Hope for the Hopeless in Photoshop

Photoshop can be very intimidating because of its complicated and non user-friendly presentation. You open the program, put a picture in, then what? I confess there have been times in the past I would decide to finally figure it out but then I would just end up staring at my monitor. Luckily for Photoshop impaired people such as myself, there are numerous tutorials that can be found on line. Open your web browser, type in “Photoshop tutorials” and you will find yourself staring at numerous links to a whole spectrum of Photoshop tutorials like the basics of Photoshop, how to use a specific tool, advanced techniques, different tips for different effects and a whole lot more. These tutorials come in videos or articles so you can choose which you would prefer.

Beginners should of course check out the basics first and acquaint themselves with the different tools and their functions. A video tutorial is the best way to go for this because it is easier to understand. Some tools like the type tool box, eraser tool, and crop tool are pretty self explanatory, but some can be confusing and at first may even seem useless. It is also very important to understand the concept of layering. Layering makes editing a lot easier, especially if there are a lot of things you want to do with your picture. It can also save up on time if you have any corrections along the way.

Almost all the tools on Photoshop have their own specific tutorials that you can look up. You can find numerous tutorials on the brush tool alone, which is probably the most used tool by anyone. These will explain how it works, the different brush sizes and shapes that are best for whatever it is you want to do, the different effects that can be accomplished with it, what can be done when used with different tools, etc. There are also specific tutorials for the blur, dodge, sponge, sharpen, and smudge tools. These teach you the best way to use these more ambiguous, and seemingly repetitive tools. The gradient tool has a lot of functions as well, which are mainly decorative and effects related. You can find a lot of uses for this tool with the many tutorials it has. Other specific tutorials are on how to use the airbrush tool, which is one of the more famous and somewhat controversial tools. Layering, as I mentioned earlier is a very useful and important concept to understand. It will make life a lot easier to look that up. The channel mixer is also a tricky function that can be very helpful but somewhat confusing. You can also find a tutorial on that and you’ll be good to go.

Once you’ve got the basics down, you can proceed to special effects. This is basically the part where you can start to have fun with your picture by giving it a cartoonish, sketched or painted effect. You can change your background, remove your background, put something or someone in the picture that should not be there, etc. You can find out how to make yourself look older, younger; you can look like your favorite anime character, be in a picture with your favorite movie star, singer or band, or be a Na’vi from the movie Avatar. You can even change your eye or hair color and make it look that that is what you really look like. There are also numerous ways you can edit and enhance a landscape photograph. Again, if you are not sure how to go about it, you can be sure to find out how to do it on line.

Starting with Photoshop can be hard and scary, but once you understand how everything works it isn’t very intimidating anymore. There are so many things you can do with Photoshop. Make yourself taller or shorter, fatter or slimmer; give yourself a tattoo or remove your tattoo; put a family member that is far away on your Christmas cards; the sky’s the limit! You can make posters for concerts and other functions you might be having. Make shirt designs; push pins, other souvenir items or advertisements for your business. The key is to experiment, and if you hit a bump just go on line, type in your concern, and sure enough; you will find a video or an article more than willing to help you out. So go ahead, open up that Photoshop and just have fun.

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