just bought CS3...what is the best way to learn photoshop?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by student_trap, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    #1
    hello all, I have searched this question but i seem to be getting older threads that dont refer to photoshop cs3 extended itself.

    basically I recently purchased CS3, without ever using it before, and am looking for advice on books or other methods of tuition on how to really get to grips with photoshop.

    as i said i have never used it before, and after playing around with it for a week, i am definitely improving, but would like to be shown why some things work while others dont (i.e. the basics of how the program works) in order to have more control over what i want to craete, while also learning new techniques that i never even knew existed!

    The main things i am interesting in learning are how to play with the RAW images from my Canon D400, while also how to heavily manipualte photos and also create things from scratch.

    any ideas? All will of course be very welcome!
     
  2. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #2
    well, short of just fooling around with it extensively, might I reccomend the Missing Manual series?
     
  3. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

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    #3
    There are some pretty good free video podcasts available through iTunes.
     
  4. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #4
  5. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    #5
    thanks for all the responses so far!

    I had a look at this and it seemed like it would be very useful, however i wonder whether it may be too advanced? also, it seemed not to deal with heavy photo manipulation. perhaps not, but i am definitely looking to get something that will show me the very basics as so far i am managing to create things that aren't bad (i assume :confused:) for a beginner, yet I am continuously coming face to face with problems which occur in some instances and not in others, and i have no idea why! it is these questions that i need answers to, and beyond that tutorials on how to really move forward with the software.
     
  6. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #6
    Martin Evening is very straight-forward, and his writing is, well, down-to-earth. He assumes that you've never used a computer (well maybe not that bad), but he starts out with very basic terms, and works his way up the complexity scale. I seriously think that this book helped me advance the most in my learning PS (well... his earlier version, but I have this one too, and it's excellent). It has everything you would need to know as a photographer, including working with RAW, understanding curves, sharpening, HDR, ...I really can go on, but you should just get the book- it's worth it.
     
  7. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    #7
    Thanks for the advice, I shall definitely pick it up.

    Also, does anyone have an opinion of 'Adobe Photoshop CS3 A-Z' by Philip Andrews? I was wondering whether it was worth getting a reference book alongside the martin evening?
     
  8. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    #9
    RAW images:
    Research "HDR" images.
    Here's a link to get you started:
    http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm

    Learn how to use the histogram in ACR.
    The little arrows at the top left/right of the histogram display can be clicked to colorize saturated or blown areas in a photo.
    Very helpful for extracting as much detail as possible from RAW files.

    A few commonly used functions, menus, shortcuts and tools:
    • Image>Adjustments menu contains many commonly used functions.
      Avoid the Brightness/Contrast tool; use Levels or Curves instead.
      Photo Filter is extremely useful for photos that need a subtle warm or cool bias adjustment.
    • ⌘+ ⌘- ⌘0 to zoom-in/out/fit the image quickly.
    • Work at 100% zoom ⌘⌥0 when making precise adjustments or evaluating your images.
    • Essential Filters to learn: Unsharp Mask and Gaussian Blur.
    • ⌘T to transform the selected area. (scale or rotate your image, then double-click it to finish)
    • Shift key will constrain the behavior of various tools.
      ie: Create a perfectly square selection marquee, or to move an object precisely along the X or Y axis.
    • ⌘T to transform the selected area.
      ie: create a selection, ⌘T, rotate or scale, then double-click to finish.
    • Become familiar with how the selection marquee tool functions.
      You'll be using it frequently.
    • Holding the command key will toggle to the direct selection tool from most other tools.
      Master this; it will speed up your workflow significantly.
    • ⌘D to deselect.
    • ⌘J to copy selected pixels up to a new layer.

    GL
     
  9. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    #10

    Fantastic advice, thank you so much. Can anyone explain what channels are, ive had some problems saving to jpeg when using them (i was following an online tutorial that did nothing to explain what was actually being done!)
     
  10. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    #11
    RGB is the color model used for computer displays.
    Channels are simply the individual Red, Green and Blue pixel data for a color RGB image.

