How did you learn Photoshop?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by duncanapple, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    I am curious to see how people here learned to use photoshop? Years and years of tinkering, formal education, etc? The reason I ask;

    I got into building (simple for now) websites on the side as a hobby more or less. I took a few classes on HTML, CSS, and an intro to Dreamweaver, so while I can't do any java, flash, database type stuff, (yet! ;) ) etc, I can do some real simple stuff. I wanted Dreamweaver to build my sites, and with a student discount, I got the whole CS3 creative suite for $500 so I couldnt pass it up (DW, PS, Flash, Fireworks, Illustrator, etc). I was perfectly happy using GIMPShop but the suite was just $100 more than DW alone.

    Recently I had the oppertunity to build a handful of sites (one for a dentist, one for a home builder, and another for a small machine shop) and made a few graphics. I would really like to do more with photoshop (I had to stumble my way through PS just to make some simple 3D buttons) but the places that offered the classes on HTML, CSS, etc didnt have any offerings for PS.

    So anyway, just curious as to where people learned. I have seen some amzing things done with PS, and I know I have not even tapped 1% of its/my potential.

    Thanks for any replies!

    - Chris
  2. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    Taught myself over the past 10 years or so. A lot of trial and error, a lot of reading web tutorials and a lot of talking to other users.
  3. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    There are a lot of good books on it You should check out Richard Harrington's book I would also recommend sitepoints 101 Photoshop tips for web designers.
  4. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    I'm still in the process of learning. is a good resource. Although not nearly as funny as this tutorial site.
  5. speakerwizard macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2006
    more or less self taught, later on got a book for reference, but these days there is so many video tutorials ( and free ones if you google, for more advanced tuts i love this site: some nice work
  6. jdl8422 macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2006
    I learned the basics is college (what each tool on the tool bar does, and basic basic effects). The rest was just through different tutorials online
  7. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    Same as above, learnt a little in college (not much – they focused on the theory). The rest all learned through messing about, talking to others and google.

    Even after 12 years there's always something else to learn about – some new shortcut or technique.

    I would concentrated on the basics; layers and masks. Goodluck :)
  8. Pooba macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2008
    Chesterbrook, PA
    The way I learn

    A friend of mine gave me a copy of PS4 Windows back in 97. Got into bought the books on PS. Really got into 2000 took a class a university PS 5.5 on Mac. Mostly self taught with books, tinkering, websites and and three month class. Bought a Mac and PS 5.5 the rest is history.
  9. jodelli macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2008
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    Years of tinkering mostly, some books as well starting with the Photoshop 3.0 Tutorial and User Guide.
  10. covisio macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2007
    Started dabbling with it in the late Eighties/Early Nineties. At my job at the local newspaper we used to set all the large property ads using Quark. To get thumbnail pictures alongside each property description we had a sort of overhead video camera which we placed the picture under, captured it using the twain driver within PS then 'adjusted' the image (I seem to remember we just tweaked the lightness/darkness and contrast settings, very lo-tech).
    Started using it a bit more to mess about comping silly pictures together, i.e. my head onto a sheep, etc (oh how we laughed).
    I eventually moved to a much more high tech firm which did reprographics for food packaging, which entails lots of spot colours even in CT images. They originally used Sun Sparcs, then Silicon Graphics kit with specialised software but eventually moved over to Macs and Photoshop for the retouching.
    This was where I really had to get to grips with PS because we used to separate provided CMYK images into spot colours for use in the flexible packaging industry (i.e. where often you would make a chocolate biscuit using brown ink rather than a CMYK mix, or a cherry out of red ink).
    Working out how layer masking and adjustment layers worked I remember was a real watershed moment and after that my learning accelerated.
    I then moved back into conventional graphic design in 2005 and have probably de-skilled myself a little as a result.
    But I'm still learning after nearly 20 years, and always will be. Anyone who says they 'know' PS is usually lying. They know 2 or 3 aspects of it at best.
  11. design-is macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    London / U.K.
    Pretty much self taught with the aid of tutorials and seeing if I could copy some stuff sometimes..

    So not a lot different from everyone else :)
  12. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom

    Talk about getting in on the ground floor.

    1990… Photoshop 1.0.
    Self-taught. (Which probably explains a lot.)

    Surprising what could/can be done with 9" of monochrome.
  13. hank-b macrumors member


    Apr 29, 2008
    Self-taught as well, plus a few on-line tutorials. I've been playing with it since the early 90's. I'm still using Photoshop 7 though - I might upgrade next year...

    - HB
  14. iwuzbord macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    New York City
    same as most. self taught. mainly through curiosity and wondering what everyone was talking about when they mentioned it.
  15. Captain Pyro macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2008
    The Sunny NE of England
    college back in late 90s on 3.3, self taught since.

    mostly driven by work needs and personal interest...
  16. Captain Pyro macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2008
    The Sunny NE of England
    heartily agree with covisio though. you know the bits you need to know. having said that, a professional wet darkroom background and experience as a colour and black an white hand printer helps.

    it's also surprising how often film+chemicals is quicker and higher quality too... :D
  17. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Dammit, u beat me.

    I started with PS2.0 I got at a yard sale in the original box! It was a big box.
  18. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604


    May 4, 2002
    Go Vegan
    I've always been into art and so has my family. My Dad installed a program called Easy Color Paint (a drawing program) on our Macintosh IIcx about 20 years ago. I loved that program a lot, used to draw in it all the time. :p

    Then once when I was young I went to my Dad's office with him, he was using Photoshop 2.0 on his Mac. Recently I even found a Photoshop 2.0 VHS tape about how to use the program, haha. Sooner or later we had Photoshop 3.0 installed on our home Mac. Eventually we got a new Mac and a new version of Photoshop and so on. So ever since I've used a Mac I've been using some sort of drawing program. :)

    As I got older I started using the program for much more than just drawing and playing with photos. I never really started reading tutorials or books until a few years ago. But they have helped a lot since there is so much to learn in a program like Photoshop. :D
  19. craigverse macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2006
    Reno, NV
    I started learning photoshop in 6th grade in my Tech Lab 2000 class. Led me to getting a copy for myself... somehow... and teaching myself. In HS the school had an excellent digital imaging class for photoshop and digital illustration class for illustrator. I was also in journalism and taught myself indesign. So mostly self taught stuff with a few formal classes on the side.
  20. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    I've basically learnt on the job, as it were. I've been using it for well over a decade now – I started on version 3 – and I'm still learning. ;)
  21. larapumkin macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2008
    taught myself.
    learned a lot when i was in high school to face reports for my friends lol
    i think it is the obssession that really helps the education haha
  22. csista macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Basics - self taught.

    Advanced - A mix. Some self taught. Forums. Other designers at my job. was a huge help, that I can't recommend enough if you want to learn multiple programs.

    Speed - Having a job where I needed to deliver 200 color corrected, usable images in an hour, ranging from old, low-res .pict files to nice new raws.
  23. 2000ContourSVT macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
  24. craigverse macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2006
    Reno, NV
    Thanks for all these links guys. Good stuff. :]
  25. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    I started with PS 5.0 in middle school, and have since used every version since at work. I also taught myself in combination with High School, and University classes.

    I would say i learned the most by read tutorial sites, and having crazy competitions with friends.

    We created a PS game where every two weeks one of our friends would choose a topic, like football or something, and then person would create something; photo or whatever. Then the other people would have to try and out do the other persons design, with the same topic or photo.

    All round free stuff to help with designs: Blue Vertigo.
    PSDtuts -- Photoshop Tutorials by Designers.
    Abduzeedo -- More Photoshop Tutorials by Designers.

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