My first experience with Photoshop was way back 1994. I remembered working with Aldus Pagemaker and Corel Draw at that time. These were the softwares that gave birth to desktop publishing and the digital age of digital manipulation was born.
Just like most of the designers back then, I learned Photoshop the hard way. Information was scarce. We normally would go out together and talk about different techniques or new software that could fill in the gap. Although the internet was already there at that time, it was mostly in the forums that you get your answers from.
Today, there’s tons of tutorial in youtube, downloadable trainings and an endless flow of information from users worldwide. This is a huge advantage but it can also be a source of wrong information. I would suggest you start with books since these are more reliable sources backed by the author and the publisher.
After you learn the basic foundation, then you should be able to filter tutorials coming from the net and decide which will be worth learning from. Here are some things you might want to watch out for when screening tutorials:
Adjustment Layers. This feature came out with Photoshop 4.0, 1996. I have to admit, I started using this feature or probably learned about this feature in CS1. Adjustment layer is designed for a non destructive workflow. This will allow you to preserve your original layer or photo while you apply changes.
I’ve seen tutorials where they duplicate the layers and apply adjustments from the adjustment menu and flatten them after. The cycle continues every time they apply adjustments. You can probably produce a decent result with this workflow if you’re lucky but definitely, this is not the best practice.
Clone and Heal. The cloning stamp tool is one of the few tools that came with the first version of Photoshop. It works like magic. Then came the healing tool. It was a heaven sent. Both tools clean up skin surfaces but have distinct differences. The heal tool is designed to clone the high frequency details of the image and leaves the tone intact.
The clone stamp on the other hand copies both the low and high frequency details of the image. Therefore if you clone a certain part of the image, you have to set the source that has the same tonal appearance. Clone stamp is good in preserving skin texture details. If the tutorials disregards the clone stamp, chances are, they don’t understand the difference.
I’ve learned a lot from the internet most especially the techniques shared by many photoshop users but I make sure I learn it from those who makes sense. Books are still the best resource in learning the best industry practice or probably coming from an adobe certified expert or evangelist. You may want to check out tv.adobe.com
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Keep on shooting everyone. For comments and suggestions, email me at email@example.com