Intro to Photoshop Workshop

GC ITP Skills Labs: Intro to Photoshop Workshop
Monday, October 21st, 2019

Last week I went to the “Intro to Photoshop Workshop” as part of the GC ITP Skills Labs taught by Jessica Brodsky.

As some background, I have never really worked with Photoshop, but I have worked with other photo editing programs such as Lightroom. I had always been interested in using Photoshop to be able to edit photos or create items.

The first thing that we learned about was the differences between vector and raster graphics, which I had heard of before but was never quite sure about. Vector graphics (such as logos) that are made using mathematical formulas. As the image is enlarged the image retains its figure. Raster graphics (such as digital photos) are made up of pixels (units of color information). As the image is enlarged it becomes pixelated.

Next, we went over color theory which showed how colors mixed with print as opposed to digital media. Then we discussed hues (colors) as opposed to saturation (how vivid a color appears. Finally, we went over brightness (how much objects appear to be reflecting light) and contrast (differences in brightness and colors that make image distinguishable). Brodsky also mentioned how working with the different layers in can preserve the original image so that any errors or mistakes can easily be mended or reverted.

We then went over the composition “Rule of Thirds” which discussed how key parts of an image is usually made “dynamic and interesting” when they align with intersecting points of a 3 by 3 grid. I had known of the “Rule of Thirds” previously but did not quite understand how it worked which I am glad we were able to go over.

After learning these items and adjusting an image on our own, we went over the different ways of saving our adjusted image. First saving the file as a photoshop document (ending in .psd), which saves each layer so that everything can still be kept separate, or saving the file as a digital image file (ending in .jpg), which compresses all of the layers together into one image. We also learned how to save a digital image file so that it is of print-quality resolution, which means having at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) / ppi (pixels per inch).

Although I had not used Photoshop previously, I had enough prior knowledge to quickly grasp the topics covered. For myself, a beginner class may not have been the best fit for me. However, for those who are looking into learning the basics and do not know where to start, I think this workshop was perfect. It was enough information to get a handle on things without being overwhelming.