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If you had to start over...(Your Vote Counts)

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  • If you had to start over...(Your Vote Counts)

    The recent discussions regarding tutorial videos - what to get/what not to get, got me thinking. Anytime someone enters into a new field of education, the first thing they tend to run smack into is information overload - too much info coming in too fast. The obvious conclusion is confusion and even frustration.

    Who's materials can I trust? Who's up to date with the latest techniques? What should I start with? What's a waste of time and money? What do the professionals use? Etc.

    There are thousands of sites dealing with Photoshop retouching that offer tutorials, and several forums like this where one can come and ask questions and receive guidance from more experienced professionals.

    Yes, does have a library, but still...for the complete newbie, dozens of threads with sometimes hundreds of posts, arguments, ideas, techniques...can still be mind-numbing and take weeks to sort through.

    So, here is my idea.

    Let's build the Ultimate Resource List for Beginners (that will also be valuable for the seasoned retoucher as well) - and not just a list-o-links. But the, crème de la crème of Photoshop resources.

    And I know how we could build such a list (and make a truly meaningful investment in the minds of future photographers, retouchers and digital artists)

    "Pretend that you have received forewarning that in 24 hours you are going to lose your Photoshop Skill Set memory. Everything you have learned through trial and error, books, courses, DVDs etc is going to be wiped out. And you have to start over with learning everything,- from scratch. But before your memory is wiped out, you are given the chance to leave yourself a small, but potent, list of 'start over' materials. But, you can ONLY leave yourself Three 'specific' sources of information that you will be able to rely on in order to relearn as much of your current skill set as possible - in as little time as possible.

    These Three Sources can be Books, DVDs, Courses or Specific Websites. Nothing vague like "just Google Photoshop tutorials" or "look through the archives."

    Again, ONLY three sources. If this really happened and you could only leave yourself Three Specific Resources to relearn would most certainly cut out every mediocre, good and even really good resource, and focus only on the resources that had the greatest impact on your skills.

    Now remember, this is only meant to be a fun, revealing experiment to get each of us to really think about what three specific items we would want to leave ourselves.

    Then, let's say in a couple of weeks (most certainly after the holidays) I will volunteer my time to compile the list and rank each resource based on the number of times mentioned in the complete thread. For example if:

    Book 1 is mentioned 8 times
    Book 2 is mentioned 6 times
    Book 3 is mentioned 13 times

    then the final list will rank the most valuable resources for Photoshop Retouchers as:

    #1: Book 3 Title
    #2: Book 1 Title
    #3: Book 2 Title

    I think we should make the end master list no more than 10 resources, but let me know what you think.

    Then, after I compile the master list...the owners of can 'Pin-Up' the master list for instant access to whomever wanted it.

    What we would end up with, is a list of education resources for Digital Retouchers compiled from the hard work, trial-and-error and long term investment of dozens of people who use Photoshop everyday (and more than a few for their lively hood). And by limiting the number of entries to Three per person, we can pretty much assure that we get a focused, highly potent list and not just a massive list of general bookmarks.

    If the group would like to play along and be a part of this project, I really believe the results would be incredibly useful and rewarding for everyone.

    So, I will make an assumption that a few will play along...and I will
    start the list:

    Most Valuable Resource #1:
    Skin - The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies (By Lee Varis; 389 Pages)

    Most Valuable Resource #2:
    DVD Course:
    Photoshop CS3 One-On-One (By Deke McClelland; 29 Hours)

    Most Valuable Resource #3:
    Photoshop LAB Color: The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace (By Dan Margulis; 360 pages)

    ....Now it's your turn!!


  • #2
    Re: If you had to start over...(Your Vote Counts)

    I think this is a good idea but might be very hard to put together. Before I listen to someone's advice I usualy try to check their creditential and some of the work they've done before to see if I like it.

    A book could come up 20 times, but if it's all newcomers with no real work experience suggesting the book, I'd rather know the book that was only mentionned twice by 2 "big names".

    I also think many people have different techniques, approachs and taste when it comes to retouching. One is not always better than the other.

    That being said, my favorite ressource is not photoshop books or anything technical. It's just looking at magazines and ads and get a sense for what looks good.