Friday, April 11, 2014

A Photoshopping I Will Go

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

I love Photoshop. It has to be one of the most wonderful programs on the face of any computer. Too bad I don't know how to use it.  I've had the program for several years now, and the most I've done with it is crop photos and fix the exposure, but now I want to learn more.

Okay, I did teach myself one other thing: how to add text.  I noticed that when I put pictures of my teacups up on Pinterest that they were showing up all over the web. (Even on a Google search.) So I learned to add a copyright (big wow), not that I was ever going to go after someone for using them--I just wanted people to know where it/they came from.

Back in December, I was a part of a Don't Text And Drive ... Listen to an Audiobook! campaign. Not only do I feel strongly about not texting while driving (talk about Russian Roulette), but having a bunch of audiobooks out there and not knowing how to promote them, I figured it couldn't hurt to try to get the word out. (We gave away over 30 audiobooks, including mine).  The graphics were done by my friend Evelyn David (and if you don't know her work, she writes (of all things) mysteries!).

Evelyn (well, half of her--it's actually a writing team) makes all kinds of graphics all the time to promote her two series, be they ebooks or audiobooks.  That bulldog wears many hats (literally), goes everywhere, says pithy things.  I thought it would be great fun to do something like that for my own books.  But where does one start?

It turns out, Miss Marple has a lot to say.  I knew I could crop, and thanks to a program called Paint, I knew I could add a thought balloon (after much trial and error) and text. 

But I want to be able to do more.  I've been watching tutorials on my computer, but even the ones for dummies take a lot of short cuts.  Excuse me, I'm trying to learn the basics and in it the guy says "just do a control D deselect" at 60 mph. You blink and whatever he just did is gone and you have to go back and listen/watch two more times before you know what just happened. So it's been slow.  Too bad Evelyn doesn't live down the road (I believe she's in Oklahoma) to give me a few lessons.  So, I'm on my own.

I figure I'll eventually learn enough to do stuff like this, which Mr. L did for me (although not in Photoshop. He's an Adobe Illustrator wiz--there are seven elements in the graphic below) and I'd probably be pretty happy.

Anybody got any good (EASY) Photoshop tips?  Do you like to see these types of graphics?


Lynda said...

I've had Photoshop Elements for years. I use it to crop, get rid of red-eye, fix exposure issues, and I've become a pro with the clone stamp to clean up pictures. Recently, while I was getting rid of the reflection from a flash on my glasses in a picture, I also got rid of a few wrinkles around the eyes. That's a handy trick - LOL.

But, like you, I also want to learn to do more with the program, but it's complex and requires a time commitment that I just don't have right now. You are actually ahead of me - I haven't even figured out how to add text. I currently put my pictures into a Greeting Card program to put text and make collages of multiple pictures. Maybe someday I'll have time to learn more about Photoshop, because it is a really powerful application if you know how to use it.

Unknown said...

yes, I love to see those types of graphics keep

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I love your graphics, but have not the foggiest about Photoshop. But I know that you will master it. I'd place a bet on that.



Seville at Nerissa's Life said...

Must learn how to do this. Simply must.


Anonymous said...

I will!

Anonymous said...

I haven't used the red-eye tool yet, but it seems the easiest. (Must look for a picture with red eye and play.)

Anonymous said...

: )

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

You are incredibly talented, Lorraine. I feel like a Luddite when I see what you can do! I'm still trying to master Power Point (well, I haven't really "tried" too hard) and Photoshop is next on my list, although it seems very daunting!

Susan L. @ Full Happy Muffin and Mama said...

I've used elements, but when they talk about layers in the program, I get very confused. I also tried to open a picture in Photoshop once (the big daddy program), and couldn't even figure out how to open the file! I need to start putting text over pictures in my blog, though, but I haven't even figured that out yet.

Dru said...

I like seeing these types of graphics. I tried to teach myself Photoshop and you do need time to learn all the bells and whistle.

Anonymous said...

Power point? I run away in fear.

Anonymous said...

I haven't even GOT to the bells and whistles. I'm still trying to figure out the basics. : (

Aurian said...

I have no idea how to work with Photoshop, not any desire to learn. If I really want to have something, my best friend or my boyfriend whips it up for me in no time. Lazy, I know, but also making sure not to start another time suck.