developing brain to think Photoshop

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Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 16,466
developing brain to think Photoshop
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I use PS Elements 2020. I'm reasonably competent in that I understand how to use most tools, I understand Layers, masking etc and given a bit of guidance I can do a lot. My problem is that I don't think in PS. Look at it like driving. My car does some very complex things and I have a number of tools at my disposal to help me do it. When I leave the house I convert what I want to achieve into practical results. If I miss a turn I work out how to re-evaluate my option, if the sun is in my face I know that lowering sun visor will help and if it rains I know to use windscreen wipers and washers even varying speed to suit the situation. I have gears and I know why I have gears and how to use them. I can even change my seat position to increase my comfort level.

There are some excellent tutorials which show me how to do some complex PS development but in all of them the tutor has already decided what he/she wants to do and when things don't quite develop in the way expected immediately is able to think what corrective action to take often using a tool set which wasn't even in the original plan. I can usually follow the technique but often I can't see what drove that approach.

My problem is that I have a picture in front of me. I can see or at least expect that it will likely be improved but I am completely at a loss how to get started. I can see that it could do with brightening darkening or another overall fix but I just don't see the small details that will make the big improvement and as a result I am unable to visualise a combination of PS actions that will turn my picture from good to great in much the same way that the tutorials do.

So my question how do you think PS? How does looking at a picture prompt your initiative skills so that you can devise a recipe to give you a great result. Tutorials and manuals teach you how to do things but not how to identify what needs to be done and then how to turn my thoughts into reality.

Maybe you think my ramblings are irrational and you learnt how to do things in PS and that was the end of it and now you are expert. If you are not like that and you see where I am coming from, all advice is gratefully accepted.

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Recent and not so recent pictures here https://trevorc28a.wixsite.com/trevspics

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