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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Reach exceeding grasp..who else?
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01/10/2017 07:56:54 PM · #1
Hey all, I am doing my best to bring my pitiful suite of PS skills up a bit. Especially for Extended challenges, where I visualize images of seamless, wondrous pp work that would make Christophe look to his laurels...but when I try to bring that same image to life, no matter how good the image I am working with, it just falls flat, because I just don't have the PS skills to pull it off.

I am trying to bring things up to speed, but badly written books, tuts and poorly shot/explained vids only cause confusion and frustration. When I try to figure things out myself, as I usually end up doing, I only end up going in circles and end up quitting for the night because I'm suffering from overload. I end up feeling like I am submitting a pic of a mere alleycat (no offense to moggies) when I place expectations upon myself to produce a lion. How else do people deal with situations like this?
01/10/2017 08:16:20 PM · #2
How else do people deal with situations like this?

Susan, the answer from my pov is: advance in small steps.
Do not try to get to where Christophe is or anybody else that you like, in one jump. Remember that in order to paint you have to work for years, to try your hand every day, to copy the masters, to practice constantly like a violinist or an athlete.
Set small goals. You also have to know your capabilities in drawing with a pencil and adapt your expectations and style.
I know that Christophe taught himself from following PS books. Ask him what books he liked.
Do not try to copy him though. Use your images.
Meanwhile, continue to take your good pictures.
01/10/2017 09:42:18 PM · #3
Originally posted by snaffles:

How else do people deal with situations like this?

For one thing I try not to stress over being imperfect ... Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1181077.jpg

I look at these short-term "assignments" as a chance to try out something new -- if it turns out to be really interesting I might then invest in bettering my technique -- but I don't expect a first attempt to be great.

It would help to know more specifically what type of editing steps most concern you, and maybe post an example where you think you could have done "better" ...
01/10/2017 10:07:44 PM · #4
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by snaffles:

How else do people deal with situations like this?

For one thing I try not to stress over being imperfect ... Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1181077.jpg

I look at these short-term "assignments" as a chance to try out something new -- if it turns out to be really interesting I might then invest in bettering my technique -- but I don't expect a first attempt to be great.

It would help to know more specifically what type of editing steps most concern you, and maybe post an example where you think you could have done "better" ...


Uhm most of them concerning layers, masking, blending etc...hard to post examples as trying to pull something together for an entry. I use PS CS5 so that means if I look up tuts from, say, Worth 1K archives, they are outdated. Youtube seems to be even worse as sometimes vids are just that, vids of someone's cursor flying madly around a screen. Blue Lightning TV tuts seem to help but they are limited in terms of scope. I even have fricken PS CS5 for Dummies, and that's no use - everything out there seems to pre-suppose that you already have some idea as to how to do things, or explains them in an abstract manner that I find hard to grasp, let alone even attempt. Hence the frustration.
01/10/2017 10:18:14 PM · #5
If you are doing a lot of masking and/or retouching then I highly recommend getting a tablet if you don't already have one -- a 4x6 Wacom would be fine.

How about if we try and re-process the one you are working on now after the challenge is over and I'll see whether I can offer any useful advice. We can do it privately through PMs and links to images in your Workshop folder, but you'll probably get more and better (and worse) advice if you start a thread and let everyone have at it ...

Remember, that's what the site is here for ... :-)
01/11/2017 02:08:50 AM · #6
Topaz Remask makes that who process easier. Also when doing composites, try to match light directionality in all the images pays off big time when it comes to the final look. Also, try throwing a subtle texture over the whole image at the end as a unifying element.

Doesn't really answer your how to learn question but these things have helped me get better results when I do the occasional composite.
01/11/2017 07:48:03 AM · #7
Originally posted by Paul:

Topaz Remask makes that who process easier. Also when doing composites, try to match light directionality in all the images pays off big time when it comes to the final look. Also, try throwing a subtle texture over the whole image at the end as a unifying element.

Doesn't really answer your how to learn question but these things have helped me get better results when I do the occasional composite.


Anything that makes masking easier is definitely what I need. Just downloaded Topaz Remask 5, hope it helps, won't know til later. Thanks!
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