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Top 4 Re-touch Tools in Adobe Photoshop

The re-touch tools in Adobe Photoshop can help you to quickly remove any blemish in a photo or design. By understanding the tools a bit more, we can help you decide which is the right tool to fix the issue.

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Decoding the Photoshop Selection Tools: Selection Brush

We’ve conquered the Magic Wand. We’ve lassoed the Lasso. Now it’s time to continue on our journey and unearth another of the Photoshop selection tools! This week we will discuss the Selection Brush, a classic choice in the arsenal, and give you the tips you need to use it effectively. But first, let’s recap why we may need these tools in the first place. If you need to cut out an object, or modify only part of an image, then the selection tools are just the ticket. This is one of the most common editing actions, so it’s important to know which individual tool is best for your needs. Whether you want to change the color of someone’s shirt or move a flowerpot to the other edge of the frame, selection tools are crucial in getting the job done! So, what makes the Selection Brush different? Well, this is the one and only tool that gives the user (that’s you!) complete freedom. The program doesn’t anticipate edges, or look for colors…it simply selects exactly where you tell it to. And for this reason, it’s hands down the most versatile of the selection tool set. This is also the device to use for touching up after you’ve implemented one of the others, such as the Magic Wand. The fine control of the brush allows you to capture the exact object you want, down to the very last pixel! Let’s open up a sample image just like we did in our previous tutorials, a black to white gradient with a color cutout in the middle:   Okay, to find the Selection Brush, go to your side toolbar, under the group called Select, and it should be on the bottom right corner. There are three tools imbedded here: Quick Selection, Magic Wand, and the Selection Brush. You’ll know when you’ve found the brush when your bottom bar looks like this:   From here, there are several ways to customize your Selection Brush: Using a default brush from the dropdown menu (these are great if you need to have consistency across a group of images and don’t want to memorize the size and hardness settings) Using the Size slider bar (this simply makes your brush…you guessed it…bigger or smaller) Using the Hardness slider bar (this will give your brush fuzzy/blurred edges towards the low end or crisp/clear edges towards the high end) In order to show just how much control you have with the Selection Brush, I drew a ridiculous smiley face right in the middle of my image. The brush doesn’t care if there’s a blue object or a gradient; the brush only cares about my mouse strokes. For simplicity, I used a size of 100px and a hardness of 50%:   This brush is especially useful when you want to make one selection with multiple non-touching sites. Like with my smiley face, there are three different spots (two eyes, one mouth), but they are combined into one selection. This typically isn’t possible with tools like the Magic Wand, Marquee, or Lasso. If you need to use the brush to do detailed edge work, be sure to increase your hardness to 100% for super clean lines and adjust your size towards the smaller end, depending on the size of your image, for finer control.   Now, I’m sure you’re wondering about that extra dropdown menu in the bottom bar, the one that currently says Selection. This is where things just start to get fun! There are two options under this menu: Selection – this keeps your brush as is (meaning there are...

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10 Common Mistakes People Make in Photoshop

We all love to critique photos right? If you’re anything like me, you click on articles that say things like “Horrible Photoshop Mistakes” and spend time trying to figure out how a particular image has been altered. And while there are lots of “bad” photos out there, many of them started with a good idea in mind. Programs like Photoshop are amazing and powerful tools, if you know how to use them right. I’ll go through 10 common mistakes people make in Photoshop, and help you find a workflow that is not only efficient, but ends with a clean and professional-looking product. Mistake #1: Not regularly saving your work You may think this sounds like common sense, but I’ve seen people time and time again complete an entire 20-30 minute editing session without saving even once! Things happen: computers crash, programs freeze, tabs are accidentally closed. Prepare yourself for the worst by regularly saving your work, preferably without making permanent changes (we’ll talk about layers later!). When you first open and starting working on a file, save it as a .psd or Photoshop document file, making sure to preserve an unedited version as well. Then throughout your editing process, hit Command+S (or Control+S on PC) to save often. Then, of course, when you are finished, save your work using whatever file extension you deem appropriate (I usually save as both a .psd and .jpg, sometimes as .pdf depending on its final destination).   Mistake #2: Not taking advantage of shortcuts Now, this isn’t exactly crucial, but knowing the keyboard shortcuts for your Photoshop program will save you lots of time and effort in the end. Here is a helpful infographic to get you started. And remember, the more you use them, the faster and more fluid your work can be. Not to mention, saving your eyes from having to search drop down menus and saving your wrists from having to mouse and click everywhere!   Mistake #3: Oversaturation Our eyes love color, but there is such a thing as too much. It can be tempting, when first learning Photoshop, to pump up the levels to make all your colors richer, brighter, and deeper. And sometimes it’s hard to know where to stop. For example, here is an example of an oversaturated image: A little bit goes a long way here, and if you’re stuck or unsure, either exit out of the image file and come back later with fresh eyes…or refrain from touching the saturation slider at all! Most photos don’t benefit from this action anyway. There are better ways to fine-tune your color using the Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Color Curves editing tools. Whichever you choose to do, just be sure to air on the side of caution.   Mistake #4: Using desaturate to convert to B&W It might seem handy, when wanting to turn a color image into a black & white one, to simply pull down the saturation slider until you “remove” all the color. But most of the time, this results in a flat image or one that is simply bland. The best way to adjust your color photos into monochrome ones is to use the channel mixer function. This box offers pre-set adjustments for things like portraits and landscapes, but also allows you to control each individual channel for Red, Green, and Blue, as well as overall contrast. It’s easy to just select Enhance > Convert to Black and White! Then you can play around with finding the combination that suits your image best and allows for a wide range of tonalities....

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Doubling Up: Creating Mirror Images in Photoshop

Twice is nice. Double trouble. Double down. Cliches might be corny, but sometimes there’s some truth to them. If you’ve noticed how many ads, posters, album covers and countless other creative mediums use a mirrored-image effect, then you know that two is better than one. Creating mirror effects in Adobe Photoshop isn’t as difficult as, say, cloning sheep. With some basic tools you can take any ordinary photo or design and create a mirrored double.

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