To be honest, I have been wanting to learn how to use Photoshop since… well, since Always. I have tried millions of times when I was more of a teen, just with Youtube tutorials and some crappy pictures I have made with my point and shoot. Basically, I tried a lot of background changes, and maybe some eyes and hair color modifications… and I SUCKED at it. It was so hard I thought it would be impossible to ever learn how to do ANYTHING in Photoshop.
I asked Jenna Martin for some Photoshop advice, as she’s a genious at it (seriously, if you hadn’t checked her composites you’d click that link and check them out, because they’re all extremely gorgeous). And she, being the sweetheart she is, she recomended me to do some Phlearn tutorials.
I wasn’t so sure about that… but ok, I decided to check it out and give it a try. I started by going to their Youtube channel and taking a look to the easiest videos. Ok, so far so good, I was able to remove A LOT of teens acne with such an easy trick! Then I went to their website and check their tutorials, I tried out one of the multiple free tutorials they have and I found out I liked the way Aaron Nace explained things, so… I wanted to give it a try. Ok, it is money… buuuuuuut… I need to learn, I WANT TO LEARN SO BAD!
I started with the Phlearn PRO 101 and 102 and I learn a freaking lot. I learnt how to use the pen tool and what is it for, and when should you use it. Differences between the clone stamp tool and the healing brush. How to blend different layers and also how to blend layers just on the shadows or the highlights. I also learnt how to make selections, choose and change colors… Basically, it gave me the tools to understand how Photoshop works and a basic knowledge of how I could achieve things.
I kept seeing, watching and being amazed by the creativity of other photographers, they way to compose and create gorgeous images from the very beggining. And eventhough I knew how to do the basic changes and how to improve my images, I still didn’t know how to get to that point. That’s the reason I bought my first composition tutorial: The beginners guide to special effects.
I bought it a little bit scared, like each time I invest money on something (specially in photography, as everything is superexpensive. And I was also thinking: ok, I am going to start with the tutorial… and in the end, I won’t be able to apply it to anything… and all this superpositive thinking I am known for.
But I was proved wrong! I not just found it amazingly entertaining (I kept posting all my advances all through Instagram stories, as I was superproud of my work and the things I was learning) but, I also learn new tricks I was able to use in my very first compositing image (which I will show you in another post).
So, let me tell you a bit about my experience with The Light tutorial and a couple nice things I’ve learnt from it!
1. If you want to compose images, you will need images: I know it might sound silly… ok, I know. But this tutorial has taught me why is it important to have a plan of what do you want to do and take a couple of extra pictures. Then you can mask the different images on different layers and use them as you want and need to. Also, second thing I’ve learnt: the importance of layer masks to work when we’re composing images.
2. Learn how to get rid of all the unnecessary stuff: I have already being in this places bazillions of times. There’s always something in the background, something in the foreground, crests, the man that passes by… etc… etc…
I have learnt a LOT about the stamp tool, and the healing brush. Also, I’ve learnt some new tricks to clone things over other things and make them look casual, and natural. And that’s something I would never have learnt by myself. As I don’t know, I am not able to do anything, you know? As long as I am getting tricks, I am able to figure out more stuff and at least I have those resources to keep trying new things, and guess what, I am getting results!!
3. Work with the color and how to get that final touch that makes your image POP: As you might know, if you’ve being seen my work from day one until now, I have improved a lot. Although, I still haven’t found my style yet, I am developing it, working on it, but I also made amends with the idea. Developing your style takes work, time, and much work. You’ve to shoot, shoot, shoot, and keep shooting a bit more, and then edit, edit, edit, and edit a bit more. I know I am in the process, but sometimes I get cranky and mad about not being able to give my pictures that last, final touch that makes them pop. And thanks to this tutorial, I’ve learnt a couple tricks I am SO going to use next time!
That’s what I wanted to share with you. I’ve affiliated to their site, because I am really into Phlearn tutorials and I know how much I have learnt from them. That’s the only reason I have affiliated, because each time you get a tutorial I recommend (and I swear I am only recommending the ones I’ve made and because I think they’re fabulous) I get one step closer to get another tutorial and keep learning and improving.
And even if you don’t follow my links, I still recommend Phlearn as the best site to learn Photoshop I’ve found so far, and I encourage you to go there if you also want to try and learn how to make Photoshop work for you and your photogrpahy.