Greg Mayo

It’s amazing how many people these days use Photoshop.  What used to be a big secret for the graphic arts, then photography worlds, now sometimes comes bundled with the software installed on new computers.  I get asked all the time why I don’t write something on it.  The reason is it is a remarkable tool that can take a lifetime to learn, and it’s hard to discuss in 350 words…but here goes.

As it applies to photography, Photoshop is the most powerful and most popular of many programs called editing software.  There are several versions, some of which are quite expensive.  If you have the itch to dabble in photo alteration, you should look at the less expensive versions first.  They will probably do everything you want to do and be easier to learn.  The program allows you to doctor your photos.  You can do everything from slightly enhance a shot to completely transforming it into something else.  The version of the car you see here is the image right out of the camera.  The bottom one is the result of a quick visit to Photoshop.  I added some color and darkened and lightened areas to make the car more prominent.  Also there is a blur applied to give it depth.

Photoshop…FinallyI purposefully overdid the Photoshop version so you could easily see the effects.  This brings up an important point.  Unless you are trying to do an artistic effect, less is usually better than more.  When you overdo it, the results look unnatural and obvious.  Think remove blemishes, maybe brighten eyes a little, erase stray hairs…things like that.

Be forewarned, though, if you are new to Photoshop, you can sit down to play with an image and when you look up it will be next Thursday.  You can really spend some time in a hurry.  To really enjoy photo editing, it’s best to get some training.  There are some folks around town who teach classes.  I recommend taking them.  In the alternative, the internet is loaded with tutorials, many of them free.  So, Happy Photoshopping!

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