10 Simple Photoshop Hacks
Sarang Naik shares ten easy Photoshop tricks to expand your editing skills.
Photoshop is a complex software with a steep learning curve. There are so many hidden tools and options that you can work wonders with and over time, I’ve found quite a few of them. Here are 10 of my favourite hacks and how to use them:
1. Increase Contrast Without Changing the Saturation
When you use the curves adjustment layer to increase the contrast, you must have noticed that the colours also get boosted. This can be easily avoided by changing the blending mode of the curves layer from ‘Normal’ to ‘Luminosity’. Now the curves layer will affect only the contrast in the image without changing the saturation.
2. Record Your Favourite Actions
You can do the same edit on different images by recording the steps as an action. Go to Window–Actions, click on the ‘New Action’ button (circled with red in the screenshot) then start recording. Now open another image, from the Actions panel select the action and hit play.
3. Use Batch Processing to Edit Multiple Photos
To resize several photos or to perform an action on all of them, batch processing is the way to go. Just make sure all the images are in the same folder, then go to File–Scripts–Image Processor and select the necessary criteria. Photoshop takes hardly a few seconds to process all the images.
4. Use Another Image as a Texture
Open both the images in seperate windows in Photoshop. Desaturate the image that you will be using as the texture by going to Image– Adjustments–Desaturate. Now copy and paste this image over your base image. This is how you do it: press Ctrl+A and Ctrl+C to select and copy the whole image (make sure that the image is flattened). Then go to the other image and press Ctrl+V. The textured image will get added as a new layer. Now you can play around with the blending mode for this layer to blend it with the base image. ‘Overlay and ‘Soft Light’ blending modes usually work the best.
5. Give Your Photo a Matte Look
This is an extremely easy trick that gives your photos an old, faded look. Add a curves adjustment layer to the image. The bottom left point on the curves controls the shadows. Pull this point upwards until you get the desired result. You can also fiddle with the rest of the curve to make subtle changes.
6. Hide Cropped Area so that You Can Change it Later
It often happens that you crop a photo and make other adjustments, only to realise that the crop doesn’t work well. To change it you will have to process the image all over again. You can avoid this by hiding the cropped area instead of deleting it. Before cropping, create a duplicate layer. Now when you select the crop tool, select ‘Hide’ for the ‘Cropped Area’ option at the top. After you have cropped the image, you will still be able to move the it around within the cropped area.
7. Modify a Curve by Clicking and Dragging in the Image
This is a very intuitive way to work with curves adjustment layers. Click on the hand icon shown in the screenshot below. Now all you have to do is click on the desired area in the image and drag the cursor up to increase the contrast or down to decrease it.
8. Add or Remove Distortion and Vignette
The Lens Correction option under the Filters tab is a handy tool to change the distortion or vignetting in the image. There are also options to remove chromatic abberation and transform the perspective.
9. Straighten Crooked Lines with the Warp Tool
The Transform option under the Edit tab is yet another powerful tool that gives you great control over the perspective of the image. If you select Trasform – Warp, you get 12 adjustment points around the edges of the image that let you correct perspective errors such as straightening crooked and bent lines.
10. Create Customisable Borders
The best way to create a border is to increase the canvas size. Press Ctrl+Alt+C to open the dialog box. By selecting the ‘Relative’ check box, you can type in the exact height and width of the border. The ‘Anchor’ option lets you adjust the border’s position.
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