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Want To Make Your Smartphone Images Even Better? Try These Cutting-Edge Apps

Around 85% of all digital photos taken in a single year are snapped on a smartphone. So, it’s no wonder that more people are looking for convenient and efficient ways of editing their photos on the move.

There’s a lot of software for your PC to help you to fine-tune images, but if all your pest pictures are on your cell phone, what do you do? The good news is that there are a bunch of apps which have been recently released to help you to get the perfect look you want for your shots.

Here are some of the most cutting-edge that will help you to get the amazing selfies and Instagram-worthy photos you’ve been dreaming of.

Making Photographs Pop

Whether you’re using an Android or iOS device, A Color Story is an amazing solution for making photos really stand out from the crowd. This is a particularly good choice for anyone who needs to hone their photos for use on an eCommerce website since it is perfect for enhancing product images. There are lots of filters to choose from, both free and paid. Even the free filters do a great job of whitening and brightening dull photographs and you can simply drag along the slider for an easy way of adjusting the intensity of the filter. You can even apply several filters at once. There are Crop & Frame or Adjust & Crop options which can edit a host of individual photographic elements like contrast, clarity, saturation, exposure and brightness. Even better, you can save all the editing steps you make and reuse them on future edits – perfect if you’re batch-editing.

Pixomatic – Great For Blurring A Distracting Background

If you’ve taken a fantastic photo, but then discovered that the background is messy and distracting, you need an app which can blur it out. Pixomatic is perfect. You can get it for free for Android or for a small fee for iOS devices. This app is super simple to use, letting you outline the focal point the blur the background so you can achieve the DSLR look without needing a DSLR camera.

Alternatively, if you’ve spotted unwanted objects in your shot, they won’t be a problem with the TouchRetouch app. You don’t need to trash your photo or fire up Photoshop. All you need is this handy app to remove anything that is too eye-catching or distracting from the background of your image. This incredibly cheap app is suitable for both Android and iOS devices and the result is very clean, with no trace of your edit left behind.

Future Apps On The Horizon?

Although they haven’t been developed yet, the future of photographic apps looks very exciting. Experts are predicting that augmented and virtual reality will be the future of enhanced photography, and new and advanced apps are within reaching distance which will allow ordinary photographers to achieve AR and VR from their own cell phones. VR gaming has been around for a few years now, with games available on devices like the PSVR and HTC Vive, and also  on Steam allowing us to experience a virtual world close up. The technology is close at hand to allow us to experience our own videos and photographs in the same way.

Already, app makers are experimenting with Virtual, mixed and augmented reality. However, these are still very much in their infancy, mainly focusing on funny selfies.

However, the widespread adoption of these early apps shows that there is a drive towards the improvement of image recognition technology, and device manufacturers and operating systems providers are heading towards improving technology so that app developers can harness the potential of the latest capabilities.

This is an exciting time in the world of photography, and for both professional and amateur photographers who are looking for ways to enhance, improve and upgrade their images, the world of apps looks set to be one to watch over the years to come.

The Most Important Basics of Photographing Food Well

Quite apart from the Instagram crowd that can’t stop themselves from posting a photo of every bowl of cereal they come across, there’s also professional food photography. The best food photographers can command very high rates, since the ultimate purpose of their work is always to make somebody money, whether it will appear in a cookbook or on a restaurant’s website.

It’s also a job that requires some specialized skills and rigorous attention to detail. Unlike with most other kinds of product photography or portraits, screwing up a shoot often means having to do it over from step zero rather than just catching any mistakes in Photoshop or Lightroom.

No single article can turn you into a specialist in this area, but there are certainly a few simple principles that can help any semi-pro photographer do a good job if working for a food blogger or local restaurant.

Color Is (Almost) Everything

The whole point of food photography is that we “eat with our eyes,” as they supposedly say in the Far East. It’s a well-known fact that red and yellow dominate fast food logos, since these colors have an emotional association with the kind of food they serve. More upscale places will use muted colors, while an ice cream shop can get away with including bright pink in their logo.

Much the same happens with actual food or pictures thereof: an apple that looks slightly brown won’t make your mouth water, just like a steak that looks slightly green will be sent back. Aspects such as shape, composition and plate design are also important, which is why “Food Design” is an actual job.

