photoshop tips

Photoshop fundamentals

Photoshop, when you’re just a little bit in the creative corner, you know what it is. But it’s an extensive program that you don’t get grip on very easily. That’s why we start with a few fundamentals. Do you want to know all off them? Then check out the Adobe Photoshop course!

It all starts with opening one or more images. Go to the upper left of your menu, choose file and select the images you want. When you have the picture for you, you can get started.

The Toolbar

To edit the image, use the toolbar. You can find the toolbar on the left side in Photoshop. It contains tools that allow you to edit the files. To help you get started, I’ll explain a few. Want to become a real pro and use the most convenient and common tools in your designs? This all comes back in the online Photoshop course I give (for now only in Dutch available).

photoshop master

A common tool is the Eyedropper. Select a color in the image, and then use it as a foreground or background color.

Another essential tool is move, which moves you inside the image, but also in other images, different layers and selections. This tool is super nice to align images within the layers and selections.

The Magic Wall tool is useful to select an area with a specific color pixel without having to go along the edges. The sensitivity can be set in the Option Bar.

The Patch tool allows you to fix a selection with pixels or patterns of an image. This function matches the exposure, textures shadows of the selected area with the part of the image to be repaired.

A common phenomenon in photographs are red-eyes caused by the use of flash. Fortunately the Red Eye tool is there to help you out.


Photoshop’s whole idea is often to make images look better than they actually are. You cannot view a photo without using a filter over it. Photoshop is great for editing the photo with different layers of customization to make it look more beautiful, but still be realistic. A standard filter of e.g. Instagram quickly becomes unrealistic and heavily processed. Using Photoshop and being consistent in image editing, you look more professional. Another good way to do something about the picture is to adjust the contrast. Playing with the contrast easily lifts the picture.

File types

In Photoshop there are several ways to save the created files, also known as file types. You better be safe than sorry!

The most common one is probably JPEG, this type is the most convenient one to use when you share the file with customers. JPEG is the file type that runs on almost anywhere and is ten times smaller than the RAW file. This is because the digital information in the document is compressed.

PSD is used for ongoing projects. This file opens and edit in all other Adobe programs, making it easy to keep working on it.

Another known file type is PNG these are images with a transparent background. By choosing this, you can easily place the designs anywhere without having a background on them. This is ideal for product photography, but also for logos and icons.

Determine the color mode

Color mode controls how colors are combined. This is important when choosing whether to use the file for printing or for online publications.

determine the color mode

When it is printed choose CMYK color mode. The printing company uses 4 different printing plates, cyan, magenta, yellow and key plate. These correspond to the CMYK color mode. For files that are only used online, you can choose RGB. Three colors are used to show the colors on the screen. This is the colors red, green and blue. You understand, when you print an RGB image you don’t get the result you want. It is therefore important that you manually adjust the image to CMYK in Photoshop. This way you have a direct view and control of the final result of the printing company.

These are the two most common color modes, others are:

  • Lab color
  • Grayscale
  • Bitmap
  • Duotone
  • Indexed color

As I said, this is just the tip of the veil of what is possible in Photoshop. If you want to develop yourself and get to know all the ins and outs of Photoshop, try practicing a lot, watch YouTube videos and ask for help. It’s a sin when you are plowing for weeks, while someone can explain it in a day.