Blogshop San Franciso


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Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Or San Diego.

I’m in San Francisco for a little workshop called BlogShop.

San Francisco Street

It’s a two-day workshop to try to help me learn Photoshop.

Blogshop: Photoshop and bloggers

Unfortunately for me, Photoshop is like algebra: it’s really hard, it’s not clicking without extreme mental effort, I wish I could cheat off someone else’s paper, and it will require me to just keep practice, practice, practicing it to get even a rudimentary grasp on it.

For everyone who uses Photoshop, God Bless You. Can I hire you?

For everyone who doesn’t, and wants to start editing your images, I recommend Lightroom. It’s much more point and click and user-friendly, at least for my brain. I self-taught myself, with practice, but Photoshop is another beast.

I hit up the coffee shop on our lunch break to see if a little java would help my post-lunch concentration. My latte was great even though my brain was fried.

The Pastry Cupboard coffee shop

I would have loved a piece of Crack Pie to go with my coffee.

"crack" pie sugary pie

Or some homemade chocolate brownie action in the form of a Oreo Cookie-Stuffed Brownie with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Oreo Cookie-Stuffed Brownie with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

No chocolate, but I tried my best to stay focused anyway.

Workshop blogshop room

As soon as I hit publish, I am going for a run and I can’t wait. It’s going to feel so good to move around and stretch my legs after a flight and sitting in all-day workshop. After that a really hot shower, dinner, and an early bedtime are in store because it all starts again tomorrow morning. My day started with a 3:30am wakeup call today in San Diego in an effort to make this a one-night rather than two-night trip in San Fran.

Have you attended any classes or events lately that were covering new-to-you subject matter? Did it come easily to you?

The workshop is excellent and it’s one of those things that there is so much information being presented and I’m likely only grasping a quarter of it, at best.

I don’t even know how much I don’t know.

The workshop today was geared more toward the basic commands and principles in Photoshop, and how to create image collages and do fun things with images rather than editing an actual picture.

If I want to create something like this, I could (sort of) begin to embark on it. And it would take me 3 hours.

Green photo spread of clothing and furniture

If I want to edit pictures of Samoas Bars that I shot on my camera and plan to post on my blog, I’ll stick with Lightroom 3 (I will probably upgrade to version 4 sometime soon)

Samoas bars stacked

This is the type of workshop I could take ten times and get something new from each and every time as my basic fundamental knowledge increased, so would my comprehension of it all.

Have a great night and thanks for the KitchenAid 7-Quart Stand Mixer Giveaway entries

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  1. Loved reading about your class, Averie! And I agree about Photoshop: I used to own Creative Suite and worked my way into using Illustrator, but Photoshop remained a mystery. I have a question: so would you be able to create that pretty green collage with Lightroom or do you need to use Photoshop to do something like that? Thanks!

    1. First of all, keep doing what you’re doing. Your photos are FABULOUS. They are all the same size, they are flawless, the lighting of your photography is gorgeous, your photo composition, food styling, girl, you have it goin’ you could edit with a brown paper bag over your head and it wouldn’t matter :)

      But one limitation of LR is that you cannot easily make collages. Now, I *just* upgraded to LR 4 over the weekend and there’s a “make a book” feature and in that section, you can drop in pics into pre-set cells or quadrants, sort of collage style, but you can’t control it like you could with CS5. However, considering I could never do anything in CS5 anyway, I’ll take the “limitation” which at least would mean that I could create…something rather than nothing.

  2. Photoshop is a beast, definitely. I have the CS3 suite and although I do use Photoshop, each time I open In Design or Illustrator, I cower and close it. I use Apeture for my every day editing. I only use Photoshop when I’m creating my headers. Otherwise, I have no patience for it. Once every blue moon, I’ll chose a photo I like and create all the layers, but it takes forever. No way! Sounds like a fun workshop anyway, and any excuse to go to San Fran is nice. My youngest is there in school.

