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04/27/2011 09:04:02 AM · #1
I am fairly new to this site, and consider my self a very amateur photographer. I was wondering if anyone has taken or recommends taking a course in photoshop. I live in Baltimore, and my internet searches have led to some confusing results. There's a few classes at some local community colleges...and some more advanced stuff, some from Adobe. Any recommendations? (Also any recommendations on which photoshop to invest in? I've been usung a free trial of Elements 8, but thats about to expire.
04/27/2011 09:30:59 AM · #2
I took a class at a community college years ago after I had dabbled in Photoshop a little. I found that my skill level at the time was in between the basic class and the intermediate class which often left me bored and wishing that we could move on, but I was still learning some important basics. I would have been lost in the intermediate class.

Afterwards, I signed up for the intermediate class but it was cancelled due to low enrollment. This got me thinking about another way of getting the instruction that I thought could be useful. I wondered if the $230 fee would be enough to get the instructor to coach me one on one for awhile. I never sought him out and made this happen, but I bet that he wasn't getting paid more than $30 per hour teaching a class. If he would have accepted $30 per hour then I could have gotten almost 8 hours of one on one time instruction that would have been tailored to my skill level.

So, with this in mind, you might benefit immensely from a community college course if your current skill level matches the level of a class (like complete beginner). Or maybe you could put an ad on Craigslist offering to pay someone to teach you one on one. There are lots of photographer advertising their services there and it is very likely that someone would be willing to teach you. Of course, I would confirm that they have the skill first.

As far as which Photoshop to invest in, any Photoshop starting with CS and later (CS, CS1, CS2, etc.) would serve you well. Not saying that PS7 wouldn't work either, but they all have more than what you need and if you can find an older version of CS then it won't cost near as much as CS5.
04/27/2011 09:38:22 AM · #3
Thanks. I took a course at a community college years back..but it was real basic. I love the idea of finding some sort of tutor.
04/27/2011 10:09:43 AM · #4
lynda.com
04/27/2011 10:13:27 AM · #5
Nikkolai!!! Where have you been? Good to see you here again.

Sorry about the hijack everybody...back to your thread
04/27/2011 10:50:55 AM · #6
I'll teach you :)
04/27/2011 10:54:04 AM · #7
Originally posted by Nikolai1024:

lynda.com


+1 for lynda
04/27/2011 11:02:59 AM · #8
I use Lynda.com too.
04/27/2011 11:35:25 AM · #9
I find that my main problem is, I dont understand WHEN to do Post Production. I do mostly landscape, so I kind of just leave them as they are. Is that the difference between an ok shot and a great shot? the last little tweaks, would my pictures benefit more from a little Post Production. For some reason I cant see the forest through the trees on this one. I know how to use Photoshop and most of those programs, I just dont get it. With a portrait shot, I can understand some of it, but not with landscape and wildlife, is this holding me back? would this be something they teach you?
04/27/2011 12:21:24 PM · #10
Originally posted by Socom:

I find that my main problem is, I dont understand WHEN to do Post Production. I do mostly landscape, so I kind of just leave them as they are. Is that the difference between an ok shot and a great shot? the last little tweaks, would my pictures benefit more from a little Post Production. For some reason I cant see the forest through the trees on this one. I know how to use Photoshop and most of those programs, I just dont get it. With a portrait shot, I can understand some of it, but not with landscape and wildlife, is this holding me back? would this be something they teach you?


I always post process every shot that I consider a keeper. As much as I try to get it right while taking the shot, the camera's processing software almost never produces a jpeg that I am completely satisfied with. Besides that, I shoot RAW which begs for some post processing considering all of the options that you have when you have the RAW file.

Originally posted by Socom:

Is that the difference between an ok shot and a great shot? the last little tweaks, would my pictures benefit more from a little Post Production.


A simple levels or curves adjustment can do wonders for what would otherwise be an ordinary shot. Besides that, there are often a lot that can be done by blending varying exposures of the same shot, either manually or with HDR software.

Originally posted by Socom:

would this be something they teach you?


No. That's what you learn here by submitting to challenges and then reading the comments. If you don't get enough meaningful comments then post in the forums asking for feedback.
04/27/2011 12:50:40 PM · #11
Photoshop? Why? For altering photos only? If the answer is yes, then I recommend staying away from Photoshop.. don't get me wrong it's a great tool to have I use it every day but I'm a web designer / (Photography enthusiast). But if your primary use of it is only optimizing photos then go Light-room or Aperture. Why?

PhotoShop is great for...

- Graphics Creation (Web Sites, texturing for 3D programs like Maya or 3D Max)
- Motion Graphics
- Compositing. (Creating a scene from multiple photos)
- Digital Painting
- .... and yes photo optimization.

Negatives for photography

- Destroys your original phot you must make a copy
- Library can get messy (In my case anyway).
- You lose you Meta Data (Time, Exposure, Shutter Speed)
- Expensive (800.00, 399.00 to upgrade)

Light-room (PC or Mac) or Aperture (Mac) is great for ...

