Monday, November 07, 2005

Photoshop and Me

My first copy of Photoshop came as some software with a Scanmaker #6 Pro Flatbed scanner. It was version 3 but the scanner came with a free upgrade to Version 4. This was in December, 1996.

It would seem that in 9 years, Photoshop and I would be on intimate terms but that isn't the case. Our relationship has been very slow to develop. In 1996 I was shooting Black and White film and working in the darkroom with silver. Black and White digital printing was BAD and I wasn't interested in doing color photography. So Photoshop was relegated to just processing a few images that I wanted to send on the net. Most of the time I was scanning a print and there wasn't too much to do in photoshop other than size the image....maybe a minor adjustment or two. But I didn't have to learn too much about Photoshop to do that.

About 4 years ago, I realized that I had some color photo projects that I would want to print myself because I'm kind of a control freak about my work and I don't seem to be able to explain exactly what I want or what don't like to a lab. Besides I like to tweak images and that gets really expensive is someone else is doing your printing.

Of course I didn't know enough about Photoshop so I bought books to study. It has been a slow process. Sometimes I have sat down and studied the book with a highlighter, sometimes I have gone step by step through the instruction actually doing it on the computer, sometimes friends have shown me some techniques. I'm sure a class would have been a much better way to get started but that didn't happen. One of the most difficult things to learn was color management....actually, I'm still learning it.

I'm no longer a novice but I'm far from being an expert. Even though I'm not Adobe certified, several times I've helped friends get started with Photoshop or Elements and they tell me I've been a great teacher. I think one of the reasons is that when I'm trying to teach someone what I know, I have them sit at the computer and do it. I do that because when I just see someone doing a technique I can't retain how to do it. But when I hear it and do it and see the results, then I can probably do it again.

Now that Photoshop and I are kind of on speaking terms, I'm really very happy with the latest Version CS2 and Bridge. I think it is even possible that we could become more intimately involved.

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