View Full Version : Photoshop Proficiency

23-09-2016, 01:06 PM
So I am trying to get a small jewellery business off the ground and needless to say it is a challenging experience. Obviously I knew it would be, but I think I underestimated all the other skills that would be required that have nothing to do with jewellery making, like all the marketing aspects. I am also really struggling with having to do my own photography and producing product images for my website. I just hate Photoshop!! I think it is so complicated to use and I get so frustrated with it as it takes me forever to edit an image (and then they still don't look very good!).

Ok sorry, rant over.

Can anyone relate? How do you cope with having to learn all these new skills? Any Photoshop pros who can give me some advice on how to get to grips with it??


23-09-2016, 01:57 PM
Photoshop Elements 13 is quite intuitive and has three skill levels, one almost entirely automatic.

After all you are just trying to improve the lighting, crop and maybe sharpen. The best way to come to grips with it is to go on a short course.

However, it all starts with an adequate camera and a light box of some kind. Dennis.

23-09-2016, 02:26 PM
I don't have PS anymore, upgrading my laptop some years ago to find the version I had wasn't compatible and I was too mean to buy the new version.
Ive been using Gimp now for several years, its not as user friendly when you get started but its good for a freebie.
In any case to edit jewellery I only use a few functions so its pretty straight forward with either I find?
The biggest challenge is getting the light and angles right in the first place for me.

23-09-2016, 02:41 PM
I like the sound of an almost automatic Photoshop!! I am starting to think my issue is actually not so much with Photoshop itself, but with the actual process of taking the picture to begin with. As you said, getting the angels and lighting right is hard and editing a sub-optimal picture is difficult... I found this guide to shortcuts in Photoshop (http://https://www.1and1.com/digitalguide/websites/web-design/the-most-useful-photoshop-shortcuts/) and it says that you can customize them to really suit you. I think I might give that a try, because I spend so much time looking for where things are and it makes it take much longer. At least if I make a list of the most relevant shortcuts for me, I'll hopefully eliminate some of problems.

23-09-2016, 03:28 PM
Knowing the keyboard shortcuts isn't going to help if you can't fix your photos the non-shortcut way.
For most photo editing I use Lightzone now rather than GIMP; if I need to do a lot of retouching then I'll just adjust the lighting with Lightzone then use GIMP, but we're into the realms of painting then.

23-09-2016, 05:44 PM
You can minimise the need for editing, by learning how to take the photos in the first place. here are some starting points:



24-09-2016, 09:08 AM
Dennis is correct if you can take good photos then the need for editing is limited, get a good camera with a good lens and a tripod, some lighting equipment is useful also, but if you have natural light it can be usefully directed using reflectors or just white card. Everyone has their own favourite cameras, if price is not a barrier then a decent Nikon or Canon DSLR fitted with a macro or micro lens is good, but if finances are limited then I suggest you looking at the Lumix FZ200 which has a fine Leica lens fitted and will focus quite close. I actually have many cameras, I took these photos as a comparison showing the difference between photos taken with my Nikon DSLR fitted with a Nikkor 60mm. micro lens and the same photo taken with my Lumix FZ45.



24-09-2016, 05:40 PM
I would recommend going on a night school course or investing in a good set of video tutorials I if you are selling from a website. I think the most important thing is to have top quality consistent picture, I use a photo box so all the pictures have the same backgound etc then make up photoshop templates for example with different colours of metal. Then you can make a white gold ring photograph it then have it in red gold, yellow gold and platinum or even a combination of colours also its easy change the colour of stones with a few clicks giving you lots more virtual stock. The stone below was changed from a diamond to an emerald with photoshop

26-09-2016, 02:33 PM
I totally agree that consistent, high-quality pictures are so important. I am getting the sense that the general advice is that I am trying to run before I can walk :">

I will look into getting a better quality camera and some of the other equipment, like the phot box, which seems very useful to me. (Very impressed with you changed the diamond into an emerald btw!)

Thank you for your help and advice everyone!!

26-09-2016, 07:41 PM
A lightbox is a great purchase, I use a cheapo eBay one that cost less than ten pounds. I'll be upgrading to one with lights integrated though, as I currently have to use a big CCFL lamp over the top. It's improved my photos no end though - make sure to use a lot of light, an SLR, and a tripod, too. No little point and click cameras.

Once the photo is taken I do little more than remove the background, and even then only in certain cases. A lot of the photos I take are against dark backgrounds and I generally leave those as they are.

17-01-2017, 12:58 AM
If you Google photo studio for under $12 there's a fantastic simple set up concocted from tinfoil and greaseproof paper and a couple of clamps. It relies on daylight from a window but the results are good enough for a consistent image quality without too much fuss.

If you are looking to sell online image quality is key and you can automate and batch process in photoshop by recording macros which will speed up volume repetitive tasks.. But for a beginner photoshop is cumbersome and unwieldy to the beginner and an expensive investment if you can't use it well.. I have played with it for years on and off.. And been on courses but it's still annoyingly unfriendly..

If you are a beginner and just want to tweak some ok pictures for the Internet Instagram is great. You can use presets for consistency but go in to edit mode and it's a series of tools operated individually on a single slider.. They cover the key enhancers of colour, saturation, warmth (white balance) brightness contrast shadows and highlights..

You still need a good well constructed Picture.. But you can process images quickly and efficiently

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk

14-12-2017, 08:46 PM
Hello, Foster. I guess, your problem is easy to fix, but the only way to do it is to start learning Photoshop. There are varies of different blogs, youtube guides and so on. If you are still interested in it, there is http://fixthephoto.com/blog/retouch-tips/best-photoshop-tutorials-on-youtube.html a list of several youtube channels with photoshop tutorials inside. I used to watch them while was learning too.
Good luck
Sam :)