Undoubtedly better known by the verb: Photoshopped. Adobe’s flagship application has wasted no time in becoming the industry standard for graphic designers and photographers alike. When it comes to image editing software there is simply no substitute. Photoshop is a must-have tool for any serious creative and, if used properly, it can be the most powerful tool in your kit.
However, in the words of the Spiderman’s great Uncle Ben, “with great power, comes great responsibility”. With literally thousands of brushes, tools and settings to choose from, it can be quite easy to find yourself getting carried away and ruining a perfectly good image.
Poor Photoshop technique can also have a negative impact on your company. In a market that relies heavily on customer retention and repeat business, these are simple mistakes you can’t afford to make. Below are a few of the most commonly misused tools in Photoshop and remedies to use them to your benefit and avoiding your image looking Photoshopped.
Much like an onion, Photoshop’s Layers feature is a useful tool, which without patience and proper use will definitely make you cry. For people new to the software, the layers feature will seem daunting and overwhelming and most will decide to put all of their edits and additions to a single layer, effectively making each edit permanent.
YouTube and speciality sites are filled with useful tutorials introducing you to this tricky tool. However, with a proper grasp of the concept and effective utilisation, you can create amazing results.
Photoshop is a miracle worker when it comes to erasing wrinkles and shedding those few extra pounds, but too much of a good thing can quickly go bad. Knowing when and how to use one of the many reader tools in Photoshop can make all the difference.
Erasing a few wrinkles can take 10 years off your subject, but erasing every wrinkle will turn that same subject into an unrecognisable mess. It’s important to remember not using the eraser is often just as powerful as using it. With this particular function practice makes perfect and when you combine your eraser tools and Layers you can see what works and what doesn’t – all without damaging your final image.
The Background Eraser tool is one of Photoshop’s most well known features. More often than not, someone will identify a picture as Photoshopped when the two objects are obviously not from the same image. There are many ways to attack this problem and this is where the Background Eraser comes in.
Adobe has made great strides in streamlining this process, but some attention to detail must be paid and with some patience you’ll be separating your subject from an undesirable background like a champ. This practice also works in the reverse order as well. If you find yourself trying to remove an undesirable object from your otherwise perfect picture, just a few clicks with the pen tool and the Content Aware feature will erase that photo-bomber from your next frame.
In the early days, Photoshop was only a tool used by industry professionals. As the years have gone by, Adobe’s flagship software has become increasingly more accessible and affordable for the masses. While that’s great for everyone, it also presents a problem as the market becomes saturated with poor quality and amateur craftsmanship.
Photoshop takes practice. Increasingly, the only way to separate you from the thousands of fly-by-night graphic designers is quality. If you put the adequate time and effort into your work, you will be rewarded with a strong customer base and repeat business. There is no room for shortcuts in Photoshop.
Once you’ve nailed your Photoshop design skills speak to your local Kwik Kopy to make sure your material is print ready.