bit more complicated than the very simple stuff.


Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
genuine glass lens
By genuine glass lens (Nov 5, 2012)

Just tossed the far older version, and was about to purchase the digital book via Amazon, when I noticed that it was more expensive than having the paper version shipped to you.

Can't figure that one out.

By harvo (Nov 5, 2012)

Does it cover ACR 7 in depth?

By rockjano (Nov 4, 2012)

I am a CS6 owner with deep knowledge of Photoshop, ID and Illustrator and there is a lot of good new feature in these softwares especially in PS and ID.

True, the crop tool in PS6 is something you have to get used to but if you do it is better than before. ( I use it in Classic mode)


By abdalim (Nov 4, 2012)

Is the book suitable for the beginners?

By win39 (Nov 5, 2012)

Probably not. I bought an Evening book for an earlier version of Photoshop and it was exhausting and I did not learn very much. The approach Scott Kelby takes with his books by showing how to do the tasks that a photographer wants to do and giving you the steps to do to be much better for a beginner.

By thomas2279f (Nov 4, 2012)

Bit pricey but its worth it....

By PicOne (Nov 4, 2012)

Is there an ebook format for eg. Tablets/Google Nexus, etc.? Seems these kinds of books would be ideally suited to a color ebook format

By geneherz (Nov 5, 2012)

there is a version available for the kindle, mobi format

By Zigmont (Nov 4, 2012)

I wonder if it covers the new crop tool -- a complete disaster that has been roundly panned by CS5 owners who upgraded. There's a huge thread on it in the Adobe forums. Many CS6 upgraders -- like me -- went back to CS5 because the redesigned crop tool in CS6 is such a disaster.

Adobe finally said last week they're going to bring back the CS5 crop tool in CS6, but to be honest there's nothing in CS6 that you can't do in CS5, so save your money.

NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Nov 5, 2012)

Interesting comments, thank you.

I'm a CS5 owner who has been thinking about upgrading to CS6, but the new features I've heard about don't seem to be all that great or important.

I might stick with what I've got.

By astralux (Nov 5, 2012)

Why do you say that the crop tool is a disaster? I use PS6 8 hours per day and have found the new crop tool to be great with the alterations from CS5 working very well. It is one of the changes that I really like and one of the reasons why I upgraded. Please give reasons for your comments. My pro photog friends all agree with me that the crop tool is great, could not find anuone who does not like it.

unknown member
By (unknown member) (Nov 5, 2012)

That's why the Adobe forums are a clusterfsck over the new crop tool. Seriously, do you think only your opinion matters?

By KodaChrome25 (Nov 11, 2012)

ratsass. yeah. astralux's opinion matters. as much as yours.

and real men don't use CS6 to crop, we get the framing right in the camera in the first place.

and 10 people bstching on adobe forums does not a fustercluck make.

By RLPhotoAndImaging (Nov 4, 2012)

Looks promising, and actually informative and well written, in contrast to that from Kelby.

Total comments: 54