- Manipulating Photos none destructively (Your original is always there "Reset button")
- Performs all the mandatory photo optimization techniques like Cropping, Spot Removal, Colour Saturation, Sharpening and 1000 other things such as lens distortion calibration.
- Organizes your photos into collections, you can add key words,
- Photos are searchable by date (or keywords if you use them)
- Made for Photographers by Photographers
- Integrated plugins for sharing to SmugMug, Facebook, Flickr and a bunch more
- 100s of colour presets, Create and save your own.
- Specs on your photos are always there (Shutter Speed, F-Stop, ISO values, Histograms)
- $299.00 (Upgrading to new versions is $99.00)
- You can create DVD slide shows, Web pages, Water Marking, Different Print layouts
- Utilizes Multiple Monitor set ups... (Well photoShop does that to)

Again if your main reason to learn PhotoShop is for Photography only, then avoid it. Unless you want to become a digital artist or a web designer, then yes PS is mandatory.

Hope this helps.
04/27/2011 01:44:34 PM · #12
Originally posted by FibreOptix:

Photoshop? Why? For altering photos only? If the answer is yes, then I recommend staying away from Photoshop.. don't get me wrong it's a great tool to have I use it every day but I'm a web designer / (Photography enthusiast). But if your primary use of it is only optimizing photos then go Light-room or Aperture. Why?

PhotoShop is great for...

- snip

Negatives for photography

- Destroys your original phot you must make a copy
- Library can get messy (In my case anyway).
- You lose you Meta Data (Time, Exposure, Shutter Speed)
- Expensive (800.00, 399.00 to upgrade)
snip



Hmmm - can't agree with all of that . .

- Destroys your original phot you must make a copy - no
- Library can get messy (In my case anyway). - yes
- You lose you Meta Data (Time, Exposure, Shutter Speed) - no
- Expensive (800.00, 399.00 to upgrade) - yes
04/27/2011 02:57:24 PM · #13
Originally posted by yakatme:

Originally posted by Socom:

I find that my main problem is, I dont understand WHEN to do Post Production. I do mostly landscape, so I kind of just leave them as they are. Is that the difference between an ok shot and a great shot? the last little tweaks, would my pictures benefit more from a little Post Production. For some reason I cant see the forest through the trees on this one. I know how to use Photoshop and most of those programs, I just dont get it. With a portrait shot, I can understand some of it, but not with landscape and wildlife, is this holding me back? would this be something they teach you?


I always post process every shot that I consider a keeper. As much as I try to get it right while taking the shot, the camera's processing software almost never produces a jpeg that I am completely satisfied with. Besides that, I shoot RAW which begs for some post processing considering all of the options that you have when you have the RAW file.

Originally posted by Socom:

Is that the difference between an ok shot and a great shot? the last little tweaks, would my pictures benefit more from a little Post Production.


A simple levels or curves adjustment can do wonders for what would otherwise be an ordinary shot. Besides that, there are often a lot that can be done by blending varying exposures of the same shot, either manually or with HDR software.

For landscape-type photos the most common post-processing required seems to be extending the tonal range and improving the contrast -- you don't need anything fancy.

I use Curves (with or without masks) and the UnSharp Mask filter almost exclusively to accomplish this ... I am a semi-Luddite, and use hardware and software until it breaks -- my day-to-day editing is in Photoshop 5.0 (the 1995 version, not the latest CS5 version).

In the course of editing pictures for the "Best of 2010" challenge I made some 4x6 prints with small "Before/After" versions of the image to see how much difference it made in the prints -- I found it quite as substantial as in the electronic versions.
Gallery of Before/After comparisons ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948396.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948396.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Check out the on-site Tutorials for Curves, masks, and sharpening as a starting point, then experiment! If you have any version of Photoshop, make your adjustments on an Adjustment Layer so that your editing is non-destructive, snd so you can toggle the various layers on and off for quick comparisons. A small tablet/stylus combo will help immeasurably is you find yourself making a lot of detailed masks.
04/27/2011 03:20:15 PM · #14
Those before and afters really do show what a difference the PP can make, and I will read and watch the tutorials that everyone has suggested. I do have CS5 and can make the changes, know how to do masks and such for the most part (not super advanced but capable) but where my problem lies in I dont 'see' what changes need to be made.

I uploaded two images as examples
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948406.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948406.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948407.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948407.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

What would I do with these two?

Message edited by author 2011-04-27 15:21:12.
04/27/2011 03:24:17 PM · #15
Originally posted by Jedusi:

[quote=FibreOptix]

- Destroys your original phot you must make a copy - no
- Library can get messy (In my case anyway). - yes
- You lose you Meta Data (Time, Exposure, Shutter Speed) - no
- Expensive (800.00, 399.00 to upgrade) - yes


How does PhotoShop not destroy your original image (without saving a copy of it?).
Are you referring to a RAW file?

Message edited by author 2011-04-27 15:25:57.
04/27/2011 03:37:06 PM · #16
Originally posted by Socom:

Those before and afters really do show what a difference the PP can make, and I will read and watch the tutorials that everyone has suggested. I do have CS5 and can make the changes, know how to do masks and such for the most part (not super advanced but capable) but where my problem lies in I dont 'see' what changes need to be made.

