Adobe Photoshop has been the go-to software when someone wants to edit a picture. This is not a surprise considering that Photoshop offers the most number of tools to not only enhance the quality of your images but also to make digital alterations to it. Whether you need to edit out scratches on the camera lens or fix the colours in your image, Photoshop has a tool for that purpose.
However, with the wide range of tools provided, it can get overwhelming trying to figure the tools out on your own. If you are generally new to Photoshop, reading this list of must-know tools will instil some basic Photoshop skills in you.
Note: This list is strictly not in order.
1. Healing Brush
Have you ever taken a perfect shot only to realise that it is ruined by dust spots, scratches and stray hairs? Well, knowing how to use the Healing Brush will save you from deleting your photos! Similar to what the Clone Stamp tool does, the healing brush aids you in retouching unwanted dust spots, scratches and small imperfections on your picture.
In addition, one major reason why it is one of the most used tools on Photoshop is that it is completely beginner-friendly! There is no steep learning curve in mastering this tool, but once you do, you are assured only to deliver photos of the best quality. But what really makes Photoshop’s Healing Brush stand out compared to other software? The fact that you get to add a soft transition into your image – which is ideal for editing out wrinkles and blemishes without causing the image to look heavily manipulated. And there you go, you’ve successfully achieved a beautified image of your own.
2. Adjustment Layers
Without a doubt, one of the best ways to edit your pictures is by using adjustment layers! The worst feeling is making multiple edits on an image and not being able to remove that particular edit. By taking advantage of adjustment layers in your photo editing process, it makes you more efficient since you can even return to your edited picture months down the road and revert the changes.
As beginners to Photoshop, you would be free to mess around and explore the different style of edits you want to make to a particular picture without saving multiple versions of the file. Not only does this save time and file space, but it also reduces the versions of your edits and confusion! The best part is that you would be able to tap into your creativity and see how different edits look together just by stacking the various adjustment layers on top of another.
3. Sharpening tool
This is one skill that takes experience and is a process that will get you better over time. Many times even a good picture could look odd because it is not as clear as you’d like it to be. However, when sharpening an image on Photoshop, there is a fine line between a perfectly sharpened image and an over-sharpened image. Pro tip here? Check if the background is noise-heavy and looks grainy – then you will know if you have over-sharpened your image.rainy.
When you are sharpening your image, it is crucial to look at the image in close-detail to see if you are getting the crisp image quality you want. During the sharpening process, you’ll often need to pause and make the accurate adjustments necessary to get the perfect amount of sharpening without causes issues like a decrease in image quality or a grainy image.
4. Content-Aware Fill
The Clone Stamp tool is helpful, but the Content-Aware Fill is a revamped version of the Clone Stamp tool. It saves you the time spent with the Clone Stamp tool trying to remove the areas of your picture that is not needed. How the Content-Aware Fill works is by “reading” and analysing the area around the particular object you want to remove. For example, there is a tree in a picture that you want to remove. This tells the Content-Aware Fill to pick up on the pixels in the surroundings of the tree. These same pixels are then replicated and masked over the tree to make it seem like the tree was never there.
There have been updates made to the Content-Aware Fill tool, and it has only gotten better and more powerful after every edit! Removing an element from our image used to be a taxing experience with hours consumed using the Clone Stamp tool however, it’s no longer an issue now with the new Content-Aware Fill. Not only does it take less time and produces better results, but you can also revert your edits if you are not satisfied.
5. Liquify tool
This crucial tool is what many seasoned photographers rely on to touch up and edit their photos. Unlike the Content-Aware Fill where the pixels in the picture are replicated, the Liquify tool works differently. The pixels are shifted around instead. The effects of moving the pixels around can produce really drastic results depending on the outcome you are going for. Hence, if you are in the modelling photography industry, the liquify tool would be apt for you.
Since Liquify is one of the most used tools in Photoshop, Adobe has added a new feature within the Liquify Filter – the Face-Aware feature. Now you can digitally manipulate a person’s eyes, nose, mouth, face shape, all from a unique set of sliders. It accelerates the time needed when using Liquify and also makes it easier for beginners to pick up!
If you’re completely new to Adobe’s Photoshop – you would have a solid foundation of Photoshop skills after taking some time to master the skills listed above. All that’s left is for you to explore even further and see where your newfound knowledge will take you when editing your next image!
With a strong grasp on the basics of Photoshop, you would be better able to express yourself and your creativity through your edited photos.