Monday, April 28, 2008

J'adore Photoshop

Ahhhhh Photoshop, I do love thee. Photoshop has got to be the best photo editor there is. Sure its kinda confusing and really intimidating when you first start, but there is just so much you can do with it. I have had people ask me how I make my monogram stuff and edit pictures. Well, I do everything in Photoshop. The next question I get is; how did you learn it. MH helped when I was starting out, but I learned most of it online..exp. all the photo editing.

I started using Photoshop for work. I used to edit the screen shots we used in our FAQ's. All I knew how to do was; crop, drop shadow, paint bucket and a few minor things. When I started planning my wedding I knew I wanted a really great invitation. MH and I had a limited budget so I thought I would try to create my own monogram and invitation. I eventually got better and better at Photoshop. Eventually, I started playing around with more options and started to become more comfortable with it.

It wasn't until I was really unhappy with my wedding photos that I started to play around with picture editing in PS. I have to tell you, there are sooooo many PS tutorials online. What's nice about them is that you get to know new features, what they do, how to manipulate them for your own ends and (my fav) shortcuts. **sidenote: I am one of those girls that doesn't like to use the mouse. I am all about the shortcuts.**

Anyway, if you are trying to learn Photoshop at all I would totally suggest going online and checking out all the cool tutorials. You could also take a PS class, but let's face it...who has time for that?

I just found a new option, well I guess I didn't just find it as I always knew it was there I was just to scared to play around with it. The new option is Curves. I Love, Love, Love playing around with the Curves option in PS. There are lots of tutorials that tell you about Curves, or they just tell you to use a specific settings in the Curve tool. What I have found is that you really need to play around with it because each picture is so different that what works for one will not work for another.

I will do another tutorial on curves where I will have screen shots and whatnot. For the time being, check out some of the pictures I edited with the Curves tool, verses other settings.

Here is the original picture. It's not too bad, but the sky and her skin is a little lackluster (sorry Ella it's the camera not you).

Here is the Photo with some editing done. I added a layer and changes the blend mode to Overlay. This is usually one of my favorite things to do. In fact a lot of times I mix and match the Blend modes until I am happy with the finish. The problem with this is that you don't have a lot of control. You cannot just edit one part of the photo, like the midtones (we will discuss in the next tutorial) and whatnot. Yeah you can erase the effect from part of the picture, but its kind of a hacky way to do it. Still, the picture is nice, the side of her face is really dark, but they sky becomes a nice blue.

Here is the picture that I edited using the curve tool. It gives you a lot more control over the different tones of the photo. Meaning, I can make the dark darker while making the light lighter. I can edit each piece of the photo as needed. I think this gives the best effect.

So I will show you how to do all this in the next tutorial.


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