The Basics of Photoshop explained

Hi guys,  I thought I would start a post that explains the basics of Photoshop and how to enhance your images.  Whether it be a wedding, portrait, photo of a car or a landscape, these processes will enhance your image and turn it into something just a little bit more special.


Ctrl L = Levels – move the right and left triangles to the edge of the histogram

you move the right and left ones until they touch.

To Sharpen:

Do an action:  open action palette – Windows>Actions

then click top right icon – type in Sharpen as the name

then drag Background layer to the duplicate icon at the bottom of the layers palette – next to the rubbish bin. This will duplicate the layer (this icon also makes a new layer if it is clicked by itself) go Filter>Other>highpass>grade of 10>click ok>Layer>Layer Mask>Hide All

it automatically do it for you.

Then use the eraser E (make sure black is the foreground colour in the tool palette-to change from background to foreground press X) to erase only the detail of the image. Once you are happy with the amount of sharpening you can merge the two layers – Ctrl E or the drop menu of the layer palette.


You can make all your work as actions – just follow the above steps and rename them differently.


So, to darken the background – Duplicate the background layer again then change the layer from Normal to Mutiply

Then use the Lasso in the tool palette (L). UP the top change the feather to 100 – 150 pixels (obviously this will vary to how big the file is).


Then use the lasso to make a selection of the car only. Delete the selection and change the Opacity in the Layersn Palette to maybe 35%. Repeat this process varying the selected area until the desire darkeness is achieved. Merge layers


TO Blur the background, duplicatelayer again and go Filter>Blur>Guassian Blur (experiment with degree fo blur but I usually use around 1.8). Then add a layer mask – layer>Layer mask> reveal all. Using the eraser (with the white as the foreground colour in the tool palette X) you can erase the car making that sharp again. Tip: by changing the foreground colour back to black you can blur back in – so if you go over the line just press X and if it back in – press x to go back to white again). This is the time consuming way. If you want a quick job just use the feathered lasso L and press delete. Merge layers CtrlE


TO correct your colour balance – the basic way to do it is thru curves -Ctrl M – Image>Adjust> Curves

Click the button highlighted above – then click what you think is the brightest white in your image. (Ctrl Z if you make a mistake). Then click the left hand eyedropper – then find the darkest black in your image. This will give you a good range. If you want to tweak your image use the histogram to do this. Click ok