Five simple photoshop tips that work

Five photoshop tips
See the five simple Photoshop tips I used on this image.

Five simple Photoshop tips I use on a daily basis and work very well.

People who purchase PS for the first time realize it’s packed with features, but soon find out there’s a big learning curve. I never over Photoshop my images, instead I use a few simple tools to enhance and prepare my images for the web.

For this website and other online sharing sites like Flickr, I find myself using 5 simple tools over and over. Since most of my editing consists of fixing small blemishes, cropping and adjusting the size of the image, these simple tools work perfectly for me.

The image on the left is the final result after using the tools below. Compare it to the original image (low res for easy downloading).

1. Duplicate Layer – I never work on the original image, instead I make a duplicate layer (or “duplicate image”) and make changes on it. I like using the duplicate layer more than using the “duplicate image” (image>duplicate function). It allows me to see the changes, before and after, more quickly by switching from either layer using the layers tab on the lower right hand of the screen.

2. Spot Healing Brush Tool – I like this tool for erasing/covering up simple skin blemishes. In the photo shown, this tool easily erased the two pronounced lines leading from the side of her mouth to her nose. It also fixed several skin blemishes on her forehead.

3. Clone Stamp Tool – I use this to fix areas where the Spot Healing Brush Tool is unable to work properly. In the image on this page, I used it around her right eye a little.

4. Crop Tool – This tool allows me to crop an image to an exact dimension as well as set the resolution. Simple and easy, very useful

5. Save For Web & Devices – This feature is crucial for sharing or showing your photos online, especially on your own personal website. It allows you to save a file in different formats and quality settings. This changes the size (not dimensions) of your image making it easier to load on a website or email to someone. In addition, it allows you to strip or keep the exif data of an image.

With these five simple Photoshop tips you should be able to fix most minor problems of any image, plus optimize it for viewing online. Please note that these tips, especially numbers 4 and 5 are best used for images that will be shared online only, not for printing purposes. Changing the resolution or quality of an image may also affect print quality.

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