Mini-PSDs / 33 comments + post
online tutorials

We've been getting some great feedback on the Mini-PSDs, but please feel free to leave a comment to let us know what you think. Also, if you have any suggestions for images that you'd like us to include, just post the name of the entry, or a link, and we'll consider adding it to the list.

oldest comments first
comment by Dennis Guichard at 07:28 AM on 29 March, 2010

Fantastic! - User friendly, intuitive, and transformationally educational...!
Well done guys and thank you.

comment by Dario at 08:22 AM on 29 March, 2010

I have to say Thank you soooooo very much for this useful mini-psds. As always great work and Idea!

comment by Tony at 08:33 AM on 29 March, 2010

Appreciate this addition. The 'trickery' used by you surprises me. I have a lot to learn and on occasion following the steps in your examples, helps me understand PS and sight better. Both in taking pictures and developing images. Thanks.

comment by Justin Photis at 09:44 AM on 29 March, 2010

This is a really nice little touch. Being able to see the exact breakdown of how the shot was constructed I find really helpful, and it's really easy to see the effects rather than just trying to explain them.

comment by pchristoph at 09:46 AM on 29 March, 2010

Great news!! I think this will be really helpful!

comment by Jeree at 10:17 AM on 29 March, 2010

I spend a lot of time poring over these minis (as much as i do the full length tutorials). Having very little experience and natural ability in photography and post-work, your examples have helped me improve A LOT in a fairly short time. One thing that I really appreciate about the minis is that in fairly short order we could have a "reference library" that would enable us to search for solutions among your corrected images for problems we are facing and are unsure how to resolve. I also wanted to mention that I looked around the web a lot for an inspirational teacher before finding your site. You remain my favorite teacher, I love your sensibility and despite my very slow and stumbling progress your work and imagination inspire me to keep moving forward. I really thank and appreciate you for that.

comment by SJ at 11:05 AM on 29 March, 2010

I really like the mini-psds, very useful for inspiration and reference. I'd like to see winter break from I think December 2007.

comment by Ron Landis at 11:54 AM on 29 March, 2010

David, this is a wonderful feature. I've use screen grabs similar to this method to explain techniques that I've used when friends of mine ask, but it is more limited than what you've provided. In the context of having been asked for comments there's one idea I'd like to share. Some of the techniques you've applied to layers are self-evident, but occasionally they might not be. Is it possible to embed a fly-out window into more complicated layers that could benefit from further explanation?

Keep up the great work and I learn so much from you.

comment by Paul Ottavio at 12:15 PM on 29 March, 2010

Great! I am learning so much!

comment by Howard Mandel at 12:25 PM on 29 March, 2010

Hi David

First off, I love these. And the comment section is nice. It is nice of you to share these psd's with your members. It is almost like crawling in the head of a world class photographer.

This would make a great book. You could do a bunch of images with a sentence or two of commentary for every layer. Take psd #1 for example, I would die to know what you settings were for Topaz Detail on the one layer. (That is one plugin that I've noticed some photographers have really figured out. I, on the other hand, have never been able to get the same effect I see other people get.) Or Curves 2 - at first I had no idea what you were adjusting, but now I guessing it must have been the tear drop (brilliant!).

Scary thought, but please let me crawl in your head with you (ha, ha). Just a sentence or two for each layer, that's all I ask. You could do it as a text doc which would extract with the zip file.

Also, how come I don't seem able to preserve layers like you can? After doing a curves adjustment, if I make a duplicate copy, I also get the curves adjustment in the new layer. But if I drop back down to the background layer to make my copy, I lose my curves adjustment. I seem forced to flatten. Please help me understand!!!

comment by Alexis at 02:54 PM on 29 March, 2010

EXCELLENT! Sorry for the caps but I'm trying to make a point here. The psd file and a small commentary focusing on the "why" and not the "how" (for that we have the file) is all that's needed. Thanks again.

comment by Leonard Leyba, Chicago USA at 03:56 PM on 29 March, 2010

As an artist, you are an inspiration. As a teacher, you are beyond generous. Thank you so much for sharing your "process" in creating some of your great photographic work!!

comment by Dave at 05:39 PM on 29 March, 2010

I do enjoy these mini psds as sometimes I have a shot with a similar starting point and while I am fairly happy with my finished shot, you seem to get the maximum out of the shot with something I have missed. Your latest psd (beach at Fleetwood) being a case in point. It was the last curve that made that one work for me!

I enjoy getting them weekly as it certainly helps break the week up and now I look forward to my next fix


comment by Chris at 06:47 PM on 29 March, 2010

Releasing weekly mini-psd files is a very beneficial addition for Chromasia members and students. The more files being explored the more each of us learns. It is a very educational approach to allow members to analyze why particular changes were made without the well written explanation. Dave has made so many great images it is almost impossible to include them all with the tutorials. By using the weekly files in parallel with the already existing tutorials this helps strength our understanding of post-processing, as each files has its own little creative twist. This is an excellent way to expand the post-processing reference library that one can have access to. I too have to agree that is an extremely generous addition and need to say thank you.

comment by Jonas (americanvirus) at 10:00 PM on 29 March, 2010

I love this new feature as part of my lifetime membership to your tutorials! I love going in and trying to figure out the reasoning behind each layer adjustment. I also like that these are not really tutorials, but involve a little bit more thought and interaction. I find myself re-setting some of your curve adjustments, or channel mixer adjustments, and then recreating them to see exactly what you're trying to accomplish with each adjustment. I also like that they aren't highly detailed tutorials because they force me to try to understand your motives without you guiding me through it or holding my hand. I very much enjoy trying to reverse engineer your thought process.

