Monday, November 8, 2010

Learning Photoshop...A Must for any Photographer

I've been meaning to do this for awhile now, but just haven't had the chance.  Well, I have a few minutes to spare tonight, so I thought I'd start out doing some tips on Photoshop.  These tips will be short and sweet and definitely for anyone just getting to know how to use this awesome software.

I myself put off using any editing software for a long time.  To me, it seemed like cheating.  Any good photographer shouldn't have to use this stuff, right?  Wrong.  Think of it this way...Photoshop is just a digital darkroom.  You can still do the things you used to do with 35 mm film in a darkroom, you're just doing on the computer now.  Dodging, burning, it's all there.  And I'm so glad I've learned how to use it.  Using Photoshop these days can itself be an art (in my eyes anyway).  There are just so many things you can do with it!

To start off, we'll go over some basics and then move into the harder stuff as we get further down the road.

Here we go.  

Tip #1.  Always duplicate your original photo in a duplicate layer.  This gives you the opportunity to edit your photo in any way you want, without actually destroying or altering your original.

To do this, open Photoshop.  Click on "File", then "Open".  Choose the photograph you would like to edit.  This will import your photo into Photoshop.  You will notice to the right of your screen, a column that most likely has 3 tabs that say "Layers", "Channels", and "Paths".  Make sure you are on the "Layers" tab.  Here you will see a miniature version of your photo.  Make sure it is selected (highlighted in blue).

You can duplicate your photo in several different ways.  There are 2 ways that I use, depending on what mood I'm in.  The first is to right click on the blue area and then click on "Duplicate Layer".  The second is to press the Control/Command key and the "J" key at the same time.  

Either of these actions will duplicate your photo and give you a copy to work on without making irreversible changes to your original.  (Just make sure you actually do your work on the copy.  Your original photo will be named "Background" and your copy will come up with a name like "Layer 1".  You can always double click on your copy layer and rename it to something else.)

That's it for tonight, but I promise to keep posting these tips!  I hope these tips will help you in your quest to learn Photoshop!

~ Kara Stewart

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  1. It's important for every photographer to learn the basic of Photoshop. It will enable them to put additional effects and enhancement for the photo.

  2. I totally agree, Photography Perth. Photoshop is an amazing tool that any photographer can benefit from!