The color balance can, of course, easily be adjusted in Photoshop, but tiny errors matter a great deal and you’ll need an exceptional eye to get it right. Also remember the subtler differences between working in RGB (for screen display) and CMYK (print); and make sure your monitor is calibrated. In general, though, the best approach is simply to shoot in natural light and not mess with the camera’s white balance setting (i.e. keep it on “neutral white”). This displays the food as it looks in real life, and nobody can ask more than that. If you’re going to be off, though, it’s generally better to have food looking too red than too blue. If a white plate ends up pinkish, this is easy enough to fix in software.

Temperature Is Not Your Friend

It’s understandable that a restaurant manager will want to have (say) a $50 steak photographed, once, just as it leaves the kitchen and then serve it immediately. They can’t sell it once it has gotten cold.

For a food photographer, though, this represents a problem. Steam fogs up lenses, juices run out onto the plate, grease starts congealing, and of course you have a limited time to get multiple shots. There are numerous ways to get around this, though: spraying cold food with oil to make it glisten, using coloring and a blowtorch to “cook” that steak perfectly, or taking a hair dryer to cheese slices to make them look beautifully melted are just some of the better-known hacks.

In fact, photographing cold objects such as bottles is even more of a chore. As one example, ice cream and lamps don’t go well together. As another, you’ll often want a bottle of beer or white wine to have just the right amount of condensation on it without soaking the label. Since condensation forms evenly over a whole surface, it’s really difficult to achieve a natural effect by taking a spray bottle to it.

Serving wine at the correct temperature is surprisingly complicated and an expert will likely notice if “something” is off (assuming reasonable temperature and humidity), even if this is a subconscious impression. You first need to decide (along with the client) if this particular detail is worth the candle.

What Photoshop Can Do For You

Shooting is one thing, and you may be surprised how much the process of photographing a still-life can make you literally want to shoot somebody. There are plenty of things to get right while actually holding the camera; luckily, various functions in Photoshop are still extremely useful.

Firstly, it’s quite possible that your lens collection doesn’t allow you to get quite the depth of field you really need to make the food stand out, especially with diagonal shots. This is easily fixable, though, with the Gaussian Blur function. Steam and decoration can be composited, and in fact there are a number of pre-made actions you can download.

So, in conclusion, you can (and should) edit food photos, but starting with a bad image will make it impossible to get a good one by the end of the process, regardless of what you do. Photoshop isn’t magic, so learning the basics of the photography trade is essential.

References

Photoshop Actions
Food Photography
Cooling Wine

How to Use Photoshop to Enhance Your Website’s Images

Websites are becoming more popular in today’s society as businesses and individuals begin to realize just how lucrative they can be. Aside from optimizing the content on your site to make it more visible, it’s also important to take advantage of enhanced images that capture the attention of readers. Although there are plenty of image editors on the market, none surpass the power of Photoshop, especially if you’re looking for a program that gives you the perfect amount of tools in a user-friendly environment.

Below are just some of the unique ways you can edit your photos to make them look more professional and impressive.

Adjusting Lighting and Color

There can be dozens of color levels within a single photo and depending on how each of the levels is compared to the others, a picture can either look vibrant or dull. For example, say you have a picture of a landscape but the greenery isn’t as bright as you would want it to be. You can easily use Photoshop to adjust the lighting and color to make certain hues pop more than others. Brighter photos with the perfect amount of saturation can be quite aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are many websites that prefer the look of vintage style images that are less vibrant and vaguer. This appeal is easily achieved by also fine tuning the color and lighting in each photograph. For example, transitioning the color in an image into one with a sepia filter. Vintage photos are a phenomenal way to set the tone for a particular website, especially if you’re interested in launching a site that specializes in selling vintage memorabilia. As an example, Vinyl Vintage uses vintage style images to accentuate the overall design of their site ( vinylvintage.net ).

Cropping Photos

It’s also incredibly common for website owners to need to crop photos when they’re putting them up on their pages. This is mostly because the larger the photo, the longer it’s going to take for your webpage to load. Cropping gives you the ability to get rid of unnecessary parts of the photo that will only take away from the focal point. Plus, it makes the images smaller and easier to handle.

