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Okay, y’all. Pretty much since I first heard the word “Photoshop” (many, many years ago) I thought it was so complicated.

As a photographer, I avoided using it as much as possible. I edit almost strictly in Lightroom (because, to me, it just clicks). I HAVE used Photoshop (affiliate link) for simple things like extending backgrounds, but other than that, I feel pretty clueless in Photoshop.

BUT, I’ve always wished that wasn’t the case. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who just get Photoshop.

Like, have you seen Ashley Senja’s work?? Incredible. She’s a magician.

So, I’ve been more and more inspired to start learning, because it’s a creative skill I’d like to have. I’m also semi-motivated by the fact that I have wild, vivid dreams, and sometimes I wish I could just SHOW them to people. Photoshop skills would really help me pull some of the visuals from my mind into the material world.

So anyway, this past weekend I had loads of spare time because I spontaneously decided to take a break from all social media and TV. Suddenly I was like, “Wow, I have time to learn something I’ve always wanted to learn, and literally nothing is standing in my way.” 

(I acknowledge that it was really just me standing in my way the whole time…)

I already had a bunch of classes saved to my “Photoshop” playlist on Skillshare (referral link), so I decided to just jump in and pick one.

There are so many other classes I intend to go through as I keep learning, but I started with Andrei Oprinca’s class, “Sacrifice – Advanced Photoshop Manipulation.”

I chose this because I liked the moody tones, and I knew I had a self-portrait that could work with the scene.

Here’s what I started with:

The top left is, of course, a self-portrait I took, and the two landscape photos are royalty-free photos from Unsplash, which Andrei provided as resources as part of his class.

Other images were also provided to add more details to the final image (like arrows), but I won’t include them here.

The class itself is only 49 minutes and it’s marked “intermediate” on Skillshare.

I took it as a beginner, with some familiarity with the Photoshop tools and workspaces, and I was able to follow along pretty easily; however, there were a couple things I had to look up for myself. Because of that, and due to frequent pausing to actually do the things in Photoshop, the class probably took me closer to 1.5 hours, but I didn’t check the time, so I can’t say with precision.

Overall, it was really fun to finally start learning photo manipulation/compositing.

And mentally/emotionally, it feels really great to finally take action on something I’ve been thinking of and wanting to do for some time.

Here’s the final product:

It is absolutely not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be.

I’m sharing this here because I’m learning something new and I wanted to commemorate that, and share my progress along the way.

And also to say, if you’ve been wanting to learn something new, DO IT. 

Skillshare is a great place to start. There are free classes available, in addition to premium classes as part of an annual subscription.

If you’re leaning towards something creative with photography, audio, videography (or all three), Adobe Creative Cloud (affiliate link) is a fantastic resource.

YouTube is another great place for easy-to-follow how-to videos, or just to get some inspiration.

And, if like me, you find yourself losing time to social media and/or TV, don’t be afraid to cut those out for a few days 😅.