Photoshop Editing Basics for Beginners

Adobe Photoshop has become an invaluable tool for photographers and others working with digital images. As such, learning to use Photoshop has become a required piece of knowledge that one working with digital images must have.

If you’re beginning to get yourself acquainted with Photoshop, it is best to get started knowing a few tips you can use as you start exploring and learning this piece of software.

Adding Layers

If you are going to make some significant changes to your image, always make it a point to add at least 1 layer on your image where you can do your editing of the image. The importance of adding a new layer to your image is that you don’t get to do any changes on your image so in an instance when the change you made is incorrect or if you may need to go back to the image original, you can do so simply by clicking on the original layer of the image. Make it a point to add a layer for every significant change you do on the image to easily review the work you have done.

Using the Image Analysis Tools

The first thing you need to learn in Photoshop is reading the image analysis tools which tell you what you need to know about the image you wish to work on. One of them is the Histogram which provides information on the exposure of the photograph, whether it is under or over exposed, as well as the tonal range. There is also the Eyedropper tool which provides you information about the color in the image, especially if a certain color in the image is too dominant that you may need to correct. Then there is the Info palette (or window) which provides numerical feedback on your image which serves as a handy reference, especially for advanced users.

Correcting Image Brightness, Contrast, and Colors

Once you’ve learned how to read the image analysis tools, you will have a better grasp of editing the photo’s brightness, contrast, and colors as these tools also allow you to make the necessary corrections. You also get to play around different elements with the different corrections you can do until you get the results you are looking for in the image.

Straightening Images

Among many things you can do with Photoshop is to straighten images with a couple of tools available in the program. The first is the ruler which lets you measure exactly how much you need to make a photo appear straight. Another tool would be the rotate command which allows you to rotate an image clockwise or counterclockwise regardless of how much would be needed.

Cropping Images

In some instances, you may need to crop portions of your photos to make them look better on screen, an important pointer not many photographers keep in mind surprisingly. In any case, the cropping tool in Photoshop helps you do just that, allowing you as well to undo or make changes to the cropping you have done on the image.

Using the Healing Brush

If your photo has an unwanted spot or blemish, or if you wish to remove a pimple on someone’s face, the Healing Brush will help remove such elements from the photo. Just click on the area you wish to be cleaned up and the Healing Brush tool will do the rest for y

Using the Dodge Tool

The Dodge Tool is a useful tool in Photoshop that lightens the pixels on the photo. This is the tool you can use to lessen the dark areas of the photo as you see fit. More often than not, using this tool only takes a few careful strokes so be careful not to overdo it or else it would negatively affect the photo quality as a whole.

Using the Blur Tool

The Blur Tool is another tool to help remove any blemishes on the photo as what the Healing Brush does. The Blur Tool though works differently in a way that it smoothens out blemishes by blurring them into the photo. As with the Dodge Tool, using this tool only takes a few, careful strokes so make sure you use it carefully  so as not to ruin the photo quality.

Continuous Learning

As with any tool, constant learning and practice makes one become more adept and knowledgeable in using Adobe Photoshop. Take advantage of the wealth of information available for you to read on as you improve your know-how and skills in using this software.