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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Hi everyone - help please

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  #1  
Old 07-16-2006, 03:36 AM
ukpapasmurf ukpapasmurf is offline
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Hi everyone - help please

Hi
Being disabled with MS (spending most of my time at home) I find it hard to fill my days with anything meaningfull.

I have now been looking at RP for some weeks now, and after being asked by a few people if I could 'mend' their photos I find myself wanting more.
I am not very good (Infact a complete novice) but I feel I have the will to learn more and more in an attempt to get as good as some of the 'posters' who frequent these pages.

What I would like to know is anyone could reccomend a way that I could learrn (from home) from the very basics upwards without the need to spend too much of my limited amount of income?

Many thanks to all for a brilliant and informative web site
Thx
Smurf
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2006, 05:43 AM
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RJD RJD is offline
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Hello ukpapasmurf I am sorry to hear that you have got MS.
The best way to learn (I gather that you have Photoshop if not have a look in to getting a copy) is by practise. I learnt Photoshop by spending all time time going through tutorials and techniques.
For a begginer I would look in to some books by Scott Kelby as he is fantasic when it comes to explaining the techniques to begginers. Also I would recomend you to go to http://good-tutorials.com and http://pixel2life.com as they have some good tutorials on there for begginers.
After you get familer with the program look in to getting books and training videos by Deke Mcclelland (SP?) as he is a very very good instructor and can teach you that next step.
After you know how to use the program I would recomend you to practise, practise and more practise. The more that you practise the better you will become.
I hope this helps you.
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Old 07-16-2006, 06:19 AM
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solitear solitear is offline
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Hi ukpapasmurf,

Well, Hi and welcome to the site. I'm sorry to hear about the MS as I hear it can be so painful..... you apparently have a lot of courage and seem determinded to "make lemonade out of lemons". . . so here goes......

By now you've probably discovered you've landed on a gold mine of expertise navigating to RetouchPro..... it's full of information provided by a host of giving, creative, kind people and I've learned most by just following the threads where somone asks something like "Help, what can I do about .....". I've usually wound up with not only step by step instructions but, just as important, an "eye" for seeing problems previously blind to.

I am a novice, too. And, so much of the time, am willing to go find the answer to my problem if only I knew what to call it........ like learning the term "blowout" when all I knew was that parts of my picture were so bright they looked like blind spots.......

Truthfully, I've bought books on Photoshop CS and Katrin Eismann's book on Restoration and Retouching which were very good but, after going through this website and Phyllis Stewart's site Innographx Forum with a fine toothed comb, there was nothing new in those books (in the areas I was interested in)...... just various ways of doing the same things I'd learned off websites. I'm certainly not in any way saying anything bad about the books because they are certainly a huge help especially since they're an organized way to learn techniques and that's very helpful.......

You mentioned that "I feel I have the will to learn more and more in an attempt to get as good as some of the 'posters' who frequent these pages." well, you've got the hardest part taken care of........

I'll bet we'll see more and more of your work and certainly hope to!

oxoxox
Beth
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  #4  
Old 07-16-2006, 07:01 AM
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RJD RJD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solitear

Truthfully, I've bought books on Photoshop CS and Katrin Eismann's book on Restoration and Retouching.
Beth I have just got a copy of that and it was deliverd yesterday. Looks good so far.

Last edited by RJD; 07-16-2006 at 07:06 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2006, 09:08 AM
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PatrickB PatrickB is offline
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Hi Smurf,

there are a lot of tutorials out there you could begin with.

I'd suggest starting up with the basic ones. Selections, using the different features etc. As soon as you got the basics you can start with the restauration and retouching stuff.

I personally consider the Katrin Eismann book (If you read this Katrin, no flamemails please) NOT recommended for a total beginner as it's at least medium-level and you might get confused by all those things if you don't know what you're doing.

What kind of retouching do you want to do? Retouching as in portrait/beauty stuff or restauration?
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2006, 09:43 AM
ukpapasmurf ukpapasmurf is offline
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Thanks everone for your kind words and support

Think that my efforts would be best directed at your standard type (if there is such a thing) of photo repairs and manipulation.
If I am lucky enough to find that this suits me I may look at trying to expand into other areas (who knows)

Once again many thanks to all ( all knowledge is good knowledge)

Smurf
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2006, 10:14 AM
imann08 imann08 is offline
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I'll tell you what to do in relation to how I do it. It's not necessarily the best way, it's just my way. I am a book guy so I do better with the books than with the tuts. Here are the books that I'd recommend that would get you well one your way to understanding this much better.

