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“A picture is worth a thousand words.”  This has been a famous proverb for ages (Gary Martin 2009).  If a picture is that important, then it needs to be created properly.  Photos can only go so far, but with Photoshop, one can alter images.  Instead of repainting a mistake in a painting, one can “Undo” or delete a layer accordingly in the program.  Photoshop creates art without the mess.  Even when someone learns how to make a image on Photoshop, there results will be different.  Everything is unique.  This site goes over the background of Photoshop and instructions on how to make a celestial sky for beginners.  It is an important tool to know because many things can be adjusted or fixed in Photoshop.  I learned techniques from tutorials that had little to do with photos which I later applied to photo editing, improving my pictures.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the tutorial, one will know the following items:

  • Know how to add a layer to Photoshop
  • Be familiar with a number of filters (Lighting Effects, Difference Clouds, Wave, Twirl, and Lens Flare)
  • Be familiar with the locations of certain icons (Move Tool, Rectangular/Elliptical Marquee Tool, Paint Bucket Tool, and Gradient Tool)
  • Create a celestial image in Photoshop

Tools Needed:

  • Computer or laptop
  • Adobe Photoshop*

*Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 is used in this tutorial.  Any newer Photoshop Elements will work because it contains many of the properties of the previous versions.  One needs to be careful if they want to use an earlier version of Photoshop Elements.  It is possible to use Elements 3.0 or 4.0 because in 3.0, the “Layers” tool came about.  The tutorial uses layers, so it would be impossible a Photoshop Elements prior to 3.0 (Story 2000).

History Social Aspects of Photoshop:

John and Thomas Knoll were born to an avid photographer.  Their father owned a dark room in his basement and one of the first personal computers .  John gravitated towards the Apple II and later on worked for Industrial Light and Magic.  Thomas spent his time in the darkroom, learning out to adjust the photograph.  While at the University of Michigan, he tried to set his photos to greyscale for a thesis project.  He managed to make it work after writing his own code for it.  When the brothers met up, they discovered they were working on similar things, so they decided to collaborate.  Their project was originally named Display, then ImagePro, and finally settling on Photoshop.  Adobe was interested in the program and decided to sell it.  Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990 (Computer Arts).

There is not a lot of information about gender and Photoshop.  The closest thing found is about web design and information technology (IT).  In these fields, there are more men and the number of women is decreasing.  In 1996, there was 41% of ITs being women and it has dropped by 18.5% since then (Zeldman).

Personal Experience:

The first time I delved deep into Photoshop was when my brother asked me to fix one of his photos for him.  He was in a civil war class and he was in full costume and there where tents nearby when the picture was taken.  Unfortunately, there was a man dressed up in a bright green jacket that took away from the feel of the photo.  I learned how to “erase” the man behind my brother.  I was lucky that the background behind my brother was simple that I could use the “Clone Stamp” tool.  After completing this, I realized how amazing Photoshop can be and have been exploring it over the summer.

Further Readings:

Tutorial: Introduction to Layers is a good source to find out more about layers (Elated Communications Ltd 2001).  It shows how to move, delete, and hide the layers to name a few things.  This teach project only goes into the aspect of adding a layer and changing the blending mode.

I find the best way to learn Photoshop is trying to create new, different images. “Shooting Star Photoshop Tutorial” shows how to make a night sky (Voidix.com 2006).  For a beginner, this tutorial will introduce the burn, dodge, and smudge tools and the filter “Radial Blur.”

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