Many people think that becoming a Photoshop master is hard, or even unachievable, when in fact – it’s not. Of course, there are so many things to learn within Photoshop, but I can guarantee if you set yourself a task of learning these 10 steps you will be a Photoshop master in no time at all!
The number one rule is to take one small step at a time, pacing yourself slowly and fully understanding the concepts of each main feature in Photoshop. These steps are not a tutorial, but a guide on the best features to learn. I have included a number of links to Photoshop tutorials so you can master these techniques in your own time.
1. Photoshop Interface
One of the first steps to becoming a Photoshop master is familiarising yourself with the Photoshop interface. Anyone who has ever used Photoshop will remember the first time they opened up the software and feeling overwhelmed by the amount of options there are available.
The best place to start is hovering over the different menu categories and trying to memorise the location of different functions. Of course, most of this won’t sink in until you start using the software regularly.
The Adobe website offers a detailed Photoshop User Guide on how to effectively navigate the Photoshop CC workspace.
2. The Importance of Layers
The layers panel is an incredibly powerful feature, as it gives you the ability to work on individual elements without having to work on the original background image.
Imagine Photoshop layers as a set of transparent paper placed on top of each other. Layers are mainly used so you can blend multiple images together, changing the opacity and giving you the ability to add effects such as typography and additional vector graphics.
This handy guide put together by Adobe will teach you the importance of organising layers and the basics of the layers panel.
3. Adding Typography with the Type Tool
If you’re a graphic designer, the Type Tool will most likely be one of your most commonly used tools. The type tool enables you to add text to an image, both vertically and horizontally, with the ability to add plenty of effects such as drop shadows and an outer glow.
A comprehensive list of Photoshop’s Type Tool features can be found on tutsplus.
4. Transforming Images
The Transform features in Photoshop allow you to perform various movements such as Scale, Rotate, Skew, Rotate and Flip. Hidden in the Edit panel, it’s often missed by many Photoshop beginners, even though it’s an essential tool.
Check out how to use the Transform tool to its full potential by reading this guide on breathingcolor.
5. Crop to Perfection
The Crop Tool is one of the easiest but most useful tools found within Photoshop. To get the perfect image, it’s often required to crop the image down to a certain size to achieve a seamless depth of field.
Learn how to crop a photo in Photoshop by following this short tutorial featured on digitalartsonline.
6. Making Selections
There are various ways to make selections within Photoshop. Without even realising, almost everything you do in the software will require you to make a selection, whether it be using the Rectangular Marquee Tool or using the Quick Selection Tool to help cut out a certain area.
7. Refine Images with the Clone Stamp
There are so many photo editing tools to you within Photoshop. The most widely known are the Spot Healing Brush and Healing Brush, which are mainly used to get rid of blemishes and wrinkles on the skin. However, these are best used for minor edits. If you’re working on a more complex problem, the Clone Stamp Tool is your best option. Even though the clone stamp offers powerful editing features, it’s surprisingly simple to use.
The Clone Stamp tool works by copying the pixels from a selected area and cloning them onto your desired area. This feature works better than copying and pasting, as it allows you to retain softer edges as it uses a brush effect to recreate a more realistic image.
Make sure to read this in-depth article on how to master the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop.
8. Saving and Exporting to Different File Formats
The last thing you want is to lose all your work at a vital moment! Make sure to frequently save your work in the PSD format so you will have access to your layers when reopening the file.
It’s vital to learn about the different file formats and how to save them correctly before using Photoshop. The most commonly requested file formats are JPEG, PNG and TIFF.
JPEG which stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group is mostly widely used for saving photographs and graphics. The file format is designed specifically for compressing the image and can include metadata which describes the dimensions of the image and file size.
The TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is used if you want to save the image as a raster graphic. Raster graphics are widely used by graphic designers and publishers due to their high resolution which is used for print.
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics and enables you to save files with a transparent background. The format uses lossless compression and is also a raster graphic file, making it very popular if you want to save files for both web and print.
More information about these file formats can be found on techtarget.com.
9. It’s Never Too Late To Undo
Most people are aware of the undo command in Photoshop. This option allows you to reverse any action you’ve recently applied. For example, if you’ve added some new text or made a brush stroke you’re not happy with, you can simply use Undo to remove the mistake.
However, many people get frustrated when they realise that by default, Photoshop will only allow you to undo a certain number of previous actions. The good news is that there is a solution around this, where you can go further back in your editing history. Check out this tutorial put together by tech-recipes on how to change the number of history preferences in Photoshop.
10. Never Stop Practicing
If you think you’ve learnt everything there is to know in Photoshop – keep practicing! Practice makes perfect. The more you use the software, the more efficient you will become and you will learn different ways how to accomplish certain tasks.
Keep teaching yourself different techniques by watching and reading tutorials, as well as attending courses and discussing problems on forums and before you know it you will become a Photoshop master.
Adobe is always releasing updates on Photoshop, so there will always be new things to learn! If you would like to attend one of our Photoshop courses please visit our training website to find out more about our services.