Removing Distractions

As mentioned when talking about cropping, there are two other great tools you can use to your benefit when you’re looking to remove distractions. For example, if you have a picture of a group of friends and there are people making funny faces in the background that you want to get rid of. All you’re going to need is the Spot Healing Brush tool and the Patch tool. They give you the ability to easily remove unwanted parts of a picture.

Adding Special Effects and Filters

Once you have the basic concept of what you want the edited photo to look like, you can then begin to play around with special effects and creative filters to make the photos unique. Photoshop is known for its extensive collection of filters that can help you to do many things from changing the color of a photo to black and white and even blurring the background of an image.

Photoshop is an incredibly useful program that everyone can use, even if you’ve never had experience with photo editing in the past. The more visually pleasing your website is, the more likely people will be to visit it and read through the content you have to offer. Once you get a hang of photo editing, it should only take a few minutes and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a professional website owner.

Five Photoshop Skills for Better Sports Photography and Action Shots

Certain photographs in the world of sport are so iconic – for instance, capturing the moment wherein the great Muhammad Ali knocked out then-champion Sonny Liston. Taking such photographs ensure that the moments and the zeitgeist in which they existed in are captured and preserved for all eternity – plus, taking photographs of sports in action is just so cool and fun to do.

To those watching the fight, a heart rate monitor would have been be a great help, considering the drama and the excitement leading up to the fight. And to those who have had any experience with doing sports photography, many will invariably be well-versed in using Photoshop to edit and enhance their photos – and for good reason.

See, Photoshop is the most popular and widely used photo and video editing tool which has been used by several numbers of professional photographers to take their photography to a higher level – bar none. Using the different features and options in the Photoshop tool makes for greater creative freedom to get the perfect shot. And many a sports photographer use Photoshop in order to get the best lighting, greater exposure and the composition in doing so.

And that is precisely why we’re sharing 5 important skills to master for you to get the best out of your action shots – and here they are.

1. Crop It Like It’S Hot

Cropping is a feature which is very helpful to get a specific portion of the image in just the right manner. All Photoshop users should need to learn this cropping skill in CS5 or CS6 version of the Photoshop tool by just dragging your image through the crop box and save the cropped copy separately for your usage.

2. Working With Curves And Levels

This is actually an advanced approach to the contrast and brightness of the photos. As the simple contrast and brightness sliders apply global changes to your photos=, this new option of levels and curves allow everyone to make more targeted and also finely tune adjustments to your images.

3. Layers, Layers, And More Layers

To be considered a professional Photoshop user, you will need to understand working with different layers of your action shots or sports photographs. Every layer of the photograph basically contains data and depending on the opacity and also blending mode of the data, it will be visible on the image. When you are very much interested in editing the sports photos, it is always crucial to understand how to work with different layers in order to make targeted and specific changes with all your necessary adjustments.

4. Tones, Shades, And Saturation

Similar to the adjustments of the brightness & contrast, you must also have to be very careful while adjusting the saturation of the image. It is a very important feature which is helpful to adjust the skin tones of the photos.

5. Post (Pop) Sharpening

It is another most important Photoshop skill which will greatly take your practice and also the light hand to the upper level by usually increasing the edge contrast.

These 5 skills are pretty much all you need to take your action shots to the highest level when you master them – and send you on your way to taking the perfect shot every time.

How to Use Image Enhancement Tools to Take Your Art to a Higher Level

Disclaimer: I know that there are photographers who use image enhancement software and tools – and using them doesn’t take anything away from their ability as photographers. Yes, many photographers will agree that an ounce of a well-composed and thought-of photograph is worth its weight in gold compared to taking a crummy shot and peppering it with post-production enhancements, but learning image enhancement as a tool in your arsenal shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. In fact, it is a valuable skill that should be adopted by everyone even remotely interested in photography.

We’ll get through the reasons in just a moment.

The Importance Of Image Enhancement In Present Times

Why is image enhancing important? In this era of digitisation it is extremely important to stay presentable in all aspects – one only need look at the proliferation of Instagram and other social media channels that require almost perfect photographs and techniques to gain a solid following. The same is true for glossy magazines – though we all know that proper diet and exercise, whether you do it at the gym or at home with an elliptical machine (as it’s best for small spaces) can make a model look absolutely stunning without image enhancement whatsoever, we all know the truth that most magazines do some sort of post-production. Just look at the various threads on the internet and social media exposing this practice.

