TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT

THE TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT, AND HOW TO USE THEM

HEY THERE! WELCOME BACK FOR THIS EDITION OF TECHY TUESDAY! TODAY, I'LL BE SHARING 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT (I KNOW BECAUSE I USE THEM ON THE REG). YOU'LL ALSO GET A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO HOW TO USE THEM (WITH EXAMPLES)! KEEP READING TO GET ALL THE DETAILS AND FIND OUT WHAT PHOTOSHOP GEMS YOU'VE BEEN MISSING OUT ON.

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

 

NO. 1 LEVELS

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

BRIGHTNESS AND CONTRAST ARE GREAT, BUT WHEN YOU REALLY WANT TO GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH LIGHT DARK ADJUSTMENT, YOU'LL PROBABLY WANT TO TURN TO THE LEVELS TOOL! IT CAN BE FOUND UNDER 'IMAGE', 'ADJUSTMENTS' OR WITH THE SHORTCUT (COMMAND + L). WHEN YOU'RE ADJUSTING THE LEVELS, YOU'LL HAVE A SLIDER BAR WITH THREE TONES, BLACK, GREY, AND WHITE (AS WELL AS EYEDROPPERS). THE SLIDERS WILL SET THE LEVEL OF EACH TONE MAKING THE IMAGE DARKER OR LIGHTER OVERALL. THE EYEDROPPERS WILL TELL THE IMAGE WHICH TONE IT IS BASING 'WHITE' 'GREY' OR 'BLACK' OFF OF, AND WILL ADJUST THE REST OF THE IMAGE ACCORDINGLY. FOR PHOTOGRAPHS I FIND THE SLIDERS WORK THE BEST, AND WHEN YOU HAVE THE PREVIEW BOX CHECKED YOU CAN IMMEDIATELY SEE HOW THE CHANGES AFFECT YOUR IMAGE. THE EYEDROPPER WORKS GREAT ON HIGH CONTRAST IMAGES (LIKE HAND LETTERING ETC) WHERE YOU SET THE WHITE EYEDROPPER TO WHATEVER COLOR YOUR PAPER (OR BACKGROUND) IS AND IT ADJUSTS ACCORDINGLY.

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

AS YOU CAN SEE IN MY EXAMPLE BELOW, USING ONLY THE LEVELS, I HAVE DRAMATICALLY INCREASED THE APPEAL OF THIS LACK LUSTER IMAGE. TO ACHIEVE THIS DRAMATIC CHANGE, THE ONLY TOOL I USED WAS LEVELS, I SIMPLY CHANGED THE WHITE INPUT FROM 200 TO 163, I UPPED THE GREY FROM 1.00 TO 1.14, AND THE BLACK FROM 0 TO 13. BY BRINGING THE WHITE THRESHOLD DOWN, THE OVERALL IMAGE WAS DRAMATICALLY BRIGHTENED, AND BY BRINGING THE GREY AND BLACK THRESHOLDS UP, I WAS ABLE TO RETAIN THE SHADOW AND DARK DETAILS IN THE IMAGE.

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

 

NO. 2 DODGE / BURN

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

ANOTHER GREAT TOOL FOR CONTROLLING LIGHT AND DARK IN AN IMAGE IS THE PAIR OF TOOLS, DODGE AND BURN. I TYPICALLY USE THESE IN CONJUNCTION WITH BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, AND LEVELS, BUT ON THEIR OWN THEY OFFER SOME VERY  UNIQUE CAPABILITIES THAT MAKE THEM WORTH NOTING. THE TOOL ITSELF FUNCTIONS LIKE A BRUSH SO YOU CAN REALLY TARGET WHERE YOU WANT TO LIGHTEN (DODGE) OR DARKEN (BURN). HERE I HAVE MY BRUSH SET AT 1000 SO I CAN COVER A BROAD AREA. I ALSO HAVE IT SET WITH A SOFT EDGE SO THAT WHEN I LIGHTEN, IT WILL BLEND SEAMLESSLY WITH THE PHOTO AND I WON'T BE LEFT WITH ANY HARSH EDGES. YOU CAN ALSO SET THE RANGE (WHICH WILL BE THE TONE THAT IS AFFECTED BY THE TOOL). THIS OPTION WILL AFFECT THE INTENSITY OF THE BURN OR DODGE BY CHANGING THE TONE THE TOOL IS TARGETING. WHEN YOU'RE DODGING (LIGHTEN), CHOOSING 'HIGHLIGHTS' UNDER THE TONE DROP DOWN MENU WILL GIVE YOU THE LEAST AFFECT, AND DODGING SHADOWS WILL GIVE YOU THE GREATEST AFFECT. THINK ABOUT TRYING TO LIGHTEN SOMETHING THAT'S ALREADY WHITE, VERSUS LIGHTENING SOMETHING THAT'S BLACK. THERE'S MUCH MORE ROOM FOR LIGHTENING ON THE SHADOWS THAN THERE IS LIGHTENING SOMETHING THAT'S WHITE, WHICH IS WHY THE TOOL'S AFFECT BECOMES GREATER. TO COUNTERACT THE INTENSITY OF THE TOOL, YOU CAN ALSO ADJUST THE EXPOSURE (THE PERCENTAGE THAT'S AFFECTED, ALMOST LIKE AN OPACITY FOR THE BRUSH). WHEN YOU'RE BURNING, IT IS A SIMILAR PROCESS - THE SHADOW RANGE WON'T BE AS AFFECTED AS IT WILL BE IF YOU SELECT THE HIGHLIGHTS RANGE.      

