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Basic Photo Editing in Photoshop: 10 Tips

If editing photos with Insta filters is not enough, it’s high time to start with basic photo editing in Photoshop. This is perhaps the best option among all the photo editing programs on the market.

Photoshop is a fairly convenient software that contains powerful and effective tools for editing your pictures and a lot of free video tutorials. If you plan to engage in photography at a professional level, then the ability to edit in Photoshop will be necessary for you.

In this article, we will tell you about the main points that you must follow when editing photos in Adobe Photoshop for the first time.

H2 1. Crop Your Photos

Almost any photo editor has a crop option. A frame usually appears in the picture when you select a crop tool. You can drag it by the squares on the corners or on the sides.

In this way, you can choose what will fall into the frame and what will remain behind the scenes. Besides, you can align the horizon when you edit photo in Photoshop. You just need to make a rotational movement near the corner squares of the frame.

You also need to pay attention to the fact that in some programs, the crop tool has a grid that divides the image into 9 equal parts. It is very convenient to fit the picture under the rule of thirds.

As for portrait photographs, it will be correct to crop them below the knees, in the middle of the thigh, along the waist, forearms or upper part of the head. But you should not crop along the lines of the joints. Also, we would like to note that you can easily carry out this procedure (along with many other ones ) in Photoshop apps for smartphone.

H3 2. Get Rid of Unwanted Objects

We recommend using the Healing Brush to handle photo retouching tasks while performing photo editing in Photoshop. It will be effective both for the usual hiding of spots and the removal of unnecessary objects in the photo.

First, activate the tool by pressing the Alt/Option key. Select replacement pixels next to the retouched area. Then move these pixels to the desired area.

Unlike the Clone Stamp Tool, the Healing Brush does not replace the pixels in the retouched area, but it mixes the original pixels with sampled ones. This way you can remove unwanted glare, dust particles and objects from your photo.

For example, when shooting a landscape, there may be an undesirable electrical pole in the frame. When shooting a portrait, a sign or different objects can ruin everything.

H3 3. Remove Skin Defects

When editing a portrait, we often encounter the problem of how to remove skin defects, make the skin smooth and maintain its texture. To solve this problem, many people approach the photo editing service, where you can get a professional edit for the price of $5 per image.

You can remove defects yourself using a Healing Brush tool that replaces minor defects with clean skin. Remember that if you have a large problematic area in the picture, then you should not increase the brush and try to remove everything with one click. It’s better to start cleaning from the edges, gradually moving to the center of the defect.

H3 4. Make Skin Smoother

Some users spend several hours working on the skin, carefully removing all imperfections, using the Healing Brush and Stamp tools. But not everyone has enough time and patience for this kind of photo editing in Photoshop. Fortunately, there are tricks that allow you to complete the task in minutes.

One of the most convenient and fastest skin smoothing methods is to use the High Pass filter (Color Contrast). As a result, the skin will become silky and smooth, while retaining important details and texture.

If you want to control the smoothing power, use the Gaussian Blur filter. By setting a larger radius, you get a stronger smoothing process.

The second option for smoothing the skin is frequency separation. This method is slightly more difficult, but it gives a more amazing and realistic result. Fortunately, there is a detailed Photoshop frequency separation tutorial which helps you retouch the face.

H3 5. Use Curves and Levels

To make the picture more interesting, sometimes you need to increase the contrast, strengthen the light and dark parts of the image.

The easiest tool to do this is the Levels tool. The more sophisticated one is Curves. In fact, Curves is not a very complex tool, but it requires an understanding of what you are doing.

The levels are simple. You just need to look at the histogram and pull the extreme left (black) triangle to its left edge, and the right (white) to the right. You can also use the Auto Levels feature.

H3 6. Adjust Brightness and Saturation

The easiest way to increase or reduce saturation is to adjust the Hue/Saturation. In the Layers window, select the Hue/Saturation feature and use the sliders to affect colors. The first slider is responsible for the distribution of color in the picture. By moving it, you can simultaneously change all the colors in the image throughout the color spectrum – from red to blue.

So, when you edit photo in Photoshop, you can experiment with color and make the overall tone of the image darker or colder.

The second slider changes the saturation. By moving it, you can discolor the image or make it brighter. The third one affects the overall tone. Move the slider to the left and everything becomes darker. If you pull it to the right, then the picture will become evenly lighter.

H3 7. Apply Dodge and Burn

Dodging and burning is an effective method to fix image brightness issues. To use this tool safely, you need to work with a background layer or a copy of it. The Dodge and Burn tool has a 'destructive' effect on pixels so follow this advice when editing in Photoshop.

Use the Burn Tool to darken the picture, and the Dodge Tool to lighten it. You can customize Highlights, Shadows or Midtones. The brush stroke only affects the pixel range you select. We recommend working with exposure of 5-10%. Then you can increase the value until you get the desired result.

H3 8. Sharpen Your Photos

If the image looks blurry, you can increase clarity. To do this, select the desired layer with the image and then find Smart Sharpen in the upper menu bar in the Filter section. You can set the effect of the filter on the whole image with the first two sliders.

Below you will see advanced Shadow/Highlights settings to reduce the effect of the filter on the light and dark areas of the image. This method is destructive. It changes the image itself and it will be impossible to cancel your corrections.

H3 9. Get Rid of the Noise

Most often, you observe a drawback in the form of “extra” pixels on mobile photos, as well as when shooting in low light conditions. Basic photo editing in Photoshop is able to reduce the intensity of these defects and give the photo a better quality.

To do this, use the “Filter” tab in the upper horizontal menu. You need to select the “Noise” parameter, and then “Dust and Scratches”. In the window that opens, you will work with two parameters:

• “Radius”. It gives the picture a slight blur. It does not ruin the photo but rather helps smooth out the noise. Usually, this parameter is set at 1 or 2, but you can experiment with the effect.

• “Threshold” is not a required parameter for the change. But you can set its value within several units.

Remember, it often happens that working with this tool on a full image does not give a 100% result. Therefore, we recommend you to work on each image channel separately.

H3 10. Use Special Photoshop Actions

To give an artistic look to your photos without editing in Photoshop, you can use special actions that do not require special knowledge.

Actions can be found for any genre of photography. You can turn portraits into b/w professionally, add vintage or more pastel colors, as well as achieve a cinematic look.

You can also use actions to create a double exposure, cartoon or glitch effect. Besides, there are tools that help landscape or real estate photographers, such as colorful landscape or advance real estate.

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