Toolset Reduction

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In addition to the aims of the course, it is my abiding philosophy to cull the huge range of options available within PS down to a manageable minimum. Photoshop used to be small enough to email to someone. Now it is huge.... which can be very daunting for the newbie. But here's a secret: you only need to learn a small fraction of it. Heres why:

Photoshop was designed to serve many communities.
Over the years Adobe has, in its development of Photoshop, gone out of its was to serve as many sectors of the creative industry as possible. This means that there are huge chunks of it that are simply not important for the digital painter (e.g. aspects of its web design toolset such as the slice tool).
There is needless duplication.
Consumer-ware applications such as Photoshop are very much inclined to present to the user many ways of doing the same thing (e.g. the 'Save Selection' command is not needed if you know how to use channels).
There are redundant consumer tools.
Adobe is always trying to make life easier for the newbie consumer by the addition of 'easy to use' one-click tools (e.g. the pathetic Red Eye tool). However, it is quite possible to live without such junk.

Most of all, the fewer tools you need to use, the faster and more creative you are likely to be with the ones that you use.