For some of your adjustment layers, like the Curve adjustments and Channel Mixer adjustments, we have a reference to your settings in Ps, but for the layers where we have no reference within Ps, like (as Howard brought up) the Topaz Detail layer of PSD #1, or also the 'Modified Content' layer of PSD #9, I would love to see a little explanation of what exactly you were doing. I don't necessarily want to know your motives behind the adjustment (for me, that's what I love about the Mini PSD's... deciphering on my own why an adjustment was made), but I would love to be able to know what exactly you did setting wise for the layers in which we can't see the settings for ourselves.

Thanks again for posting these!! They are super appreciated!!

comment by Mohammed Quzoq at 11:59 AM on 30 March, 2010

David and Libby, first of all thank you for sharing your work with us. I do love the mini PSD files and already I want to see the next one you put up. Like Leonard Leyba said, you are beyond generous. It's about learning and understanding, and these mini psd is helping big time. Thank you again

comment by Paul N. Carlin at 03:01 AM on 1 April, 2010

David & Libby: Being one of your newer Life Members, I am still getting used to the range of services offered by Chromasia. Your Mini-PSD's is, for me, a new and very creative way to learn how a Master Photographer uses his/her creative juices while in Photoshop. This offering is much appreciated.

comment by Kim at 12:24 PM on 1 April, 2010

David & Libby: The mini-psd's are a great feature! They are more hands-on than staring at some book and trying to re-create every layer and curve in Photoshop on a 'resembling' photo. I enjoy them both as a learning experience and how they look.

I'd like to see "Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon." featured.


comment by Rick at 04:48 PM on 1 April, 2010

Nice addition !!! Very useful and a great complement to the tutorials.

comment by Rhys at 11:09 PM on 16 April, 2010

Hi David & Libby

I love the mini-psds. Being able to deconstruct the image one layer at a time and then manipulate the adjustment to see why it was used, why it was only adjusted as much as it was etc, is fantastic. Whilst you could walk us through the changes, we'd only be following blindly but being forced to try and work out why and how each step is made is a much more powerful learning tool. These supplement the regular tutorials exceptionally well.


comment by fake fade at 03:15 AM on 18 April, 2010

i really like this new feature, it is amazing to see how easy you make it and how the magic is coming up for an amazing work, really really apreciated all your efforts in everything... thats why chromasia is the best!!! like i`ve been saying all this time "la mejor inversión que he hecho en mi vida" muchas gracias.

thank you very much

comment by Justin at 07:18 PM on 24 April, 2010

I have learned a tremendous amount from these mini-psds. I feel that they are the catalyst for taking my photography to the next level!

Thanks David!

comment by April Pinsonneault at 10:27 PM on 24 April, 2010

Hi Dave,

I have been enjoying the mini psd files and it is also somewhat thrilling to see them displayed in my photoshop window. I hope they leave some of their energy there. I would like to request "The End of Play". I am guessing how it was done but would enjoy seeing the file. It is an interesting graphic image and I really like it.

comment by Frank at 08:18 AM on 3 May, 2010

I am very happy with the mini-psds. I've learned a lot: both artistically and technically. Thank you.

comment by Jeremy at 08:57 AM on 24 May, 2010

I think this is a really good feature - probably one of the best aspects of the site, tbh - really informative. Thanks for sharing them!

comment by Kelly at 12:35 PM on 15 October, 2010

Thanks for #40, Dave. Interesting to see how you adjusted skin contrast in that shot.

comment by Dan Kaufman at 01:56 AM on 30 November, 2010

You are an excellent teacher! Prior to opening a mini-PSD I "attempt" to reverse engineer the image to guess at the steps you might have taken to get from Before to After. And, in that you and your tutorials have taught me so much, and so well, I'm getting closer to anticipating your steps...BUT, what really astonishes me are the choices you make in processing an image. The artistic choices, not simply the technical Photoshop skills, but the "why" you took, for example, the shadow details in the foreground mountain range--in mini-PSD #46, to much darker to now bring my eye up and into the crimson red sunset.

Well done !! Keep up the good work.

comment by djn1 at 06:51 AM on 30 November, 2010

Thanks Dan. As for your comment about artistic choices: there are two aspects to producing a good image - technical competence and creative vision. Teaching the former is quite straightforward, but the latter is much harder to get across, so if the Mini-PSD's are helping you along in that direction then they're definitely serving their purpose :)

comment by Michel Roy at 03:06 PM on 10 January, 2011

You Da man! great work! A gold mine information for any photographer ;-)

comment by Luisa at 12:59 PM on 30 January, 2011

Hi, these mini-PSD are most useful, thank you very much for offering them.

I would like to suggest one of your pictures, it is called "The butterfly effect". The postprocessing was very interesting.

comment by Ian Mylam at 01:28 PM on 28 March, 2011

These mini-PSDs are a fabulous learning tool. Seeing the initial capture, and the final processed result, and being able to step through each of the Photoshop layers in succession to see what was done at each stage and why to reach the final image, is very educational. Your willingness to answer questions and respond to comments from your membership is also fantastic (when do you sleep? :) Thank you for a marvellous resource.

comment by Susan Hodgson at 05:17 PM on 18 October, 2011

Hi David,

Really enjoying these mini's great being able to pick them apart and then to try and achieve a similar (though be no means as dramatic) effect myself. I must agree wholeheartedly with the commenter above, your willingness to help and share with your membership is second to none.

Thank You

comment by djn1 at 05:46 AM on 19 October, 2011

Thanks everyone.