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Photography Question 
Dede Carver

Photoshop...How To Start?


I am a 35mm film user, not a digital gal. I have recently purchased a film scanner and Photoshop 6.0. I do have Photoshop Elements as well. I know very little about either. I can not afford a course on line at this point and I purchased a book called Photoshop Flash Point. It all seems like Spanish and a tad overwhelming. I am not even sure where to start. Can anyone give me suggestions as the easiest way to begin with all of this?

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11/1/2003 8:05:04 AM

Tony Sweet
Tony's Photo Courses:
2-Week Short Course: A Quick Start to Adding More 'Pop' to Your Images
  Dede, you need a begining photoshop course. Don't waste your time/money on a book at this point. It will be overwhelming. Jim Miotke's "Photoshop for Photographers" could fit the bill for you. If it seems too advanced, then check into your local community colleges for a beginning photoshop class. There are not short cuts or secret passage ways to learning photoshop. You'll need several classes and you'll have to put in a lot of time.

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11/1/2003 7:12:57 PM

Sarah R. Gipson   I didnt learn how to use Adobe from a book or a class. You just have to take the time to experiment and if you have any questions, visit the adobe website and you can find answers to all your questions. Trust me, EXPERIMENT!!

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11/1/2003 8:19:22 PM

Dede Carver   Thanks Tony for taking the time to respond. I feel like I am stuck in this situation, however. Justifying the cost of Jim's class to my husband will be impossible. (I've already taken two other courses from BetterPhoto and his class is significant $$.) I LOVE the classes I have taken, but it's a big commitment time wise when you're in the classes and to get the most out it I feel like I need to stay on track weekly - not just throwing assignments together in hurry so I can hand something in on time and be ready for next week. This is difficult with 4 kids involved in sports and other activities. There is something nearly every night with someone, leaving little time to REALLY concentrate on assignments. For that kind of $, I need the time to do it right. (Ironically, my kids are the subjects I shoot the most and their pix are the ones I am dying to tinker with in photoshop.)

The nearest community college isn't very near and what they do have to offer is not accomadating to the working 9-5 world. I am sounding very negative I know, but this is why I wrote to the QA. I was hoping that someone would have an answer other than the obvious. I don't expect to learn it over night as I've already owned the program for months and it scares me/overwhelms me to death everytime I open it. What about tutorial CD's or anything comparable? Is there such a thing? UGHHH. How frustrating! I can't possibly be the only one out there with these same frustrations.....can I?

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11/1/2003 8:20:54 PM

Tony Sweet
Tony's Photo Courses:
2-Week Short Course: A Quick Start to Adding More 'Pop' to Your Images
  Of course you're not the only one in your situation. And it is absolutely frustrating.

But, consider that if you buy a set of cd's and a book, it's almost the cost of a Betterphoto class or a comm. college class, if not MORE.

Another option could be to search online for photoshop bulletin boards or chat rooms. They are free (mostly) and you could find some specific answers to your questions and/problems there, but it is STILL time consuming.

As a aside, I know very little about photoshop. I know how to do my routine specific to my image adjustments and scanning and that's it. No one knows the whole program. It's vast. Why don't you give some thought to exactly what you want to do with photoshop, first. If you just want to put cool borders around your kid's pictures, that's easy.

You have to have an idea of what you want to accomplish before you even know what questions to ask, right?

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11/2/2003 3:37:19 AM

doug Nelson   Check out the For Sale books at your library. Old versions of Photoshop books are still useful for the basics. Such books as Photoshop for the Complete Idiot, etc, are actually useful.

Learn to do basic photo adjustments such as Levels first, learn to select a part of the image to work on. It's a bit daunting, but take it a step at a time.

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11/3/2003 6:36:41 AM

RoxAnne E. Franklin   DeDe,

For me, digital enhancement is out of the question because i'm too busy doing location shoots and i'd rather be shooting than fixing. So, there's a service that I started to use as of this week that is the best company under the sun of professional photographers that want to spend their time taking photos and making money instead of sitting at the computer doing digital enhancements. The prices are GREAT, and allow considerable markup on the photographers' end. I was introduced to this wonderful company in the December issue of Petersen's PhotoGraphic magazine. There's a wonderful write up about them. The name of the company is DigitalCustom Group, Inc. The service reps are very patient, very helpful, and will offer any 1st time professional that calls, certificates that can be applied towards first time orders. It's fantastic. I don't have the time or patience to sit at the computer and do my own digital work, (God bless whoever does) therefore, this company is the best thing i've found. Their work is unbelievable and everything is done via the internet, which makes life even easier. If you want to check out the company, go to the website and look at samples of things they've done and stop banging your head against your monitor and trying to meet tight deadlines by having to spend more time in the office and less time doing what we all love to do.... shooting photos! I love this company.

