Saturday, October 23, 2010
The joy of education
Spending an entire day at a Photoshop seminar may not be your idea of a good time, but it sure is mine. Yesterday, Kelby Training rolled into town with their Photoshop CS5 for Photographers Tour and it was an event that I did not want to miss. Leslie and I both attended, even though neither of us own CS5. This was a terrific opportunity for us to see the program in action before making a purchasing decision. After spending the entire morning learning about the new features, I am now definitely jonesing for it. The new content aware fill is just as spectacular as it's made out to be, plus the updates to the Camera Raw interface offer even more control for image editing. There are other improvements but those two features make CS5 a must-have for me, although I have no idea when that purchase will actually happen.
The morning was spent learning many "how to" skills exclusively for CS5, but we then moved on to discover oodles of tricks and tips that will work on most versions of CS, covering topics as varied as creating actions, using the adjustment brush in Camera Raw, hiding little-used menu items, even several artistic ideas. Much more than all that, actually. Yes, it was definitely comprehensive.
Our instructor was Ben Willmore, an amazing photographer and a skilled Photoshop artist. Check out The Best of Ben and prepare to be impressed. In particular, I am in awe of his Route 66 series. Ben discussed some of his approaches when it comes to what he calls Photo Stylings and I so appreciated the advice and suggestions he shared. We learned an excellent black-and-white grainy technique, a faux HDR technique, a technique similar to selective colouring that keeps the dark areas of a photo in black-and-white while allowing some colour to appear, and much more.
I left the seminar feeling that I had definitely learned many things about Photoshop, but even more importantly, I left feeling inspired. The above image was one I worked on today in CS4, combining some of what I learned with some of my favourite tried-and-true techniques. I have many ideas swirling through my head and can't wait to tackle them all!