Photoshop is undoubtedly the world’s best-known and robust photo-manipulation software. The title is something nice to have, but it also means that Photoshop remains rather complicated. It isn’t so easy to get used to, and every time you do, it’s a whole learning adventure.
As a student, don’t make the mistake of falling into the habit of thinking there’s nothing new you could learn from the software. Photoshop for students presents an opportunity for the discovery of features that could raise your skill level to new highs.
The “Blend If” feature
The “Blend If” feature is one of the most powerful tools you can have in your Photoshop arsenal, but it’s not always immediately apparent how it’s used. It allows you to blend one layer into another based on its content.
Used right, this feature can be used in several different photoshop tricks. A common way this feature is normally used, for example, is to replace a sky without having to make a complicated selection.
It might take a while to get used to, but don’t get frustrated along the way. While you’re busy learning how to use the more advanced features, have a look at Australian assignment service EduBirdie that specializes in delivering quality written papers. Getting a thesis or dissertation or any other writing work done from experts should free up some time to let you practice.
Instant automatic fixes
One of the ways Photoshop manages to be so good is by doing some of the boilerplate work for you. It offers various options for automatically processing photos and correcting things it thinks are off.
The most basic of these are auto contrast, auto color, and auto-tone, which all do just what their names suggest. Once applied, any of these options can also be adjusted manually through the edit menu. Using the Fade option, it’s possible to lessen the effect of the change applied.
More advanced functionality that supports auto settings includes creating an adjustment layer for Levels.
Illustrator-like layer auto-select
Illustrator is Photoshop’s distant cousin. Illustrator is being used in many awesome ways, especially for UI and logo design rather than photo manipulation. One thing it does very right is the fact that you can see the actual selection in your working space when you select something.
Photoshop implements the same feature by forcing you to select what you want to work on in the layer panel and click on the element. This is not only cumbersome, the ‘how to deselect in photoshop’ functionality isn’t immediately apparent to most users.
Once you select the Move Tool, you should see a checkbox labeled ‘auto-select’ and a dropdown just next to it. Check this box and pick the layer from the dropdown list. Now, whenever you click on an element that isn’t locked, it’s going to be selected in your layers panel.
Getting new brushes
By default, Photoshop makes a nice collection of brushes available within the app. If you’ve never bothered to explore beyond these, we’re here to tell you there’s a brush for literally everything out there.
There’s a brush to simulate what it would be like to paint with eggs and there’s a brush that shows every strand of hair. A lot of photo editing tips and tutorials make use of custom brushes.
Precise lens flare
The lens flare is a well-known feature within Photoshop, but what most beginners are likely not aware of is the ability to precisely place the flare. Firing up the info palette (in the Window menu) and placing your cursor at the exact spot you want your lens flare will let you set its center.
Take note of the X and Y coordinates of the lens flare and choose the Lens Flare option under Filter Menu > Render. A preview dialog will launch. Hold onto the alt key to bring up the Precise Flare Center dialog. Enter the X and Y coordinates from before, and voila!
Getting used to all the functionality Photoshop has to offer requires a lot of time and practice. Students that are just getting started with the software may find the above tips either useful when working on their projects. It may also serve as an introduction to Photoshop free functionality such as that offered in Illustrator.
The number of possibilities when it comes to Photoshop is only limited to your imagination. As you begin to venture the platform on your own, explore and create new projects to get even more used to what it has to offer.
Joshua Robinson is an academic writing expert working with online agencies that provide services in dissertation, thesis and college essays. He’s also an expert animation and Photoshop and his work has received many accolades from the industry’s best. In his free time, he likes to play tennis, learn drone photography and explore local street food.