The thing I love and hate about Photoshop is that it has countless editing tools and options. Like most photographers, I find it extremely helpful. At most times, I found learning how to use it really fun and rewarding. But being self-taught, learning Photoshop was sometimes pretty frustrating.
If you’re both enjoying and struggling to use Photoshop, Colin Smith of photoshopCAFE shares five great tips. They’ll help you to accelerate your Photoshop learning and significantly boost your editing skills. This will lead to not only better images, but also editing faster and with more confidence.
1.Learn keyboard shortcuts: keyboard shortcuts are a huge time saver and make editing so much more convenient. You don’t need to know all of them (I still don’t), but you can start with the basics and then learn the shortcuts for the tools you personally use the most.
Colin gives you a list of some basic shortcuts around 20 seconds into the video so you can take a screenshot. You’ll find all of them when you open Photoshop and press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K (Cmd + Option + Shift + K on Mac).
2. Use readily available assets: If you want to add textures to your edits, you don’t need to take photos of them. There are loads of free textures on Adobe Stock and you can access them directly from Photoshop.
3. Be observant: this isn’t related strictly to editing, but it will help you once you’re in front of your computer. Look at the world around you, pay attention to colors, textures, and patterns. Ask yourself what makes them look the way they are, what makes them special, and how you can apply that to your editing and design. Also, look at other people’s work, magazines, and books to look for inspiration, while asking yourself the same questions.
4. Build the core skills: all of us have some skills that are more difficult to learn than others. In Photoshop, these often include mastering tools like brushes (dodging and burning, painting) and selections. Whatever makes you struggle, you need to practice it until you get a full grasp of it. Even as little as 10-15 minutes a day will help you master these tools and become proficient at using them.
5. Use resources: finally, don’t forget that there are so many free resources for you to learn from. I learned so much, so quickly since YouTube and blog tutorials became as abundant and easily available as they are today. Yes, I remember the times without the Internet. :) So, make sure to watch YouTube channels like Colin’s, browse websites with Photoshop tutorials, read books, and you’ll also find a bunch of Photoshop tutorials here on DIYP.
[5 tips to accelerate your Photoshop Skills | photoshopCAFE]