I'd get a PS reference book. My choice is usually the Bible series. They work well for reference uses. I actually read through the PS Bible but now use it for a reference when I need it.

For photo work
Masking and Compositing by Katrin Eismann
Retouching and Restoration by Katrin Eismann

These two are good to start off with. They establish a good base. She's a great author and gives plenty of excercises to follow along with.

Photoshop LAB Color by Dan Margulis
Professional Photoshop by Dan Margulis

These two go to the next level and I wouldn't recommend these until you get past the first two and have developed a wide knowledge of photoshop. They are definitely intermediate to advanced books. Getting through Katrin's books will get you to that point I think. I would also hold off on buying the Professional Photoshop book. I have heard that the 5th edition is to be out in the fall or winter and the ones I've mentioned will take that long to get through so it will be ready when you are done with them.

After that, when there are individual problems that you run into that are more specific, I go to the tuts. I have a better understanding of PS in general and can understand the tuts better as well. I also have a better understanding of what I need from a tut. These books are a huge help in this area and I swear by them.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:46 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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hi smurf,

welcome to RP.

now, since you said:
Quote:
What I would like to know is anyone could reccomend a way that I could learrn (from home) from the very basics upwards without the need to spend too much of my limited amount of income?
i'm going to steer you in another direction besides the VERY expensive photoshop ($700 retail here in the u.s.). the cheapest, but very good, editor is 'the Gimp'. this is a freebie. it's an ongoing open source program with a lot of power. a number of folks here on retouchpro use it. just google 'the gimp' or 'gimp' and it shld be near the top of the finds.

another very good program is paint shop pro. this used to be a shareware program but is now a commercial one, currently owned by Corel. if you look around the net you can still find the free versions. version 4.12 i know is still out there. the Corel version is commercial, pay for, but a LOT cheaper than photoshop and yet very high powered. in my opinion it's a better 'bang for the buck' than photoshop. in the u.s. you can find this retail ranging from about $80 to $120 and if you look around you can often find it even cheaper.

the learning curve on each of those is going to be different. photoshop has the highest learning curve with psp and the gimp coming in next, but if you go for the older psp 4.12, that's a much lower curve. and the folks here can pretty much help you with any of them.

craig
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  #9  
Old 07-16-2006, 04:33 PM
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solitear solitear is offline
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Hi RJD,

You're right, it's a very good book. I knew that smurf was on a limited income (heck, we're probably all on a limited income of varying degrees) and I paid $50.00 for mine (Katrin's book). It's been worth it but I'm glad I at least had some experience with Photoshop before I bought it.......... right now I'm looking on my bookshelf, staring at the Adobe Classroom in a Book for Photoshop CS (which I bought right after getting Photoshop CS) and Gaaaaahhhh....... I think I've opened the thing 3 times......

I'm like imann08, in that I'm a book person too, but until I even knew what I wanted to do with Photoshop I was using those tuts like a trained rhesus monkey....... wait...... I think they trained one of those things to fly the space shuttle....... OK....... not like a smart monkey.. more like a clueless rat sniffin' around for some cheddar......

I bet you'll love her book!

oxoxo
Beth
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2006, 04:46 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Smurf,

Being able to help people mend their treasured photos could be a very meaningful hobby/work for you, and helpful to those who use your services. From the answers you have received already, I think you can tell that most of us learned from manuals, training books, on-line tutorials, websites including RetouchPro and others -- AND practicing what we read about, heard about, and saw. You don't have to sign up for expensive classes, or even buy expensive books (buying a used copy or using a library copy will work as well).

You are already at one of the most helpful websites to learning the skills necessary, and there are many tutorials here as well as on other sites that can help you gain more skills. Before we can give truly helpful advice, however, we need to know more about what you already know how to do, and what you currently use to work on editing photos.

What software do you already own? How long have you used it?
What do you know how to do with that software?
What is your computer set-up -- do you have enough hard drive space and memory to work with large photos?
Do you have a scanner -- if so, what kind, and how familiar are you with its use?
How do you currently work with photos to get them on your computer?
How does your MS currently affect you -- does it affect your vision, your eye-hand coordination, your stamina to work for more than a few minutes?
We all have our physical limitations, and only some of them affect our ability to do retouching -- some images can require many steps, but if your clients don't rush your deadline, you can take your time within your physical capabilities.

Tell us where you are starting, and we can better help you see what steps you can work on to reach the goals you are thinking about setting for yourself. You've already found the #1 website for retouching, so you're already heading on your path.
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