    1. Yes those layers take FOREVER! I could see getting faster and more proficient at them but so.many.steps. I use LR 3 for my editing and just upgraded to LR 4 two days ago! Love it!

  3. I have never photo shopped anything in my life … I feel so technology illiterate.

  4. Love San Francisco … I believe Photoshop Elements gives enough for photography requirements … or maybe its me trying to spend less money .. :)

    1. Ive heard good things about PSE and people being able to catch onto that MUCH more easily. Glad it works for you!

  5. What a fun workshop! I tried to teach myself Lightroom a few months ago, but I just didn’t like it as much as Picnik, which is what I’d been using. At some point I’ll have to make the transition but not ready yet :) Good luck with PS!

  6. Good luck and keep it up! From what I hear (I use Photoshop Elements, which I find easier, but I used to use Photoshop many years ago and now of course all my knowledge is out of date) and from my own experience, there is a steep learning curve but then it gets better. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    1. Well don’t let yourself lapse too much with the knowledge because it will be a lifelong skill for you to keep even semi current on it..wish I wasn’t starting from ground zero!

    1. Reading tons of blogs and websites from photography to food to design sites and this was one I always had my eye on. It usually sells out within a day, sometimes hours, after they announce a new city.

  7. I hope you learn a lot from the workshop! I have figured out the basis of Lightroom on my own, but I agree. Photoshop is just over my head. I have opened it and tried a few times, but it never works!! Have fun!

  8. Photography and editing pictures is definitely my weakness. I think it’s fun to blog and fun to take the pictures. But I don’t really care enough to actually take the time to work on it. Eh, maybe I’ll play around with it sometime. Have fun at the class!

  9. I got my first version of photoshop in high school and loved it… eventually took a multimedia class and saw how complicated the program really was. Haven’t ever tried the Lightroom program.

    Also, that little cafe looks delicious but $7.95 for a grilled cheese and tomato soup?! Better be the best grilled cheese and tomato soup ever… hahaha.

  10. I have used Photoshop and several of the other Adobe Desktop Publishing software programs, and while they can be exasperating, they can also work wonders. I did find that learning to use Photoshop took me a lot longer than the other publishing programs. But it is worth it!
    BTW, have you tried Picmonkey? I know several people that have started using it for their blogs and have been impressed. Just wondered.
    Have fun!

    1. Ive never even heard of Picmonkey! Off to check it out next. Picnik was one that some people used and loved but it “closed” as of last month or is getting set to end any day now. I do love Lightroom and now being exposed to PS will help me in the future but will require tons of practice for me and my brain :)

  11. Great to hear about your trip!! PS is a lot to learn + takes loads of practice. Editing the photos I took of your meals for the ELB cookbook right now :) XO

    1. You already cooked them AND photographed them and are already on the editing phase?! This is the fastest turnaround…ever. And I know for you, it’s night and day b/c sometimes you will cook something and let it sit for 6-8 weeks before it goes live (as will I based on other projects)..I think somewhere in between our two skill levels would be the perfect person for this class.

  12. Photoshop is awesome! But it is ridiculously complicated. I’m a graphic arts major and I’ve taken two semester long classes in Photoshop and even though I feel like a have decent handle on it, there are some functions that still baffle me. My professor was actually a certified Photoshop Expert, I don’t even want to know how long it took him to learn all of that.
    The good thing about Adobe software though is that once you learn one program, the others come a lot easier (like InDesign and Illustrator) if you ever want to venture into those.

    1. Your experience, two semester long classes, yes, that is more like it….and even so, not even fully versed on it all because it’s just such a massive program. Thanks for the info about InDesign and Illustrator possibly being more ‘intuitive’ now.

  13. Wow, it’s so cool that you get to attend all these neat things! I wish we had classes like this where I live. Can’t wait to see what you learn.

