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Where do I find my Photoshop inspirations?

Where do I find my Photoshop inspirations?


Richard O'Brien | 4 December 2013

Where do I find my Photoshop inspirations?

I was recently asked while teaching a course, "Who and what inspired me to learn Photoshop?" and "where did I learn it?"

So, the story goes…

Many years ago I bought myself a digital camera (a whopping 2 megapixel, 3x optical zoom), which came with a free copy of Photoshop Elements 2.0. It didn't take long before I started to mess around and edit my photos, but I quickly hit the 'Photoshop brick wall,' where I knew it could be done, but not how. [Cue lots of Google searches…]


Then I stumbled across an American guy, Scott Kelby, who turned out to be "a little bit good" when it comes to Photoshop - he's actually better than "a little bit good," and is a best-selling author of Photoshop books, an instructor AND President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals!


Fast forward a few years… a few cameras and a few versions of Photoshop - now where do I get my inspiration from?

I actually still go to my Scott Kelby bookshelf (yes, I have dedicated an entire shelf to his books!), but of course with the Internet at your fingertips the resources are endless. Below is my "go-to" and starting point for resources and inspiration:

Photoshop related blogs - they specifically cover Photoshop, but can also be more general

Scott Kelby - a guru in his own right
Matt Kloskowski - "The Photoshop Guy"
Terry White - Worldwide Design Evangelist for Adobe

Photoshop retouches

Glyn Dewis - I often leave his blog thinking, "I never thought of using that tool in that way!"

Photography - specifically High-dynamic-range imaging (HDR)

Rafael 'RC' Concepcion - I recently became fascinated with HDR, so I bought his book and spend most of my evenings referencing his notes and working on Photoshop to see what I can create.

Photo-realistic art

Bert Monroy - a pioneer in digital art and Photoshop hall of fame member
Corey Barker - a master of creating 3D artwork from scratch (I don't know how he does everything he does, or where he decides to start!)


Other inspiration resources

My last source of inspiration is the people I teach.

Their questions during a class or examples they bring along, often make me tinker with ideas to find possible solutions - I've always said that you learn just by playing around with the software.


On more than one occasion, I've sat in a hotel room overnight with images that delegates brought with them to the course and experimented with ideas to see what might work best to solve the problem. And I've also seen the other side of the spectrum - delegates being inspired from what they were taught, and also by each other - by the questions other people ask, examples they 'bring to the table' and so on.


So there you have it - inspiration that works both ways, in Photoshop!

QA Training | Richard O'Brien

Richard O'Brien

Office Applications Principal Technologist - Adobe

Richard is an Adobe Certified Expert and MOS Master Instructor based in Leeds, and has been an instructor for 23 years. He joined QA in 2009 as part of the takeover of Remarc by QA and has since become the Principal Technologist for QA’s Adobe curriculum. Richard has experience of many aspects of training, including designing courses and course content, writing courseware manuals, delivering training, providing post course support, floor-walking and drop in sessions.
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