Photoshop CC is a great tool for photo editing. In my major, Communication at the University of Maryland College Park, we do a lot of work with digital media. My courses focus in Adobe Creative Suite which includes, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and more. If you are a UMD student, we have access for free downloads of this software through TerpWare. If you are a student from another university, check with your school because you may also be able to download these programs! Here are some easy tips for using Adobe Photoshop CC. (My tips are for using a Mac, when using a PC, use Control instead of Command button.)
- Learn keyboard shortcuts. This is going to save you a ton of time. The ones that I use the most are:
Command + Z = Undo
Command + S = Save
Command + A = Select all
Command + V = Paste
Command + C = Copy
- The most important feature in Photoshop is using layers. Layers allow you to stack things on top of one another. You will be able to view each layer in the layers tab. You can also lock layers and hide them. Layers will be your best friend when using Photoshop.
Shift + Command + N = New layer
- If your photo has straight edges, check to make sure it is straight. Often times they need a bit of tweaking. Click on the crop tool on the left sidebar. This will then pop up a bar at the top of the screen with a small ruler tool. Click on the ruler and pick two points of where to straighten in the image. You can also go ahead and crop the photo if you’d like.
- Blur tool. This a great tool for blurring the edges of a photo or trying to conceal something. Be sure that you create a new layer before doing this! Simply click on the blur tool in the left side panel and use the cursor to blur the area. You can also increase the size and opacity of the blur.
- Now let’s talk adjustments. The way that I find to be the best is to go to Image – Adjustments – Curves. An axis will appear with a line going from the bottom left corner to the top right. Click on this line at the three points where it intersects with the graph. Then adjust the curve to your liking. Usually this turns out best with an S curve.
- Black and White. This is very simple and can be done in different ways. The easiest and fastest way to apply black and white to a photo is going to Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Black and White. This will then allow you to adjust the hues of the blues, reds, and yellows of the original photo.
Photoshop is easy right?! Give it a go! Try it out if you need a photo for a project or want to slightly edit your headshot for LinkedIn. Check out this awesome music video that uses Photoshop to edit and manipulate photos. Check out how the artist uses layers and curves!