Photoshop – Changing the Way We Make and See Images

Photoshop has become the standard of the industry when it comes to graphics and digital image editing. When we speak of power, versatility and innovation, very few programs can hold a candle to what Photoshop is capable of doing. Its commands and tools are so easy to learn that even beginners can use this program without the benefit of a formal class.

Photoshop (also known as Adobe Photoshop) was created by Adobe Systems and was intended at first for image editing for paper printing. It wasn’t too long before it was used to create and edit images to use for websites.

The best thing about Photoshop is not only the integrated tools and devices you can use to tweak images and create your own, but because of the flawless interaction of its commands and tools. Given one image, you can do virtually anything you want with the confidence that Photoshop tools will follow your command and produce an edited picture the way you want it to appear.

Export-ready

When it comes to exporting its images, Photoshop allows seamless program shifts among other Adobe software used in image editing, authoring and animation such as Adobe Illustrator, ImageReady and After Effects. Photoshop files (.PSD or Photoshop document format) may be manipulated to produce special effects such as adding textures and changing backgrounds. Non-linear editing is also a breeze.

Another advantage of Photoshop is that it can work with several color models such as RGB, CMYK, Lab, Bitmap, Duotone and Grayscale. This allows any user a lot of flexibility in terms of image editing, giving him the power to play with every type of photo image there is.

The newest version of Photoshop is v. 10, also known as CS3. It’s integrated with Adobe Creative Suite, hence the ‘CS’. The most popular, though is the CS2 which was made available in 2005. It has successfully integrated new tools and former plugins like color replacement, warping and multiple-layer select.

How it has changed the industry

When it comes to image post-production, Photoshop has given professionals and amateurs a magic wand with which to alter and improve images. Since the advent of digital photography in the 90s, Photoshop has been the standard with which photographers improve finished photo quality.

Photoshop is also changing the art scene, allowing artists to create original pieces or artwork using program tools. Photoshop artwork has appeared in books, comic books, architecture designs and more notably, in special-effect films.

Photoshop has become so popular that the word ‘photoshopping’ has already ingrained itself in our vocabulary. Photoshopping has actually made careers, fed media frenzy, made paparazzis happy and changed the way we see things, often literally. In pop culture, Photoshop in becomingly increasingly prevalent, appearing in almost every other photo for image-hungry consumers to devour. The irony is, Photoshop is so popular that images have to appear that they haven’t undergone tweaking in order to be declared as Photoshop-perfect.

Cracking the Photoshop Easter eggs

As with some of the most popular software, Photoshop comes with a few Easter eggs, hidden gems of humor and help tips that can be accessed with a few strokes of the keyboard. The first ones came with Photoshop v. 2.5 and subsequent Easter eggs have appeared with every version that came along. The latest Easter eggs are with the CS2 (the Adobe SpaceMonkey) and CS3 (the Adobe Red Pill).

Photoshop may be used by Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Mac OS X. Linux users can use Photoshop v. 9 and lower.

Where To Find Adobe Photoshop Tutorials

When it comes to image editing, Photoshop is the reigning market leader. Once you’ve tried how it works or seen what it does, you’ll understand why. Originally intended for editing paper-based print images, it has become the standard with which web-based images are created and is also the most popular program used by professionals to edit their digital photos.

If you’ve always wanted to learn about Photoshop, here are some websites that offer web tutorials. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert-to-be, you’ll find some valuable tools to enhance your skills and use your Photoshop program to the fullest.

Psworkshop.net

This is one of the best Photoshop tutorial search engines on the web. Whatever Photoshop technique, trick or special effects you’re looking for, you’ll find this site will be a huge help. Just click on the ‘how-to’ tutorials on the navigation bar to find the specific trick you’re looking for.

You can search for the tutorial of your choice by clicking on the categories: Basic, Color, Photos/Scanning, Text Effects, etc. You can also access their ‘Top Ten’ list of the most popular Photoshop tutorials which lists the most recent and most in-demand tricks you’ll want to learn.