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11/5/2003 12:04:08 PM

Dede Carver   Roxanne,
I think I love you. Ha!!!!

I'm looking into it this minute. I will get back to you! DeDe

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11/5/2003 2:50:57 PM

RoxAnne E. Franklin   HA!!!! that made my day, you wouldnt beleive the week I had, my dog had to go to the vet's for tests, turns out he has hip dysplacia and he's only going to be one on sat.

anyway, they are great, they've already given me $50.00 worth of coupons and I just started using them yesterday!!!
You will LOVE them too!!!
Glad I could help!

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11/5/2003 3:24:31 PM

Dede Carver   I'm glad your day is looking up and I am very sorry to hear about your puppy. I know the feeling as I have a cat who just had some extensive problems, too.

Do you use film or digital? Explain to me how this works in a nut shell. I am so new to photoshop that i'm not even confident I know what to do after I have messed with them in photoshop ie...How do I make a print other than my own printer. Is there a trick to getting them sized into 8x10's or 5x7's after I have cropped.. So much to learn. You can;t even imagine how happy I am that you have responded!!!! DEDE

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11/5/2003 5:57:45 PM

RoxAnne E. Franklin   hey Dede,
I would love to help you in any way I can. Why dont you email me at and then I'll give you my regular email address and we can email each other. I'll talk to ya everyday if ya want, I know I always wished I had someone to go to, and then finally I found someone and all they wanted in return was to make sure that I helped anyone who needed it, so now it's my turn to return the favor.
so go ahead and email me and i'll help as much as I can.
we can even swap stories on our pets and photos too.

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11/5/2003 6:24:51 PM

Dede Carver   Now I know I love ya! It might be this weekend that I can get back to you, though. You are a good person and I am looking forward to visiting with you. DeDe

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11/5/2003 6:47:25 PM

RoxAnne E. Franklin   Great! and thanks, I so look forward to visiting with you too!

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11/6/2003 6:00:54 AM

Sara West   DeDe and Roxanne - that is the only way to do it. I started out with an E-Mail friend in California and we have been like family since. She was patient and understanding and we would go on Yahoo Messenger and kick the program up and she would take me step by step through the hoops. Good Luck. I have PSP 7 and not PhotoShop so I can't help.

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11/9/2003 5:16:58 PM

RoxAnne E. Franklin   You are so right Sara! It's always nice to have a good friend who is interested in photography, you always learn something you didnt know before, on both ends. And, there are not enough mentors left in this business so you gotta grab each other when you can.
it's always nice to have a friend thru email too, cause if your house looks a mess, they have no clue! LOL
take care!

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11/10/2003 8:23:29 AM

Gregg Vieregge   Use Elements help and show me tools to guide you. Books and courses are great but doing and experimenting will get you there faster.

Learn these basic steps.

1. Cropping
2. Cloning
3. Contrast and light
4. Color balance
5. Save as and burning to a CD

Once you understand the basic the others will make sense a bit more.

Elements is the best for learning as it is basic and simple. It does about 85% of Photoshop 7 and is a great stepping stone.

Working in Photoshop is an Art, not a chore. Once you become a bit comfortable with it you'll appreciate the value and begin to save a ton of $$$ in lab and editing costs. Be patient and again use the help in Elements to show you how to perfore basic steps.

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11/21/2003 6:32:07 PM

Chris Howarth
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/26/2002
  Many of the monthly photography 'how to' magazines are bundling CDs with video tutorials on Photoshop for the price of the magazine.

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11/21/2003 7:06:20 PM

Cookie Serletic   I had a hard time going from photo deluxe to PS6, but I found some very useful free tutorials by doing a search. I think one is on Delphi forums? I am not home now or I would send you the links, E-mail me privately If you cannot find one. one is named photoshop guru,(Mark Hamburg) I think does it. and if you search you will probably find more. Good luck, I like mine , but still use the photo deluxe for most easy things especially the cloning tool and sizing.

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11/21/2003 7:52:09 PM

James Gregus  
  My Nikon F100
My Nikon F100
aperture f11, shutter 1/60, lens Nikkor 24-120mm VR, location My studio
© James Gregus
Nikon F100 SLR Cam...
  My Nikon F100
My Nikon F100
aperture f11, shutter 1/60, lens Nikkor 24-120mm VR, location My studio
© James Gregus
Nikon F100 SLR Cam...
I know this can cost over $200.00 but I think it's the way to go. I have the complete set of or from Total Training for Photoshop 7 DVD's. You can also get this on CD's for the same price. The nice thing about it is if you forget something you can go back and see it again. Go to and watch the prices. They go up and down. I did and saved $50.00. Now that the new Photoshop CS is comming out the price might be even lower. So check it out and save for it I recomend it.

