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Carolynn Teenytinyteddybears
Posts: 444

Who know the best way to learn how to use photoshop? I have tried and picked up a few things, but it is very frustrating. And when I see what Mel and Chloe did to Judi's photo I have to learn how to use it properly. Has anyone ever used an online tutorial or anything? I am very sure I am doing it all wrong. Every time I open the program I feel like I need a Xanor and a glass of wine......

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Carolyn I feel exactly the same way....and I too,  want to take the plunge.  I'll be following this post closely for lots of advice on how to start.  I LOVE what Chloe and Mel did with my photo. bear_thumb  bear_wub   I am totally inspired.

cjsmum Happy Little Souls
Posts: 230

Hi Carolynn,

Actually it isn't that hard, though learning some hints is the way to get through- from memory I think there is an online course (someone help me out here! I've had a dumb moment and cannot remember the e learning university's name)
I was taught by my other half (photographer and graphic designer), though he only gave me two hints to get me started.

No'1 You have to think in layers! Just like a cake you need to think about the order you want them- cake, cream cake you have to understand that you want the background on the bottom layer then the (for example in Judi's photo) unicorn, then the sphere on top.
Once you think in layers it all starts to make sense.

No'2 You have to do alot of experimenting and alot of practice, the shading, highlighting, sizing etc will work out with time (but you'll get a headstart with a course) once you have got an understanding of layers then you can have fun manipulating the layers with different functions.

I've been using photoshop for two years now and started with absolutely no idea, but with those two bits of advice I've created thousands of designs.
Of course one of my best helps is google, when I don't know how to do something I just type in the exact question: how do I ...? Typically there has always been someone that has asked before me and I get taken straight to the answer!

Anyway thinking about this will get you on the way.


desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399

I use photoshp elements, and there is a wonderful book  called Photoshop Elements 6 The Missing Manuel, it has helped me a lot

Us Bears Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,479
desertmountainbear wrote:

I use photoshp elements...

Good choice.  :)
Most home users do NOT need to spend the money to buy the full version of Photoshop.
Photoshop Elements will suffice for 90% of home users.  Home users do not need the color profiling and other features that the full version has.  They are for professionals like photographers and graphic artists.  Besides, the price is substantially cheaper.

The full version of Photoshop CS4 lists for $700.00
The latest version of Photoshop Elements only lists for $90.00

If you're willing to spend a bit more time installing and learning to use a program, there is one called "GIMP" that you can get for free.

GIMP  (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is not quite as easy to use as Photoshop but it is more powerful.

Photoshop spends more if its resources holding the user's hand and making things work automatically.  The price you pay is a lack of powerful features.

GIMP does not waste time making things easier for the user.  The benefit is a more "streamlined" program that works better/faster.  The price you pay for this is ease of use.

However, the one thing that might tip the scales... at least to get you to try GIMP... is that it is 100% free.  You don't have to pay a dime for it.  You never will.

I use Photoshop at work and I use GIMP at home.
If I didn't have to worry about teaching to the lowest common denominator I'd use GIMP at work too.

TamiL Dolls N Dreams
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,454

I have Photoshop Elements 6 and taught myself enough to get by.............making my web graphics and ads for magazines.......I made a tutorial for Bonnie Foster earlier this summer to help her make an ad .......I can share that with everyone, maybe it will help some.....
I'm sure there are better and more advanced ways of doing an ad, but this way worked for me!

Making an Ad with Adobe Photoshop Elements.......

Open up your Adobe Photoshop and click on EDIT.................

Click on File.........New.............Blank File
A box will open you can name your file and you can set the Width, Height and Resolution in the black boxes......type in 3.5 inches in the Width box and 2.25 in the Height box................
make sure it is set on inches instead of pixels.....make sure Resoultion is set to 300............. then click OK

On the left side of your Photoshop program where all of your tools are, on the bottom of your tools ......looks like 2 pieces of blank on them and a color box will pop up............................move your curser around till you find the color you want your ad to be.......and then click ok.........NOW you will find that one of the two pieces of paper has turned to the color you have chosen...............find the tool icon that looks like a bucket pouring paint, click on it and then click on your larger blank white ad......the ad should turn the color you have chosen........

Go to on Open and find the picture you want to use on your ad ........when it opens, click on it to highlight it...... Then on the tool bar above find the word Layer, click on it and then click on Duplicate Layer, a window will pop up and you can rename your photo, this will be the photo you will be using, so it won't mess up your original picture.

Remember if your photo is not going up and down can click on Image in the top toolbar and rotate your picture.....

Click on your it will be active........
Then on the toolbar on the left, find the Move Tool .....looks like a diamond shape with a on it....   to make the tool active......then click on your picture of your bear and hold it down and drag it over to the colored sheet we made may have to adjust the size to get it the way you want it on the colored sheet...... if the bear picture won't move, you will have to click on the Move Tool  again to be able to move the picture.....

Ok now, this is where you can use the Smudge Tool on the left Tool Bar, it is the one that looks like a finger........... clickon it, you can adjust the size, you can smudge your background on your bear picture to blend more with your ad background if you like.....

Now to ad TEXT, use the tool bar on the left and find the tool with the Capital T and double click............and type what you want, you can change the font, the size, the color, but the text will always have to be highlighted in order to change it....start at the start of the text, click on your mouse and drag across the word to highlight it................Also remember the Move Tool, you will have to click that tool on the tool bar in order to move your text where you want it......

Now your ready to save your on File as............
type in the name of your ad, ....and click on JPG...........................

IMPORTANT.....when it takes you back to photoshop there will be the ad you just made and saved a copy as a JPG, when you click on the x to close this ad, a message will come up and it will say............Save Changes to the Adobe document before on NO......... this way, this original picture will be left in the format as Photoshop (PSD) that way we can always change the size of your ad and it won't mess up the quality etc...........again, remember where this file is going........

If you run into any problems, just email me........

momanimallover Taber, Alberta
Posts: 1,795

I have photo shop too and have played around but nothing else. I wonder why it never came with a manual??? A book you can actually read!! Oh and Joanne, where did you find the book? and Tami thanks for the info bear_original

BootButtonBears BootButtonBears
Posts: 2,837

Thank you so much Tami for the tutorial.  I have Elements, but have never had time to sit down and work it out.  Your pointers will really help me get started.  Thanks.   :hug:  :hug:

Carolynn Teenytinyteddybears
Posts: 444

Thank you all, specially Tamil, going to give it a try just now. Did figure the layers, then the other day it just wouldnt work bear_cry

Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065

I'm self taught, pretty much bear_original  If you get stuck and know what you want to do Google always has an answer!  I really like Photoshop and can just about manage the basic stuff, but it is a huge investment if you only want it for occasional use- sorry to say I've never tried any free programs- I only have photoshop!

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
momanimallover wrote:

I have photo shop too and have played around but nothing else. I wonder why it never came with a manual??? A book you can actually read!! Oh and Joanne, where did you find the book? and Tami thanks for the info :)

I found mine on ebay, but Amazon also has it

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Thanks everyone for your input.  I have had Photoshop Elements for a while but gave up trying after several attemps.  Tami I am going to try your tutorial after I install my program into our new pc.  I have been only using my Mac for the last few months but I really want to give this a try.


Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

I get stuck on cutting and pasting an image into the blank page.  I am going to get this, I really am.

momanimallover Taber, Alberta
Posts: 1,795

Thanks Joanne! I'm off to look bear_grin

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