Although Photoshop has many tools to cover practically any post-processing desire, it is daunting to newcomers as a result. To help make the program easier to jump into, photographer PJ Pantelis has shared a brief tutorial that equips photographers with a handful of top tools to get started in Photoshop with ease.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Pantelis is a photographer and YouTuber. In his latest video, he applies the Pareto principle for teaching Photoshop to both beginners and more seasoned photographers who still shy away from giving Photoshop a go.
The Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule, applies to the notion that 20% of the input will deliver 80% of the results. In the case of learning Photoshop, this means that the tools shown in the video cover around 20% of Photoshop but will help explain to photographers about 80% of what they need to learn about post-processing.
Pantelis covers five main tools: Layers, Masks, Adjustments, Selections, and Content-Aware tools. Layers, in particular, are the core of what makes Photoshop’s tools powerful and are where the non-destructive editing capabilities of Photoshop are based, which open up an endless amount of creative opportunities.
Understanding how layers work and interact is important before adding any other adjustments. This also leads into the second tool, Masks. Both tools give photographers ways to manipulate an image by adding and removing adjustments in different combinations for the desired result.
The third concept is Adjustments, which give creative editing options that can be added on top of layers and removed or adjusted with the help of masks. Once photographers are comfortable with the use of the three concepts, the next step is understanding Selections.
This tool further opens up ways that photographers can apply local adjustments, where only a part of the image is affected by the applied adjustment, filter, or tool, instead of the whole image. Photoshop offers several choices for Selections and users can simply select “Subject” to let Photoshop use AI to determine the subject in the image or perform it manually.
Lastly, Pantelis introduces Content-aware tools, such as Spot Healing Brush and Clone-Stamp tool, which are indispensable in an editing workflow. These tools allow images to be cleaned up by removing any spots, marks, blemishes, and anything else that can distract the viewer from the image as a whole.
Getting to know these five main tools can get Photoshop beginners on a natural learning curve to unlock the creative potential that the software can deliver.