    1. “Get to”…well it was a carefully planned and orchestrated trip with childcare and budgeting and even getting into the class which I had my eye on for months because they sell out so faast. I didn’t just fall off the wagon and land here, but I know what you mean :) Within the state of California there are always sooooo many awesome things going on! Your trip to India trumps ALL though!!!

      1. Oh yes, I bet your trips require a TON of planning. Having a child sure complicates things… in a good way of course ;) India… ah yes, too fun! I’m going back next January… perhaps things will line up for you and we can meet in India for a couple days?! hehe thought I’d throw it out there at least :)

  14. Welcome to SF! I had no idea that Blogshop existed – what a great idea. But gosh, Photoshop is such a beast, you said it best. I barely use it, but would love to learn more. One day…

  15. I feel ya, Averie! I downloaded a Photoshop trial once to “mess around”… haha….That was a joke. I couldn’t even figure out how to mess around!

    Needless to say, I am now the proud owner of Lightroom 4 :)

    1. “I couldn’t even figure out how to mess around!” = my experience exactly!! I honestly had no idea what to even do and that’s why I thought this class would help me but I know that LR3 will still be my BFF. Glad to hear you love LR4. If you tried LR3 before version 4, Lmk if you feel there are significant differences.

  16. Hey girl! How are you? I can’t believe that your in my neck of the woods! I really need to look at taking a photography class and workshop such as this. I feel like tweaking my blog, making recipes, taking pictures, then editing them and writing a post is about all I can handle at the moment. How do you do it all? Kudos to you! I truly admire you!

    I wish I could hire someone to do all the nitty gritty stuff for me at times! Can’t wait to hear what you learned!

    1. It’s too confusing to even bother typing…you’ll know a PS image/collage when you see one, how bout that :)

      Handling it all and juggling all the balls involved in blogging, YES it can be a lot! Trust me, there are days where I wonder myself how I’m going to get it done. lol

  17. Hi, Averie! (That’s a hand wave from about 90 minutes south of where you are right now!) Even though it may be difficult for you, I must say, it is highly admirable that you are doing it anyway! I have a feeling that, like everything else you aim to do, you will come out with flying colors. Have fun and can’t wait to hear the results of your class! :-)

    1. Thanks, Michele, for the vote of confidence. Every time I come up to San Fran, I am reminded of how CHILLY it is up here…Brrr :)

  18. My sister is a graphic designer and she uses photoshop for everything. She gets so angry when anyone says anything offhanded about just ;earning it, as though it can be done in a couple hours. She took many many semester-long classes. I can’t imagine what the intricacies are like.

    That’s awesome that you are trying to learn it on top of everything else! Not that I am surprised.

    1. Your sister is so right and has every reason to feel passionate about it because yes, it is HARD and it’s not a weekend warrior type thing. Well not for my brain. It’s like trying to study for the SATs in a weekend Kaplan intensive. Sure, it will help and can’t hurt, but just how much? Anyone’s guess. This will give me the foundation to know more than zero and absolutely nothing; and appreciation for anyone who’s mastered it! Their brain works in a way mine struggles with!

  19. Photoshop use to be in my job description along with other Adobe product, Page maker, which is my favorite. I have an idea: you teach me how to use camera in creative mode, I’ll work in Photoshop (I hope I didn’t forget much, although I haven’t been using it lately). That is a nightmare the manual mode in my camera! I am so frustrated and can’t get it the way I want. Well, something to take a class (or two, or three, or one hundred tree) about…:) Enjoy San Francisco!

    1. Manual mode…I used to be so scared of it but I realized that it was just practice. Set your ISO to about 400 or so or if it’s really dark, 800ish. Set your aperture to about 3.5 to 5.0 And then just play with the dial wheel until your photo is properly exposed. Once you figure out how to properly expose a photo, you can start playing with the nuances of aperture and ISO for precise depth of field and as little grain/noise-ey ness in the pic as possible but that should get you started. That’s easier than photoshop!

