Let's start at the beginning, My Adobe Creative Cloud Learning Journey


I love photography, I was really surprised with how much I enjoy planning and taking pictures, but I am very much a beginner.

So why have I decided to purchase Adobe Creative Cloud?

During the last 12 months I have learnt so much about taking beautiful photos through the Makelight Membership and lessons. I have also invested in a DSLR camera and I was lucky enough to win a fantastic lens through a Makelight competition, I just can't tell you how much this lens changed my life!

Camera

I really want to focus on the blog this year so I'd love to be able to take my images to the next level, and you really do need Adobe Creative Cloud for that, don't you?

It can't be that difficult, can it?

Ok, so I've signed up to the pay monthly (£10.50 per month) scheme, I've downloaded the software, I've opened up Bridge, Photoshop and Lightroom, but where to start?

Adobe Creative Cloud

I don't even know which programme I should be using for what? I don't know how to get my photos into the programmes,I don't know what all the buttons mean, so yes it really can be that difficult. 

You need to invest in your own development in order to progress

I remind myself of this all of the time, I am a BIG believer in self development.

I love learning something new, in fact I never stop, my Husband get's exhausted just listening to what I am working on! I have joined and enjoyed many a learning platform, I am a member of Makelight (which I love and still learn something new every month), I take lessons frequently on Craftsy, and I've taken the odd online sewing course from Tilly and the Buttons.

But technical "stuff" really is not my key strength (being the creative type), I need a course that will help me to understand how to "technically" use the programmes within Adobe Creative Cloud to enable me to develop my creativity.

I searched the web and found a learning platform called Lynda.com. I read some reviews which were all great, so without delay I started a 30 day free trial, it will then be approximately £22.50 per month (for the premium service) for unlimited access to all their lessons. I can can cancel at any time so I thought that I would definitely give it a go and see what I can learn.

Lynda.com

The course recommends that you make tons of notes as you go as there is so much to remember, and it also encourages sharing and talking about your learning.

So, I thought that I would use my blog to "take notes" and to share my learning journey to creating amazing pictures (fingers crossed), this will mean that I have my own guidelines to refer back to, in my language. I also find that it really helps me to remember things when I'm writing something down, and hopefully it may help you too if you are a beginner like me.

So, what is the main use of each of the products in the suite?

I am still in the "research" stage of what each element is used for, but I thought that I'd share what I know so far.

According to what I have researched, the main use for the products included in Adobe Creative Cloud are...

  • Bridge - this is used mainly to view and open images
  • Adobe Camera Raw - this is mainly used to improve images
  • Photoshop - this is used to improve x 10
  • Lightroom - this is used manage, improve and share
Adobe Creative Cloud

    Here's a little bit more detail about each of the amazing tools (well what I have learnt so far)

    Adobe Bridge

    The main benefit of using Bridge is that its easy to use and it has an extra large preview area, you can also rate, rank and filter to make it easier to find what you are looking for. 

    Tip: If you want to see a full screen preview of one of your images, tap the space bar on your keyboard, then use the arrow keys to go to the next image and back again. Tap the space car again to exit full screen mode.

    In order to rank the photos within a file e.g. give your favourites a 5*, click label from the top menu ( Tip: shortcut is to click cmd plus 1,2,3,4 or 5)

    Label images

    Once the ratings have been added, you can click the filter tab and then select the rating you are looking for, to turn the filter back off again, just re-click it.

    To open a file from Bridge you can just double click it, if it is JPEG, TIFF or PSD it will open straight into Photoshop, if its a RAW file when you double click it will open in Adobe Camera Raw (I think that a RAW file is one that has not been "spoilt" by any processing, but I could be wrong).

    If you want to open a file that is not a RAW file type into Adobe Camera Raw (for example you want to use Camera Raw to do some editing), just click "file > open in camera raw".

    Open in camera raw

    Once you have finished editing in Raw, click "open image" it will then be opened in Photoshop with the changes applied.

    Adobe Camera Raw

    I must admit that I am still getting my head around why I would use camera raw and why I wouldn't just go straight to Photoshop if I want to edit, but I'm just going to go with it as thats the suggested route so there must be benefits (I'll add them to blog posts as I discover them).

    Light Room

    Again, I am wondering why I would use Lightroom rather than the other softwares, but I'm sure that all will become clear.

    To import images into Light Room, click the import button, then select a file from the menu.

    The editing features in Light room are very similar to that in Camera Raw, I'm not sure yet why you would choose one over the other, I hoping that I find out as I continue with my research!

    Once you have finished editing an image in Lightroom, if you want to take the editing further you need to transfer it to Photoshop. To do this click Photo (top menu) > Edit in > Photoshop.

    Photoshop

    I'm a little bit scared of Photoshop, isn't it for photography professionals?! I am stunned and overwhelmed by the amazing things that you can achieve when using it, and I will be chuffed to bits if I touch the tip of the iceberg in my first couple of weeks.

    The course that I am taking first of all explains the importance of changing a couple of the default settings.

    • The colour settings - apparently the default setting has limited colours, so it instructs to change the settings to open up more colour range. To do this simply click Edit > Colour settings > Settings (drop down menu) then change it to "North America Prepress 2" > OK
    Colour settings

    • The autosave frequency - Photoshop will automatically save your file to protect it from computer crashes. Depending on how much you trust your computer you can increase or decrease the frequency that this happens, to do this click Photoshop CC (top menu) > preferences > general > file handling > then change the "automatically save recovery information every" to whatever you want it to be. I am working on a 5 year old MAC so I reduced my time to every 5 minutes (just to be on the safe side) > OK

    Preferences

    Autosave frequency

    So, that is what has been spinning around in my head for the first day or two of sussing out this wonderful programme, I can't wait to learn more, my next blog posts will be covering the following

    • How to correctly re-size images for print and online
    • How to crop images
    • Using layers to improve images

    So watch this space!

    If you can add any further tips, please do in the comments below.