I told you guys this was coming, and I'm so excited that it's finally here!
Lynda.com is an incredible resource of online classes; they cover absolutely everything you can think of, from software to concepts to social media.
In order to review the service, I went through a course, and want to show you what I learned.
As a hobbyist photographer, I'm always looking for ways to improve my images… as I've grasped the basics of the technical aspects, I've always felt like my editing (aka post-processing, processing, Photoshopping) left something to be desired.
I've relied heavily on presets and actions to get my finished products, but I want to be able to do these things from scratch, to know how the tools work, and how to use them to achieve my vision.
For this reason, I chose to take “Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6” with Chris Orwig. Camera Raw is a way of managing and editing images that is basically a step *before* Photoshop, and while I knew some of the very basics, I had no idea just how strong and all-encompassing this piece of software could be!
This is an image I took of my niece last Easter… I think it's lovely, and the look on her face stops me in my tracks. This is the SOOC image (Straight Out Of Camera) with no editing applied to the RAW file:
So it's OK, but I knew it could be better, so I took the class. The course I chose was one of the shorter ones, coming in at just over six hours total. It's broken up into 20-30 minute “chapters,” so it was really easy to work on it a piece at a time and make it fit into my schedule.
The videos are very well done, with screencasts and voiceovers, and very easy to follow along.
I was a little worried at first; my child of the 80s attention span has a tendancy to not retain things I am only watching.
But Lynda provides example files!
I was able to download a folder with ALL of the files that were worked on in the course; I'd pause it and work along with the instructor; changing settings as he did, and it really reinforced the tools and what they do to the images.
By the time I completed the course, I'd learned not only how to adjust color in my images, but also some correction tools, like cropping and rotating. And creative effects too, like split toning and creating really compelling black and whites.
Here are two edits I did after finishing the class, without using Photoshop at all (except to add my URL and caption):
I can't even tell you how much I feel like I've learned in just 6 short hours… some of these courses are closer to 25 hours long! Can you *imagine* how much information is packed into that?
So now I've shown you how much I've learned… and there are close to 20 more classes I've saved to my queue so I can work on them next… and here's the REALLY exciting part!
Lynda.com is letting me give TWO year-long subscriptions to two lucky readers! I'm so excited, you guys! This is a $375 value, and I have TWO to give away!
I'm using Rafflecopter to run this one, because it makes it so easy to enter (and so easy for me to choose my winners!) so just follow the steps in the widget below.
I'm going to leave the giveaway open for a week, so I'll choose my winners on Saturday, Nov. 9!
Disclaimer: I received a 1-year membership to lynda.com in exchange for 2 posts about it. I received no additional compensation, and all opinions expressed are purely my own.