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

AS YOU CAN SEE BELOW, WHERE I ONLY USED THE DODGE AND BURN TOOLS, I WAS ABLE TO DRAMATICALLY LIGHTEN THE ENTIRE PHOTO. I WAS ALSO ABLE TO KEEP THE DETAIL OF THE PAGE EDGE BY SLIGHTLY BURNING IT. THESE TOOLS IN CONJUNCTION ARE A GREAT PAIR TO HAVE IN YOUR ARSENAL!

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

 

NO. 3 MAGIC ERASER

THE MAGIC ERASER HAS A GREAT NAME BECAUSE IT IS JUST THAT - MAGIC. AS A SCRAPBOOKER AND BLOGGER I LOVE TO ADD GREAT HAND DRAWN ELEMENTS AS OVERLAYS ETC. THE MAGIC ERASER IS THE QUICKEST WAY TO DO THAT! YOU CAN FIND IT UNDER THE REGULAR ERASER TOOL, AND ONCE IT'S SELECTED, YOU SIMPLY CLICK AWAY AT THE PARTS YOU DON'T WANT TO BE INCLUDED. IT WORKS BEST ON IMAGES WITH HIGH CONTRAST (LIKE TYPOGRAPHY OR LETTERING) BUT GIVE IT A GO AND SEE IF IT WILL WORK FOR YOUR PROJECT. AT THE TOP LEFT YOU'LL BE ABLE TO ADJUST THE TOLERANCE OF THE ERASER WHICH WILL CONTROL THE AMOUNT OF DISTINCTION IT MAKES BETWEEN THE THING YOU'RE CLICKING AND THE OTHER ELEMENTS ON THE PAGE. FOR THIS TYPOGRAPHY PIECE I LEFT MY TOLERANCE AT 80. THE LOWEST IN THE RANGE (IT WILL BARELY MAKE A SELECTION) IS 1, AND THE HIGHEST (IT WILL SELECT A LOT) IS 255. PLAY AROUND WITH THE VALUES AND SEE WHAT TOLERANCE WORKS BEST FOR YOUR PROJECT! 

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO CHANGE THE BRIGHTNESS OR ANYTHING FROM THIS IPHONE PHOTO OF SOME LYRICS I HAD WRITTEN. I SIMPLY CLICKED WITH THE MAGIC ERASER AROUND AND INSIDE EACH OF MY LETTERS AND VOILA -MAGIC (NOW IT'S A TRANSPARENT BACKGROUND AND CAN BE OVERLAID ONTO OTHER IMAGES ETC!)

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

 

NO. 4 CLONE TOOL

THIS TOOL IS A LIFESAVER. I SERIOUSLY DON'T KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO WITHOUT IT. I WILL LAY OUT A FEW OF THE USES I HAVE FOR IT HERE BUT IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, DROP THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, I ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR NEW USES FOR AMAZING THINGS! THIS TOOL, NOTED AS A 'STAMP' TOOL, TRANSPLANTS MATERIAL TO ANOTHER LOCATION. I USE IT FOR THREE MAIN THINGS - 1. TO REMOVE UNWANTED OBJECTS FROM AN IMAGE. 2- TO REMOVE UNWANTED TEXTURE OR SHINE, AND 3 - TO EXTEND AN IMAGE FOR PLACEMENT INTO ANOTHER ORIENTATION. I'LL EXPLAIN AND THERE'S AN EXAMPLE OF TWO OF THESE BELOW! TO 'CLONE' AN AREA YOU SIMPLY HOLD DOWN THE ALT (OR OPTION) BUTTON AND CLICK. THIS WILL TAKE A SAMPLE OF THE SPACE - THE AREA THAT YOU'RE GOING TO STAMP ONTO ANOTHER LOCATION. ONCE YOU'VE SAMPLED YOUR SPACE, YOU'RE GOING TO MOVE THE TOOL TO THE LOCATION YOU WANT TO COVER AND CLICK DOWN. THIS TOOL ACTS LIKE A BRUSH YOU YOU CAN SET THE SIZE OF THE STAMP AND SOFTNESS OF THE EDGE. I KEEP MY EDGE SOFT SO THAT THE STAMPING BLENDS SEAMLESSLY AND YOU CAN'T TELL IT WAS USED. KEEP IN MIND WHEN SAMPLING YOUR AREA FOR STAMPING THAT THE SAMPLED AREA WILL MOVE WITH YOU AS YOU STAMP - SO YOU MAY NEED TO RE-SAMPLE OFTEN, AND STAMP IN SOMEWHAT STRAIGHT LINES FOR BEST RESULTS.

