Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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I'm a beginners trying to learn photo editing. How do I start learning photo editing? What are the first few photo editing websites/books someone should read?

Added: I meant Photo editing as processing RAW files to make photos look better for starters, but as I gain more experience, I hope to find some tutorial so I can make cosmetic touches to people in photos.

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closed as not constructive by Itai, mattdm, John Cavan, Imre, NickM Jan 23 '13 at 7:30

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What do you mean by "photo editing"? – mattdm Jan 21 '13 at 17:24
It depends what you want to edit for. Questions here work better if you have a specific task you want to learn. – Itai Jan 21 '13 at 17:33
@Itai I meant Photo editing as processing RAW files to make photos look better for starters, but later as more experience is gained, I hope to find some tutorial so I can make cosmetic touches to people in photos. – user133466 Jan 21 '13 at 17:35
In that case this is basically a duplicate of How do I get started with RAW? – mattdm Jan 21 '13 at 20:56
It's worth noting that in a technical sense, photo editing is distinct from image processing and from retouching, just as newspaper editing is distinct from writing. – mattdm Jan 21 '13 at 20:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

For a beginner, I think the Scott Kelby books are probably easiest to understand, and if you don't mind his corny sense of humour, they are well written and organised.

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers

The Adobe Photoshop CS6 Book for Digital Photographers

Since you specifically mentioned portraits, his Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop is very good. Does not really teach you post-processing basics, more along the line of skin softening, eyes/teeth brightening and so forth. If you are a beginner you'd want something to familiarise yourself with the basics first I think, although his techniques are easy to follow.

I also recommend his 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3. This takes you through many different images from start to finish. You can download all of the images used in the book, so you can work the same images yourself.

For more in-depth books I'd suggest something by Jeff Schewe (RAW processing)

The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop

or Martin Evening (for Photoshop)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: A professional image editor's guide to the creative use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC

Finally, lynda.com and kelbytraining.com have very good, in-depth online tutorials. These can be several hours long each. Cost is around $29/month, and for many people I think these would be easier to learn from than books.

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