See, a brand is judged by its appearance first and later comes the functionalities it offers. To make things beautiful and presentable, Adobe Photoshop and various other tools (to a lesser extent) are used by graphic designers to enhance the look of an image. An image can portray anything. It can represent a logo, an idea, a message, an identity or any other thing that a brand or an individual wants to represent. Many times, the image does not score well in terms of quality and thus needs some editing to make it appear more attractive. So, whether you are uploading your personal album from your latest trip in the social media or you want to promote your business with your product images, whatever be the purpose, you might need top-quality image enhancer software to make a lasting impact on viewers.

Common Tools

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular and was first launched in 1988 by Adobe Systems as a graphics editing tool. Since its inception, Photoshop has come up with various updates and versions keeping in trend with industry demands. The latest version was released in June 2016 and has some unique features added to the existing list of features. Photoshop is a simple tool that is widely used among photographers, graphic designers and editors all over the world. There are many other tools and software available in the market that claim to offer better features and editing options than Photoshop but none of them have actually been able to replace it. In recent times, with increased use of smart phones, several image enhancing and editing apps have come up that are easy-to-use and are user-friendly. These predefined mechanisms help you transform your image into a much better version in visual aspects. These free software also allow editing images as per your preference like add text, change backgrounds, put effects, increase or decrease quality, create collages, and so on and so forth.

Literally An Infinite Amount Of Resources For Anyone To Learn

With so many options available, it is really confusing to select the best image enhancing tool to get results. If you are a photography or graphics professional you must be aware of various other techniques and tools that provide similar or even better options. The software can be a licensed product to be purchased against a subscription fee or can also be a free version. However, it is best to choose free tools before you invest in a licensed product to learn basic skills about image enhancing. There are a plenty of videos on Youtube and blogs providing tutorials and reviews about the latest image enhancing tools available in the market – even you can become a wizard at this if you put in the time.

The Perfect #Selfie is Easier than You Think it Is

Taking a selfie is an exciting and fun way to show the world more about your fashion sense, personality and confidence. From presidents to award winner actresses and actors, almost everyone is doing it. But, taking a selfie doesn’t necessarily mean that you always have to point the camera in front of your face and then shoot. There’s always an art in taking your selfie. This way, it will become more impressive and more creative to look at.

We’ve come up with our 6 best ways for you to perfect the “rocket science” of making a selfie – and send you on your way to instant Instagram recognition.

1. Take a Selfie With a Blowdrier, Lipstick, and Makeup

If you want to have that perfect selfie, why not try to make use of blowdryer, make-up and lipstick for your appearance to become more impressive and more stunning (or a curler if you need a curling iron). You will definitely appear good and confident after you have applied all these items.

2. Make the Most Out of Your Phone’s Camera

A perfect selfie is achieved right after you have used the perfect phone. The quality of your selfie will also become better if you will use the best camera. This is also especially if you will take the best shoot.

3. Light Up!

Poor lighting can break or make your selfie. A too dim environment will stop you from seeing your selfie photos clearly. A too bright environment may also appear as if you are a ghost. Most people who want to take selfie outdoor choose to take photos an hour before the sunset and an hour before the sunrise. If you are stuck in your indoor environment, you can still find some of the best light sources that will help you with your selfie photo. A huge and nice window is already a perfect avenue for a natural light in your selfie photo.

4. Zoom In

If you really want to emphasize your face during your selfie, never forget to zoom in the settings of the camera. Well, this will somehow appear to be a self-portrait. This will somehow help you to clearly see the main subject of the photo in a large size and in a nice way. This will also make things closer together.

5. Crop Lightly

Unless the background is necessary, you must never crop it out. If you want to cut out some busy and distracting background that will make your selfie photo a bit better, you can always do so. Just crop the picture lightly and show off your best.

6. Put Emphasis to Your Emotion

A selfie photo will never appear perfect as you want without the use of proper emotion. Try to consider the kind of emotion you want to emphasize in the photo. Smile if you’re happy and show glow of joy on your face. When you do so, you’re assured that you will not only show confidence but also your personality.

These are just six of the myriad of ways you can get that perfect selfie – do you have any other tips? Feel free to share them with us via the comments. Why not post yours, for that matter?

