Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Does clever quickly; simple takes time

In recommending Picasa as a neat way of cropping images Lucy was disdainful of Photoshop, describing it as “over-engineered”. I completely agree. Although my version is only Photoshop Elements (presumably for those who are technically challenged) nothing comes easily and I’ve never dared crack “layers” at all.

Just recently I wanted to join two photos side by side and turn them into a single file. I felt sure Photoshop would allow this simple task, yet the hours slid by. As is often the case with software the solution arrived by accident though I’ve now forgotten the exact Damascene moment. In case you’re wondering, go File > New > Photomerge Panorama, which is not exactly intuitive. The Help was no help at all if you weren’t aware of that key word photomerge.

And yet… I needed a photo of a F4U Corsair, a WW2 carrier-based fighter. I found a good one but (see top pic) it had all that garbage in the foreground. Could Photoshop do the job? It could, the tool and its usage were self-explanatory, and in an hour – voila! My first attempt at such an elaborate touch-up. But I still haven’t forgiven PE for the photomerge obscurity.

2 comments:

Lucy said...

There are some good tutorials available, if you google what you want to do. But it's remembering what you were told, of course. Thanks for the photomerge tip, that's the kind of thing of course Picasa etc won't do, along with layers etc. A very nice blogging friend actually sent me a copy of PS7 and I feel I owe it to her to get to grips with it, but it really is a little at a time. Dodge and burn I'm quite happy with now, layers will come soon...

Barrett Bonden said...

As I mentioned I have a whole slew of photo/graphics software and I find myself switching this way and that for different jobs. I finally decided I was going to master Photoshop which theoretically covers everything. I now have a secondhand copy of "Photoshop Elements 3. The Missing Manual" by Barbara Brundage which covers my version of PE. Other editions cover other versions. The scope of PE is way beyond what I imagined and the 500-page manual(all in colour) is clearly written and highly recommended