It’s been a busy year. My family blog hasn’t been updated in a very long time and we’ve been accumulating digital photos of the boys at an alarming rate. Last night my wife and I and I went through some of them to work out which ones to print (we still have paper-based albums because they are easier to look at) and we still have a lot left to sort out.
I don’t print the photos at home because the high street labs can do it more cost-effectively (sure, they screw up the colours more than I would like for some of my work but remember we’re only talking about the family album here). Even so, there are some edits that need to be made before I send the photos to the lab, and whilst the free tools with Windows or OS X will help me, I prefer the control that a tool like Adobe Photoshop gives me.
The trouble is, Photoshop is not always intuitive. I want to understand what I’m doing but half the time I don’t – and the local adult education Photoshop classes run in the daytime (when I’m at work). That’s where the Photoshop book for digital photographers comes in handy. I asked Santa to bring me this as a Christmas present a couple of years back and it’s been great. The main difference between this book and any other Photoshop book that I’ve seen is that instead of telling me what the various features are in Photoshop and how to use them, it takes me through an example (like instant red eye removal, colour-correcting images, or stitching panoramas together), with illustrations. I suppose now I need the traditional manual to teach me how Photoshop works (I’m considering buying the Adobe Photoshop CS3 classroom in a book), but this book gets me going – in effect it teaches me how to do things, not why a particular method works. I still have to ask my friend Alex for help on the more complex stuff (he does pre-press work for a living and really knows his way around Photoshop, Xpress, etc.) but at least with this book I can be self-sufficient for 95% of my digital photo edits. I should probably point out that the version of the book I’m using is based on Photoshop 7.0 but the techniques still seem to work for me with CS2.
If only real life was like Photoshop, I could use the book techniques to remove dark circles under my eyes, whiten teeth, remove love-handles, generally slim and trim myself. Sadly, life’s not like that – so another big push with Weightwatchers and some more exercise it’ll be then…