The 5 Photoshop Tools Every Blogger and Solo Entrepreneur Should Know
Five Photoshop Essential Tools for Editing Your Own Photos
1. Spot Healing Brush
Ok, we have this on our phones and within Instagram itself as tools, but working with the tool within Photoshop gives you greater control and allows you to play around with crop sizes quickly before committing. You can straighten the image with the straighten tool by dragging the tool along the axis you want to remain central. So, for example, if the horizon of a photo is skewed, you drag the tool along the horizon pictured and the picture automatically straightens based on the angle it registers from the picture. This allows tight control.
3. Levels Adjustment
I love levels. You can use curves to achieve similar results too, but levels is a quick and easy way to play with highlights, mid tones, and shadows without too much technical expertise. Play around with the values. You can try using the auto-level feature to see if the suggested settings based on the curves makes the photo crisper. Pulling the leftmost marker to the right will darken the blacks. Pulling the middle marker to the right darkens the mid tones and pulling the right marker further right darkens the highlights.
The peaks of the level chart represent the highest concentration of tonal detail in the respective range (highlights, midtones and shadows). To increase contrast of an image that isn’t using its full tonal range (for example, the histogram stops before going all the way to the end of the highlights or shadows), move the slider inward to the start of the tonal range.
The “Output Levels” marker on the bottom of the levels screen control the lights and darks of the image. If you pull the leftmost marker to the right, the darks will brighten up and make the picture a bit more “faded.” Pulling the right marker to the left will reduce the highlights.
4. Sharpen Tool
I only recently started using the sharpen tool, and I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without using it more often! The sharpen tool is your best friend if you find that your photo is slightly out of focus. You have a controlled way of emphasizing details and parts of your photo without risking the over-sharpened look that tends to happen with phone app filters.
Be careful not to go crazy with this as it still produces noise in the image. Sharpening by going over the details once at 50% strength is usually enough to get rid of any slight blurring. Make sure to zoom out to see the effect.
5. Dodge Tool
So we all know how helpful certain “whiten” tools are in apps like Snapseed and VSCO. Dodge is a more precise and powerful version of that. If you have any underexposed parts of a photo, use the dodge tool to brush over the area. It’s also an EXCELLENT highlighter.
On the left you can see the original image. On the right, the dodge tool creates highlights along the nose bridge, tip, eyelids and cheekbones. All those images of insane highlighters beauty bloggers post? Courtesy of some good dodging.
Main Photo by João Silas on Unsplash, Edited image by Joe Robles