Photoshop is now well established as the leading photo-editing software for photographers. Competing products and alternatives have emerged, but Photoshop remains the first choice for most photographers. The possibilities for photomanipulation are infinite and are limited only by the imagination. Even for more conventional photography, Photoshop can be used to make instant improvements to most pictures. Essential Photoshop tips include.
1. Improve framing with the Crop Tool. It’s not always possible to frame and compose a picture at the moment it’s taken. The Crop Tool allows us to consider the framing of a photograph and improve it. Tighter composition adds impact and is often a quick step for a better photograph.
2. Use the Adjust Lighting options to correct exposure. Even the most experienced photographers can get exposure of a photograph wrong. Automatic modes on digital cameras are often fooled by difficult lighting conditions leading to a picture which is either too dark or too light. Photoshop makes it easy to adjust and correct exposure in an instant.
3. Use the Rey Eye Tool to improve portrait photographs. ‘Red eye’ can be difficult to avoid at the time a photograph is taken. It’s caused by light reflecting directly back from the subject’s eyes into the camera. The Red Eye Tool is a one click fix to correct eyes back to their natural colour.
4. Use the Blur Tool to adjust focus of an image. A sharply focussed subject stands out against a soft background for dramatic impact. The Blur Tool can be used to paint out distractions and backgrounds and will accentuate the main subject of a photograph.
5. Correct colour balance with the Adjust Colour options. Colours captured by a camera are not always as our eyes see them. For example, light from the sun early in the morning appears to have a blue cast on photographs. All versions of Photoshop offer simple tools to correct this back to how we think it should appear. The same tools can be used to improve pictures creatively such as increasing the orange cast of a sunset.
6. Use Photoshop to convert images to black and white. In the days of film cameras photographers had to use black and white film to capture monochrome images. Digital photography has made life so much easier! Certain types of picture work really well when converted to black and white. Photoshop allows us to experiment with different tonal ranges and create a wide range of effects.
7. Use the Healing Brush Tool to remove unwanted distractions. There’s nothing worse than realising there’s something in the background of a photograph that you didn’t see when you took it. For example, a sign behind someone’s head which spoils an otherwise great picture. The Photoshop Healing Brush Tool is an easy and effective way to correct this mistake and remove the object.
8. Use Artistic Filters to create an entire new picture. These filters can turn a simple photograph into a work of art. Experiment with them and see which effects work the best with an image.
9. Use Gaussian Blur Filters to soften portraits. Portraits which are too sharp are not usually flattering. We all have blemishes on our skin which we would rather not see in a photograph! Applying a little of a Gaussian Blur Filter will take the edge off blemishes without blurring the picture.
10. Be brave and experiment! Taking a photograph is just the start of the creative process. The many tools and filters available in Photoshop open up a whole new creative world. You can always delete changes and step back, so there’s no need to worry about spoiling a photograph.