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11/21/2003 9:44:01 PM

Cathy Vanzant   Dede, just wanted to give you this information. I've taken several classes from BetterPhoto and they are wonderful. But, sometimes it is difficult when you are, try this website... they offer online classes, I've taken several of these classes as well. Lot's of good information, and you'll be shocked when you see the price. Good luck. Cathy V

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11/22/2003 3:08:00 AM

Cathy Vanzant   Dede, just wanted to give you this information. I've taken several classes from BetterPhoto and they are wonderful. But, sometimes it is difficult when you are, try this website... they offer online classes, I've taken several of these classes as well. Lot's of good information, and you'll be shocked when you see the price. Good luck. Cathy V

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11/22/2003 3:09:27 AM

RoxAnne E. Franklin   YoHoo DeDe......
Still waiting to hear from you!!! Hurry, anxious to get aquainted with you. Always looking for a new friend with the same interest as mine.

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11/22/2003 6:06:38 AM

Michael L. Vinyard   DeDe, I just bought Elements and was overwhelmed with the "how to manual" and went to Barnes & Noble and sit for an hour or so looking at all the Photoshop books. The one I bought "the Photoshop elements book of Digital Photographers" by Scott Kelby. He actually shows you what he is doing each step with pictures-before and after. Another way I work with Elements is just to set down and hit all the buttons and then back out if you don't like the results. I'm amazed at all the hidden "behind" buttons available. You have to look at the options on each button and the little up/down arrows. I learn more each time I set down. Good luck!

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11/22/2003 7:29:23 AM

Melissa N. Trittin   Dede
I can also wynpathize with your mind being blown. I have taken 6 courses in Photoshop and it is a steep leaning curve. However, it is absolutely, definitely, unequivocally worth it. A great place to start is the book "50 Fast Digital Photo Techniques" by Gregory Georges. It deals in Photoshop Elements but the commands are virtually the same in Photoshop. It comes with a CD-ROM of the images so that you can step by step go through the actions to see how it is done. It is an outstanding starting point for getting your feet wet with Photoshop. But be warned, once you start down this road there is no turning back. It is that powerful.

Good luck!

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11/22/2003 11:49:14 AM

Laurie    In regard to learning Photoshop - Another option is an online program made available by "" They have step-by-step instructions for each assignment and "homework," and - as well - provide opportunity to ask questions or ask for help. Read about it on the web page!


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11/22/2003 6:43:41 PM

Sandy Miles   DeDe,there is a really good group that I belong to that is helpful in photoshop you might want to check it out have a Sunday School class for PS and PS Elements.Really are helpful

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11/23/2003 5:37:55 AM

Terry Lennox   Hi Dede - I was in much the same situation as yourself last year ,and I found that digital camera magazines will provide free video tutorials every month - these are very helpfull for getting to know the layout and tools in photoshop,for tweaking images and doing various things- also many websites that give 1 or 2 free tutorials - kodak agfa etc - e-mail me if you get stuck and i'll send you some !!

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11/24/2003 3:48:22 AM

David Bilan   Perhaps someone has already mentioned this, but adobe offers on-line training at their site ( If all you take is Photoshop, the cost is $59.00 and it's a subscription good for at least 7 courses. Training is interactive and you can take the course several times if you didn't catch it the first time.

Good Luck.
David Bilan

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11/24/2003 3:24:48 PM

R. G. Rose   Dede.
You might look at "Inside Adobe Photoshop 6" by Gary Bouton et al.
It has step by step examples, as well as a CD with the images to work on.
You should be able to find it for under $20.
Another alternative is to find , and join a local computer club--our club is giving Digital Photography classes-free to members!!

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11/25/2003 1:43:30 PM

Kathy Zinn   The alternative of a computer club is a good idea and also a photography group, there may be someone who knows Photoshop and is willing to get the group together and show some how-to's. I also agree with experimenting, that's how I learned and have been going strong for 6 years and I'm still experimenting. Have fun, don't give up, what you learn is worth it.

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11/25/2003 2:19:39 PM

Dede Carver   Everyone, Holy Cow has this been a wealth of information!!!! This is why this site is so awesome..... so many people take the time to help each other out with their experiences and knowledge on subjects. I cant thank everyone enough for their input and encouragement. I am going to print this off and take a better look at everything that has been offered.

