OT (?) Photoshop bummer

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 01/11/05-01:15:22 AM Z
Message-id: <Pine.NEB.4.61.0501110108240.2145@panix2.panix.com>

I was writing a rant about the Blatner & Fraser supposedly "Real World
Photoshop" book, which cost $50, but IMO isn't worth 50 cents. The
Photoshop help window was little better. Then on inspiration I checked the
actual Photoshop 7 hard copy manual, and see many entries for "gradient
tool" (the problem), so I'll read them (which I need to do when I'm awake)
before ranting (much) further.

I'd kept figuring I'd figure it out, but in several months succeeded only
in turning the folder upside down. That is, the program alias that was on
the top of the list dropped to the bottom, which isn't so serious, but the
gradient tool, which worked fine in Photoshop 4, is poster child in 7 for
a really really extreme example of Overdesign and Underexplain.

The problem with Blatner & Fraser (as with many tech writers) is that they
assume we know what they know. So no need to tell you how to use the tool,
and tho I've clicked from here to San Francisco, so far I can't get that
"circular rainbow" out of the choice window (and a really idiot graphic
it is, if you're trying to look real).

The reason it's so important is that my love-hate object, the digital
camera, leaves most skies perfectly white if I'm shooting at ordinary
street level, even if I'm underexposing so all figures are too dark.

A plain "fill" in a likely color looks totally fake -- skies do not look
that way. I tried copying the sky from a couple of shots that had
gorgeous skies (I knew you'd ask how come, I don't have a clue, but maybe
because I was aimed away from the sun?), but trying to clean up around the
edges was a night's work. This way I just magic-wand select the empty sky
& -- surprise, a gradient dropped in there looks perfectly real, at least
in that relatively small scale. I know that because a couple of times I
got one by accident... after nearly an hour of suffering. It wasn't what I
would have chosen, but sufficed -- which is irrelevant since I can't get
it again, except occasionally in a circle.


Received on Tue Jan 11 01:15:31 2005

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