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Photoshop - now that I've got it, what do I do with it??

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by zpierce, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Now that I got my $39 version of Photoshop, I'm daunted by the task of learning how to use it! I'm not looking to become a Photoshop guru, but I'd like to be able to do the handful of things I've always wished I could do in Lightroom but wasn't quite able to. Primarily around mixing and matching multiple exposures, and basic editing of irregular sections of photos. I assume I need to learn how to use the selection tools, layers, and basic adjustments.

    Any suggestions on good tutorials, topics, etc? Playing around with this beast is daunting to say the least. I'm happy to eat the elephant one bite at a time, but where's a good place to start and what resources do people recommend?

  2. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    ps is too confusing for my lil brain
    but there are tons of youtube tutorials!
    id start there!
  3. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Going straight to the source is a good place to start:
    Learn Photoshop CS5: Getting Started and tutorials

    If you click the link on the right side under "Full Training Courses," you get:
    Adobe - Books - Photoshop family
    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Classroom in a Book
    Adobe Photoshop CS5 Classroom in a Book
    It costs $35 for the ebook, which considering the money you saved on the product, is worthwhile spent towards your education, IMHO. If you aren't willing to pay, then there are so many options online. As bokeaji says, there are Youtube videos, links on various forums, etc. Using google and some creative search terms ("photoshop tutorials," "cs5 tutorials," "how to use photoshop," "how to learn photoshop," etc) should give you a wealth of information. Also, consider looking on your local Craigslist to see if anyone is selling any books or videos, and go to your local used bookstore, like Half Price Books.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks for the resources, I'll check them out! It looks like there's some good stuff on that Adobe link for sure.

    I'm definitely aware of the copious amounts of tutorials, videos, books, etc. That's precisely why I posted :)  My post wasn't motivated by an inability to find information, it was precisely the opposite, it was information overload. I am seeking to crowdsource a pared down list of resources that people found particularly useful, especially relative to the handful of things I'm looking to do with PS for the time being. I'm not particularly interested in books as I'm not looking for a soup to nuts education. I'd like to hit the highlights relative to what I want to do.

    Thanks again,
  5. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    what?! there is never too much info! u just spend a full week doing nothing but reading
    or is that just me and my obsessiveness?
    *nervous chuckle... frantically continues em5 research*
  6. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Honestly, sign up for local courses, either continuing learning courses at a local university, or courses at a local community college. You'll learn the important basics like layers, masking, curves, selections, etc. The course may not (and probably will not) be tailored specifically towards photography, but like the old saying goes, they'll be teaching you to fish, not giving you one. Understanding the basics of photoshop is infinitely more helpful than teaching you specific workflow steps.

    If you don't want to wait, a book or video series is better than most websites, as it will go beginning to end. Meanwhile, many links you find will be tips, tricks, and tutorials on how to achieve a certain outcome and assume that you already know the basics. Like this one:
    Photo Editing Tutorials
    Digital Darkroom: Find digital darkroom tips, including color management, image sharpening & more at photo.net
    But, you can have more full
    lynda.com ($25/month, but worth it if you study intensively. Free previews, so you can see what you'd be getting into)
    Master Photoshop In Under 2 Hours

    Bokeaji, to hijack another thread with Austin nonsense, were you the guy with the GF2 and 100-300mm lens at Precision Camera last weekend? I was at the Nikon manual focus case, seeing if there was anything for me to burn my money on, since they didn't have any worthwhile used flashes or lenses in stock. I'd get a Nissin in a heartbeat if the flash head tilted and swiveled!
  7. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I like the books and tutorials that Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski have done. They are not just informative but entertaining. I hate dry tutorials! I also highly recommend the "Teach Yourself Visually" series of books to get you started. They don't go into the deep stuff but they are easy to follow. They are also very affordable books. Of coarse check with the local college{if there is one} they may have some classes.
  8. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    Adobe Photoshop Tutorials from Beginner to Advanced | Psdtuts+
    Also be sure to like the Photoshop Facebook page - they tend to put up tons of resources and links.

    Learn keyboard shortcuts! Also +1 for Scott Kelby. He also is head of a large Photoshop user group called NAPP. Probably worth joining to get tips and questions answered from other users.
  9. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    There are a number of tutorials on YouTube that are very helpful.
  10. winnie123

    winnie123 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 9, 2012
    London, U.K
    Photoshop for $39 is that only available in the US...?
  11. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    It was a student-targeted clearance, almost a price mistake if one considers how quickly the program ended.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Do Not Bother With Non-photographic PS

    Waste of time. I don't do much with photoshop. If the pic is so bad it needs massive PS... I toss it. I use PS to resize, sharpen, a little healing brush or clone stamp ( beer can removal ) and once in a while I'll stitch a panorama.

    All this and pretty much anything you want to do can be picked up in short how-to instructions. Luminous-Landscape has some short ones that are good.

    You can do wild things with PS. But I'm just not into that much computer time.

    Adobe Camera Raw on the other hand is indispensable. And it, unlike PS, is very easy to use. You can almost teach yourself how to make it work although it is best to start out with some knowledgable person's slider formula and experiment your own way to happiness from there. :biggrin:
  13. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
  14. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Ansel Adams would highly disagree with you, as would most every celebrated or respected photographer throughout history. Look at how much time Adams for example would spend on an image after taking it:
    A Tour of Ansel Adams’ Darkroom
    Look at 4:55 to see the difference between his most famous image out of the camera vs. the finished product. Spending time postprocessing, whether it's literally in a darkroom or in a figurative darkroom (i.e. using a computer program) is just as important as spending time behind the camera. If you are shooting JPEG, you're just offloading those processing decisions onto someone else. Photoshop allows local adjustments, which is impossible with Lightroom. Don't get me wrong; I do 95% of my work in Lightroom, but for serious photographs, there is no stigma among photographers associated with making local adjustments.

    Some enlightening links:
    Ansel Adams spent a LOT of time in the darkroom. - Democratic Underground
    Why Ansel Adams Would Love Photoshop | simple snapshot
    Thomas Hawk Digital Connection » Blog Archive » 10 Interesting Things I Learned About Ansel Adams
    "So much of Adams’ work was in the darkroom. One of the biggest challenges, even today, when images are used from the Ansel Adams archive (at the University of Arizona in Tucson) is to ensure that the final image from the negative is a quality image. So much of the final outcome of Ansel’s work came from the darkroom. "
    IMAGEs by DEN
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I highly recommend the Adobe Classroom in a Book. I'm an Adobe Certified Expert, and these are the books we use to upgrade ourselves with each new version of Adobe products to stay certified. I've never used the eBook version of these, I just go to my local bookstore and buy it.

    I also highly recommend the Total Training DVDs... but they cost about as much as a weekend college class, which will undoubtly defeat your savings from the $39 sale. =D
  16. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2012
    I suggest you just search online for specific task-based tutorials for exactly what you want to accomplish right now. No matter what you're trying to do you'll find 20 different tutorials on it. One of them is bound to be at the right skill level for you. If one is too easy or too hard, try the next one.
  17. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    I took a few Total Training classes for After Effects - well worth the money
  18. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    I wouldn't "waste" time in Photoshop unless it's a good image to begin with.
  19. fgbrault

    fgbrault Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2012
    One setting I often find useful is to set Unsharp Mask to Amount 20, Radius 50 and Threshold 0 and apply it to the full size image, prior to any downsizing. This setting both sharpens and, even more importantly, adds some contrast to the image. If it is too much you can use Fade Unsharp Mask in the Edit menu to reduce the effect to what you like.
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