The benefits of learning Photoshop, especially if you are working in web design or just working on your company’s site or your own personal business portfolio are endless. Saving money, brand building, understanding aesthetics better, making money and being more efficient in general are just some of the reasons. We have come up with a list of somewhat easy Photoshop hacks that will be worth taking the time to learn. They will carry you far.
1. Cross-pollinate your photos
This is a really cool technique to intensify the colors in your photos. Pick a photo with awesome, vibrant colors. Then open up the photo you are editing (with not as strong colors). Select Image >> Adjustments >> Match Color, and then select the photo of the colorful one. You can play around with Luminance and Color Intensity if you want. And blam-o: You’ve created a masterpiece.
2. Make your own filters
Want the power of Instagram in your own fingers? Just download these FREE filters here. Everyone will think you are so much cooler than you are.
3. Paint with light
Lighten up those photos with this technique.
1. Open the photo you want to enhance.
2. Press Shift+Ctrl+N to create a new layer and call it “light” (or another indicating name).
3. Change the mode of this layer to Overlay.
4. Activate the radio button for “Fill with Overlay-neutral color (50% grey).”
5. Activate the Dodge tool and set the exposure to about 25% to paint some light into your image.
6. To add some shadows (or darken existing ones) use the Burn tool.
7. If you select highlights, midtones or shadows you can influence which range of light is affected by your painting
Sounds simple but this can make a vast difference in your photos. You can get rid of anything you don’t want. All you have to do is click the little square with the overlapping edges in the sidebar, and drag the pointers on the edge of the photo until you’re happy with it.
5. Turn your photos into shapes
Get some attention by turning your photos into beautiful shapes.
- Paste the shape you want to turn your photo into on top of the photo.
- Select the magic wand tool and then click inside of the shape on top of the picture.
- Hide the layer.
- Click on the layer where your photo is.
- Press Control C and Control V commands to cut and paste the newly shaped image.
- Hide the original image and save your newly shaped image with a new label.
6. Preview fonts
Review all your font options by highlighting the font palette. Then use the arrow up and arrow down keys on your keyboard to scroll through a preview of the different font options. Choose the font you want to use and apply it to the text in your project.
If you want to duplicate the layer you’re working on (so you can keep the original version the way it is) hit Control and J to duplicate the layer of the project. This shortcut duplicates all the features of the layer you’re working on, which permits you to experiment with filters without sacrificing the original work.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly an essential but it sure is pretty. Get a full tutorial here.