Take Photos of Your Drinks and Beverages Like a Pro

Contrary to popular belief, the process of taking photographs drinks is not as easy as it appears to be. It isn’t just about pouring the drink into a glass then shooting the picture as you pour – no sir, and even more so if you’re trying to improve your social media feeds, or learning how to take food and beverage photos for your portfolio. Much to many people’s surprise, like food photography, beverage photography requires precision and the willingness to experiment to get the right shot – and a lot of perseverance, as with any skill you seek to improve. Here are 7 tips for taking the best photos of your drinks and beverages – make sure to practice them religiously as often as possible!

1. Master The Use Of Backlights

You can add depth to your drink photographs by moving the beverage between the camera and your main source of light. If you are using a clear glass, the light will shine through the beverage, giving the drink a mouthwatering glow and appeal. This technique can also work with colored drinks such as wine or milk. The backlighting works to accentuate specific visual elements that add depth to a picture such as bubbles and aspects of condensation.

2. Know When To Zoom – And Don’T Overdo It

One of the most challenging aspects of drink photography is visualization and perspective. In instances where you find yourself dealing with undesirable visual elements such as unsightly marks on the table, a scratch in the tableware or conflicting colors, it is always better to get close to avoid redundant elements.

3. Integrate And Decorate With Colorful Accents

Adding color to the picture ensures that your beverage looks appetizing. This is because colors often drive our preferences, ambiance, and flavors.

4. Integrate And Include The Ingredients In The Photo

Including the ingredients alongside the beverage improves on an image because it conveys the flavors of that drink directly. It also allows you to enhance your image by adding colorful accents that naturally accompany most fruits and vegetables. It sure helps to make sure your fruit, liquor, or your best juicer gets the proper feature it deserves on your photo.

5. Master Your Post Processing

Post processing lets you transform your photographs as a means of enhancing them through various software programs available in the market. This artistic and dramatic transformation is commonly referred to as ‘photoshopping.’

6. Select The Best Backdrop And Surface You Can Possibly Find

Before you proceed with the process, ensure that your surface is free of any blemishes or scratches that may compromise the shot. This will help you curtail the time that you are likely to spend rectifying the mistakes.

7. Take Your Photos In Aperture Mode

If you are taking your pictures in a dark location such as a bar, the best and fastest way to get he shot you need is by taking your pictures through aperture mode. Using a manual technique not only requires patience, but it also wastes precious time. If you need to capture more action or images in the background, you can use a smaller aperture if your camera can withstand dim lighting.

How Photoshop Can Improve Your Drone Photography Game Up Notches

In the last year or two, photographers have completely revolutionized the way they take and produce pictures. Because drones can fly high, photographers are now able to capture unique perspectives and viewpoints of various subjects. And since a drone flies with multiple propellers, the stability is good enough to allow for clear images – even from hundreds of feet high. Also, the cost of acquiring a drone has now reduced significantly, making is easier for a photographer to take up aerial photography than ever before.

However, every gifted photographer must not only have an eye for the subjects they select to appear in a picture, but they must also have sufficient knowledge of Adobe Photoshop. See, PS is just a skill that a modern-day photographer cannot live without – all aspiring photographers are required to have SOME knowledge of this software to be considered as a legitimate photographer.

Photo editing software like Photoshop is essential to a photographer because it enables one to create beautiful images with subtle and sometimes glaring alterations that stretch the bounds of modern photography – regardless of whatever medium it is you take your photographs on. Photos that are taken under neutral lighting can be edited in various ways from correcting the color to emphasizing shadows. Here are 5 ways you can make adobe photoshop work with your aerial photographs taken by drones:

1. ENHANCE YOUR COLORS.

Color enhancement is always vital in photography because the images taken may not always come out as the photographer envisioned. To enhance the color, the photographer has to play between vibrancy and saturation. Vibrancy augments the concentration of less saturated colors and works best on aerial portraits. On the other hand, saturation amplifies the concentration of all the colors in an image uniformly.

2. ADD LAYERS OF VIGNETTES.

Photoshop can be used to vignette your drone images. Vignetting refers to a technique that allows you to darken the edges of your frame so that the viewer of the picture is drawn to the brightest and most important part of the picture. The technique works best if your subject is located centrally on the photograph.

