The Professional Photoshop Book For Self-Taught Users

It was an addiction – a love at first attempt. I had a month’s time to spare in Germany in January, with nothing better to do than to visit museums and eat at Wochenmärkte. He offered me this book to occupy my time. I’ve never looked back since.

I was initially hesitant due to my inherent resistance toward the soft skills of technology. Nevertheless, the images in the tutorials caught my attention and my curiosity about how people could produce such images got the better of me. It also helped a lot that he was there to guide me through the use of some of the tools in the software.

Looking back, this is probably the best gift I’ve had thus far this year – to have had a chance to learn about the miracles of image editing and creation through Photoshop. The fact that I was actually able to put to good use these newly learnt skills at work helped to boost my confidence as well as convince me that I should continue to pursue this interest further.

The following are some of what I’ve done following the step-by-step guides given in the tutorials. From these, I’ve acquired a better understanding of how the application of simple tools could help one obtain desirable and wondrous effects. Also as important is the lesson taught to me about how we should never, ever, believe in the existence of flawless skins and perfect eye tones of models featured on magazine covers. Say bye bye to blemishes and ugly eye bags!

Original creator: Luca Molnar (www.lucamolnar.com)

It took me quite some time to obtain the effects for this image, partly because of the need to repetitively trace out specific textures from a number of different images to fill out the frame of the individual letters, and partly because there was a need to ensure consistency in texture, shadows and highlights among the letters. Nevertheless, I’ve learnt that given time and patience, textures could be combined to obtain a completely different look from the original ones. The overall result was satisfying and pretty amazing at that.

Original creator: Devin Schoeffler (www.ds9creation.com)

This piece took my breathe away at every step of the editing process – from a dull-looking bug to a completely robotised bug, seemingly alive and ready to fly away with its new pair of flight engine. I’ve learnt how real life images could be transformed into animated visuals with specially designed brushes and a bit of imagination. It’s also this exact piece of tutorial that caught his initial attention when he visited the book store at the Newcastle airport.

Original creator: Adam Smith (www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/user/Adam)

I almost gave up on this piece of tutorial. I’m glad I didn’t because this ended up becoming my most satisfying piece of homework. This tutorial puts one’s ability in manipulating the pen tool to test, especially when it comes to creating the smooth-flowing ribbons that flutters and bursts at the same time; it’s certainly about making the impossible in life possible.

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who’s embarking on a learning journey of Photoshop – a journey that fills the mind with creativity and imagination. Never mind the obstacles; there’s always Youtube to answer all your questions. Just type in the tools you don’t understand and the answer will find itself at your doorway.

Have fun!

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