I uploaded two images as examples
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948406.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948406.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948407.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948407.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

What would I do with these two?


If you'd like to, send me the largest file that you have for "Into The Trees" and I'll show you a little of what can be done.
04/27/2011 03:48:16 PM · #17
Originally posted by yakatme:

Originally posted by Socom:

Those before and afters really do show what a difference the PP can make, and I will read and watch the tutorials that everyone has suggested. I do have CS5 and can make the changes, know how to do masks and such for the most part (not super advanced but capable) but where my problem lies in I dont 'see' what changes need to be made.

I uploaded two images as examples
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948406.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948406.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948407.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/130000-134999/130694/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948407.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

What would I do with these two?


If you'd like to, send me the largest file that you have for "Into The Trees" and I'll show you a little of what can be done.


Sounds good, and sent! (5MB btw)
04/27/2011 03:48:18 PM · #18
Originally posted by Jedusi:

[quote=FibreOptix]

- Destroys your original phot you must make a copy - no
- Library can get messy (In my case anyway). - yes
- You lose you Meta Data (Time, Exposure, Shutter Speed) - no
- Expensive (800.00, 399.00 to upgrade) - yes



I do stand corrected....Saving out a JPEG ("save as") will not destroy Meta Data.
Saving out of PS as "Save For Web" (CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + S) out of PhotoShop will.

Also a RAW file will not allow you to destroy the original, I was assuming altering a JPEG to be clear, which I guess no one does. Im going old school.

However I do firmly stand on that Lightroom or Aperture is more valuable to a photographer than PhotoShop. PhotoShop is overkill for a beginner.
04/27/2011 04:00:33 PM · #19
Originally posted by FibreOptix:

I do stand corrected....Saving out a JPEG ("save as") will not destroy Meta Data.
Saving out of PS as "Save For Web" (CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + S) out of PhotoShop will.
PS CS5 has a user option/preference to include or exclude EXIF when using the "Save For Web" feature.

Originally posted by FibreOptix:

PhotoShop is overkill for a beginner.

But if you have it may as well learn to use it, especially it is a "marketable" skill ...

Message edited by author 2011-04-27 16:02:20.
04/27/2011 04:06:24 PM · #20
THere is a site that not too many people know about its called Youtube.
here is the link

YouTube
04/27/2011 04:15:33 PM · #21
Originally posted by Socom:

Sounds good, and sent! (5MB btw)


Here they are...
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35000-39999/39184/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948412.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35000-39999/39184/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948412.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' - - - ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35000-39999/39184/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948413.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35000-39999/39184/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948413.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
- - - - your original - - - - - - - - - - my quick edit (not a quality job by any means)

Even though it is a jpeg, I increased the exposure a little, masked it out and reapplied with a brush.
Shadow/Highlights adjustment on a duplicate layer for shadows, masked out completely and brushed it back in in the darkest areas.
Levels...first the right slider and then the left slider separately, used a mask to eliminate and selectively brush back in again.
Flattened image.
Unsharp.

That's it and it took about two minutes.
04/27/2011 04:21:52 PM · #22
Originally posted by yakatme:

Originally posted by Socom:

Sounds good, and sent! (5MB btw)


Here they are...
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35000-39999/39184/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948412.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35000-39999/39184/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948412.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' - - - ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35000-39999/39184/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948413.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/35000-39999/39184/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_948413.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
- - - - your original - - - - - - - - - - my quick edit (not a quality job by any means)

Even though it is a jpeg, I increased the exposure a little, masked it out and reapplied with a brush.
Shadow/Highlights adjustment on a duplicate layer for shadows, masked out completely and brushed it back in in the darkest areas.
Levels...first the right slider and then the left slider separately, used a mask to eliminate and selectively brush back in again.
Flattened image.
Unsharp.

That's it and it took about two minutes.


You really brought out the trees in the background that were faded and dark, and gave the rocks more detail, I see what you mean. I am going to have to seriously look back at my pictures to see what I can do to in enhance them, and try to learn to recognize what needs to be done, which I think will be the hardest part.

Thank you again!
04/27/2011 04:27:10 PM · #23
You're welcome, Clay. Again, that was a quick edit. The possibilities are endless. Just wait until someone like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Bear_Music Topaz's it or ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Art Roflmao burns down the trees with Godzilla.
04/27/2011 04:30:05 PM · #24
Originally posted by yakatme:

You're welcome, Clay. Again, that was a quick edit. The possibilities are endless. Just wait until someone like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Bear_Music Topaz's it ...

Really, I can't imagine what's taking him so long to post here -- he usually beats me to the thread by a good couple of hours ... ;-)
04/27/2011 04:37:56 PM · #25
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by yakatme:

You're welcome, Clay. Again, that was a quick edit. The possibilities are endless. Just wait until someone like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Bear_Music Topaz's it ...

Really, I can't imagine what's taking him so long to post here -- he usually beats me to the thread by a good couple of hours ... ;-)


Maybe he and Penny are already on their vacation (five weeks I think he said).
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