Photoshop was once used almost exclusively by photo editors and photographers but now become a ubiquitous tool in the web designer’s toolkit. Its popularity is largely due to the nearly-endless options of how to edit images. However, those same tools can be confusing for someone who doesn’t have a lot of photography skills. There are plenty of “crash course” editing articles out there, but here are five great tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of Photoshop.
1) Sharpen and Brighten Up Images
For the amateur photographer, there few things more frustrating than viewing pictures on the computer screen and find them lacking in some way or another, despite taking what looked like a great photo at the time. One common problem is when photos come out slightly blurry. In this case, the “sharpen” filter is your friend. Adjust until you get the level of sharpness you desire, then work with the color saturation levels in the same manner. For a quick fix, sharpening and bumping up the saturation on a photo can make a big difference.
2) Enhancing Sunsets
Sunsets can be a particularly tricky thing to photograph. If you’re having a hard time getting the true beauty of a sunset to shine through, the gradient editor in Photoshop may help. Using the gradient editor, click the darkest part of your sunset and set the color to “red.” Set the opposite side of the sunset to “yellow.” Adjust the blending to “soft light” and set the opacity to 50 percent. This will help bring out the dominant colors of the sunset without looking too “painted.”
3) Perfecting “Sepia”
Using a sepia tone is a great way to make your photos look old and vintage, but if your camera doesn’t create the best look, you can fix this in Photoshop. You can add a new layer, then apply the “sepia” photo filter to that layer. Then, blend the color by adjusting the slider. This helps equalize the sepia tones on the photo, which can make an unbalanced picture look much better.
Lomography refers to the photos taken with Russian Lomo cameras. The philosophy behind lomography is “Don’t think, just shoot”—this is meant to encourage spontaneity, odd angles, and taking photos anywhere without regard for what the outcome might look like. Typical photos produced with these cameras are famously high-contrast/soft-focus pictures, often with interesting color provided by rainbow-colored flashes and the like. To recreate this look in Photoshop, tweak the gradient-fill adjustment layer to “soft light.” Then, adjust the colors to what you’d like the photo to look like, then choose “lens blur” from the filter options. Create a mask over the photo, then use the large paint brush tool to get rid of the mask that is over the main focus of the image. This may sound difficult, but it’s really not.
5) Close multiple windows
You may notice that when you’re working on editing many photos at once, you can end up with dozens of windows open at the same time. When you go to close them, to save some time, hold down the shift key when you click “close” in the file menu. Photoshop will close all of the windows for you.
Get the best out of your photos, whether you are a professional or an amateur photographer. The various tools in Photoshop can help you create truly stunning images.