What difference does Photoshop make?

Since shooting strictly digital photography in Phoenix for over a year and a half now, there has been a great deal to learn versus the days of film.  One of these things to learn being post processing, aka retouching, much of it with Photoshop.

At first, Photoshop amazed me.

The stuff in my camera was great!  Especially when I compared it to the shots of my pears and what they had in their cameras.

Then I would see the results after Photoshop.  My stuff looked blah next to their stuff… yikes!

Okay, so I tried doing some Photoshop.  There is a lot to learn about this program.  My results did improve.  Quite a bit, and yet, the guys who really knew Photoshop, their pictures still popped in ways mine were not popping.

Even if the other guys lacked some of the composition, expression or creativity of my shots ( unless I paid someone who was a professional Photoshop wizard to retouch my shots ) their well retouched shots just had a nicer pop and visual draw than mine.  And trust me, I do like my own pictures very well…

It was discouraging.  Sure, I hired Photoshop wizards.  And, the people who do it all day long do have skills.  Yet…, I needed to improve.   Somehow…

So, I bought books and magazines.  These of course helped.

I tried YouTube videos. Hard to follow, lots of poor quality mixed into with the higher quality, and they helped.

Little by little, my skills improved.

Whenever you are ready for the Lynda tour, click your choice of Lynda banners and links on this blog’s pages or just use this link for your 7-day free trial to lynda.com.

For me, it wasn’t until I finally dove into the lessons at Lynda that I started to achieve real quantum leaps in my post processing results.

The following is a sample from the Lynda’s YouTube page on eye sharpening which I have watched, along with its companion videos, many many times over.

The Lynda site has many additional free samples beyond what is available on YouTube.   It does take some navigating to determine what is freely available, and what is part of the for fee library.

Still, if you like to navigate and see some free instructional videos along with a tour of the libraries, any of the plain Lynda links will get you to the base master page of the Photoshop CS5 lessons at Lynda.  Then navigate away to find the available free vids, I did …

Being a visual person, maybe is why I take photos?

Photos and Photoshop both have a very visual nature.

For me, this made the crystal clear video instruction by actual example format of Lynda a hands down winner over written words or lower video quality programs I had tried.

With Lynda’s clear high quality instructional videos, I could see what the clicks were, which brushes were being used.  The befores, the afters.  The library of videos is extensive.  There are hours and hours and days and days of it.  And, yet, each video clip was broken down into bite sized 3-6 minute clips by mini topic.

Before and After Photoshop Mature Glamour Photo

Woman Head Shot, Before and After Photoshop


After my newly learned skills, I started going over my old photo library including the Head Shot here taken over a year ago, which I now finally felt I could make pop.

And, I just found out today the model loves the result and its B&W sister.

As you can clearly see, the initial image on the left, while a great in camera shot, does not pop.  The retouched image on the right pops.  The skin is now glowing and yet is not so shiny.  The eyes are now bright and pop right out at you.  Blemishes and lines are imperceptibly toned down.

The image is not obviously retouched.  We now have something that pops and still very much represents the true beauty of the woman being photographed.

Thank you Lynda!

Loving their product as I do, I asked and Lynda was kind enough to agree on being affiliated with me.  You can visit their site here; or, you can click on one of their banners on this page to receive various promotions and check out their learning programs for yourself.

They regularly update their software video training offerings, and have literally hours and days of video on Photoshop CS5, plus more training videos on earlier photo shop versions.

Please comment and share your opinions and questions or share with us lists of additional media and resources you find valuable in learning retouching.

As for Lynda, all of their software training is available for a reasonable monthly or yearly fee, which can often work out to less than what is easily spent on Photoshop guide books and limited edition magazines.

Having done both, I prefer Lynda, for what I have learned and on total price.

free trial experience of the entire video library is available.  Yay!

Use the link …  It’s free.




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2 Responses to What difference does Photoshop make?

  1. IMHO – The program, Portrait Professional will give you amazing results in less time and effort than Photoshop – you can always download a free trial.

    • yucel says:

      Hello Andrea,

      Thank you for mentioning the excellent Portrait Professional program.

      Glad it’s working so well for you.

      For me, I have found Portrait Pro to be an excellent, tho limited add on.

      I do use it quite often, primarily just for skin smoothing, and then usually only as a blending layer in my Photoshop CS5 projects.

      In particular, I have had issues with more mature clients.

      I have not been able to keep skin from getting very plastic and over done with these clients.

      My results are also often unpredictable.

      I seem to have issues with tilted, skewed and profiled faces.

      When using it on skin over a whole body, it seems to lighten the face in a way that makes the face much lighter than the body.

      Love to see some examples of your pure Portrait Professional successes and how you have found ways to overcome some of my challenges when using it.

      Please do expand and direct us to you successes.

      Before and after will be even more fabulous.



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