Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Photoshop and PS Elements help: TOP "Starters"

Max checking the view from the Louvre while everyone else photographs the Venus de Milo (Good move, Max!)

Take-Out Photo is adding a new feature: quick and easy tips for beginning users of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Although my blog is project-oriented and organized around monthly "Specials," I know many of you out there would appreciate some useful tips for improving your photos.

The problem: Even though there is no shortage of Photoshop-oriented web sites happy to teach you (I just googled this one, for example, and it seems pretty nice, and I just added this one to my google reader, and oh my gosh, here are no less than 62 tricks, and...), it is easy to get overwhelmed by too much information (seriously, the three previous links were just some of the tops hits from a google search). Many sites cater to experienced users or feature projects you might never use (Change the color of my car body, because, why exactly? I'm not saying the tutorial isn't excellent, I'm just saying...).

The take-out photo solution: I want to give you an ongoing supply of quick and easy tips you can use often. I welcome and encourage requests (e.g. "My photos always print out too dark. Help!"--An easy solution to that problem will be the first tip, by the way). Although I use Photoshop, I bought PS Elements 6 when I started this blog so I could help people who don't want to spend $600 on software. I will try to give tips that work with either program.

In keeping with the food metaphors on my blog, after much deliberation I've decided to call this new feature "Starters." Other contenders were "tips from the chef" (sounds too full of myself?), "tips from the kitchen," "appetizers," "entrées,"---you get the idea--and then, while eating at my favorite local restaurant (Pizzeria 712. Go there frequently if you live within 50 miles. Nobody's paying me to say this, I just want good, non-chain restaurants to succeed. They are rare around here.) I said to Michelle, "What about starters?" She agreed that it was the right name because it has the advantage of being a food metaphor AND of fitting my goal to help people get started improving their photos.

Help create the menu
As I said above, I welcome and encourage requests. If there are specific problems you'd like to solve, let me know and I'll see if I can offer a quick solution. If your request involves a lot of steps, maybe it will become a future Monthly Special, as you've seen with June's grid project. I will try to post at least two "Starters" a month. If I'm lucky, I may even have a guest photographer cook up a starter once in a while. And finally, once the menu of starters is looking full, we just may have to move on to a second course.


Dane said...

Love, love, love. So glad you are doing this, and for exactly the reasons you stated above. So nice, I'll be spending the week here. :)

Thanks a bunch!

jamesandy said...

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