Things have been crazy around here lately. So forgive me for just now finally getting around to posting the fact that my beloved video publisher, lynda.com, has released the fourth and last in my series of crash courses on Adobe programs. It’s called Up and Running with Photoshop for Photography, and it explains how to get started with Photoshop specifically and digital photography in general. So gather your loved ones, microwave some popcorn, and get ready to watch 3 hours, 32 minutes, and 33 movies of the best video training you ever laid your eyes and ears on. (I don’t mean to be boastful; I’m just excited.) Newbies and seasoned pros will find much to learn. (Again, I stress: I’m excited.) Here’s my choice for a poster frame, featuring the adorable Alicia, as captured by the equally adorable Jacob Cunnigham (the guy in the Coke shirt coming up soon).
Here’s my chapter-by-chapter description:
Chapter 1, Image File Essentials.
These first five movies acquaint you with everything you need to know about the base element of digital photography, the image file. In just 32 minutes and 42 seconds, I show you how to get your photos into Photoshop, come to terms with the Adobe Bridge, zoom and pan inside an image, and add copyright info.
Chapter 2, Basic Color Adjustments.
The first thing you’ll want to do to a photo is correct its luminance and color. In this chapter, I show you how to do exactly that using Photoshop’s best color-correction commands, using static image adjustments and dynamic adjustment layers. The result is that you end up with memorable, once-in-a-lifetime keepsakes like this.
Chapter 3, Correcting in Camera Raw.
Photoshop ships with a plug-in called Camera Raw that’s ostensibly designed to correct photographs captured in your digital camera’s raw file format. But ask any of us who use Photoshop on a regular basis, and we’ll tell you that we use Camera Raw to correct our JPEG and TIFF images as well. It’s just that good. Forgive me for using another photo with me in it (this time captured by Andy Ta), but it nicely demonstrates what a great job Camera Raw does of developing an image, as well as converting it to black-and-white.
Chapter 4, Retouching.
In these four movies, I show you how to correct red-eye, dodge and burn, heal blemishes, and cover up unwanted details. This might be my favorite chapter, and the image below might be my favorite photo. But it’s a shot of my eldest, so you know, I’m biased. (Still, you have to admit, he’s pretty damn awesome. Man, I love that child.)
Chapter 5, Cropping and Resolution.
Those of you who grow occasionally (or even incessantly) irritated at me for featuring pictures of my boys, me, and my friends may appreciate this next one. And it helps to demonstrate that most confounding of Photoshop topics, resolution. Which I’m happy to report, is a heck of a lot easier than you expected it to be. Watch these movies and learn why.
Chapter 6, Filter Essentials.
In these three movies, I introduce you what it means to be a filter in Photoshop (this is not a cigarette!) and how they can vastly improve the quality of your final output. I focus on Photoshop’s best filters: Reduce Noise, Smart Sharpen, and Liquify. Wow, just look how reach-out-and-touch-‘em tactile the results appear below. OMG, these filters rock!
Chapter 7, Selections and Layers.
In this chapter, we really get into it. In just three movies, I show you how to select, layer, and go nuts with adjustments. Which is, frankly, when your Photoshop work comes alive. As witnessed by the following layered composition:
Chapter 8, Merging and Saving.
In this final chapter, I show you how to merge photos into a super hi-res panorama, save a composition, and output your images to the Web. As in the case of the image below. As with all of the images in this post, the following is an actual photo (this time, captured by me!) as corrected, manipulated, and output by the one-and-only Photoshop.