Photoshop Tips and Tricks


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Jul 25, 2014
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This Pandemic has given me more time that I would like to dink around with some photography, a few new toys and learn a few new tricks I've learned in Photoshop.

Some of these new tricks, techniques, etc., I am going to share on the PCPC page with screen shots and full explanations on what I did and can do with it as you wish. These tips and tricks are only for landscape and nature shots. I don't do people, I don't do graphic design, I don't do HDR (the way most of you think about it) and I don't do anything with flash...sort of limiting, but I tend to stick with those things I know best.

Most of these tips and techniques can be used in any editing situation.

First things first: Your workspace: I like a clean workspace so I put all my working tools in the same grouping. It makes for less clutter and you never have to search for your tools. Primarily, I use Layers, Channels, Adjustments, Properties and History. On the far right you will see a bunch of TK7 modules. I use these but for these lessons, just the ones shown on the main screen, as well as the menu tools, etc..

The image shown is a NEF file (Nikon designator), after adjustments in my RAW Editor. I only use Bridge but Bridge and LR are essentially the same thing so other than file sorting, use whichever one you are most comfortable with. Oh, and don't tell me what LR can do, I already know, but I am not working in LR, nor will I ever.


Adobe Camera RAW
is your primary editor. It has a plethora of tools and adjustments that will edit 70-80% of your image just like you want it...but there is always that one little thing that you just can't do...and want to. This is the RAW edit I did for this image...keep in mind, I had an image in mind I wanted for a final product and knew other adjustments would have to be made.


Even though I was able to open up the shadows on the leaf, it still isn't enough...I want more and I will get more.

Selections are a major feature of PS and what you can do with these selections is quite amazing. The first one I will show you is the first of two methods i use the most for precision selections. This one is "Selecting" with the Magic Wand. While the Magic Wand is pretty good by itself, it isn't nearly as good as using it with a mask selection:


Next comes the select and mask feature - note not everything has been selected, however by brushing over the selection I can get all the areas precisely selected. Note the upper left side of the image and the brush I am using. (not sure why this image is fuzzy, but it is..arghh)


When you have finished, you can have a precise selection. If you find there are still images needing to be included, simply go back to the select and mask feature and add to the selection.


Always work on a duplicate layer. Once you've made the selection you might want to go back to it at some time during your edits, so you'll want to save that selection.


And the dialogue will look like this. When you want to retrieve the selection, go to Select, Load Selection and in the channel menu, scroll down to your selection. Using this dialogue, you can add to a selection or subtract by using the dialogues listed in the menu.


The next selection tool I use and I use this a lot when I want all of one color range as a selection. This Menu tool can also be used in conjunction with the select and mask tool.

In this example, I am selecting only the green in the main leaf.


Note that in this adjustment layer, I am only affecting the main leaf. I deselected the other parts of the plant I didn't want highlighted using the alt key in conjunction with the magic wand.

In this one I used a Curves Adjustment and changed the blend mode to "Screen." This gives me a plus one stop of light. If you used the "Multiply" blend mode, you take away one full stop of light.

I did not touch the curve itself, but I could if I wanted...and sometimes do.


While I have saved this selection and can reapply it to another adjustment layer by opening the selection dialogue, there is a much easier way and that is by moving the selection from one layer to the next in line. You do this by holding the "ALT" key on the layer mask you want to move and then literally move it upward. It takes a few times to get it right but after that, easy peasy.



It is not out of the question nor unusual to have multiple adjustments on the same selection. I sometimes have four or five and in that process will use +/- brushes on the masks themselves.


And work the adjustment selections to my needs (hold the alt key on the mask and this is what you get.)


In the Select by Color Range mode, when you do the selection, on the screen it looks like you really haven't gotten all the color area you wanted, but don't be fooled by the marching ants as they are loose using the plus eyedropper, you can easily add to the selection as well as using the "Range" and "Fuzzy" takes practice...the final image in this example is quite exaggerated but simply to show how far the range actually went.

I used the HSB layer adjustment, master only though could have just selected the reds and yellows. Since there were only a few other very muted colors in the area, the master control worked just fine.

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Looks like the links are broken or have been deleted for whatever reason.
The OP is from Aug so maybe the hosting source has changed since then.

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