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Thread: Learning PhotoShop or similar software for post?

  1. #1

    Learning PhotoShop or similar software for post?

    I'm terrible with PS as I just have no idea what it all means and what to do.

    What are people using for software any why?
    I hear a lot about Lightroom, what is the advantage/dissadvantage?

    Anybody know of good resources for learning?
    Maybe a web based training?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Re: Learning PhotoShop or similar software for post?

    I don't know if it's the best way to learn, but I started with an old copy of Photoshop Elements and moved to CS when my addiction overcame me. Lightroom is great if you have a volume of pictures to handle, but I had already "developed" my workflow pre-lightroom and I have a hard time changing my ways.

    You can make a lot of quick adjustments and selections in lightroom. You'll still need CS if you want to create layers and collages and work all kinds of tricks and techniques.

    I've learned most of my Photoshop skills reading tutorials online and checking outsome of the multitiude of books available at my library. You won't reach mad scientist proficiency until you've photoshopped a few thousand wedding photos, and then suddenly you'll find yourself teaching your friends how to create that 80-layer, 200 megabite masterpeice you just turned out.

    ...and make sure you have a good machine. I finally opetd for a quad core 64-bit machine with 6-gig of RAM and a 24" monitor. It makes my old Pentium 4 machine with the 17" CRT look like a stone axe.

  3. #3
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Savannah, GA

    Re: Learning PhotoShop or similar software for post?

    "...a stone axe" lol! (I'm using a 3.4GHZ P4...of course, I don't do enough editing for it to really matter. I only edit a few from every shoot).

    To be honest, I do alot of my adjustments in Digital Photo Professional. Of course, if I need something specific done I do it in Photoshop CS. However, if you want a pretty decent free application, try Gimp. Else, isn't so bad. The main thing is to find tutorials online for whatever program you use so that you familiarize yourself with the tools available so you can get the most out of your editing. Photoshop is a standard, and therefore it's much easier to find step by step tutorials for your needs.

  4. #4

    Re: Learning PhotoShop or similar software for post?

    Adobe has a lot of on-line tutorials for free, but Photo Shop can be quite daunting to learn. I've been using it for about 5 years (started with PS Elements and then migrated to the full version of PS via an upgrade offer years ago. I still struggle with understanding "the thinking" within PS. Many of the more useful techniques that can be employed in the application are not intuitive and require multiple areas of the software that are not obvious to the casual user.

    If you have not checked out Adobe's online tutorials, here's a link:

    Also, if you would like a beginners tutorial in a DVD training application, you may want to check out Michael Andrew's tutorial. His style of teaching is very digestible and you can watch some of his on-line samples at his website. He also offer's tutorial DVD's on the Canon 40D and 50D which are well received in his online forums. roducts_id=8&zenid=f52b9

    Michael's forums:


  5. #5

    Re: Learning PhotoShop or similar software for post?

    If you already have PS, I'm sure there are lots of books that will cover the basics about how to use the different tools and layers, etc etc. Once you have a general knowledge of where to find things and how to use the basic functions, check out The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby (this, of course, applies if you have the CS3 version). My husband bought it for me as a present and it's been a great asset for learning new ways to edit and improve my work. There are still so many things I don't know about PS, but I'm comfortable using it to edit my photos. Also, the more you practice, the better and quicker you get.

  6. #6

    Re: Learning PhotoShop or similar software for post?

    Thank you everyone.
    Please, keep going with the ideas.

    I currently have an older version of Elements and a copy of CS2.
    I've had CS2, but since I didn't know what I was doing I thought maybe I would be better served by using Elements for a more simplified version, but I've found I'm not sure what to do with either. So I do some in PS and some in elements, with about the same result.

    I really like the idea of something that is video based, I seem to learn better by seeing.

  7. #7

    Re: Learning PhotoShop or similar software for post?

    I will say that Kelby's book (I'm sure he has a CS2 version) has step-by-step pictures to go with the instruction so it's very easy to follow, and good for visual learners. I have also gone on YouTube to find videos - I'm sure there are ones for basic photoshop use as well as specifics (facial retouching, using layers, etc). YouTube just takes a bit longer because you have to sort through all the videos - some are very helpful and others are not. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Re: Learning PhotoShop or similar software for post?

    I almost never use PS since I bought Lightroom. Version 2.2 is even better because now you can dodge and burn and also apply gradients. I use these features all the time now to really take control like I had it doing B&W in the darkroom. It's just great. The LR approach is so much more forgiving and friendly than PS. The only things it can't do that I routinely need are to correct perspective and distortion. I'm hoping these will show up in LR 3. The way I see it, 99% of the functions of PS are not helpful for making good photos; they generally make the picture look dreadful. In LR, the exact opposite seems to be true. Download it and give it a try! It's very easy to understand to get going.

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