Like it’s sister program Lightroom, Photoshop can be an incredibly daunting program for newcomers to photography.
And, as with Lightroom, Photoshop is not a necessary requirement for the up and coming photographer, however, the program will give you much more creative control over your final image.
Learning Photoshop is a lifelong exercise, Adobe constantly updates the application and artists constantly find new techniques and new ways to use the program. However, everyone has to start somewhere, so today, we are going to give you a very basic introduction to Photoshop. We will concentrate on what it is, what it does and its basic interface.
Unlike Lightroom, Photoshop only has a very basic image photo management tool in the form of Adobe Bridge and, unless you are using a tool like adjustment layers, most of the edits are known as destructive. This means that there is a slight image degradation for most edits.
On first opening, the latest version of Photoshop now presents us with a window of our recent opened files. We can choose to open one of them or we can go to the File menu at the top and either open an image from our folders or create a new image canvas to work on.
For a newcomer to Photoshop, the key menu items at the top are File, Image, and Filter.
The Image menu section is where we find many of the adjustment tools
File – is where you can open images, save them, save them as an alternative file type or export them, for example, to a preset file type.
Image – is Photoshop’s main manipulation section. The tools here affect the entire image. Here, under the adjustment section, you will find the tools for simple editing such as color, contrast, and saturation.
You will also find more complex tools like levels, curves and HDR and Black and White. Also under Image, you find Photoshop’s resizing tools.
Photoshop Levels is found under Image – Adjustment
Under the Filter menu, you find a range of filters to manipulate the final look of an image. For newcomers, the most important section among this is the sharpen tools.
The Photoshop palettes are found to the right of screen
You can choose which palettes to show from the Window menu
As it can be a destructive editing program, make a copy of some images that you wish to work on and save them in a separate folder. Then use them to help you understand what powers lie beneath Photoshop. The more you play with the program the more you will appreciate it’s usefulness.
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