The Digital Photo Guy

So, You Want to Learn Photoshop

by on Aug.04, 2011, under Lightroom, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements, Workshops

Learning Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or Lightroom

Learning to DriveThink back to when you learned to drive a car. If, like me, you’re older than dirt, you may recall watching work the clutch and shift the tranny. It seemed so simple. Give it gas, release the clutch, wait until the car is up to speed, depress clutch, shift, release clutch, repeat. However, doing it, nothing worked quite as you imagined. Lightly depressing the gas pedal made the engine roar like an Indy racer. Releasing the clutch either stalled the engine or made the car jump like a toad with a hotfoot. Shifting was an exercise in futility, second was nowhere to be found! It was only with lots of practice that you finally started, shifted and stopped smoothly.

Learning Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or Lightroom is much the same. Watching others isn’t going to get you much more than frustration and badly edited photos. To really learn something, one has to practice repeatedly. It also helps to have an advisor who can help when you’re at wit’s end.

Last week, I decided to print some black & whites. Lately, I’ve seen some great BW and thought I’d rework a few old photos. The first print was a disaster. The blacks were completely blocked and there were  no details anywhere.

After three days of hair-pulling frustration, I conceded defeat and asked the printing guru at my local Calumet store. He showed me some techniques on the 3880 in the store and that’s all I needed. Within hours, I was printing great BW.

My success can be attributed to hours upon hours of practice with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom coupled with several dozen classes plus knowing the right person to seek out for advice. Finally, it really helps to know how to frame the questions.

That’s why all my classes come with after-class support. I know most students will never remember everything from a class. It would be surprising if students remembered 25% of the class. But, anyone who diligently applies themselves can always get help from me.

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