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Where to start with Photoshop...

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by ScottR, May 22, 2005.

  1. All,

    I have been using Nikon Capture (mainly for curves) for about a year. I am happy with the results I get. I also have Photoshop Element 3. I want to start learning this application. The real problem is I don't know where to start. I have looked in the bookstore, however the books either seem to be overly simple or overly complex. I know most of you use a professional Photoshop, however I was hoping that some of you might be able to give me a jump start on where to look to start (either a book or website).

    Some of the things I am looking at doing include creating frames around images, doing some batch processing to images, learning the ins and outs of sharpening, blurring, burning, dodging, and such. Back in the 70's and 80's I used to print my own B&W work, I have been a computer scientist since the early 80's, so I should have the background I just need a good starting point.

    I scanned the forum but could find any post like this in the past.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Hi Scott, I have not used PS Elements but would guess that it would have a lot of similarity to PS CS without some of the lights and buzzers. I would suggest that you start with the tutorial that comes with the software. Of the three books that I have for PS CS I like Scott Kelby's book the best as it gives some step by step tutorials that once you use them things begin to fall into place. The help section of the software is helpful as well.

    Sorry I am not more help but have never used Elements.
  3. drueter


    Apr 24, 2005
    Southeast Texas
    Hi, Scott -- I'm also a PSE user and have a lot to learn about version 3. I had a book for version 2 called "The Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements 2" that provided ways to use Elements to do the same things you can do in the full CS version. The same book is now out on version 3, but I haven't looked at it yet. It's one to consider.
  4. tamachan

    tamachan Guest

    Here's a start. Its workflow centers around Capture, then to Photoshop.

    http://www.ximinasphotography.com/lessons/lesson07/workflow_5.html#Adobe Photoshop

    For frames, try this link for premade photoshop actions that will apply them automatically.


    I'm not sure what the capabilities are for PSE, as my workflow depends on the browser function of PSCS. Most other functions that you describe should require some layering, which I encourage you to tinker around with yourself.
  5. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Scott, I'd recommend two books, one more advanced than the other. Scott Kelby's The Photoshop Elements 3 Book for Digital Photographers covers a full gamut of techniques in cook-book style. Since you are from the computer industry, you will appreciate the author's sense of humor. :| The procedures are easy to follow, even if you don't know what they mean.

    The second book I recommend because you shoot Raw. Be sure and get the edition that includes Camera Raw 3.0 of Bruce Fraser's Real World Camera Raw. This book (actually the previous edition) revolutionized the way I do digital photo-processing. I now do most of my processing in batch mode and even my one-offs are more consistant and controlled.
  6. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I would highly recommend getting GIMP , very much like PS and it if free. I tried it yesterday and it has come along way.

    Need to dig into it more. Like what I see and at the monemt prefer the interface. Lots of tutorials and scripts (like actions) have been written for it.

    Since you new. Gimp wouldn't be any harder that PS......

    It does take time, learning and alot of reading and experimenting. So does PS.
  7. Thanks everyone for the info. Now I have some good starting points to get me started.

  8. GMolotsky

    GMolotsky Guest


    As a teacher I would tell you that the best way to learn is by just diving in. Pick a picture, decide what you want to accomplish with it ahead of time, try you best, then post it for help. There are lots here that would lend you a hand on a specific task (sharpening, blurring, frames, etc.). The books can be great if you can find one that speaks to you, but ideally its just gonna take time to become familar with the program. I'm doing things now I couldn't have dreamed of 2 years ago.

    Good luck - we're here to help

  9. Cory Cooper

    Cory Cooper

    May 24, 2005
    Salem, NH
    I second Chris101's recommendations...Scott Kelby is an acquaintance of mine, and really knows his stuff. His books are very easy to read and follow and he is not only the best selling computer book author of 2004, he is the President & CEO of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) and the Editor-in-Chief of Photoshop User and Layers (formerly Mac Design) magazines.

    All of his titles are gold.

  10. Thanks...


    Thanks again for the imput. I pruchased the Scott Kelby "the photoshop elements 3 book for digital photographers". Although I was disapointed with his diclaimer that the book is not for Mac users!?!?!?! :?

    He says that because the versions are so different that the book would be disjointed if you tried to talk to both platforms in one book. I understand this but where is the Mac centric version. :twisted:

    So I guess it is time to start learning...

  11. Cory Cooper

    Cory Cooper

    May 24, 2005
    Salem, NH

    If you need help with anything Mac, just let me know.

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