Saturday, July 4, 2009

REVIEW: Photoshop LAB Color by Dan Margulis

I’ve read a bunch of books on Photoshop and many authors praise Dan Margulis as being some sort of God in the Photoshop community. In fact, he’s one of the first people named to the Photoshop Hall of Fame, and my favorite author – Scott Kelby – calls him revolutionary. Since my own digital workflow frequently consists of LAB color adjustments mainly due to the 7 Point System I follow, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. Of course, once I got it in March I set time aside immediately so I could read this “important book” others have said I would love.

Now, if you read that last paragraph carefully you’ll notice that I got this book in March and now it is July, so you may be wondering why I’m just now writing a review for it. Well, the reality is that I’ve never been able to finish reading this book, so I’ve decided to write my review based on what I did read and explain why I couldn’t finish it.

If you are a long-time reader of my blog you might recall that some books just don’t click for my style of reading or learning, and this is DEFINITELY one of those books. I’ve tried, retried, and even started over from the beginning to  read this book but I just found it to be too damn boring for me to digest. Seriously, I enjoyed this book about as much as one would enjoy getting an enema with a roto-rooter!

I wanted to love this book. I wanted to be like everyone else and say what an important book this was for the industry and no one could live with out it. I expected it to make my What Photoshop Books Should I Read?  list as required reading and to sing its praises in my review, but I couldn’t. This blog is about unfiltered reviews, and this is one where the gloves have to come off. Quite simply, I just don’t think it works for the way I learn. That isn’t to say that I don’t think it is an important book (in fact I probably wouldn’t know the joys of LAB color had Dan not written this book), but I thought the pictures used in the book looked horrible after they were processed (specifically the color – not just the composition). I felt it was so tedious to read that I found myself getting distracted and doing tasks like clipping my toenails rather than reading another page.


I did make it a point to skim through this whole book, and for those who are capable of reading it all there is some good stuff in it. Of course, you can also skip this book and learn the most important parts of those same concepts from the following books:

However, if you are the type of person who enjoys reading your insurance policy over and over again, doing math problems on tissue paper while taking care of personal business, or who actual lived through reading a Daniel J. Boorstin book without gouging your eyes out then I highly recommend this book for you.

If you are someone who would rather “get to the point” and “see how to use” something, then you are free to spare yourself the misery of reading this book. I’d highly recommend the others listed above as a better use of your time. Personally, I will force myself to get through this book one day. If my opinion changes, I’ll update this review, but in the meantime life has more enjoyable things to do like getting a early head start on my 2009 income tax return by reading everything on the IRS web site. I know I would enjoy that much more than reading this book.

Dan if you read this, I thank you for writing this book as its importance is without question. However, I thank others for reading it for me and putting it into more enjoyable examples that I actually care about. Please take a look at Scott Kelby’s books as examples of how to educate in a practical manner and consider doing a less intense version that caters to the masses. Your readers would enjoy it more and you’ll make a heck of a lot more money off the book sales!

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1 comment:

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