If I were going to have a dinner party with my favorite photoshop tools…

I’d invite…magic wand, magnetic lasso, magic rubber stamper, “the burn,” the “lollipop,” paintbucket and the sponge. It’s funny how you become stuck on your favorite Photoshop tools…a bit like wearing the same comfy jeans out at night even though your sister tells you they are completely out of style.  You love your comfy jeans…they’re like an old friend…you’d never feel as safe in new jeans.  Same thing with my Photoshop favorites, as you see I’ve given some of them their own little nicknames.  I’ve been playing with this program, in one version or another, since 2000.  I started with Photoshop 4 in my undergraduate multimedia courses (the highest level at the time…a mere seven years ago).  Currently I shuffle between versions 6, 7, and CS2 (evidently the Navy doesn’t feel that Photoshop 7 has been tested well enough to download it onto my computer…I have to wonder what 18 year old that let make that decision.)  Something fun has been added with each new version, yet I usually do most of my Photoshop work with my seven favorite tools.   Much to the dismay of Photoshop professionals and Adobe as a whole, I give my interns a lesson in Photoshop when they first come on-board.  Needless to say, there are countless individuals throughout this country right now that say “oh, it was easy…I just used the lollipop tool to make that section lighter,” or in more eye-raising explanations of digital manipulating, “first I burned, then I sponged.” (Hopefully that hasn’t gotten anyone fired…or slapped.)  I forced myself to experiment with all CS2’s tools this week, and realized I quite like the “bandaid,” the patch and the “background cutter” tools.  Change is good, and makes certain tasks sooooo much easier.  I still look at quick mask at a Photoshop “villain”-despite new versions of the program we continue to have a hate/hate relationship.

Whereas all the reading for this week contained some great tips and shortcuts that I’d never played with before, I loved the link for Red Labor off of Cameron Moll’s Authentic Boredom website.  Particularly useful was the download for the PSD file they used for the header graphic.  I’ve always found it useful to looks at how designers layer the elements to their projects.  A design you assume is very complicated may prove to be very simple when you see how the overall project has been built.  One of the things I’m dying to do is download some of the exchanges available from Adobe.  I had a tough time getting the downloads to start this evening…maybe I’ll have better luck tomorrow.

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