What I know about Photoshop 26 years later…

Maligne Lake, dawn, reflection, jasper, rockies, photoshop, monochrome, summer, foggy, Dan jurak, landscape, travel alberta, tourism jasper,

My introduction to Photoshop was I think in 1992. The version at the time was 2.0 and a few months later we were upgraded to 2.5. They were heady times.

The transition from a wet darkroom to a digital one was exciting. Exciting because I love to learn. That enthusiasm for learning stood me well over the years.

Every upgrade was like opening a gift at Christmas time. There was always something new and yet to be discovered.

When you use Photoshop everyday at work it becomes second nature to you. We used Macs at work, I had a Windows machine at home and I purchased my first copy of the program for around $500 I think. Even today that is very expensive for a program.

It took a little while to get used to the different keystroke combinations between a Mac and Windows machine but like almost everything else, repeat it a thousand times and it finally clicks with you.

I continued to use Photoshop over the years and eventually became a designer which meant learning more new programs, Illustrator being one of them.

My career has been full of challenges from learning Photoshop and Illustrator to learning to hand code html pages when we started designing websites for our national newspaper chain.

Now retired Photoshop is still used by me almost daily and I am still learning.

Puzzles can be fun to solve. I found myself stumbling across photos by the same photographer this week on Instagram. His photos had a unique monochrome or duotone look to them but it was obvious that they originally were in colour.

On his profile he had links to actions and tutorials to learn how to process photos like him. Tempted as I was I figured that it would be more fun to experiment knowing what I know about Photoshop and see if I could replicate what he had done or at least get close.

At the worst I wouldn’t be able to figure out how he had gotten his amazing results and at best I might learn something that new that had never occurred before to me.

So I sat down at my iMac last night and started playing with an image from 2009. The more I toyed with the image the more fun I found myself having. My photo was definitely not looking like his but I found myself liking this treatment better.

It ends up being very monochrome with a couple of exceptions. Very graphic and deliberately so.

What I do know is that if I ever tried to replicate this very same look it would end up looking different and that is not a bad thing because there is no “right” look for this image of Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park.

One day if I ever get motivated enough I will definitely make a video of my screen as I play in Photoshop because these days that is what it is. 26 years later I still find myself learning Photoshop.

And it is sooooo much fun!

Happy shooting,


~ by Dan Jurak on June 8, 2018.

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