Photoshop editing skills

Six Photoshop editing skills every photographer should know

So you have taken the perfect angle or capture the right moment of a scene, both photographs and videos, you also use the best video camera or point and shoot.

However, you have only done 50% of the basic photography. You then need to capture the rest of the quality through editing.

Photo editing is the last stage in photography. From there you can enhance the photo and make it look more appealing, or simply remove unwanted elements.

The most common choice of photo editing application is Adobe Photoshop. In Photoshop, you can do a lot more than just enhancing and removing. Some of it is a restoration of old photos, enhancing by adding details on your subject’s facial features and so on.

If you’re new to using Photoshop, you might find it daunting. But once you get to know the important tools to use, you’ll find it handy.


Six Photoshop editing skills every photographer should know


1.    Customize the workspace

An organize workplace always boost one’s productivity. So, before we go on discussing the editing tools, it’s best to organize your workspace first.

The default workspace in Photoshop consists of the toolbar, palette and adjustment window, and timeline tab group. All these are helpful, but its’ purpose will always depend on the type of work you’re going to do.

To customize it, go to menu bar and click Window. A drop-down menu will appear that consists of all the panels available in Photoshop. Check all the panels you think helpful to you and uncheck those that are not.


2.    Cloning and healing

If you’re removing certain elements on your photo, two of the best tools to use are the clone stamp tool and spot healing brush. They may have the same purpose, but they have a different process.

From the name itself, clone stamp is used to remove photo elements by duplicating the nearest area of an image (the part you’re correcting on) and place it on the areas that you wanted to remove.

While for spot healing brush, it removes photo elements by brushing the nearest area of an image (the part you’re correcting on) and blend it on the areas that you wanted to remove.


3.    Brightness and contrast

When it comes to correcting exposures, brightness and contrast are the tools to rely on in Photoshop. Their purpose is straightforward. For brightness adjustment, slide it to the right and it will increase the image’s highlights. If you slide it to the left, it will expand the image’s shadows.

While for contrast, it can either increase or lessen the overall tonal value’s range in the image.


4.    Dodge and burn

Dodge and burn tool is like the brightness tool wherein the dodge tool is the one that illuminates the photo; while the burn tool is to darken the photo. These tools are popularly used in retouching images such as refining edges or blending skin tones.

Unfortunately, the effects of these tools can be destructive. To avoid this, it’s ideal to add new layers and you’ll do all the changes there. Once you didn’t like it, you can always delete that layer and add a new one from the original picture.


5.    Blending Modes

Different effects can be achieved in Photoshop. One of the most used techniques to achieve those effects is by blending another image or color perfectly on top of their original image. The tool they used is the blending mode.

Blending mode works by adding a new layer on top of the background layer and adjust its opacity slider in the Layers Panel. This will make the top layer translucent and show the image below it.

After that, you can then choose from the 29 blending groups included in Photoshop CS6.


6.    Quick Mask mode for selections

If your main task is to create and edit selections to enhance your image, the fastest way is by using Quick Mask mode for selections.

The Quick Mask mode works by selecting the details you wanted in your image. Once done, press Q. You can then refine the mask you created with either painting or editing tool. After finishing editing the mask, you can exit the Quick Mask by pressing Q again.

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