Most people want to learn Photoshop like all tools fit for their innovative work, it pays to get the fundamental basics under your belt first. Here is my suggested list of the 6 fundamental things any Photoshop apprentice should learn:
- Learn the Image Analysis Tools
These tools provide you all the valuable information about your image or photograph. The Histogram will tell you the whole thing you need to know about the exposure of the photograph, whether it is over exposed or under exposed, or the tonal range. The Eyedropper tool will give you valued information about the colors in the image; particularly if there is a color cast (a color cast is an unwanted leading color) you need to spot-on. The Info palette (or window) will provide mathematical feedback when using the eyedropper and other tools. This is an important orientation for progressive work so is worth getting to know at the start.
- Basic Drawing with the Pen Tool
Photoshop’s Pen Tool is very powerful but it can be misleading. When you think of a pen, you think of pressing down and making a flowing mark with it. You don’t usually think of a pen as a tool that creates dots on paper and automatically links them in specific ways based on a number of factors. You don’t because a pen can’t do that in reality, but that’s precisely what it does in Photoshop. While this may seem a bit odd, it’s a very powerful and useful method of drawing vector graphics.
- Photoshop’s Filters
In photography, filters are camera equipment that you place on your lens to capture photos that will have mesmerizing effects. This concept is digitally combined into Photoshop and is a convenient way of editing your images fast. Filters can be useful (such as the Sharpen filters to help you correct blurry photos) or artistic (such as the Texture filters that give your images unique texture effects).
- Learn to Remove Dust Marks and Blemishes
Even with latest sensor cleaning built-in, you may find your image holds dust marks or other blemishes. These will frequently be seen in areas of smooth tendency such as a clear sky. These should be detached using the Healing Brush tool, mainly useful on smooth color and tones like skies, and the Clone Stamp tool. The Clone Stamp tool is crucial for removing or altering areas of detail which the Healing Brush tool frequently just messes up. Get a grip on these two important tools quickly so you can really clean up your important images.
- Learn to Correct the Tonal Values
The next phase is to correct any exposure glitches or tonal range issues. If the picture is excessively dim or light now is the time to fix it. To do tonal improvements you need to learn to use the Levels command. The levels command uses a histogram to display the tones so your previous knowledge from Step 1 above will really help you now.
- Learn to Crop the Photo
A large number of Photoshop beginners acknowledge the content of the photo as it came from the camera without thinking about whether a photo can be enhanced visually by removing pointless edges. The added benefit of cropping the image first is that you also reduce the file size which makes additional changes to the image run much faster since you are using less memory and disk space.