Three Photoshop Tips For Beginners

May 12, 2020

Dani DiamondWe asked NYC Fashion and Portrait Photographer (and dear Wacom friend, style icon, and person who always makes us smile), Dani Diamond, to share his tips for new photographers. As always, he shared thoughtful, smart and practical ideas. Read on for more from Dani Diamond and follow Dani on Instagram while you’re at it. Dani uses a Mobile Studio Pro 13 and an Intuos Pro

When I first tried to use Photoshop, every time I opened it to edit an image, I found myself overwhelmed and closed the program down. While there was a fundamental understanding for what makes an edit great, I could not figure out how to put the knowledge to use to deliver a great photo. Over time, there were three things I learned that helped me become more proficient in using the platform. I thought I would share them, because surely, I am not alone.

Tip 1: Avoid the Clutter

It is important to have a clear mental headspace and a physically decluttered workspace. While a clear headspace is self-explanatory, some clarification for a physical workspace is warranted. The actual desk must be clear, but more importantly, an unloaded Photoshop desktop window is key. This happens by getting rid of all the unnecessary windows. As you can see in the screenshot below, Photoshop, by default, has many windows that, as a photo editor, will never be used. To close the unwanted windows follow these instructions:

  • Right click on the tab of the unwanted window and close it.
  • Go to the window tab in the main toolbar and select the windows that will be used.
  • Organize those windows to one side of the screen by dragging and letting them lock in place.

DaniDiamondPhotoshop

 

As you can see in the second screenshot below, my Photoshop desktop is much cleaner than the default setting of the program.

DaniDiamondPhotoshophowto

Tip 2: Efficiency. It is important to find a workflow that works, and then consistently repeat it. Developing a workflow can be as simple as finding one that another photographer uses, or creating your own by putting different steps together you learned from YouTube videos and tutorials. A workflow consists of a clear order of steps used each and every time you sit to retouch an image. Once that workflow is established and used a few times, the process will become second nature and editing becomes less overwhelming and more calming.  Personally, my workflow consists of: skin cleaning, frequency separation, dodging and burning, and lastly, I take care of overall image toning. I built an action for my workflow, and have been doing the same exact process for 8 years now. You can see it on the screenshot below; the action is circled in red.

DaniDiamondPhotoshopworkflow

Tip 3: Keyboard Shortcuts.  Oftentimes, when people hear I use shortcuts to change things like brush sizes and opacity, they laugh and argue that using the toolbar is easier. However, I invested a small amount of time in creating shortcuts, and now, I never have to bother with a mouse or tablet for tool selection and adjustments. After creating shortcuts, one hand will sit on the keyboard while the other hand holds the tablet pen. Eventually, you will find yourself flying through an edit. Again, this is about removing all the unnecessary steps and thought-processes related to editing to make the editing process a smooth and somewhat mindless process.

While there are other tips and suggestions I could make, these three are the easiest of the bunch, and also have the most impact in image editing. There is no question that Photoshop, at first, can be intimidating and stressful. Like any other complex platform, there is a learning curve. However, taking the time to learn it well can change the way a person approaches image editing in astounding ways. You can use this article as a starting point. Google and YouTube can afford a plethora of information to become more proficient in Photoshop use.

Related posts:

The ultimate guide to cutting out images in Photoshop, with School of Motion

The ultimate guide to cutting out images in Photoshop, with School of Motion

Digital calligraphy for beginners, with Joli Noelle David

Digital calligraphy for beginners, with Joli Noelle David

How to draw a bird, with Monika Zagrobelna

How to draw a bird, with Monika Zagrobelna

How to build an impressive blended photo collage in Adobe Photoshop

How to build an impressive blended photo collage in Adobe Photoshop

Connect with Wacom on social media

🎉 Manga friends, save the date! We’re thrilled to be at @dokomi_expo 2024 this June! ✨

Join us at the Wacom booth for 3 days of fun activities:

🖌️ Art Battles to showcase your creative skills!

🔥 Exclusive presentations with Wacom’s CEO Nobu Ide and Celsys’ CEO Kei Narushima!

🤝🏻 Meet and greet with Connected Ink Village artist Ktym from Japan (@yuki_ktym_ )

🌟 Try our latest tech with click & collect on site!

📅 28 - 30 June 2024
📍 Düsseldorf, Germany
✍🏻 Booth# > Halle 3, Artist Alley

See you there! 🌟

#WacomAtDokomi #Dokomi2024
1132 6
We asked character designer @omarsharif.creates to share part of his process. Check out his reference mix and how much fun he has experimenting with textures and colors. ⁣
Head to the #WacomBlog to read our interview with Omar! ⁣
Link in bio!⁣⁣
#wacom #characterdesign #digitalart #artprocess #madewithwacom #wacomcintiqpro #cintiqpro ⁣
234 7
See you in Berlin!💫 Come celebrate with us at @weareplaygrounds this weekend!

💡 Explore artist discussions, demonstrations, film showings interactive live sketching!

✍️ Visit our Wacom booth to experience and enjoy drawing on our latest pen-displays and tablets and some other surprises 👀

📅 Berlin, DE on May 25th-26th

See you there!

#TADBerlin #CreativeCommunity
104 6
A magical midnight forest... 🌲🌙🦉🎨🖌️⁣
That's what @yingshiart was conjuring in this amazing piece #MadeWithWacom. Tayler loves using color to evoke emotion and fullness in her paintings, and liberally uses adjustment layers, filters, and gradient maps. She trusts the creative process and lets go, allowing the subconscious to put one hand on the wheel instead of micromanaging every detail. ⁣
Do you trust your creative process? ⁣
#WacomOne #digitalillustration #moodpainting #environmentdesign
1026 15
Easy to pack & ready to go! 🏃🏻‍♂️

🆕 The new Wacom Movink easily fits in any bag and can be set up anywhere with a single cable. The best solution for creative professionals on the go!

Wanna get yours? Follow the link in our bio!

#wacommovink
414 7
Dive into the insightful first look of the NEW Wacom Movink by @wieger_poutsma, Digital Artist and Creative Director, working for clients like Netflix, Warner Bros, HBO and many more. 💻 🙌🏻

👉🏻 Follow the link in bio to discover all the benefits of our NEW Wacom Movink and shop yours!

#WacomMovink #CreativeProfessionals #CreativesOnTheGo
295 12
You got this! ✍️ Never stop creating. 🤘⁣
Animation made by the wonderful @javadoodles⁣
#MentalHealthAwareness #madewithwacom #TVPaintAnimation⁣
760 24
🆕 Alex Wätzel @dgtlcraft_postproduction , High-end photo retoucher & video editor with years of experience on the creative industry, also tried the NEW Wacom Movink!

Now’s your turn! Follow the link in our bio and discover all the amazing benefits of our new Wacom Movink💥

Ph: @akazie.photography 

#WacomMovink #CreativeProfessionals #CreativesOnTheGo #MovinkMakers
169 4
Mental health awareness month is upon us and we want to give a shout-out to anyone out there struggling, yet creating. ⁣
We see you and you're absolutely wonderful. 😍⁣
⁣
Art by @chibirdart 🐤💓⁣
#MentalHealthAwareness #webcomic #comic #webtoon
833 10