Thursday, July 24, 2008

On Having Mad Photoshop Skillzzzzzz

Except, you know, I don't really have Mad Photoshop Skillzzzz. I'm really just a dabbler who has taken a couple of classes, and everyone thinks I'm good.

Mostly I would identify as a Webmaster, but I decided a little while ago that it would pay off for me to take some classes to expand what I can do in my career. This was before I was angling to get the Webmaster job at work (yes, I still work at the same place, ::sigh::), and I figured that it would make sense for me to be able to create the images and things I need to build web pages.

Basically, it's a pain in the rear to tell the graphics guy, "Ok, I need a .jpg that's 180 pixels wide by 90 high, and it needs to show ... " Yeah, you can see where there would end up being some creative differences of opinion there. Not to mention having to send the image back to the graphics guy multiple times, as the boss changes his mind about what he wants the web page to look like. And color matching? Say, putting an image with a black background onto another black background. There are A LOT of interpretations of "black" in the world.

All in all, I decided that it would be good for the career, and good for a hobby, and hey, maybe I can stop asking husband splorp! to fix photos for me when I'm at home.

One of the best decisions of my life.

Seriously, if you have the opportunity to take a photoshop class, DO IT. Mine was offered at my local community college, and it was one night a week for a semester (about 16 weeks). Yeah, taking a class most likely means you'll have homework, but it's soooo worth it. Community college is really cheap compared to the "professional" classes offered other places. Also, there's a good chance you won't have to buy a text book. My teachers made recommendations for books that we might find helpful, but they did not teach out of a textbook, so they didn't make you buy one.

As a blogger (when I remember to post I'm a blogger), I find it comes in handy to know Photoshop. Not only because I can fix images for the shiny-forehead-spot, but also for making my own title image, and for creating buttons or anything else I want to do. Have an ad button that won't fit in a side bar? I can reduce it in size without warping the image. Want to focus on just one part of the image? I can crop out what's not relevant, and also make the colors look truer at the same time. Have a photo that's too big for where you want to put it in your blog? Reduce the size without losing detail. Photo takes too long to load? Optimize it for the web at 72 dpi without losing image quality.

Basically what I'm saying is, if you're a blogger, you know having photos on your blog will make it more interesting to read. You almost NEED this type of training. So go sign up for a class. Go on, do it now! 

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