Photoshop scares me

by Ginger on November 22, 2008

in Taking Pictures

That’s right, Photoshop scares me. Or, I guess, intimidates me is a better turn of phrase. There’s so much too that program, and it’s very very very easy to go too far, to make a photo look like something it’s not.

When I post photos here, for the most part, I do very very minimal post-processing in Photoshop. I resize, crop (maybe), and possibly do some auto levels to clean up what I do. That is usually about it. Part of that is because I’m trying to challenge myself to make the photos do the work, not a program after the fact.

I know, though, that in this day and age, I’ve got to get more comfortable with post-processing. Not that Photoshop can make a photo good, but it can make a good photo really pop if you know what to do with it.

With that in mind, I spent this evening playing around with Photoshop, and I thought I’d show you guys the results.

This first one is completely unedited. No cropping, no color correcting, nothing. (By the way, I took this photo standing in the street, hoping I wouldn’t get run over. Luckily it was a relatively slow day on the streets, but I did only manage to get this one shot before traffic forced me back on the sidewalk).

Here it is with some small edits to color and cropping. Not much, but enough to give it some pop. This isn’t too far from what I’d normally do, and I think I would be comfortable putting this up for the world to see.

This one utilizes the equalize function. I think it ups the intensity of the brick, but don’t see that much of a difference between this one and the last one.

This was playing with curves. I TOTALLY don’t understand curves at all, so who knows how I ended up with this. This was probably the most intimidating thing I did…and playing with this gave some of the craziest looking results. This was by far one of the most normal.

I know I need to get more comfortable with Photoshop, but for now, I think I’ll stick with my simple small changes. I’ll work on learning my camera before I mess too much with Photoshop!

P.S. If you haven’t entered my contest yet, you’ve still got time!

Single November 23, 2008 at 12:29 am

This kind of makes me have more respect for the photographers that worked before things like Photoshop. I have always been a huge fan of photography exhibits and have seen a bunch at art museums. I think Diane Arbus is my favorite. Imagine what that woman could have done with photoshop. Ha ha, actually maybe what I like about photography is its purity.

Single´s last blog post..Same Old Stuff

Typ0 November 23, 2008 at 12:39 am

Great pics. 🙂 I wish i could do this sort of thing but i don’t know how to do most of these manipulations. It gives a whole new perspective on the professional photos in magazines.

Typ0´s last blog post..Truth Time

Deutlich November 23, 2008 at 5:48 am

I sometimes have the exact same problem with Photoshop – I just don’t know where to stop. I’m NOT that good at photo-editing.

I am pretty decent at graphics, though.. which is a whole other ballpark all together. Like the header on my page? I did that all from scratch, including the cartoonization of myself.

Deutlich´s last blog post..These Nuts

Kat November 23, 2008 at 6:52 am

I like the second one best!

Kat´s last blog post..The hazards of working at home

sara November 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I think that photoshop is a little cumbersome for making small edits. I upload all of my photos to flickr so typically I just edit them in picnik. It’s right within flickr and they give you a fair amount of options of altering the photos for free.

sara´s last blog post..And Today it Snowed

Hilly November 23, 2008 at 4:32 pm

I’m a minimalist just like you…cropping and basic level/color editing. Sometimes I sharpen or blur and okay sometimes I maybe airbrush out a zit but you know, a total minimalist. 😉

I like the color “pop” of the bricks though…

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KJ November 23, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Photoshop can be daunting. I have several books but I haven’t made my way very far with them yet. Curves? Yeah, no, I don’t really understand them yet either.

I think cropping solves a lot of photo issues. The simple cropping from your first photo to get rid of that bit of car that was “creeping” in from the edge made a big difference. And the color adjustment looks nice…gives a little more contrast between the red bricks and green leaves.

KJ´s last blog post..pick a favorite photo

Elizabeth November 23, 2008 at 7:00 pm

I used to be a lot better with Photoshop, but that has kind of gone by the wayside. I usually just use the very basic adjustments available in iPhoto, mostly because I am far too lazy to wait for PS to open, and organizing the pictures after the fact is a whole hassle in and of itself.

Elizabeth´s last blog post..A wonderful whirlwind

Cabe Nelson November 24, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Photoshop is awesome, but I’m also a minimalist. I only do 5-6 different tools with photoshop to make photo’s pop.

Love the second one.

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Alex Miles Younger November 25, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Full Disclosure: I’m biased because I work with him.

That said, Mark S. Johnson is an outstanding Photoshop teacher. I was largely feeling the same way you did before I met him.

So here’s my shameless plug: check out his Photoshop 101 Tutorials, they’re free, they’re on his website ( and they’re a great introduction. When you’re ready for something more advanced you should watch the weekly Photoshop Workbenches, where he tackles a different problem or creative technique each week using a reader’s photo. It’s fun, it’s educational, and it’s free.


PS – Tell you husband to keep up the good work with his Freelance Freedom comic strip, and keep up the good work yourself.

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