Photoshop - new user

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JASvoboda, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. JASvoboda

    JASvoboda TPF Noob!

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    I have been using film for over 30 years as an advanced amateur and switched to digital when the Nikon D100 came out. Recently I was motivated to step up to a Nikon D700 and purchased Photoshop CS4 since there seems to be so much written about it and I wanted to take my experience to another level. I just finished reading an editorial about how Photoshop has been on the market for 20 years and I am sitting here dumbfounded!

    How does a new Photoshop user learn to use the software? The advantage of an early adopter to grow with the various releases of Photoshop over 20 years (or even 10 years) can't be underestimated.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    here's a suggestion: open the programme. open an image file. go through all the menus and play with the parameters. notice what effect they have on the image (undo/redo). in general, just concentrate on what your image needs to be enhanced rather than altering it for the sake of using everything at your disposal. the editing concepts are much the same ones you would be familiar with using film and a darkrooom.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Just start using it. You can just tinker and be generally directionless or you can get some guides:

    Scott Kelby's CS4 book is a very popular book and essentially a collection of tutorials on how to do specific things:
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Photoshop-Book-Digital-Photographers/dp/0321580095/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268682605&sr=8-1]Amazon.com: The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers (9780321580092): Scott Kelby: Books[/ame]

    For a more step-by-step approach to workflow look at:
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-CS4-Workflow-Digital-Photographers/dp/0470381280/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268682664&sr=1-1]Amazon.com: Photoshop CS4 Workflow: The Digital Photographer's Guide (9780470381281): Tim Grey, Christopher Robinson: Books[/ame]

    Lastly, for a more comprehensive guide:
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-CS4-Workflow-Digital-Photographers/dp/0470381280/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268682664&sr=1-1]Amazon.com: Photoshop CS4 Workflow: The Digital Photographer's Guide (9780470381281): Tim Grey, Christopher Robinson: Books[/ame]

    There is always Youtube.com video tutorials, Lynda.com and becoming a NAPP member, which has benefits well beyond photoshop like free regular shipping from both B&H Photo Video (on everything) and Adorama (some limitations apply).
     
  4. KenC

    KenC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When you read about Photoshop, don't get lost or intimidated by the multitude of tools available that most people rarely use, if ever. Concentrate on learning the things you would do in the darkroom for a start. Be sure to learn about cropping, contrast/brightness adjustment (mostly the Levels and Curves functions), and if you're scanning negatives, the Color Balance/Saturation tools (with direct digital capture this is less of an issue, at least on the first level). It would also be worth learning to use Adjustment Layers so you can easily reverse any bad decisions on contrast or color adjustment. Also, the healing brush or clone tool to "spot" the image. You'll get there faster than you think is possible!!!
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Search this answer on youtube.

    Let us know what happens next week when you finally escape the countless tutorial videos on there :)
     
  6. fashioneyes

    fashioneyes TPF Noob!

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    + 1 on the Scott Kelby books ... very good indeed.
     
  7. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

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    I agree. Remember that Photoshop is the leading software used for many folks besides photographers. It has many features that aren't particularly useful to still photographers.

    It is also loaded up with all sorts of bells and whistles and gizmos. Some you may find useful or interesting. Most can be ignored.

    Many functions are included so people can start fiddling right out of the box (Adobe knows no one reads instruction manuals). For instance you will see simple adjustments such as "contrast" and "sharpen", yet as you study up on Photoshop you will find that most photographers never use these to control sharpness and contrast. Better techniques have been discovered and used over the years, but Adobe still needs to include a simple contrast adjustment for the guy who just shelled out $700, but doesn't know what they are doing. ;)

    Learn about adjustment layers. Using adjustment layers as you process your photo allows you to go back to any step in the process and change or eliminate it without messing with all the other steps or the original image.

    Learn about curves (called the characteristic curve in the darkroom). Curves can be used to control exposure, contrast, and color correction. You can burn and dodge by selecting specific areas, and using curves.

    After my switch from the darkroom to Photoshop 90% of my photo processing was accomplished using layers, the selection tools, curves, and unsharp mask (it's the same technique in PS as in the darkroom, just a million times easier).

    When looking for tutorials always go to the source first Adobe - Digital photography white papers and primers
     
  8. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    I think the best way to learn is to watch someone use it while they teach you. Lynda.com has excellent tutorials on Photoshop and is well worth the monthly membership.
     
  9. It is an unbelievably powerful software, and can be quite daunting. I STRONGLY suggest you find an Intro to PS class somewhere, I found that to be fastest way to learn. The books make my brain hurt, but when someone shows me it goes much faster.
     
  10. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    this might be helpful

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5vA0yk37IU&feature=related]YouTube - (2 of 17) Photoshop CS3 Workflow for Photographers[/ame]
     
  11. Hikingman

    Hikingman TPF Noob!

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    Keep the original, unedited pictures. This way, if you want to start from scratch-again, or revisit the original...
     
  12. Felix 222

    Felix 222 TPF Noob!

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    google + play around with photos!
     

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