Roxanne, I uploaded my first picture to the site you mentioned for a free quote. I am anxious to talk to you about any further work you have had done with this company. Are you satisfied???? DeDe

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11/25/2003 6:55:08 PM

RoxAnne E. Franklin   Hi DeDe,
Email me will ya already!!!! hehe
Oh my gosh, am I EVER satisfied!!! they are fantastic. And if you have to call them, they give you the old personal touch. They guy you will deal with is Jeff (Buzz for short) If you talk to them, mention my name, I just love their company. You wont be able to get over the results. They can do anything and quickly too.
Let me know how you make out.

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11/26/2003 7:01:06 AM

Dede Carver   I need some advice about how to save pictures I have scanned and or cropped in photoshop. As I said, I use 35mm and then scan the negatives using my Minolta Dimage Scan Dual III. (anyone who knows anything about this tool I would also love to hear from) I have no idea how the dpi relates to the output or input of my pictures in conjuction with wanting to make 8X10's or the like? Also at one point do I adjust or save or whatever I need to do with it. If you are kind enough to take the time to explain this can I ask that you do so in a sort of Photoshop for Dummies kind of way? Thanks!!!dc

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11/26/2003 11:27:59 AM

Sally     I'm like you, need something affordable, self paced, very good, and easy to understand. Someone already suggested the idea of "the photoshop book for digital photographers" by Scott Kelby, but get the book specific for elements since you have that program. Very good book!


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12/2/2003 12:07:40 PM

Reid S. Mason   Dede, Though I had spent a great deal of time learning Photoshop by experimenting, I found "Classroom In A Book" to be VERY good at teaching from the ground up. If you buy it used, make sure you get the CDROM that comes with it, or it will be usesless. The CD ROM has all the examples and files that you need to work with.

It's a step by step, one lesson at a time learning process, very much like what you'd receive in an online course or a college class.

Give it a shot!

By the way, I own the book mentioned above "Photoshop for Digital Photographers" It is hands down the best book out there for users who already know Photoshop and need specific instruction on Digital Photo related subjects. This is not the book for you to start with.


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1/8/2004 12:26:23 PM

Patrick J. Whalen   Hi Dede, I just finished reading all of the great advice everyone has given you on the use of photoshop. I also am a film user and used to do all of my work in a traditional darkroom. Now with computers and all the photo editing programs available it's much easier to sit in front of a computer than to stand in a darkroom working on a print. I got started in photography about 30 years ago and about 7 years ago with computers. The best book that I found on photo editing is "Photoshop for Dummies", they sell for about$20.00 at Barnes and Noble. With this book and a lot of practice it gets easier all the time. Don't be afraid to experiment with any of the tools available in photoshop. After you scan a photo play with the controls, move the sliders all the way to the right or left to see what happens, then move them slowly back until you get the desired effect. One thing I learned the hard way was to save your work often. If you like your results save it then reopen your photo. 1 thing I really like about photoshop6 is the multiple undos. If you don't like the results go to edit and click on step backward as many times as you wish. I would also be willing to help you or anyone else in any way possible. If you have anything I can help you with you can e-mail me at 1 other thing, " NEVER GIVE UP". Pat

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1/10/2004 12:09:46 PM

RoxAnne E. Franklin   Hi Dede,

Hey, please email me, I just found a website that is totally geared towards elements, with great, and I mean great, tutorials and ideas. They walk you thru the tools step by step. I found it a great learning tool. I'm amazed at how easy they make it. It's at If you cant find it, please email me and I'll send you the link. I didnt know how to get the link on this response form.
Email me already!!!

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1/12/2004 1:30:30 PM

Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
Contact Bunny
Bunny's Gallery
  Hi Dede,

I'm in the process of taking a class right now and am learning the ins and outs of my Canon 20D. While we are not doing Photoshop, I've learned more in this class than I ever learned going to our local university and taking beginning digital classes. Additionally, at Gumbo U (in Lafayette, Louisiana) I spent well over $100 for a one day class, while the class I'm taking at lasts until the first of December. Talk about value. I'm sold on It's worth the money.


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10/21/2006 4:08:45 PM

Jack MacDougall   Hi Dede,
I'm new to the forums and actually came to this one to ask a question but saw yours first. I bought a book called Adobe Photoshop Classroom in a Book. The tutorials walk you through photoshop step by step in easy to understand language. it also comes with a cd containing the photos you need for individual lessons. You can go at your own pace, skip the lessons you don't need and keep the book for reference when you're done. I won't say it made me an expert but it sure helped. By the way, the price was $45 at Books a Million.

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11/1/2006 5:52:14 PM

dave    There are free tutorials at

Thats how I learned it all and now charge other photographers to edit their work. I only shoot once a week so I have plenty of time to edit. If you use PS everyday you learn new things quickly. By the way, I'm not a computer geek but I am a PS geek.

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11/2/2006 2:33:52 PM

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