The excitement that comes from downloading your digital photos can dissipate quickly as you discover the shots you took were not so great after all. But then, that’s what Photoshop is for.
But if you haven’t mastered this powerful digital image editing software yet, you’re in for a bumpy, if not totally frustrating ride ahead. With so many options to choose from in Photoshop and procedures that require you to follow “the rules”, it’s easy to get lost. It’s easy to spend hours tweaking and re-tweaking your photo only to find you have to scrap the whole project anyway because you just can’t figure out how to do what you want to do.
So where can you turn for help?
I think at this point in time, Google is everyone’s first choice when they want to find information. Simply type into their search box whatever you are trying to do, for example: “photoshop how to remove red-eye”. I just tried that phrase and got 380,000 possible ways to remove red-eye and it only took .22 seconds. The only problem with that is, I will spend the next hour clicking on and trying different methods. One sure thing about Photoshop, if you ask 10 people HOW to do something, you’ll likely get 10 different answers.
The greatest thing about YouTube is you get to see someone actually do what you want to do. They have a search engine there, so again I type in, “photoshop how to remove red-eye”. This time I get 51 possible choices. 51 videos to watch and learn and try for me. Again, the same problem as the original Google search only with fewer options to try. With all the different versions of Photoshop and all the different skill levels displayed on YouTube, I know I can succeed in removing the red-eye, but it could still take quite a while to watch 51, 5-minute videos.
Many online “gurus” are offering programs to teach you Photoshop. You buy their books on PDF, follow along with their videos, or receive their CD or DVD in the mail. While it beats sitting through an adult learning course at your local school, you’ll still be investing a lot of time and money in learning “stuff” you may never use. Why endure the expense and time required to learn a lot, when you can get just what you want more simply? Ultimately, without good notes, you still won’t find the information you need, when you need it, although you know you have it somewhere.
Your local library will no doubt contain several books on mastering Photoshop. Only trouble is, you’ll have to read and return the book. Photoshop is one of those things where if you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s hard to remember all the steps and procedures if you only use them infrequently. You could buy the book at the bookstore, but really, how many times do we open a book these days for reference? See #1.
There are millions of photographers on this planet. One thing for certain is they all want to know what everyone else is doing. We’re constant learners, always looking for that next great tip to make our shots easier or more creative. A quick Google search of “photoshop forums” nets me 494,000 possible forums to look at for answers to previously asked questions. While I might meet a group of photogs I’d like to hang with long-term, it’s likely there are better places for getting my photo fixed before bedtime tonight.
Tip cards are my favorite resource when it comes to getting fast results. For hundreds of years, folks have used recipe cards to turn a bunch of kitchen ingredients into a delicious finished product. Isn’t that essentially what we’re trying to do with Photoshop? Aren’t we trying to take a bunch of computer commands and turn them into a great finished photograph? Yes, we are! The great thing about these tip cards, or “photoshop recipe cards” is they sit right beside your computer for easy reference. You know what you want to do, you pull that cards from the deck and get to work. In just minutes you’re finished. You can find a lot of TIP CARDS on our website!
Nothing beats the feeling you have when you finally rescue your hum-drum photograph from Dullsville and turn it into something great. Having the right Photoshop tools and tips at your disposal can make all the difference between photographs that proudly hang on your wall, or pictures that never get printed at all.