Friday, March 27, 2009

Adobe Photoshop...Love It? Or Hate It?

I really don’t know which camp I’d like to take residence in. I originally wanted the program because I was interested in doing digital scrapbooking. The frugal side of me was just overjoyed at the thought of being able to purchase digital paper that you could use over and over and over again. Do you realize how many solid pieces of paper a scrapper like me has in her book of papers? A LOT! I’m a BIG fan of matting pictures out…I tend to scrap with patterned papers for the background and matting the pictures on solids on top of that. Just a style that I personally like. I can’t tell you how many pieces of Bazzill black textured paper I have bought over the years since I started scrapping…

So this thought appealed to me…and I did some research into which program was the better one to get. Hands down, Adobe Photoshop won. But the part that I didn’t like was the big price tag that comes along with it…lucky for me, Mr. CC stepped up and got the program for me last Valentine’s Day (2008). Then I was a BAD fiancé and didn’t actually try to use the program until this Valentine’s Day. Yep, you read that right – I let the program sit for about a year. You see, he got a great deal from a friend of his. The family owns or works in computers and has access to lots of programs, and this friend just downloaded the program onto Mr. CC’s home computer for him via the net. Then he put a folder on the desktop that would allow us to burn another copy of the program and install it on my own personal laptop too. Mr. CC’s friend was up front about the fact that doing it this way meant that I wouldn’t get the user’s manual.

Uh, who really cares about a silly user’s manual when this expensive program is mine for free? Not me…

Yeah, I actually had that thought. Silly me.

You see, I didn’t realize how complicated Photoshop would be to work with. It was overwhelming. At the time, Mr. CC and I didn’t live together and there were several nights when I would have little CC that we would not spend together. This was the perfect time in my mind for me to put Photoshop on my laptop and “teach” myself the program. No big deal.

Until I ran into a snag on getting the program to load. It downloaded just fine, but when you get to the part of registering the product, the number that our friend gave us didn’t work. Mr. CC tried for several weeks with no luck to call his friend back and get it straightened out. I think that we did make contact with said friend one time, but something was going on and he would call right back…so we waited…and waited…we’re still waiting.

So I guess you could say that I got a bad taste in my mouth right away with my new beloved program. What’s the fun of this if I have to sit at a desktop computer to do this? None in my mind. The fun of scrapping for me is doing it in front of the tv…involving others – since I scrap with several friends at given times…being mobile is part of the new era in computers. So now that I’m stuck upstairs at the desktop without even a tv to keep me company, this is no fun. Plus, splitting my time between travel for work, time alone with little CC, time with our whole family, and time alone with Mr. CC just didn’t leave me a lot of time to sit down and learn this.

Then I got engaged…and several wedding projects popped up in my head, and I became determined to conquer Photoshop. I mean, it’s just a program, right? I can’t be THAT hard…yeah. I know, silly me.

In a lot of ways, Photoshop is easy to use. On the same hand, in a lot of ways it’s really hard to use. Learning the ropes takes a little bit of patience and practice. And the manual REALLY would have come in handy, it turns out…because it’s a graphic design program, something that I know nothing about. There are a lot of little tips and tricks that you can do with this program, but you have to know that the tricks even exist and then how to do them…to say that it is a bit difficult for a newbie is an understatement.

But I have this wedding project for the centerpieces in my mind that would be SO easy if I could conquer this monster…so slowly but surely I’m learning. I’ve been able to find a lot of free tutorials by surfing the net, but that’s time consuming as well. And I can still only do it at our desktop which annoys me. I spend all day long on a computer at work, so there are days that I just DON’T want to be on the computer at night. And even though I’ve now decided that spending $80 for the newest version of the program is really NOT that expensive…I don’t have my personal laptop anymore and can’t load the program onto my work laptop…so I’ll just stick with the version that I have at the moment.

So, I slave away…upstairs in my “tower”…all alone. With the help of my webinars that are slowly teaching me the ins and outs of Adobe Photoshop. Luckily for me, I’m a quick learner and I’m really not afraid to just push buttons until I can get it to do what I want…I’m stubborn like that. LOL! Due to my progress, I’ve also been able to design our magnets for the STDs and come up with a monogram that Mr. CC and I love that we will use in our invitations. And the thought of doing my own invitations no longer gives me terrors or weak moments…

Adobe and me? We’re progressing. We might not be tight and close and all, but we’re on a first name, acquaintance-type of basis for the moment…

Which camp do you fall into? Or did you attempt something like this just to discover that it really was easier to “hire” out the design portion of your DIY projects to the many designers that are available on places like I’d really like to know…

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