PhotoshopRoadMap.com

This site features more than 1,000 Photoshop tutorials online. For text effects, enhancements and displacements maps, you’ll learn everything you need to know. Learn more than 100 tricks in tweaking textures and backgrounds and using special effects to enhance or alter photos and images. If you prefer tutorials through videos, the site also features Photoshop training DVDs and CDs.

80Four.com

80Four features free Photoshop tutorials categorized by subject. Each tutorial also includes a step-by-step guide to make performing the tutorial easier and effective. Some nifty tricks to learn: classic text effects like eroded, ice and stencil texts. Create more special effects with many layering, texture and light effects.

EyesOnDesign.com

Another site that features free online tutorials. If you’ve always wanted to create your own text effects like the ones that appeared in the Matrix movie, this site will teach you how. Learn to use patterns, curves, gradients and texture to change your own images and photos or download Photoshop files from the site to work on. You can even join the site’s design forum and exchange info and tips with fellow Photoshop users.

MyJanee.com

This site lists some of the most complete Photoshop tutorials on the internet. It features original Photoshop lessons, an art challenge and a very good collection of edited images in their gallery. You’ll find the tutorials on this site user-friendly and lessons are straightforward, thanks to its site owner, who has co-written 4 books on Photoshop and writes for the columns of two Photoshop publications.

PhotoshopLab.com

This is a newcomer in the Photoshop tutorial universe, but there are lots to learn to kick your Photoshop skills one notch. Tutorials include: using smart objects, half-sketch effect, half-tones, using tools and layers, adding masks and filters and other classics such as photo aging, adding facial hair and using brushes for stencil effects. If you’ve always wondered how those nifty Nip/Tuck tricks were done, this site will teach how to be your very own virtual cosmetic surgeon.

PhotoshopTutorial.net

The site has more than 600 tutorials online. For beginners to more experienced graphic designers, this site has some very helpful basic and advanced techniques. The categories are easy to navigate and you’ll find the tips easy to find. Categories include tutorials in basics, texts, digital arts, special effects, layouts and web graphics.

Options of Learning Photoshop Online

When you look for options of learning Photoshop online, you will be bombarded with so many online tutorials and video based courses that it is bound to leave you confused. First go through the guidelines given below for they will be able to help you with your online Photoshop learning.

When you are looking for a basics course in tutorials, you should first go through the course module as given in the program list. If it begins with basics and gives you an understanding of the concept and the structure of the software with an introduction, then it would be for beginners like you. But if it begins with some exercises teaching you how to make borders or shading etc. drop the tutorials for it is not for beginners like you.

After the basic introduction, the next lesson should be about learning to work with the software. Essentially in this module you should be introduced to all the features and tools of the software with explanation on each one’s utility and applicability. End of the tour, you should be clear on the capability of this Software.

Your next lessons should take you through the various filters and basic tasks that you can accomplish using Photoshop like layering, shading, removal of backgrounds, clone patterns, cleaning up images etc.

Through out the basic module you will continue to learn and strengthen your fundamentals as you learn to explore all of the software’s capabilities, tools and feature. This basic foundation will come helpful when you begin to work on advanced techniques.

You should take up higher advance level or modules only when you are very comfortable and have understood the basics of the Photoshop without a doubt and have mastered it with practice.

Now you can download the tutorials that are available on the internet and use them for furthering your knowledge. You will get two types of tutorials. One that deals with case studies, examples and practical steps and the other type deals more with theoretical aspects of the various features and capabilities. You will find it best to go through both the types and enhance your knowledge.

Learning Photoshop requires dedication and patience. You have got to first understand each of the tools and the features as well as capability of the software. This learning has to be backed with practical experience of trying out things on your own. Only when you have a complete hang of the software and its tools as well as applications are you ready to start taking assignments to work on.