Photoshop: Seems over complicated to an amateur

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I absolutely despise Photoshop. I am an amateur photographer who does family and friend events. I edit my photos for photo albums, scrapbooks, and portraits. Everyone says I have an eye for a great shot and I love photography. I was using a simple editing program that has great simple features called "smart erase" where you can remove a person or a car or some other object to make it a perfect picture. You can "invert" the photo to defocus the background to make the people stand out more and so on. I can fly through editing 200 or more pictures in a couple of hours. I tried Photoshop and it is the most complicated, hard to use, over-technical product I have seen since I spent my career at IBM. I used to constantly review our IBM products and criticize them for how "over-developed" they were - programmers going wild adding all kinds of features too complicated for the average user. Smart programmers use their skill to create simple to use tools that provide great features anyone can figure out without going to a class. I have talked to many other photographers and they all agree with me. They hate Photoshop for its complexity and all use other editors. I am not a graphics designer or work in a professional magazine environment where I need very high tech graphics software. I can use Adobe with no problem but I prefer Word. As I always told my IBM co-workers. They over-thought and over-technologized our products. Products should be intuitive not ones only a programmer can figure out.
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Beverly Tatum

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  • frustrated, find it aggravating, a waste of my time

Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Cox

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Think about woodworking - seems simple if you don't know it. But walk into a master's workshop and you'll see hundreds of tools that you don't know how to use. Yet each of the tools has a purpose, and enables a woodworker to do a better job at some task. The master woodworker didn't learn all the tools at once: they learned a few basics, and added new tools as the need arose (or they took a class). Over time they accumulate a huge collection of tools that look intimidating to a novice (or that a novice could make a mess with).

Photoshop is not so much programmer driven as customer driven. But Photoshop has millions of professional customers in many different areas (retouching, prepress, games, astronomy, medical, comic books, web design, movies, etc.). They all want things that will improve the quality of their work, or improve their productivity. Over time it all adds to the available toolset in Photoshop - and many of those tools can be used by people in multiple fields. This does not mean that there are too many tools, or it is too complicated -- just that it needs to be learned a bit at a time instead of all at once.

Many people do learn Photoshop without classes -- either through exploration, or online tutorials. Many will take some classes to help master areas of interest to them - or just as a way to speed up their learning process. But classes are hardly necessary. (heck, my teenage niece and her friends just seemed to jump in and start editing their facebook photos in minutes)

But it does sound like your current needs don't require the professional tools in Photoshop. You may wish to try Lightroom or Photoshop Elements.
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Konstantin Knutov

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Hammer should be simple - a hammer. and In any program designed for people it is,

photoshop makes you first - to find it, then you need to know how to use it . and then you need to use magic to hit the hammer once !.

and after that if you want to hit it more then once. find the tutorials.
tutorials for every action.

its not professional, its bad design. Most things can be used in any other good software by clicking\double clicking etc. not In photoshop.

Layers are whole different story.

Ctrl+c \ ctrl+v like in any apllication around the world is ctrl+J in Photoshop for some reason.

I could go on forever, about how alien they made it, but I have 0 mood and I try to avoid bad words & hate as much as I can.
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Chris Cox

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Control-J does something different from copy/paste (Control-C/Control-V).

Much like the woodworking shop - beginners can easily use a few common tools instantly, but it will take time to learn all the available tools and the best ways to use them.

If a professional product like Photoshop is too much for you, you might want to consider Lightroom, Revel, or Elements.
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Martin Smith

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Photoshop is too complicated - and it's hard to find what you want.
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David Stoter

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Waste of money, won't be renewing my subscription.
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Mike Bruemmer

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Utterly terrible, I like the wood working example, but it needs to be that simple. A hammer is a hammer, it needs to be easy, AND then I'm fine investing a lot of time to learn the table saw. Photoshop is horrible design. I just want to change the color of a block selection to another color I already have. It's a dang copy-n-paste procedure and I can't do it.... just terrible
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Cristen Gillespie

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> Utterly terrible, I like the wood working example, but it needs to be that simple. A hammer is a hammer, it needs to be easy, AND then I'm fine investing a lot of time to learn the table saw. >

There's another saying about hammers I've heard: To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  There are plenty of programs out there, many of them free, that have almost no tools other than the hammer with which to build your mansion. I'm not clear on what you're trying to do, but changing a selected area from one color to another is quite easy, provided you know the basics.

Copy and pasting one block into another is also possible, but the Copy/Paste commands aren't intended for changing only the color of an object.  That is an example of using only one tool for everything, and a simple tool requires that all tasks be one task—the only kind it can perform. One of these videos might help you learn how to change a color in PS. You won't want all of the methods described — not for the one task you want to perform. But sometime, you'll need those other methods to most efficiently get the job done, or you don't need a powerful program at all.

One task at a time, you can learn Photoshop as easily as any other program over time, but if you really want to limit what you can do with an image, then you should probably use another application.  Photoshop is intended for people who want as much flexibility as they can get for what they want or need to do.
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Mike Gunson

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totally agree........pretty smart adaptable person but photoshop is down right Maddening