Photoshop Newbie
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Some advice for the Photoshop Newbie

I want to assure you right now, I am not writing this as a "Photoshop expert". I probably am at the intermediate skill level right now. And I learn something new every day! So, I am writing this from the viewpoint of someone who is "average" - not a "power user", and certainly no computer expert. I hope to encourage other people who consider themselves to be "average" to not be intimidated by Photoshop.

So, I figured I'd make up some little "Photoshop for Newbies" pages. Bear in mind, this isn't going to be a nuts-and-bolts tutorial kind of thing. I have a few simple tutorials on this site, but truly, there are many excellent tutorial sites for Photoshop on the Web. I'll link to some of them here as well.

On another page I recommend some good Photoshop books. Every newbie should get some good books. (Heck, everyone should get some good books!)

Here I will give a few bits of advice about buying Photoshop at a lower price, and some basic encouragement on getting started with this fabulous (but sometimes seemingly formidable) graphics program. I even discuss Photoshop and Mac and PC, and using Photoshop with a digital tablet.

Getting Started with Photoshop:

So - you are a newbie, and you find Photoshop daunting and scary? You've heard about what a high learning curve it has? Don't worry. It's not that hard—it just takes time, and enthusiasm. It's hard not to be enthusiastic when you find out all the great things you can do with Photoshop! I'm having a blast with it!

The secret to getting into Photoshop (or any graphics program) is to have a goal. To have something you want to do. Just going through boring old exercises in a book without any plans for your own projects can get really dull after a while. So - get some "step-by-step" tutorial books (see my Book Recommendations page) or find some tutorials on the web. Decide what you want to do, and go about learning how to do it!

Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't push yourself too hard all the time. Sometimes you should just relax, and keep tinkering. You will be amazed at how much you can learn, and how much new information you will retain when you spend a lot of time just "goofing off".

Also, don't underestimate the power of merely learning how to optimize your own photos and snapshots. If that's all you ever do with Photoshop, that's a lot. Any old snapshot or Polaroid can be dramatically improved with some Photoshop techniques. You can fix up old family photos, and learn a lot at the same time. If all you ever do at first is clean up dust spots and increase contrast, that's quite a bit. So do it! It's not hard. And even when you find Photoshop a little daunting, the effort you put in is worth it.

The more you fire up Photoshop on your computer and use it (for goofing off, or fixing family photos) the more comfortable you will become. And little by little, bit-by-bit, you will acquire more skills!

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Much thanks to W. Thompson, for the design of my email graphic!

All images and graphics © J.R. Dunster 2001 - 2006

Last updated July 29, 2004

Made with a Mac  Graphics made with Photoshop 7

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