Photoshop is one of those image editing softwares that has become indispensable in the world of photography. Irrespective of your status as a professional or newbie there is something to learn from this software. The beauty of Photoshop is that it gives you the privilege to do more than just a few tasks, making it handy for those who deal with a large work volume. The following tips can help you improve your workflow by either tweaking your tools or speeding up your pace.
1. Embrace the layer mask
A Layer Mask is the most convenient way to conceal portions of your layer while keeping the pixels. They are convenient and easy to use. You can add a layer mask by doing the following:
1. Choose the layer from the list that you intend to conceal or keep.
2. Click 'Layer' — it will bring some options. Choose Layer Mask. From here you can either decide to 'Hide' or 'Reveal Selection'.
3. A layer mask should show up just next to the thumbnail of the layer.
Note: You don't need to make a selection in order to mask an entire. In this case, pick the layer you want to mask and repeat the process mentioned above.
You can also edit layer masks by doing the following:
1. Select the thumbnail of the layer mask.
2. Use any of the Photoshop tools to begin editing.
You can remove layer masks by following these simple steps:
1. Click on the layer you want to delete from the Layers panel.
2. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Delete.
2. Window splitting for convenient zooming
When you want to take your editing into the smallest details, zooming can become paramount. However, it may begin to feel like another task if you have to alternate between zoom in and zoom out to see the effect of your changes on the entire image. You can get rid of this problem by splitting your window.
1. While your image is open, click on the 'Window' icon, followed by 'Arrange', and finally 'New Window' for [insert the original file name of the image]. A new window should open displaying the original file.
2. Click 'Window' > 'Arrange' > select Up Vertical'. Notice the two windows placed side-by-side. You can zoom out of one to see the entirety of one picture, while you can remain zoomed in on the other to see the effects of your edits.
Note: The changes you make on one of the windows will automatically be reflected in the second window.
3. Make your B&W images more professional
Black and white images bring back memories those old school memories; something you can achieve by simply desaturating your image using the adjustment option.
However, to make your black and white images more stylish and attractive, try using the adjustment layer's “White and Black” option, which is available on the Layer panel. You will be presented with up to 6 color sliders for controlling the image’s primary color, as well as adjusting each color’s brightness.
4. Spell check with Photoshop
Spell check does not sound like something that should come with an image editing tool, right? Well, if you include texts in your image, you can run spell checks for it by clicking on 'Edit' > 'Check Spelling'. This should add accuracy to your visible text layer.
5. Close all images
We often get to that point when we need a break from editing. With lots of images open, it may seem like another task closing them one after the other. Well, you can close all open images by holding down the Shift key and clicking on any of the "close icon" tabs on your image window.
6. Add custom shortcuts to your settings
If you have to edit many images on a daily basis, every second is crucial. Shortcuts can be an excellent way to saviour those seconds. You do not have to worry about your Photoshop not having this or that shortcut because you can now include them by doing the following:
1. Go to 'Edit' > 'Keyboard Shortcuts'. You should see a pop-up panel showing that you can apply a shortcut to every command within the Photoshop menu.
2. Choose the command you want and then tally it with your choice shortcut key combination.
Photoshop uses Content-Aware to examine and calculate the pixels that are desired to fix a selected area – and this applies to several tools. Note that the Healing tool and the Content-Aware tool may not return a fantastic result when used. When this happens, try reapplying the modification/adjustment repeatedly until you get a better result.
8. Using Channel Mixer to change image contrast
Contrast can alter the feel of your image, and Channel Mixer is an easy and great way to improve the contrast of an image. Do the following:
1. Create a new adjustment layer for Channel Mixer.
2. From the fixed pop-up menu in the panel displaying properties, select “Black and White with Red Filter.”
3. Soft Light should be selected as your blending mode.
4. Fiddle with the opacity of the layer until the desired contrast level is achieved.
9. Correcting color with curves
There are myriads of ways you can adjust color with Photoshop and — and unless you are a newbie — you should know some of them including the Curves Adjustment layer. However, in a bid to correct the color of an image while working on a layer, you may want to make the image lighter or darker. To conduct color correction without alterating the tonal value of the image, go to 'Blending Mode' and set the Curves Adjustment layer to 'Color'.
10. Unveil the hidden details
You can employ to unveil details hidden in your image’s highlights and shadows using the 'Highlight / Shadow Adjustment' tool. Since this tool is not present for use through the Adjustment Layer, you will need to begin by transforming your working layer to Smart Object. Once that is done:
Click on 'Image'. Once it opens, click on 'Adjustments', followed by 'Highlight /Shadow'. Click on apply to get back the details.
11. Copyrighting your image
Watermark and copyright are often used interchangeably although they do not, in the real sense, mean the same thing. Copyrighting your image is highly recommended in this digital age especially if you do not want your image to be used indiscriminately. The best way to do this is to embed the copyright information in the image’s metadata. This can be done as follows:
1. Click Ctrl + Alt + Shift + I (if you are using Mac: Command + Option + Shift + I) or you can go to File > File Info to pop up the Metadata panel
2. Click on the Description tab and enter the copyright information in the relevant fields.
3. Click “OK.”
I'd love to see the Photoshop work of my fellow Freelancers. Feel free to post the images you have created after going through this article. Your awesome creation might even be the next one to be featured on Freelancer Community!