Mentionable Photoshop Finds

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I consider myself to mostly be self-taught when comes to things in the Photoshop world.  I poke around a lot, experience a mega-ton of trial and error and sometimes find myself having a conversation with my computer, trying to convince it to just “do” what I want it to do. Unfortunately, we are not in the Star Trek age just yet.  (Computer, make it happen.  And a coffee while you’re at it.)

I’ve been extremely lucky in that I’ve worked in advertising the last several years and with ad agencies come graphic designers that know a thing or two about Photoshop.  My fabulous creatives have shown me how to make my own actions, batch edit, blur an image and even how to use vectors in both Illustrator and Photoshop.  But I don’t like to abuse the fabulous creatives (because they have their own to do lists), my lack of knowledge is my own problem and have taken to discovering new resources.

Via the Googles, of course.

I’ve found a handful of tutorials over the last year – some are new, others are old… some I searched for, others thankfully fell into my lap – but I thought I’d share them with you.

I am NO Photoshop expert.  At all.  Never will be.  I’m OK with that.  I don’t really use the tool to drastically change my photographs – I don’t make people thinner, baby drool is my enemy and alien eyes frighten me.  But I do like to be able to tweak things when I want to.  Be it to enhance a photograph or remove something from it or create something new from it.  I want to use the tool to improve my original vision, not change it.  I’ll never fully tap the potential this awesome program can offer, but that’s just me.  And there’s no use in changing me now.  (Computer, tell me I’m right.)

Anyway, here are some tutorials I’ve found worth bookmarking.  I hope they’re helpful for you or inspire you to try something different.  (Link me up, Scotty.)

The Clone Tool

This doodad of a tool is powerful, so powerful, but man can it be tricky!  This is the tool that I’ve probably fussed the most over because it is so versatile.  I’ve used it to clean up backgrounds, remove blemishes and even reduce glare on shiny, bald heads.  But not once have I selected the tool and not have to try a few times before I get it right.  So I usually end up referring to this resource when I start petting my monitor.

Repairing Exposure

Light is photography.  And if you want to be a good photographer, you have to understand it.  And there’s a lot to understand.  But over the years of learning, sometimes I have a really great shot but I didn’t check my settings.  Boo Brooke, boo.  It happens.  And it’s sad.  And not everything is repairable in Photoshop, but with this video tutorial you can at least try.  Just don’t get upset at the computer if it doesn’t work – should have checked your settings, girl.

Toolbar Shortcuts

You may find this silly, but I’m telling you shortcuts make a difference.  Did you hear me?  SHORT CUTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  This web-blog actually offers a lot of different tutorials and online classes, but the shortcuts print-out has saved me so much time.  Before I was moving my mouse all around the screen, clicking at stuff constantly and had no idea I was wasting time.  But me and my keyboard have seriously bonded and I’ve even written in my own shortcuts.  I’m telling you what, it saves time for prime time.

Make it a Polaroid

This one fell in my lap.  I actually wrote about Amanda’s tutorial last month, but it’s worth including in this list.  Not because it’s rocket science, but because she did such a fab job explaining the process, provided photos and the finished product is seriously cute.  The “Polaroids” turned out perfectly and they provided  a really nice touch to the decor for the event I co-hosted.  I even feel inclined to say that the bride and groom in the photos were 15 shades of happy when they saw them.  So high fives to Amanda and her fantastic step-by-step tutorial.

Create a Collage Template

Another one that fell in my lap.  And sooooo useful.  Me and “create clipping mask” get it on like Donkey Kong.  For so long I’ve suffered through trying to make collages match, but after walking through this template tutorial?  Holy bananas.  Prayers have been answered.  I thought my deaf dog could hear again.  I was wrong about that last one, but that’s how hallelujah I was about it.  If you blog, dog ear this sucker right now.  DO IT!

So there’s nothing super fantastical on this list, but I’ve taken to these five resources and have visited them multiple times.  So have at it – bust open your Photoshop and try something new.  And it’s OK if you end up talking to your machine while you’re working your way through them – I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s normal.

(Computer, take a bow.)

To learn more about Brooke and see her recent work, visit her new site at Follow Brooke on Facebook or Twitter.

September 20, 2012 - 10:17 am

Susan - Thank you for posting this! I have PS 6.0 at work (shhhhhh) so I might be giving some of these a try. :)

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