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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Can I learn Photoshop in a week?

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Just do a search, and you will find free or paid video lessons for just about anything you can think of. Someone has now come up with the idea for video lessons to teach Adobe Photoshop Elements and specifically geared towards the latest version 7 that has been released recently.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, like its predecessor 6 and even before, has always had one goal, to enable the manipulation and correction of digital photos. That is its main nature, and it is one of the best packages of its kind available today.

Not only does Adobe Photoshop Elements allow for simple correction of your digital photography, such as removing red eyes, correcting brightness, and color mixing, but it also has a library of over 50 different effects that can be applied to any digital photo that want.

You also have a media library where you can organize your digital shots, date stamp collections, and create secondary albums to ensure that the next time you need to access a specific photograph, it is easily accessible.

So this all seems pretty straightforward.

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If you want to spend hours going through the manuals and fiddling with the Adobe Photoshop Elements software settings, then dive in and play with the various settings/filters and effect libraries to your liking.

However, if you fall more into the category of using it as a tool, making your precious time more productive and efficient, then it is always helpful to have a guide of some sort (without consulting the 400+ page manual that is provided with the software).

And this clearly brings me to the heart of the matter: training.

I bought the software a couple of weeks ago because I am an avid digital photographer, especially now that I have a 4-month-old son who loves to be in front of the camera. But the lighting and associated conditions can create a nearly acceptable photo. But in the long run, you want memories like this to be stored in their optimal format. Red-eye is the most common problem, but indoor lighting from fluorescent or incandescent sources can yellow or whiten the image to such an extent that storing it in the original format would not do your photo justice.

The Photoshop Elements video training course can and will change all that. It includes a complete set of 30 individual instructor-led videos that allow you to get the most out of your purchase. Covers all the necessary topics to know from understanding the Adobe Photoshop Elements interface, editing modes, layer edits and blends to removing objects and colour curves.

Some great examples I’ve come across show the ability to remove items (sorry for the pun) from your photos. A great example would be a photograph with unwanted pedestrians or perhaps something simpler like a lamp post or a sign on the door. Anything you don’t want in the photograph, remove it.

However, I must say that after reviewing all the videos, my favorite was the ability to create an online digital photo album that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

As I began to take photos and then edit them, I also began to delve into the (often mysterious) world of Adobe Photoshop.

I have gone through many books, trying to learn Photoshop, and have found that there are many good books that can teach you everything you want to know about it.

What a gold mine this book is! There are many excellent techniques for modifying and correcting photos.

Honestly though, reading the book cover to cover is probably not the way most people will use this book. This is an easy-to-use reference book for correcting images.

Do you work with RAW images? There is a chapter on that, with various techniques that are easy to obtain, even if you are not familiar with Photoshop.

Digital noise in the image? There are techniques to fix photos.

Too much flash in an image? Wrong exposure? Do you need to get rid of unwanted items?

There are solutions for all these things and many more.

And where this book is better than other Photoshop books is in its focus. It doesn’t even pretend to teach you everything about Photoshop. It takes a Problem> Solution approach, being very specific about how you can fix what you need to do in a few simple steps.

For me, this is the way I learn. If someone can show me the practical application of something, real nuts and bolts, then I see how that feature works and apply it in other ways. This is much better than giving ten pages of information about a function and all the options it contains. How does it really work? What does? These are the questions this book answers.

Plus, the actual Photoshop CS2 book format for digital photographers is a refreshing change. Each page contains a simple summary of a feature and then tells you in easy-to-follow steps exactly what to do.

You don’t have to guess or make assumptions and follow vague suggestions that are often strewn across most instruction books that don’t want to “restrict” your creativity.

What a lot of these books are missing is that most of us newbie’s want to see how it’s done and then we can get creative with it. Bruce Lee did not create his own fighting style without first learning about an older, more established style.

For me, this is the way to learn what I really want to do. I can figure out all the other things about Photoshop, like how to dock the menus and use the zoom feature. I don’t want to read 100 pages before seeing something useful.

I would recommend taking this book, or the newer version, or even the older version, and keeping it close by if you are constantly modifying photos. I guarantee that you can take it and find the information you want quickly and apply it before you can find the correct chapter of most instruction books in Photoshop.

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