I have to admit that I have learned a very valuable lesson yesterday and need to share this. Before doing so, I need to say that I consider myself quite an open minded photographer. I love learning new techniques and was quick to pick up (and later put down) HDR. I use Photoshop and consider it a vital tool in my approach to creating digital images. I am happy when my work matches reality but I am also happy when it departs from reality; although I do need to like the result.
I tell you all this because I need to own up to buying a book "How to Cheat with Photoshop“. In the past I have seen this book and been put off by it’s somewhat "amateurish layout“ (in my eyes) and the title which has little to do with classic landscapes. In short, I had considered the book to be below my level of sophistication and for rank amateurs who still find garish Photoshop filters creative. How wrong I was and how poor my judgement.
The first page of the book that I dipped into was a rather rushed explanation of removing a sky. It explained that I needed to use the Background eraser tool. At first I thought rubbish, I just need to create a channel mask but then I thought "let’s try this“. I was, to say the least, mildly surprised at how good this tool was that I had never bothered with. I decided to watch the short video on the accompanying disk and was absolutely amazed at what this tool would do. I tried again with new found knowledge and have to say it’s excellent.
So, the morel of this is, don’t write things off because you have preconceived ideas. Embrace new things and learn from the experience.