3 Basic Photoshop Tools

Digital cameras have turned lots of us into aspiring photographers, even if
it’s just snapping pictures at a soccer game or a birthday party. But digital
photos can be a little flat and often can benefit from simple Photoshop tricks.

Jami Edman is a professional photographer who teaches classes in
photography and Photoshop and she shows the difference that a couple
tricks can make.

As a professional photographer I often get asked how people can improve
their photos in Photoshop. Many people buy expensive cameras expecting
beautifully colored photos. Digital photos come out of the camera naturally
flat, this is especially true with DSLR cameras. A few simple steps can give
your photos a color pop. Photoshop also allows you to remove unwanted
objects. And it has tools to darken areas of your photo in order to draw your
eye to the brighter area of the picture. Today I demonstrated these steps
using Photoshop Elements these steps also work in Photoshop CS5.

Removing objects

As with everything in Photoshop there is usually many ways to get the same
result. Today I showed how to remove an object using the clone tool. The
tool is in your tool palette and looks like a stamp. You pick the clone tool and
go to a good area of your image and hold down the alt key and right click on
the good part of the picture, then move the mouse over the area you want to
remove. In this picture it was a wall vent and click on it. Photoshop takes the
reading from the good part of the picture and covers the bad part. Great for
removing blemishes, baby snot, lint, etc. The healing brush and spot healing
brush are also tools that remove objects. You can find numerous tutorials on
You tube that show you how to remove objects.

Color Pop

As mentioned above the color in digital pictures are often flat. The key to a
good color pop is having a picture that is exposed correctly. If you have that,
go to layer > adjustment layer> levels and then in the pull down menu pick
soft light. A histogram will then pop up where you can adjust your midtones.
Once you have done that you will see you have a new layer in your layer
palate. You can adjust the opacity of your soft light layer with a slider at the
top of your layer palate.

Burning (darkening edges)

In the tool palate there is a tool that looks like a curved hand, it is called the
Burn tool. This is a brush that darkens areas of your picture. When you look
at a photo your eye is automatically drawn to the brightest part of the
picture. So if you darken the rest of the picture, the bright part will pop even
more. I caution that less is more here. You want it to be subtle. It takes some
practice. But when done well you can really pull the eye to the subject of your

I know photography and Photoshop can be overwhelming. There is a learning
curve. Don’t give up there is lots of resources on the web. I teach a
Photography Boot Camp class that is a hands-on class that covers
photography (getting the correct exposure, composition, lighting in everyday
situations, etc.) and Photoshop. I actually bring models to the class so we
practice what we learn.

Visit my website for more information. Also visit my website to learn how you
may enter to win a free spot in one of my classes.

Jami Edman Owner of Images by Jami- Custom Portraiture and Photography


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