  20. That’s nice, I would like to take a course for photoshop too. It would be nice to know how to do things efficiently. I know I’m only using 10% of its capability :P
    But… your photos always look wonderful!! You must be doing something right!?

  21. I wish I knew anything about photoediting… I have a fancy camera and no idea what to do with it.

    I just started training for a fabulous new teaching gig leading yoga hikes in Central Park…didn’t know if I’d be good for the hike part but it’s totally natural and I love it.

  22. i don’t have any other versions to compare it to, but i highly suggest LR 4!! i am in love. :) PS: photoshop is SO over my head! LR is much easier on my brain haha! Have fun at your workshop Averie. I know youll soak up a lot of information to make your blog even more inspiring :)

  23. Averie, have a great time. Hope you get a chance to enjoy a little of what San Francisco has to offer. It’s always been one of my favorite places to go.

  24. Wow, I can’t imagine taking on photoshop. I can hardly handle aperture. Actually, I have no idea what half the settings mean. I usually only stick to two options or do nothing. Someday I’ll have the time and money to improve to lightroom.

    1. I think LR 3 is about 50 bucks right now b/c they came out with LR4. Google it but it’s very reasonable, ebay, amazon, etc. Im sure you can pick up a very reasonable copy. Well worth every penny and it’s EASY. Well, easier by a mile!! than PS is. But everyone’s brain is different. Mine is having a real hard time with PS :)

  25. That’s so awesome you’re in the city, jealous! :-) Sounds like a great event, I am a fan of Photoshop from my graphic design days, but have not had as much time for it as I’d like. :-(

  26. Enjoy! I just love going to a class and learning something creative. I can use photoshop, buuuut I lost both my computer and the Photoshop disc in an earthquake and, as I’m now a mature student, can’t afford to replace them right now – the insurance depreciates software to the point where making a claim is pointless. So, I have downloaded GIMP, which is free and can pretty much do everything photoshop can.. almost. I don’t love it as much, but it’s good enough for the blog. :D

    Photoshop is not THAT hard. Just learn one thing at a time and soon you will amaze yourself with the photo trickery you can pull off.

    1. This is what I just told someone else in the comments and may help you too

      “think LR 3 is about 50 bucks right now b/c they came out with LR4. Google it but it’s very reasonable, ebay, amazon, etc. Im sure you can pick up a very reasonable copy. Well worth every penny and it’s EASY. Well, easier by a mile!! than PS is. But everyone’s brain is different. Mine is having a real hard time with PS :)”

  27. Looks like a fun day and it’s always good to learn something new!
    I was supposed to fly tonight but flight was cancelled so I’ll be doing the 4am wake-up tomorrow!

  28. Hope you can catch up on some sleep and enjoy your stay in San Francisco! Taking a workshop covering totally new material in a short period of time is difficult. I did it when I took my first silver soldering class ( for my jewelry making hobby), but it was 4 days so I had a little more time to practice and assimilate everything before I came home and tried it all on my own. Good luck! My husband and I will be in SF for our 16th anniversary next month–I’m getting anxious to go!

    1. Wow that sounds so fun…the jewelry making. You are a jack of all trades! I love that!!

  29. This looks like so much fun; I am so jealous! I am dying to go to a photography class…hoping to attend one in NYC soon! Congrats and LOVING your photography!

    1. Thanks so much and you are in the HEART of photography and action and classes…I bet there are quiet/smaller deals to be had at community colleges, craiglist postings, etc!

  30. so cool averie! I just know photoshop is over my head and I dont have a desire at this point to learn it, but its definitely the next step in moving forward with photography. Hope you’re learning lots and enjoying sanfran!

    1. I think the definition of wisdom is being smart enough to know what you don’t know sometimes :) And I know it’s over my head too but am trying to advance in my photog skills too, but boy, this is a beast for my little brain to process :)

  31. Oh hope you have a fantastic time! Sounds like an event right up your alley! Can’t wait to hear more.