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

HERE IN THE BEFORE AND AFTER, YOU CAN SEE THAT I'VE COMPLETELY REMOVED THAT CAN OF SPRAY ADHESIVE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPH. I'VE DONE THAT SIMPLY BY CLONING THE WHITE SPACE FROM THE IMAGE AND STAMPING IT ON TOP OF THE SPRAY CAN THAT HAD RESIDED ON THAT RIGHT HAND SIDE. THE SECOND USE I HAVE FOR THE CLONE TOOL IS TO REMOVE UNWANTED TEXTURE OR SHINE. IT'S HARD TO SEE BUT ON THE HANDLE OF THE SCISSOR, THERE WAS AN INTENSE WHITE SHINE COMING OFF THE GOLD. IT WAS DISTRACTING AMONG THE REST OF THE IMAGE SO I SIMPLY CLONED THE GOLD TEXTURE FROM A SIMILARLY TONED PART OF THE SCISSORS AND STAMPED IT OVER THE HIGHLIGHT. THE THIRD USE I HAVE (WHICH I DIDN'T DO IN THIS EXAMPLE) IS TO CLONE THE BACKGROUND AND EXTEND AN IMAGE FOR USE IN AN ALTERNATE ORIENTATION. I WILL USE THIS TECHNIQUE ON IMAGES THAT HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SOLID TEXTURE IF I WANT TO SAY, MAKE A LANDSCAPE IMAGE VERTICAL FOR MY PROJECT LIFE ETC. THIS WORKS WELL WITH OPEN SKY, OR OTHER 'WHITE SPACE' IMAGES AND I SIMPLY CLONE AND STAMP EXTRA BACKGROUND TO FILL WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN EMPTY SPACE!

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

 

05. SPOT HEALING BRUSH

LIKE THE CLONE TOOL, THE SPOT HEALING BRUSH IS PERFECT FOR REMOVING UNWANTED THINGS (THINK PESKY PIMPLES, SPOTS, AND MARKS)! I SOMETIMES USE THE CLONE TOOL FOR THIS PURPOSE AS WELL, BUT THE SPOT HEALING TOOL IS MUCH FASTER BECAUSE THERE'S NO SAMPLING INVOLVED! THE TOOL SIMPLY READS THE SUBJECT MATTER SURROUNDING THE AREA AND FILLS THE AREA YOU WANT TO HEAL WITH WHAT IT THINKS WILL BEST MATCH. IT ALSO ACTS AS A BRUSH SO YOU CAN CHANGE THE SIZE AND SOFTNESS LIKE THE CLONE TOOL. YOU CAN FIND THIS HANDY DANDY TOOL UNDER THE PATCH TOOL IN YOUR MENU!

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

ALTHOUGH BEST FOR CORRECTING SMALL SPOTS AND OTHER UNWANTED HASSLES, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SHOW, I REMOVED THAT SWATCH OF TAPE IN THE BACKGROUND OF THIS IMAGE WITH ONE CLICK OF THE SPOT HEALING BRUSH. I SIMPLY SIZED THE BRUSH TO COVER THE UNWANTED PART AND CLICKED - THAT'S IT! SERIOUSLY, HOW SIMPLE IS THAT.

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

TOP 5 PHOTOSHOP TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT | THE PAPER CURATOR

 

PRODUCTS USED:

* SOME OF THE PRODUCTS LISTED ARE AFFILIATE LINKS. I RECEIVE 4% WHEN YOU PURCHASE PRODUCTS THROUGH THE PROVIDED AMAZON LINK. I HAVE USED AND LOVED EVERY ITEM SHOWN AND WOULD NOT SUGGEST WITHOUT TESTING EACH PRODUCT FIRST, OR WITHOUT USING THEM WHILE MAKING THIS PROJECT. AS ALWAYS, I APPRECIATE YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT.


WELL THAT ABOUT WRAPS IT UP! LET ME KNOW YOUR 'MUST HAVE' TOOLS IN THE COMMENT SECTION! I HOPE THIS POST HAS BEEN HELPFUL AND FEEL FREE TO DROP ME A LINE IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING!