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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
In regards to picking up all of these technical and creative things, one of the things that we want to think about is: "How can we isolate what we're learning?" This is another photograph of my office, and here you can see I have a sculpture, an old VW Bug hood on the wall, and a calendar over here. One of the reasons why we hang things up on a wall is to isolate them, to set them apart, and you and I need to figure out how we can do that with all of this information that we'll be gaining. Let me illustrate what I mean here. Let's take, for example, shortcuts.
In Photoshop there are literally hundreds and hundreds of shortcuts. Looking at them all on a sheet of paper can just be really overwhelming. So we have to somehow isolate and set apart perhaps one or two or five shortcuts. Let me illustrate this even further. When it comes to working with your keyboard, it's really actually a pretty complex device. Here, I have an old keyboard which I took apart, and I set on my office floor. Let's highlight or let's focus in on one key: the bracket key. You can see that key over there.
If we start to talk about this key in Photoshop, I'll say that, well, this key, you can use in order to modify your brush. And if we dig into this further, I'll say that you can use the left-bracket key to make your brush smaller. Well, with this view, this information is still a little bit cluttered. Yet if we isolate this even further, and then if we try this out, say, by selecting the Brush tool and then pressing the left-bracket key, we see that, yes, we can decrease our brush size. Then we may intuit that you can also press the right-bracket key in order to increase your brush size.
And by isolating this or highlighting this in a different way, pulling this out of the keyboard is going to help you learn this even more effectively. Let's take a look at another brush shortcut, for example,. There's a great shortcut which allows you to use a combination of keys and dragging to change your brush size. In this case, what we can do is on Windows we can press Alt and then Right-mouse-drag. On a Mac operating system, you can press Ctrl+Option-drag. This allows you to change your brush size and also softness. Click and drag to the left or right. You can change the size as you can see I'm doing here.
Drag up and down and you can change the overall hardness or softness of the brush. Now, by spending some time really focusing in on these brush shortcuts, by isolating them, my guess is that you might actually remember this information. So as you seek to remember all that we're going to learn in this course, ask yourself, "How can I isolate what's most important?" One of the ways that we can do this is by taking really good notes. What I recommend you do is perhaps have a couple of different notebooks. Maybe you have one or two big notebooks where you're writing everything down, but then you need a smaller notebook or maybe just a page in one of your bigger notebooks where you're writing down, perhaps, the most important information, say, for example, your shortcuts or whatever it is.
Otherwise, the most important information will just get lost on these pages in the bigger notebooks. So again, figure out some sort of a technique, some way to isolate what you're learning, some way to highlight it or to bring it out. Another way to do this, of course, is to get creative with your note taking. Here are some notes which were sent to me by a former student. These were notes which she took on one of my previous lynda.com courses. I've posted these on my web site for you to view it as a little bit of inspiration. You can view them at chrisorwig.com/notes.pdf.
What I love about these notes is that they're artistic and creative. So perhaps what you need to do in order to isolate or highlight what you're learning is take notes that are creative, because if you do that, you'll be more interested in the process and perhaps you'll learn even more. All right! Well, I have a few more strategies that I want to share with you, but I think this is a good stopping point for now. So let's go ahead and continue to talk about some strategies for success when it comes to learning Photoshop. And let's do that in the next movie.
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