Photoshop: Try, Try Again

So I’m not a fan of restaurants with 10 page menus- maybe it is because I have a short attention span, maybe it is because I don’t like to read at the dinner table or maybe it is because I am too hungry to either pay attention or scan 10 pages. So this is a little bit like what Photoshop feels like: though I will learn to love them in time, I am sure, right now, Photoshop’s options simply overwhelm.

In addition to an endless array of editing options, we learn this week that there are multiple ways to do just about anything in Photoshop. Just in Chapter 4 of the Non-Designer’s Photoshop Book, we learn that the Perspective Crop allows for lens correction but so too does the Transform tool; that we can scale and rotate in Transform or achieve the exact same results through the same functions in Free Transform. As I become more efficient in Photoshop, perhaps this knowing that I can choose from various tools to achieve the same results will be more comforting, but until I gain a better grasp of Photoshop essentials, too many options just confuse.

And speaking of Photoshop essentials…though Robin Williams postpones his discussion of Layers until Chapter 5 and a few hours lapse in the Lynda.com tutorial before Layers are explained, I am finding that an understanding of Layers is critical when working in Photoshop (perhaps second in importance only behind the History function- a feature that should be highlighted in the introduction of every tutorial.) And so far, I understand the reasons for working with layers- i.e. that layers help preserve original images, that various layers can interact to achieve certain effects, that they enable greater user control over images. However, I understand less about how to actually work with layers- i.e. when to create a new one, when to create a copy, when and how to link layers. I was hoping that tonight’s practicum would help to answer some of these questions, but, being that there will be no practicum, another week of reading, playing, and experimenting it is.

On another note, I spent a few hours this weekend editing my type assignment per the critiques I received in class. I cropped my header image, floated my image left so that the figure was looking into the text and not drawing eyes away from it (which meant I had to transfer my pull quote to the right so as to keep the page balanced.) I tried to separate the lyrics with a backslash so as to avoid the widowed and orphaned lines, but ultimately decided to keep the line breaks as the backslash insert did not resolve the issue of dangling words. I suppose I was then beginning to understand what Becca has been saying about coding being fun, because I spent time trying to improve my Home page as well as my About page. Of course, I can still recognize problems with each, but, my, what an improvement from that first day.

Comment on Sara’s blog.

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4 responses to “Photoshop: Try, Try Again

  1. Completely concur with your comments on looking forward to practicum tonight! After missing two classes, I was also hoping for a bit of technical, and sympathetic, support via others in class. I will keep playing as well, since that seems to be an endless route in which to learn!

  2. Pingback: Experiments in Photoshop | Beth's Clio II Blog

  3. I am dipping my toes into the seemingly bottomless ocean that is Photoshop; like you I found that while the tutorials and readings had some good information, it’s all a little overwhelming and intimidating. I felt like I needed to just start playing with the program to take the mystery out of it.

  4. Pingback: Type Assignment, Photoshop, and Watching the Days Go By… | Kirk Johnson's Digital History Blog

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