Photoshop 101

image-editing-101040_640Get Started With Photoshop in 4 Steps

Photoshop is the premiere software when it comes to image and design. Any artist planning to take their work online should be using Photoshop. Not only can it help you create anything your mind can conjure up, Photoshop can also enhance your photographs, videos and 3D artwork. Now that you’ve taken the first steps towards unlocking your creative genius, you’re asking yourself, “How do I use this?” First glance of the desktop and doubt can creep in. All of the icons and options can be a bit overwhelming; but with regular practice and some basic knowledge of color concepts, your imagination will be full steam ahead in no time. Here are 4 steps to get beginners started.

The Importance of Importing

Step one of beginning to master Photoshop is a simple one, you need a photo. It doesn’t have to specifically be a photo either. It could be a video, 3D image or something you drew yourself. The point is, you need something to play around with. This would be a good time to get familiar with the importing process as well as just starting a new image. When it comes to importing files, always check the format. Photoshop is equipped to handle most formats, but if your having trouble importing something that’s usually the case. Especially when transferring files between Mac and Windows systems.

Get the Lay of the Land

Now that you’ve imported your image or started from scratch, it’s time to play around with the buttons and options. The top bar should look consistent with what your familiar with. These are various drop down menus:

  • File
  • Edit
  • Image
  • Layer
  • Type
  • Select
  • Filter
  • 3D
  • View
  • Window
  • Help

Eventually, your mouse will find it’s way through all of these windows, but for now, you’ll spend time in just a few. Directly underneath the menu options is another bar, this is one of two toolbars. Running down the side on the left or the right, is another toolbar. Most of these tools you’ll begin to use one day, click around and see how each affect the image you’ve uploaded.

Roy G Biv

As you begin to play around with various images and videos, your going to hear the term “pop” a lot. Those who will eventually judge your work will be looking for images to “pop” off the screen, or off the page. This means that you will be spending a lot of time color correcting. I know you don’t want to hear this, but it might be time to brush up on some basic color knowledge. Nothing intensive, you don’t need to enroll in any classes, just do some light reading. Trust me, the little bit of knowledge gained will pay off big when you start to edit your own images. There’s actually a really cool tutorial on color correcting.

Good practice of those three steps will have you well on your way to creating some of the most impressive artwork. I did say there were four steps though, and the last one is to have fun and not worry about the steps so much. This is your canvas and your vision, once you learn the rules and the tools, throw them out of the window and go create! If you’re still a bit timid, it’s okay, check out the links and video below to help get you going in the right direction.


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