3. SHARPENING AND DETAILING.

Photoshop allows photographers to edit the sharpness of their pictures. Some photos may need to have their sharpness edited especially if they are going to be uploaded on certain platforms. The values used to edit the sharpness prevent platforms such as Facebook from compressing your pictures, which can cause them to look blurry and pixilated.

4. PLAYING WITH FILTERS.

Filters basically allow the photographer to apply automated changes to a picture. They help to attain a specific look and feel that will appeal more to the audience.

5. ROTATING PATTERNS MADE EASY.

Photoshop can be used by drone photographers to make kaleidoscopic patterns and effects that can enhance the quality of the image. This can help to give a variety of samples and options, especially where numerous samples of the aerial pictures are required for a campaign.

Those are just 5 of the many ways Photoshop can help you with your aerial photography, with drones or otherwise – can you think of more?

Planning a Photoshoot in Your Bedroom to Take Feedworthy Photos? Read This First!

So, you wanna up your Instagram feed game to the levels that are deserving of the models and the influencers of social media, huh?

If you are preparing to for a photo shoot in your bedroom, then a nondescript and drab looking room is out of the question. You may have heard it said before; that images, particularly quality images, are everything in today’s contemporary world of selfies and Snapchats. luckely there’s photoshop to bring your pics to the next level. Bedrooms can be hard to decorate, however; it is entirely possible to achieve your desired look.

Pile On Those Pillows

Pillows with different asymmetrical patterns, complex colors and designs have the capacity to transform your bedroom from a hovel to a sanctuary. You should pile up enough pillows so that your bed looks inviting especially after styling the rest of the bedroom. Do not shy away from combining a mix of large prints with small prints as well as floral pillows with elements of geometrics on them.

Avoid Blank Walls – Hang Some Artwork

The biggest issue that most bedrooms have in common is the big blank wall. One way to add character and luxury to a room is by hanging graphic art or photographs on bare walls. You should have as many pictures of the family as you may want in other rooms; however, it is better to ensure that the photos in the bedroom are less emotionally loaded. As such, you should only include calming photos that evoke soothing feelings.

Prints, Prints, And Prints

When it comes to bedroom décor, a printed bedspread or comforter does a lot to lift the overall décor of the room. If you can find a way to ensure that your art kind of ties in with the bedspread, then you will have managed to add an element of drama to the bedroom decor. The same is true for your bedroom fixtures – not all comforters are created equal in the same way not all furniture is – especially when you talk about quality, design, and color.

Funky Rugs All Along

It is also central to pay attention to the floor although it may not be a prominent feature in your photographs. A cheery and comfortable rug or mat can add a burst of needed color to your room.

Warm Your Room Up With A Lamp

Lamps add warmth to a room, therefore including soft lighting adds a sense of warm comfort that is necessary for any bedroom. The lights will also work to efficiently and conveniently add lighting for your shoot.

Incorporate Prints In Your Bedroom Pieces

Prints are not reserved for bedcovers only. Prints can be just as commanding when they are set on various objects such as on lampshades or picture frames.

Consistency Is The Key – Even In Decorating

You could acquire every fancy item imaginable for styling your bedroom; however, if the items do not match then your efforts would be futile. Pick a theme – your theme should seem apparent in a way that allows your wall coverings, the bedspread, the art and the lighting to work together in a cohesive fashion, and stick to it.

Stuck in a Rut With Your Photoshop Skills? Master these 7 Hacks

We’ve all been there. That rut we all find ourselves stuck in when learning a new skill. It’s a reality that everyone learning something new experiences, with no exceptions – even Albert Einstein was a beginner sometime, as was Newton, as was Michelangelo.

And this phase, whenever you hit a wall in your development, can get so frustrating that it may force you to just give up and quit – seeing all of those hours you spent trying to learn that skill become for now.

But then on the other hand, sometimes it’s in this moment where you’re just about to level up, as though in an RPG game – all you need is to persevere a bit more and learn a few tricks to get you through the hump.

