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A Collection of Photoshop Tutorials

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

When I first became aware of Photoshop, I went out and bought a Photoshop for Dummies book, figuring I’d sit down with the book, the software, and some snacks, and eventually become an expert. As it turns out, it’s hard to understand image manipulation by reading words about it. Some books provide lots of illustrations/screen shots, which is helpful, but still, only marginally so.

A much better way to get good at this stuff is to have a video demonstration running right next to the software. You can see it on screen, pause/rewind it when you need to, and “play along” to see how the techniques actually work. Once I found one or two of these videos, I discovered links to literally hundreds of them. Here’s a list of the ones I’ve used so far, which I’ll keep updated as I find more (so check back here often!):

In particular, I’ll call out two of them: The Photoshop Top 40 playlist on Lynda.com’s YouTube channel is particularly helpful. The instructor, Deke McClelland, doesn’t just tell you what to do, but tells you why you’re doing it and how the tools work to make it happen. Some people might find this to be too much detail, but it suits my learning style well. Deke his own website, Deke.com, which I’ve also added to the list above, if you want more than just what he’s done for Lynda.com.

The other one I’ll call out is IceFlowStudios (this is the YouTube channel, but the videos can also be found at their website, Tutcast.com). The tutorials at this site are similar to Deke’s, but they go into a little less technical detail. If you feel like Deke talks too much, try Howard over at Tutcast.com.

So, there you go. Enough Photoshop tutorials to keep you busy for days. If anyone knows of other sites worth visiting, leave them in the comments here, and I’ll add them to my list. Thanks, and happy Photoshopping…

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Buying Photoshop CS5

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Welcome to a new category here at ISBS, Photoshop. In this space, I hope to post some samples of Photoshop work I’ve done, as well as helpful tips, tutorials, and entertaining stories (like this one) about all things Photoshop.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Photoshop lately, watching various online tutorials and learning to do more with the tool than just red-eye correction and cropping. Suffice to say, the things that this tool makes possible, even to a non-artist/non-photographer like me, are simply astounding. So much so, that I’ve officially promoted the time I’m spending with Photoshop from “interest” to “hobby,” the basic difference being that I can now give myself permission to spend some money on it.

Not coincidentally, the latest version of Photoshop, Photoshop CS5 Extended, just became available for purchase. The retail price is $999 which, in my opinion, is ridiculous for anyone except possibly professional photo-editing shops. However, if you’re a student or a teacher at an accredited University, they’ll sell it to you for $200. And since my wife is currently pursuing her PhD in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, this becomes an attractive option.

To get the $200 deal, you buy or download the Teacher & Student edition of the software, fill out Adobe’s Proof of Academic Identification form and send them a copy of a valid Student ID at an accredited University. The ID must include your name, your picture, and an expiration date that is in the future. You can fax this stuff in, or you can scan it in and e-mail it to edu-verify@adobe.com. This is necessary, of course, to avoid non-qualified customers from receiving this significant discount.

As I went through these steps, it occurred to me: to verify that my wife is a student, they’re asking me to e-mail them a digital image, representing a scan of my wife’s Penn ID card. A digital image that is easily editable in . . . (wait for it….) PHOTOSHOP!. Not only that, but they’re dealing with a group of people who have already self-selected as the folks most likely to be interested in editing digital images. Perhaps I should send them a student ID with Mickey Mouse’s picture on it, just to make the point.

(NOTE: In case anyone from Adobe is reading this, I did not Photoshop the image I sent in. I will admit I was tempted, but I resisted…)

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