Like most people I have played with graphics software to make banners and mask heads to save money with varying success. The first graphics application I did anything moderately good on was Coral Draw, possibly a couple of decades ago. Soon afterwards I moved onto Paint Shop Pro 5 (psp) which was the first version that layers were introduced. Psp was awesome in its day and so easy to use but only for simple non animating banners plus creating a mask required the dexterity of a grand master, the patience of a saint and language of a sailor. Still, for simple projects it was perfect and required almost no thought time.
I’ve had a little experience with the vastly complicated and resource hungry version of Photoshop at work which soon sent me into a stamping rage at times. Plus soon afterwards I started develop repetitive strain like issues from holding a mouse and digital pen. To this day I avoid doing any serious graphics. So don’t ask me to do your graphics for a Web site as I will just refer you to a graphic designer rather than to a stressed out coder.
However, having a Web site requires one to have access to some sort of graphics software even if it’s just to resize photos and make corrections. So I invested in a version of Photoshop elements which is vastly cheaper than using a full version of Photoshop over any length of time. Using the software though, especially it’s implementation of the layers function is a touch annoying and things you know that works in the full version of Photoshop just doesn’t in the cut down Elements edition.
My stress level increases using any from Adobe as it’s just a pain the neck quite literally where I am concerned. For me to even attempt to use a Photoshop means either I am going to get a lot of money or I am going to me asking regular massages as apart of the deal. Not likely I know but one can dream.
For any project I do I mostly out source any graphics to be created to some one else. I know my limitations and what I am best at; programming and managing of projects with the minimum of paper flow and limited time wasting. Me struggling on Photoshop seems like time wasting when I could be working doing my thing of creating wonderful things and being happy.