Beginners

Simple editing steps in Photoshop for beginners

Photoshop is often the last step in the photographic journey. You have taken the photos and now you need to edit them in Adobe Photoshop to make them look the way they should. Post-processing is an essential part of digital photography. Even if you have taken photos that are essentially perfect, there is always room for a little photo editing magic to take them to the next level. In this guide, we’ll talk about editing in Photoshop for beginners.

How to use Photoshop to edit photos.

There are many photo editing programs out there, but most photographers start with Adobe Photoshop for basic editing. It’s a powerful and intuitive tool that lets you get the most out of your images. So if you are a serious photographer, you should learn how to edit photos with Photoshop.

1. Crop the image to improve its composition.

Sometimes a simple crop can make all the difference. Of all the photo editing techniques available to you, a simple crop is one of the simplest, and it can indeed do wonders for your photo’s composition: it allows you to remove unnecessary elements, focus more on your subject and create more drama for maximum impact.

To use the crop tool in Adobe Photoshop.

  • Select the Crop tool from the toolbox.
  • Select the aspect ratio you want by clicking on the pop-up menu (near the top right corner) and choosing from Unlimited, Original Size or one of the preset options. You can also enter your own preferred size in the text box next to the menu.
  • Drag the corners or edges of the photo to get the crop you want.
  • Press the Enter key or click the tick icon to finish cropping.

Cropping is a very simple and seemingly insignificant step in photo editing. However, it makes a big difference in improving the composition of an image. If you are not sure how to crop a particular photo, try different crops to find the composition that suits you best.

You can also freely crop and resize images without worrying about destroying their proportions, as Photoshop now scales most layer types by default.

2. Correct exposure.

Despite your best efforts, you sometimes fail to get the correct exposure for your images. Fortunately, this can be easily fixed if you know how to edit your images.

You can access these tools by clicking on the image (in the menu bar) and selecting Adjust from the drop-down menu.

  • Brightness/Contrast
  • Hue
  • Curves
  • Exposure
  • Shadows/Highlights
  • HDR tone

If you’ve never used these tools before, Brightness/Contrast, Exposure and Shadow/Highlight are pretty simple: you just need to move the sliders left or right to make adjustments. Advanced Photoshop editors, however, need to learn how to read the histogram, a graph that shows the tonal range of the photo you are editing.

Knowing how to read the histogram will allow you to make more precise adjustments, especially with HDR tones and with colour curves and colour scales, the preferred exposure adjustment tools for more experienced photographers. Adjusting the colour scale to have the right brightness and contrast in your photo can bring out certain details of your subject and give it more clarity and depth. 3.

3. Make colour adjustments if necessary.

If you have set the white balance correctly on your camera, you should not make any colour adjustments to the resulting photo. Using an incorrect white balance will result in colour distortion that will severely affect the vibrancy, saturation and contrast of the photo.

Suppose your photo has a slight blue cast. You can leave it that way if you want, but if you want a more accurate colour rendering of your photo, Photoshop’s tools can help. The simplest tools are colour balance, which allows you to adjust the colour of shadows, midtones or highlights in your image, or selective colour, which allows you to select specific colours in your image and change only those colours; for example, if the model’s skin appears too yellow or too red, you can use selective colour to make adjustments to the skin without affecting the other colours in the image.

Always remember to create a photo filter adjustment layer so that you can change the colour of the image while keeping the original. First open the image of your choice in Photoshop. After clicking on the adjustment layer icon in the Layers panel, select the photo filter of your choice. You can also apply the photo filter as a direct adjustment (Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter), as it provides a layer mask that only edits part of the photo and protects the original from permanent changes.

How to use colour balance in Adobe Photoshop.

  • Click Image in the menu bar, then Settings, then Colour Balance.
  • Select which colour tones you want to change in the image (shadows, midtones or highlights).
  • Activate the check box to keep the brightness of the highlights.
  • Check the Preview box to see your adjustments in real time.
  • Move the slider to achieve the desired colour balance.
  • How to use selective colour in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Click Image in the menu bar, then Adjustments, then Selective Colour.
  • Check the Preview box to see your adjustments in real time.
  • Select “Relative” (for finer changes) or “Absolute”.
  • Select the colour you want to adjust from the drop-down menu.
  • Move the slider to increase or decrease the dullness of the selected colour.

You can also use Vibrance, Hue/Saturation or Channel Mixer (under Adjustments) to correct the colour. If that’s not enough, you can also use the Colour Wheel Picker to visually see how you want the colours to look in your image. This update in Photoshop CC 2019 allows you to see and select specific colours, from harmonious groups to complementary and similar colours. You can do this by selecting the colour wheel option from the menu that comes from the colour panel.

On the other hand, you can use the Overexpose and Burn tool to highlight or darken certain areas of a photo to give it extra texture or character.

To use the Dodge and Burn tool.

  • Create a new layer and set its mode to Overlay.
  • Activate the checkbox “Fill with a neutral colour overlay (50% grey)”. This allows you to apply the overlay and burn settings without manipulating the original image.
  • Select the Dodge tool and set the brush to a smaller, softer setting.
  • Use the Dodge tool to paint the specific areas you want to lighten and the Burn tool to paint the darkened areas.
  • Remember to use the softest brush settings and make smaller strokes to avoid excessive effects.

4. Remove any unwanted contaminants (sensor dust, smudges, etc.).

Now that you have color corrected your image, it is time to make some selective corrections. If the sensor is dirty, dust particles will show up in your photos, so small specks will always appear in the same area in every photo you take. To avoid this problem, make sure you clean the sensor first.

Other important photo editing tips.

  • Always take (and edit) your photos in RAW format.
  • Calibrate your computer monitor for accurate colors.
  • Always make adjustments on a duplicated layer (without touching the background layer) so you have a reference to compare the newly edited layer to the original.
  • Make adjustments in smaller steps and repeat if necessary.

Which Photoshop is better for editing?

Over the years, Adobe has continued to update and tweak its photo editing products. With so many products to choose from, it can be daunting to decide on one.

The Creative Cloud photo plan is a monthly subscription service that includes Lightroom and Photoshop for your computer or iPad. You can also purchase the Photoshop app as a monthly subscription. In both cases, you get the full-featured version of Photoshop, the perfect tool for image editing.

The advantage of the subscription option is that you will always have the latest version. This gives you instant access to new and interesting features that Adobe may develop.

Many competitors have emerged offering alternative photo editing programs, but Adobe remains the most popular choice. This means you will find more tutorials and plug-ins for Photoshop than any of its competitors.

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