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09/21/2005 05:23:26 PM · #1
This marks the official start of the Photoshop Basics Group. This will be an open-participation group, at least until it gets out of hand :-)

I've put a lot of thought into how to organize this group constructively. I confess that since I'm an extremely experienced Photoshop user I may take for granted certain things that are actually confusing to Photoshop newcomers. Therefore I'm going to leave it open to suggestions from participants: What do YOU want to learn? What bugs you?

So far it seems to me there are four obvious areas of concern:

1. Preparing 640-pixel images for challenges that are as good as they can possibly be.

A corollary to this would be "What is dpi (or ppi) and what difference does it make to me?" Another corollary would be "When I try to reduce my image to 150kb, it becomes way tiny and looks like crap."

2. What are layers and how do I use them effectively?

3. What is "sharpening" and why do people keep saying my image is oversharpened?"

4. There are SO many variables in Photoshop and I don't have a clue what is the proper workflow to integrate all these variables into a cohesive, well-presented image.

One issue that's of concern to me is whether it's best to talk about Photoshop in the broad sense (paying no heed to arbitrary DPC rules for basic and advanced challenges) or whether the group would like me to deal with challenge-specific Photoshop techniques. Issue 1, for example, is challenge-specific. Display-specific, actually; to show your image on DPC you need to reduce it to 640 pixels on the long dimension.

My inclination is to start with workflow, at a very basic level. What do you all think?

Robt.

Please bear in mind that there are MANY different approaches to using Photoshop as a tool. I'll be teaching it the way I use it. I'm pretty good at it. Not the "best" in DPC, but (so far) the best who's offered to mentor this group. I don't think we'll be well served by having this thread devolve into a discussion of alternate approaches to the ones I'm going to explain. Take for granted that there are many of those, and that as you gain skill you may branch out from these relatively simple workflows i will describe. Let's PLEASE avoid muddying the waters by arguing fine points of technique, OK? That's what i'd call 'advanced" issues.

Message edited by author 2005-09-21 17:27:17.
09/21/2005 05:46:10 PM · #2
Great idea Robert.

Might I suggest you start off like you have with the resizing thing and then go up to help staying within Basic Editing, then up one more notch to Advanced Editing, then one more no rules. Kind of step it up from simple Basic editing within the DPC rules .............and keep stepping up to more complicated stuff from there. If you understand what I mean.

Either way I am game.

Message edited by author 2005-09-21 17:46:21.
09/21/2005 05:48:33 PM · #3
Originally posted by rex:

Great idea Robert.

Might I suggest you start off like you have with the resizing thing and then go up to help staying within Basic Editing, then up one more notch to Advanced Editing, then one more no rules. Kind of step it up from simple Basic editing within the DPC rules .............and keep stepping up to more complicated stuff from there. If you understand what I mean.

Either way I am game.


But isn't "workflow" basic to all of this? "Okay, I've got an image on my memory card... NOW what? Where do I go from here?"

R.
09/21/2005 05:50:28 PM · #4
Hey Robert - Can I be involved in this please? I see where you say it is open. Just that just mean I need to follow this thread or is there something additional that I need to do to become a part of this group? I'm running both Photoshop 7.0 and Adobe Creative Suite 7.0 on my Powerbook.

Take care,
Dave
09/21/2005 05:52:57 PM · #5
Bear...I'd like to be in this one also. Thanks!
09/21/2005 05:58:21 PM · #6
At this point, all may participate. If we get too crowded, we may change that, but it's not like this group is going to be doing "assignments" that I need to "grade" or anything like that.

R.
09/21/2005 06:02:32 PM · #7
Originally posted by bear_music:



But isn't "workflow" basic to all of this? "Okay, I've got an image on my memory card... NOW what? Where do I go from here?"

R.


Yes and start from there. I am just saying step it like:

1st: Ok I got a picture........now What...
2nd: Sizing images (DPI, Crop Ratios)
3rd: Working with minor adjustments in Photoshop (Hue, Saturation, Levels, Curves)
4th: Editing and staying within Basic Editing for DPC
5th: Making Selection (magnetic lasso, any selection tools)
6th: Working with layers(I have never done)
7th: Editing and staying within the Advanced Editing Rules of DPC
8th: whatever after that

I don't even consider myself a novice of Photoshop. I consider myself much lower. I am just offering suggestions for you to teach us. Tell me what you think?
09/21/2005 06:02:50 PM · #8
Originally posted by bear_music:

But isn't "workflow" basic to all of this? "Okay, I've got an image on my memory card... NOW what? Where do I go from here?"
R.


Digital workflow starts with the settings on your cam ;)
Anyway, the module I'm working with in my study is: "Digital workflow". If you need help, I'd like to try to give some advise or anything like that. it's a great way to practice the things I learn at my study :)
09/21/2005 06:05:31 PM · #9
I'm in. Do I need to join in a specific area of DPC or do I just follow this thread.
09/21/2005 06:07:40 PM · #10
Originally posted by rex:

1st: Ok I got a picture........now What...
2nd: Sizing images (DPI, Crop Ratios)
..


I think it's better to make the adjustments first, the last thing to do is resize your image. It comes in handy when you need the photo, adjusted, in the original size.

