Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An uphill climb

My husband spoils me.  I know this and usually when he buys me gifts, especially the electronic or technical kind he researches the heck out of them.  Consumer reports is a like his bible.  Most of the time I am ecstatic over his choices.  This Christmas he bought me Photoshop Elements. 

At first I was excited because I wanted software that would help me adjust and print some of my photos for reference.  As I looked at the box I was immediately intimidated.  This program was obviously way beyond my limited abilities. 

I installed the program.  What is this?  What does that do?  How do you do this?  Questions and more never to be answered questions hit me one after the other.  I realized I was looking at hours, no make that weeks, of trying to learn this program. 

“From all my research everyone says that this program is the best,” he says.

I start to ask around and I find that anyone who can actually use Photoshop is in an elite club, “the fraternity of the Photoshop”. 

So I try something else.  I purchase a dummy book.  You know the kind, the ones where they try and explain things in very elemental ways.  Even the dummy book is as thick as a New York phone book!  I soon learn that I am even dumber than that!  This is not good for my self-esteem.  So I put the program on hold.  There it sits, its little icon, at the bottom of my computer home screen, mocking me. 

I’m no quitter so I won’t give up.  I could take a class I suppose, but finding the time for that may be a little difficult.  Any suggestions, anyone, anywhere, anyhow?


Jennifer Noel Bower said...

I too am learning PS Elements, along with Corel Painter. So I can empathize. Here is my advice (based on the motions I have gone through since the beginning of January).

1. What are you afraid of? Answer that question and you will discover what is holding you back from opening up that program like a great big coloring book and just playing around.

2. What is the worst that can happen?
You make a mistake? Who cares? Who will know? Who will see it? Just play...
3. Give yourself a daily PS goal. I am going to learn 1 new function today.
4. Check out the website: http://www.photoshoproadmap.com/Photoshop-tutorials/Photoshop-Elements-tutorials/Most-popular/1/
and work with one new tut a week.

I don't know if you are just trying to doctor photos or actually learn how to paint in PS, if the later this video tutorial from illustrator, Will Terry save me:

Go! Play! Have some fun...

Anonymous said...

Sorry Crystal, I can't help you. I need a dummy book for How to Use a Dummies Book...

Carol Blackburn said...

Too much stress, Crystal....I'll stick to cut and paste with real scissors and a glue stick. :)

Lee said...

My DH got me CS3 a few years ago. I just wanted photoshop but he's into the best he can find.
Here's the deal. The best way to learn is to do. I take a photo and play with all the options when I open in photoshop. Some results I even save. (different file name) The more I play, the more I learn.
Haven't read operating instructions in years ;)
Just keep you original file use SAVE AS with new file name. HAVE FUN!

art2cee2 said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I guess I will just have to lose my fear and dive in. I suppose fear comes from thinking I'm going to lose my original photos to my poor editing.

art2cee2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
De la Renaissance said...


I am working with Adobe Photoshop 5.0. Not an updated version, because it did take me some time to learn, and I'm not wanting to relearn right now. But once I got the basics (mostly by experimenting), I pushed into more experimenting and love what this program can do (and I still haven't reached its limits yet)!

What I do so as not to loose my original image is once I begin any work I will click on "save as" and give the image I am working on a new name. That way the original is still there untouched.

Enjoy! :0)

Franz said...

The best advice is to try to do it, even wrong! The web is full of tutorials, post in the google bar "Photoshop Tutorial! You'll see!
I have learned so!:-))


Tiago Braga said...

grreat family!
let me invite you to view my blog http://tiagophotografy.blogspot.com/ , hope you like my work, and somehow my work can inspire you!
hugs from Portugal :D

Leovi said...

Crystal, if it's any consolation I will tell you a little of my experience. None of the photos in my blog have been retouched or altered with Photoshop or other programs. My photos just after I shot and if it goes wrong, to the trash. I feel an enormous laziness not only learn how the program but not able to feel the emotions I feel through my camera. Indeed many of my photos have multiple defects (and the view are on my blog) that can be edited with Photoshop, but sometimes even just falling in love with them and accepting them, as I agree that every time I have less hair on the head. My advice is that photography is to enjoy each in its own way, if something that you do not enjoy pleasure simply do not. Life is full of very different paths to stroll around.

Leovi said...

In any case I recommend an excellent blog by a Spanish friend who specializes in Photoshop, and describes all the tricks step by step and in a simple way, is very good but you have to translate this in Spanish because this is the link:


Magic Love Crow said...

Sorry Crystal, I can't help, good luck!

Wanda said...

Oh my this sounds scary! I don't have a clue on any of that. I will stick to watercolor on paper with real brushes and paints.

Good Luck!

Diana said...

Oh,I feel your pain. I had an old version of Photoshop for years and all I could do with a photo was play with textures and special effects. So finally, I took an online course with Susan Tuttle . http://ilkasattic.blogspot.com/
You can follow along with her moves so you do exactly what she does and at your own pace. Then if you still get stuck like I did you can email her for help. Anyway I saved her instructions because I still need to look up what we did when I'm by myself.
It was still just a drop in the Photoshop bucket.

Margaret said...

I'm taking an online coursenwith Kim Klaussen in March. I have admired many photos of bloggers ..layers, textures, etc and come to find out they took her classes. Her blog is only right side bar on my photo and poetry blog. Not my art blog. If you have any questions, leave me a comment.

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