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5 Mistakes Photographers Make in Photoshop

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Making mistakes is a powerful learning tool, but that statement only holds true if you realize what you’re doing is a mistake. To that end, here are 5 of the most common Photoshop mistakes photographers make.

This useful overview comes from the folks at the Photoshop Tutorials YouTube channel, and if we’re being honest, we’ll admit that we’ve all made every single one of these mistakes at least once… or like… 600 times.

If you want to use Photoshop in the most efficient and professional way possible, avoid these 5 like the plague:

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1. Creating Too Many Layers

Don’t do with 10 layers what you can do with 5… or 2. In some cases, getting more granular about your editing can be useful, but more often than not the sign of an amateur who doesn’t know how to properly use adjustment layers and Smart Objects.

Speaking of which.

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2. Not Using Smart Objects

If you’re not taking advantage of Smart Objects and all the benefits that they offer, you’re doing it wrong. Plain and simple.

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3. Using the Wrong Document Settings

When it comes to resolution, pixel dimensions matter… DPI does not. DPI will only affect your printed image. Also, if you are planning to print, stop converting your image to CMYK before printing. Your printer probably has it’s own custom color profile that will produce more accurate results than Photoshop conversion.

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4. Unnecessary Luminosity Masking

If the ability to affect Shadows, Highlights, and Midtones individually is built into a tool, why would you use a luminosity mask? It seems silly, but many photographers do it anyway. Stop wasting time and use the built-in masks.

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5. Overprocessing

The big one that all more advanced users loathe. Whether it’s the overly vibrant photo, the overly faded shot, the cartoon-like HDR image, or frequency separation that makes your subject look like a plastic doll, avoid over-processing at all costs.

And that’s it. Watch the video up top to see each of these mistakes (and their alternatives) demonstrated. And before you hop on your high horse int he comments, remember that none of us, no matter how advanced a Photoshop user, are immune to making post-processing mistakes.

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