    You can modify the individual channels directly.
    ie: apply a gaussian blur to the blue channel to reduce the noise in a photograph.
    You can use channel data to create selections, masks etc...
    You can also save custom selections as alpha channels in the channels palette.
    Alpha channels can be accessed by other applications, OpenGL scripts, etc... to modify the composite image, such as to create transparent areas or to knock-out the background.
     
  11. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    Scott Kelby's Photoshop CS3 for digital photographers is my current favorite book.
     
  12. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #13
    I'd thought about getting that book myself, but got his "7 Point System for Photoshop". Probably doesn't get as deep as the OP would like.

    Scott Kelby is really good at explaining stuff, at least in my opinion. :)
     
  13. sonor macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I started with Martin Evening's book. It's very good and very thorough, but I needed to get some work done in CS3 and didn't have time to work through it to cover all the areas I needed, so I picked up Scott Kelby's CS3 For Digital Photographers as well. It's much simpler - very easy to understand - and concerns itself with various common techniques you're likely to need. There were useful things I could use straight away.

    Ultimately I'll probably learn more from Evening's book, but Kelby's is very helpful if you need to get something done in a hurry.
     
  14. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

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    #15
  15. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #16
    Only for those with a twisted sense of humor, google the "You Suck At Photoshop" series (YouTube and elsewhere). NSFW, depending you where you work. :eek: :cool:

    Besides being funny as h3ll, he actually shows you how make use of intermediate Photoshop tools. Love the quote, "You've only been using about $75 of Photoshop, and this is going to open you up to at least $250 worth"... :D
     
  16. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Photoshop is not worth its price. Lets just say a "friend" downloaded the full CS3 extended for free and that "friend" is having a blast.
     
  17. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    #18
    naughty naughty. mine wasn't so bad actually, i picked up the student edition of the full creative suite for £370 off of amazon!

    thankyou so much for all of your input, i shall pick up a couple of books tomorrow and get learning!:)
     
  18. Mike49 macrumors member

    Mike49

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    Jan 28, 2008
    #19
    If you don't mind forking over a few dollars, Dave Cross is an exceptional teacher.

    He has a DVD available for beginners at the Kelby Training site. Link

    I subscribe to Kelby's online courses, and all the instructors there are fabulous.

    Good luck!!:cool:

    (I have no affiliation with Kelby Training. I'm just another Photoshop hack trying to learn, like everyone else.)
     
  19. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Southern California
    #20
    Learn Photoshop Visually

    For basic beginners, it's not bad. Very, very basic, but provides a good foundation. Many of the PS books out there intimidate beginners. This one is "nice" without be useless.
     
  20. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    #21
    Thanks for all of the input guys, its truly appreciated! In the end I went for Martin Evening's book and am very pleased with it. it explains things really nicely and the quality of publishing is great too (important as while i was at the book shop i looked at some photoshop guides that were printed really badly!).

    Thank you once again
     
  21. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a

    marclapierre13

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    #22
    Just by you asking this question, I can tell you that Photoshop is out of your league, and you wont be able to even start using all of the capabilities of it... for now. That is fine, but it is just a fact. And hey, there is nothing wrong with learning something new! But my best advice, would be get familiar with it by fooling around, and then also look at some internet tutorials.
    Now, since PS is such an advanced program, they actually have classes and what not built just to learn PS. I personally, am not all that great of a post processor, nor do I try to be, I like the basics, and I have not taken the classes or anything like that.
    Good luck!
     
  22. pprior macrumors 65816

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #23
    First of all, pirating software is bad. Don't do it.

    Second of all, I recently came across the www.lynda.com website which has online (and DVD) tutorials for all kinds of software. They have some free demos for each one. Check out the CS3/photoshop section and see what you think. Personally I was impressed and I think I'm going to subscribe.

    At least for me personally I learn much better via that type of teaching rather than reading a book. I've got several photoshop books that collect dust, yet I'm still a newbie.

    It's $25 a month to subscribe, so not cheap. but if you get dedicated to learning, I bet you'd be through the tutorials in a month or two at most.
     
  23. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    #24
    i got adobe photoshop cs2, if i get that martin evenngs book will it be very different becaus eit's for cs3? or does he have a cs2 book, i can t seem to find it..
     

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