Ideas for how to learn Photoshop more effectively Photoshop CS6
Ideas for how to learn Photoshop more effectively
One of my life's greatest privileges is being a teacher. I just really enjoy it. And over the last decade, I've had the privilege and honor of teaching a wide range of people how to use Photoshop. One of the things that I've discovered from this experience is that there are certain strategies that you can take in order to more effectively learn this amazing application. So here, what I want to do is share with you some of those strategies which will help you to be a bit more of a success, which will hopefully help you to get even more out of this course. Well, one of the first things that we need to realize is this: the art and craft of digital photography requires equal amounts of creativity and technical expertise.
In other words, we need to pursue with all of our passion, technique, and also creativity. The trick, of course, is that sometimes Photoshop can just be--well--really difficult. It's hard to pick up all of these different techniques and tips. And in light of that, what I think we need to do is think like a photographer. We need to adopt this whole perspective of coming up with solutions that are simple. I love this quote which says the highest form of sophistication, well, it's simplicity. And I think this particular photograph here illustrates the point.
I was at Yosemite, it started to rain, and all of these photographers who were set up ready to photograph Yosemite Valley, well, they packed up their cameras and went back to their cars, except for this guy. He simply pulled out an umbrella, covered up his camera, and kept shooting. And photographers are known for coming up with these really simple solutions. So as Photoshop gets tough, what you and I need to do is to say, well, "Hey! What can I do in order to simplify this overall process?" And you know, one of the first things that we can do is we can try to start off on the right foot.
When you open up Photoshop, you can go to your Window pulldown menu. Here you can select Workspace and then what's new in Photoshop CS6. By choosing this, it will then change the panels and also highlight different things in the menus in order to draw your attention to the new features or changes or updates in Photoshop CS6. And by becoming familiar with what's new, well, it can just help you learn it more effectively. Now, speaking of what's new, what will happen in this course is I will introduce a topic, say we will talk about how to work with Color Range.
I will highlight a new feature which is how you can now select skin tones by using this dialog. Well, one of the things that you need to do is to figure out how to remember this. Well, where is that feature of selecting skin tones? One great way to do this is to take a screenshot or a screen grab. Here, on the right, I have some instructions for doing that on a Mac or on a Windows machine. What you can do is just take a picture of the software. You could then print that out or just save that on your desktop. And by doing that, it would be a visual cue which would help you remember, "Oh yeah!" That skin tone feature, that's inside of the Color Range dialog.
And again, taking notes, well, I think it's really important. We will talk a little bit more about this. Another thing that we want to do is think about how we can actually work in Photoshop effectively. Here is a photograph of my office with the window open. And I have that window opened to illustrate this idea. Every once in a while, say every 30 minutes or so, you need to take a break and look outside. So often I see my students working and working on Photoshop because it's easy to get caught up in this--one: because it's fun, it's creative, and two: because it's technical and difficult.
Sometimes what happens is these students will be working in the labs and they will be staring at their monitor and literally they will forget to blink. That's one of the reasons why you have eye problems when you're working on a computer. So as you seek to create an effective workflow, again, every once in a while, take a breath, take a break, and be sure to blink, refresh your vision. Another thing that we need to do of course is to have good posture, even now perhaps, you should sit up straight, and maybe try one of these sitting stretches like putting your hands above your head, because I found that if we're loose and if we have our blood flowing, well, it will effect and improve our workflow.
It also will change the way that we absorb information. One of my favorite stretches is this one here: you stick your tongue out and you hold that for 5 or 10 seconds. And what it does is it causes you to release all of the tension in your face, and whether or not you use this stretch, the whole point is here that when we are working in Photoshop, we can't be all knotted up in a little ball. Rather, we have to breathe and relax. It will help us learn more effectively. It also will help us improve our workflow.
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