See, as with any skill: be it Adobe Photoshop, be it mainframe programming, or practical skills such as bricklaying and woodworking, sometimes, it takes just adding a few tips or tricks to your arsenal of knowledge and skills to get through the hump and successfully raise your game to the level you dreamt possible. The Sharp Cut have done an amazing job for beginner woodwork enthusiasts, explaining how it’s easier than you may think and teaching the basic skills to master woodworking. We’ll try to do the same here, for all you Photoshop enthusiasts. Let’s get to the meat of the matter, shall we?

1. Use The Poly Lasso

Much, much better and more intuitive than using the regular lasso.

2. Bind Shortcuts To Your Keypad

You cannot live without this hack in InDesign – binding align shortcuts to your keypad makes life just so much easier. Your keypad is a wonderful extension of your workspace – tapping, say, 7 or 3 to align your horizontal centers and vertical centers, respectively, makes a world of difference in efficiency. The same is true for aligning your top, left, right, bottom with the corresponding shortcut.

3. Use Ctrl+J To Duplicate Layers

Use this shortcut to duplicate layers or for selected areas within layers. For instance, if you’ve pasted an image on another, and the said image goes past the old image’s boundaries, simply lasso the part you would like to keep, use the shortcut to put it onto a new layer, then delete the old layer beneaeth. Voila!

4. D Is For Black And White

The D key stands for a white background with white foreground. Use X to swap. Makes it so much faster and less tedious than having to select white all the time.

5. CTRL+Spacebar For Magnification

Use this shortcut to call the magnifying glass tool, and drag to zoom the area. You can go back to the tool you were previously working with. You’ll no longer need to grab the magnifying glass in the middle of a furious edit.

6. CTRL+Click And Hold To Select Everything On A Layer With Filled Pixels

In order to select everything on a layer with mixed filled and transparent pixels, simply hold ctrl and click on the thumbnail on the Layers – you’ll be able to select only the filled pixels. No need for tedious selection tool swapping!

7. Maximize Your Keyboard Shortcuts

The premise is simple – if you find yourself using something repeatedly in your work, shortcut it – be it the eyedropper, be it to sharpen, or be it to replace color. You’ll find you work much more efficiently and much more faster.

It will take time to incorporate these 7 hacks to your routine, but once you do, you can be confident in the fact that you will be able to get past the rut you feel you’re in.

Learning to use Photoshop – 5 Basic Tips for Photoshop Newbies

There are people who get intimidated by Photoshop. They think it is something that requires years of education and only the creative and gifted ones can master it. Well, that is not true. Photoshop is a program that can be learned by literally anyone. If you want to try your hand at it, you can either enroll to a course or just teach yourself how to do it.
Here are some tips for new users of Photoshop.

1. Learn the terms.

Being familiar with the most common Photoshop terms is important. Every time you come across a word or a phrase you have no idea of, it is best that you look up what it means right away and try to use it as often as you can. The more terms you become familiar with, the easier it is for you to move forward on your learning. For example, DPI means Dots Per Inch, and it is a term frequently used in printing; pixels are what make up an image, i.e. the more pixels present, the better the quality and bigger the file; and a mask refers to a tool that marks certain areas on the image that are kept the same and not changed during the editing.

2. Understand what each tool is for.

Once you learn a few common terms used in Photoshop, you need to experience how each one works. Open up Photoshop on your computer or laptop and try to use each tool. Get a feel of what it can do. Doing this will help make you remember their names and functions faster.

3. Memorize the keyboard shortcuts.

As you learn more and more about Photoshop, there will come a time when learning keyboard shortcuts becomes beneficial. Key shortcuts enable you to work faster, in comparison to using a mouse. Some of the most frequently used are V for the moving tool, F for toggling through the different display screen modes, B for the paintbrush tool, Space Bar for the temporary hand key, E for the eraser tool, W for the quick selection tool, and S for the cloning or stamp tool.

4. Practice as often as you can.

An electric toothbrush from toothbrushbest.com is always a good choice, but if you have a photo where your smile doesn’t produce the white teeth you were hoping for after all that brushing, there are many tools and functions that will produce that high quality white-teeth image you were looking for. Use such functionality of the program as much as you can, because the longer the time you spend using Photoshop, the closer you become to being a master at it.

5. Check out the works of Photoshop experts.

If you need inspiration and motivation, do not hesitate to check out the works of people who are skilled at Photoshop. Watch video tutorials and pick up techniques that you can use.