Friday, September 26, 2008

Show Your Photos Like a Pro

Not all of the blog reading I've done lately is useless. I am actually learning. Broadening my mind. Stretching my horizons.

I've been using Photoshop for years. But only for really basic stuff like resizing or cropping images, creating simple .gifs for my Web site. But the more I see what people can do with Photoshop (and the crazy mistakes even purported professionals make), the more I want to learn how to use it.

So I've been searching the Internet for tips and how-tos. Why buy a book when there's so much free knowledge available?

The problem is, a lot of the tipsters assume I know what they consider to be basic stuff like applying a layer mask. Until recently, I didn't even know what a layer mask was. I won't bore you with the particulars. You'll just have to trust me when I say Photoshop veterans who might read this post would smack their forehead and say, "Oh my God! What an IDIOT!" (Trying to use Photoshop without layer masks is like trying paint a large room with a very small artist's brush. You might get the room painted. Eventually. After long hours of labor. But the end result will look like crap.)

Don't know what a layer mask is? Save yourself some pain and enlighten yourself now. Photoshop Tips is just one of the helpful blogs I found.

The blog is good, but a bit advanced for me at this stage. I keep it bookmarked because there's some good stuff there I'll be able to use one day.

The digital Photography School (dPS) blog is my favorite by far. It features posts from myriad professionals (photographers and graphic artists from what I've gathered so far). You can pick and choose the tips you want to try and master. Or choose stuff you don't necessarily want to master, but that will help increase your familiarity with the software. The one I tried this morning shows how to frame and name your photos, like I did with the frog you see above.

I just picked an easily accessible image to play with. The image itself isn't the focus here, it's the effect. Click on frame and name your photos to see for yourself.

I learned how to frame today. It might come in handy at some point. It might not. What's more important are the little tricks I learned while doing it that I can apply to other stuff. (NOTE: the frame is more impressive-looking at full size. Click on the frog to see what I mean.)

Know of any other great photography/Photoshop blogs? Please be a pal and share...


  1. Uh, what exactly is that frog doing anyway? It kind of looks. . .well, I won't spell it out but I had no idea frogs could do that! :-)

  2. It's singing! Get your mind out of the gutter! LOL


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