Photoshop Fundamentals for Beginners

If you’re just getting started with Photoshop, all the tools and options probably seem a little a overwhelming. The editing software is pretty expansive and can take a long time to master. In this 30-minute video primer, Photoshop guru Aaron Nace walks us through the fundamentals of Photoshop to have you editing photos like a pro:

Nace discusses a variety of different tools that everyone using Photoshop should know how to access and use properly.

Move Tool

The Move Tool is located at the top of the Toolbar and looks like a cursor arrow. When the Move Tool is selected, you can move active layers by clicking on them and dragging it around. Pretty simple!

Selection Tools

The Selection Tools are an incredibly powerful suite of options. There are a variety of different tools, each one geared to make selecting specific objects or layers within an image as easy as possible. There are selection tools such as the Rectangular Marquee Tool that will quickly selected a predetermined shape. Other selection tools include Quick Selection and the Magnetic Lasso which allow users to make more advanced selections.

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By holding the Shift key while using a selection tool , you can add to your current selection.

Brush Tool & Layer Masks

Obviously, the Brush Tool allows you to paint onto your canvas and layers, but it is also used for other tasks, such as working with Layer Masks. After painting onto an image, you can create a Layer Mask by clicking the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layer pallet. Now, with the Layer Mask active you can paint or erase by using the brush tool with the color set to White to paint or Black to erase.

Healing Brush

The Healing Brush is an often called upon tool because of its usefulness in quick image retouching. After selecting the Healing Brush, press the Alt (or Option) key and click on an area near what you want to remove. This will sample the pixel data, which is used to replace any area that you click and drag the Healing Brush tool over.

Nace also covers other aspects of Photoshop including Adjustment Layers and Blend Modes, so it’s well worth it to watch the entire clip. Even if you aren’t a beginner, you may pick up some useful tips or learn different approaches that could save you time in your editing.

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One response to “Photoshop Fundamentals for Beginners”

  1. You are much better off to first learn how to take good straight out of the camera photos on a very consistent basis, before ever spending any time worry about learning any editing software.

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