The Patch Tool, Dirty Bird, and LYNDA.com

From: Stephen D.
Sent on: Friday, July 23, 2010 9:26 AM
Hello all,

Last night I uploaded a picture to our PHOTOS section of a penguin that was taken at the Zoo here in town: "Dirty Bird". The background of the image is kind of a mess, and there's a blothchy stain on its wing that pretty much makes the picture unusable. Otherwise it's a clean shot at pretty high resolution, and it's a good candidate for our purposes - i.e. to use a few editing steps involving some basic tools - including (on Photoshop) the PATCH TOOL.

The purpose of this email is partly to introduce the patch tool to those who've not encountered it before. It's easy to use really, and it does a miraculous job when you want to keep the kind of texture in this bird's wing. The tool is found in the toolbar "behind" the icon that looks like a bandaid (i.e. click on the tiny arrow in the bottom right corner of that icon to find the patch tool). When you click on it, look at the top of your screen and select "destination". Using our "Dirty Bird" picture as an example, draw a circle around a CLEAN area of the bird's wing to select a good patch... and then drag that clean area over the stained area. All you're doing is taking a picture of good feathers, and moving it over the bad feathers. The before and after are both on the website now for you to see. Pretty simple, right?

If you know Photoshop, then you know that it's not quite that simple. In fact, I'd forgotten some of the fine points of using this tool, and so had to quickly go to one of the video tutorials on Lynda.com to brush up on its use in order to fix the wing for the site, and to get the instructions right for this email (there were actually many more steps involved in the finished repair that you see than just the patch tool). Then it dawned on me: Steve, why in the world would you take information that already is presented by experts on professionally produced videos, and try to convey that to people in your own words ... WITHOUT the advantage of video for them to watch.... when you can simply direct them to the very source that you used to get the information in the first place???

This may sound like a commercial, but please know that I have NO financial interest in Lynda.com at all. I think they have a referral program, but I've never looked into it, and I have no interest in participating or benefitting in any way from what I'm about to say: My son - who's a pastor and graphic designer in Mt Morris - put me onto Lynda.com I think almost two years ago now. It changed my life in the very first month of using it, and it's a permanent part of my small circle of resources in my graphic and web design pursuits. Lynda.com a collection of VERY high quality tutorials produced by some of the leading teachers in the country on just about any digital graphic program or subject. You can try the site for free for a time, but eventually they'd like you to pay $25 per month for unlimited access to the THOUSANDS of video clips on nearly every program and digital graphic endeavor that's out there. AND, there's NO COMMITMENT at all. I've paid the $25 for a couple of months and crammed to learn a program... then stopped paying and let it go for however long... then returning later again when I needed it, and resumed my membership.

We can't teach you photoshop or any other program on this website or in this group. It's just WAY too much information, and trying to do it online with emails - or in a classroom lecture once per month - is like trying to teach a one-armed man how to tie his shoe over the phone. We can certainly be useful to you as a "club" with contests, tiny tidbits of information, question and answer functions on our forum and through emails, and of course moral support... but to learn something like Photoshop or Gimp or any of the other programs out there, you need to have access to the full buffet of instructional offerings, choosing what YOU want to learn, and when YOU want to learn it. The wheel has already been invented. In photo editing instruction, the wheel is spelled "LYNDA.COM".

Comments are invited. And by the way, you can email a person on the site and keep your email address hidden from that person if you'd like. Emails don't appear on the website, as far as I know. Or you can post a comment to a person or to the group, both of which do appear on the site. All just FYI.

Steve


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