Tech Challenge? Tech Desk

Today, I went to the UGLI in search of something. But unlike every other day, it wasn’t an open table on the third floor. I was searching for the Tech Desk. A magical place where computer savvy volunteers are just waiting to answer all of my Photoshop queries. But here’s the thing, I didn’t know the first thing about Photoshop. I didn’t have any specific queries. Photoshop was  (and maybe still is) one big question mark. So when I finally found the Tech Desk, a glass office space within first floor of the library, I was intimidated. I was scared that I would look stupid for not knowing. But I pushed my reservations aside.

Turns out the Tech Desk really is as great as it sounds. This one experience didn’t turn me into a Photoshop expert. Or intermediate. But I was shown some basic functions that I plan to use for my remediation project.

The Tester Photoshop Image I created

So what did I learn in order to create this masterpiece?

1. Layers are key. In Photoshop, every addition to the blank page gets it own layer. Each photo needs it own layer. Each text box needs it own layer. I’m not sure if this is exactly the reason, but I observed that the editing functions are applied by layer. To be able to edit pieces individually, they need to be own their own layer.

2. Eraser. To get the diagonal cut between images, I first inserted both images on different layers. Then used the eraser tool to clear out half of the top image that was covering the bottom image. I know the straight line is impressive. No I don’t just have really steady hands. I was taught that by holding the “shift” key and clicking from one point to another a perfectly straight line will materialize, connecting these points.

3. Text Tool. Inserting text was easy with the text tool. But I kept forgetting to add a new layer first, so I would need delete the text and start over on a new layer if I wanted to move the text around. What’s really cool, but not shown in this image, is that you can add text on a curve. How? Create a new layer. Click the path tool to craft desired squiggled line. Then type.

Overall, I feel like I learned a lot. But then I think about things and I realize there is so much more to Photoshop that I am not even aware is possible. If I’m still getting frustrated about forgetting to add a new layer, I can’t even imagine what a professional would get frustrated by. In short, I will definitely be back to the Tech Desk.

3 thoughts to “Tech Challenge? Tech Desk”

  1. Lia,

    I am impressed by your gumption to go up to the tech desk, I too am nervous to use the UGLI for anything but a study space. However, I am really glad you had a good experience with those who helped you! In terms of the advice you received, it seems as if it was very helpful. I also lack any basic knowledge regarding the use of photoshop, nor have I ever tried it so I truly have no idea what layering means but the photo you created using the eraser tool is really neat. I am sure it is just going to take time messing with it to become more familiar with the application, and I really look forward to your final product.

  2. Lia,

    As you know, I also went to the Tech Deck to ask about Photoshop. While my questions were very different from yours, I had a similar experience. They were extremely helpful in explaining and demonstrating how I would go about creating my project. I haven’t had much time to play with Photoshop on my own, so I’m glad that you were able to use it so successfully; it gives me hope. It looks to me like even knowing the basics of Photoshop will really help enhance your project and make it look professional.

  3. Thank you for sharing what you learned about Photoshop—you organized your post really well in a way that clearly explained layering and other features of this application! I actually forgot until now that I tried out Photoshop once in middle school and I remember being frustrated with the whole layering thing as well. Your picture looks awesome, though, so even if the process takes you awhile, I think the end result will be worthwhile for you. I’m sure once you get started with your project you’ll be able to go back to the Tech Deck with more concrete questions and they’ll teach you more Photoshop techniques and strategies. Good luck with your project!

Leave a Reply