Message edited by author 2005-09-21 18:08:01.
09/21/2005 06:12:19 PM · #11
Fantastic.. I'm absolutely in
09/21/2005 06:13:10 PM · #12
Thank you for volunteering to do this. I am in and cant wait..
Renee :)
09/21/2005 06:14:27 PM · #13
Robert,

If you want me to just shup up then let me know. Either way I am in to learn.
09/21/2005 06:37:47 PM · #14
Add me to the class roster please. I've been using PS for about a year but never really taken the time to learn it.
09/21/2005 06:44:57 PM · #15
Can I come in as an "advanced novice"?
(I promise to behave and not side-track issues.)

Also, will the instructions be relevant to the various PS programs or will you be focusing on CS?
09/21/2005 06:50:27 PM · #16
Also:

I like your idea of starting with workflow and going from there. Personally I would prefer to not limit it to DPC rules, I just want to learn PS in general.

Here are some ideas of things that would be helpful for me:
-Color correction

-How to get the most out of UM

-Tuning brightness and contrast

-Levels - what exactly is this and how do I get more out of it.

-Cropping for printing - How do I crop something the way I want and make sure it will fit on a standard print size. 5x7 or 8x10, etc.

-Filters and tools out there that don't come with PS but are very useful and worth downloading/buying. Like I hear a lot about NeatImage, is that a plugin? If so what's it for, why can't I get the same effect in PS without it? etc.

-Organizing Photoshop. I've got all these free flowing windows, how can I organize things to make my workflow more efficient.

-Little Known Facts. What can PS do that I don't even know about or think about?

-How to utilize batch processing for common tasks.


For me, a lot of this stuff I just play with until I get the effect I want. I'd love to become more confident and really know when to use the different tools in my toolbox. Or even just know what tools I have and how people use them in the real world.

Finally I'm not sure how you're planning to run things, but I think it would be great if you gave us a picture and we all worked from that same picture. Then I can see how other's tackled an assignment. Then after we all do the "practice" photo successfully we apply the same technique to one of our own photos and share those with the class.

Speaking of class...it would be really helpful if we closed enrollment at some point so I knew who my classmates were. But thats just my opinion and I've never done one of these so maybe I dunno what I'm talking about, lol.

Message edited by author 2005-09-21 18:56:19.
09/22/2005 05:33:52 AM · #17
Originally posted by KaDi:

Can I come in as an "advanced novice"?
(I promise to behave and not side-track issues.)

Also, will the instructions be relevant to the various PS programs or will you be focusing on CS?


I work with Photoshop 7.0. That's a good common ground, as everything in it is available in newer versions and most of what's in it is available in Elements 3.0 as well; almost certainly everything we'll be using in this basic workshop.

Can someone who has Elements 3.0 confirm that "save for web" is available and has the "save to filesize" feature in it? Thanks.

Regarding "class size", this is NOT a group that's going to be based significantly on images per se, that we need to analyze/critique. Particiaption will be in the nature of feedback/questions, I think. I'll attempt to see all questions get answered. I see no reason to limit the group at this point.

I just ask that people stay on-topic and not make digressions into "better" ways of doing things. We can take for granted that there are numerous different ways to approach workflow and PS tool use to accomplish specific goals. We're going to try to keep it simple here, and assist relative PS newcomers as they become comfortable witht he program and what it can do.

If people want to debate better/more sophisticated ways of accomplishign tasks, they should be in an advanced group, OK?

I'm reading these responses. When I launch the "tutorials" I'll do it with a new thread. Very soon now, in a megaplex near you :-)

Robt.
09/22/2005 05:46:00 AM · #18
I think the suggestions for the topics of this tutorial made by others and yourself sound great, I'll definitely participate. One thing that would be particularly nice to get acquainted to IMO is the use of (keyboard)-keys for specific actions, like I learned in another thread that by pressing f you can change screen/canvas modes.
09/22/2005 05:53:06 AM · #19
Yip I'm here and ready.I would like to start with the basics as you mentioned bear. I have a image on my memory card now what.
09/22/2005 05:54:24 AM · #20
Originally posted by joynim:

Yip I'm here and ready.I would like to start with the basics as you mentioned bear. I have a image on my memory card now what.


For now, chimp :-) (Don't ask...)

R.
09/22/2005 06:01:07 AM · #21
Thanks for doing this Bear. I'm looking forward to it.
09/22/2005 06:12:49 AM · #22

Can someone who has Elements 3.0 confirm that "save for web" is available and has the "save to filesize" feature in it? Thanks.

Yes, this is available in Elements 3.0.

A big difference between Elements 3.0 and the full Photoshop are the lack of adjustment curves.
text
09/22/2005 06:15:31 AM · #23
Originally posted by ttreit:

Here are some ideas of things that would be helpful for me:
[I]-Color correction


I second that suggestion. I've never quite figured out how to correct for colour cast. Do I use hue/saturation, curves, or something else.

And which way to adjust? Less of the bad colour, or more of the good colours?
09/22/2005 06:22:45 AM · #24
I would suggest for this group to stay within the basic editing rules that meet dpc definitions and have a separate group for advanced editing rules.
09/22/2005 06:49:42 AM · #25
Originally posted by maryba:

I would suggest for this group to stay within the basic editing rules that meet dpc definitions and have a separate group for advanced editing rules.


We'll be sticking to basic editing rules for the time being :-)

R.
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