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  1. #1
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
    Southeast Wisconsin

    Best book(s) or classes to learn proper pp?

    My problem is that I go into photoshop and I just "do things." I really don't know exactly what I should be looking for, or how much twiddling is too much. Often, when I make my photo look "interesting," I get blasted for having too heavy of a hand, or relying on filters, etc. Other tools are just way complicated.

    I respond best to logical, categorized explanations.

    Any book/class/online tutorial suggestions for post processing do's & don'ts?
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  2. #2
    GB1 is offline
    Moderator GB1's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    San Diego CA

    Re: Best book(s) or classes to learn proper pp?

    Here's a nice book for basic understanding of digital photography: Total Digital Photography, by Chris George. It's not super deep but does well what it does.

    How far to apply effects and filters is a really subjective thing - some people like a lot, others may not like any. It may depend on the intended usage of the images - some things will surely look more appropriate on an edgy nightclub's wall than in Businessweek magazine.
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  3. #3
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    wa state

    Re: Best book(s) or classes to learn proper pp?

    Which cs do you have?
    I have photoshop elements 5.0 for dummies and now have elements 6.0 for dummies, too.
    I've only looked at them a couple of times and end up doing what you do.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member jetrim's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Ft. Lauderdale

    Re: Best book(s) or classes to learn proper pp?

    This may sound silly, but have you looked through any of the documentation that came with the program? I owned PSP for 5 years and did things mostly like you - trial and error. Then one day I went through the tutorials that came with the program, and it was like an epiphany! REALLY good usable stuff included.

    Along with a ton of crappy ones, there are a few really good YouTube videos on specific effects and styles just do a search for "photoshop (your version)"

    I think part of the reason GB1 suggested this new forum section is to help answer questions exactly like yours. Photography currently only has one "how-to" article (that I could find) on photoshop, it's about working with layers. I'd like to see this section develop a series of "stickies" for some of the more common processing techniques like Orton, High/Low key, etc. and maybe some on tools like color balance, unsharp mask, and so forth. We seem to have the talent here, and now Photo-John has given us the resource to share it :thumbsup:

  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Mineral Point, WI, USA

    Re: Best book(s) or classes to learn proper pp?

    I'm a big fan of Scott Kelby's books. I just got his CS4 for Digital Photographers book last week, but I haven't opened it yet. He has a book out for pretty much every version of PS.

    His writing style is very easy to follow, and entertaining.

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  6. #6
    drg is offline
    la recherche de trolls drg's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Route 66

    Re: Best book(s) or classes to learn proper pp?

    Consider one of the Professional Photographer's Handbooks like those from Michael Freeman or Stephen Johnson to integrate many of the concepts from composition to final output. There are several including a book or six from Hedgcoe(sp?) about why and how and most importantly when to do certain types of adjustments and/or corrections.

    The books by photographer's as opposed to the wildly popular editing magic books of some Photoshop gurus are more focused towards photography and not just 'award winning graphic design'!

    As an example, Michael Freeman published a simple method to measure the Dynamic Range of a Sensor in one of his books that anyone can do, and make it as accurate as they desire. There are entire applications and companies built around third party tools that don't do a better job camera for camera. Hedgcoe spent a lot of time in some of his books about translating film techniques to the digital realms and the appropriate terminology.

    There are many Digital Photograph made easy, year-end/Holiday Special Magazine editions that lay out the half a dozen or so necesssary adjustments that many photos require. Never hurts to have two or three on hand to compare if you don't understand one explanation!

    We can provide almost any 'visual' example of before and after I am very certain. In many different formats and from a lot apps too!

    The ADOBE web site is a wealth of information if you poke down through various links and follow them to various 'ends'.

    With this new Forum for Photography Software and Post Processing there should be lots of new information becoming available that may answer many of your questions and help in your overall approach!

    There is already a lot of info buried here at PR, sometimes it is good to ask a question if you can't find it via a search. Some of the titles of the entries are obscure or even unrelated.

    So, where do you want to start ? ?
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