Handy Photoshop Tools For Photographers

The world of photography has been drastically transformed since the introduction of photo enhancement programs like Photoshop. With this software you can do so many things with your photographs like colour changes, image manipulation, layer creation and different types of touch ups to deliver a final result that will satisfy your creative urges. Photoshop has many tools for the creatively inclined photographer and here are some of the most important of them all.

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Dodge & Burn

For a long time photographers and filmmakers have been using the dodge and burn technique to enhance their photos in the dark room. That used to be a very long process to achieve the desired results. Now Photoshop gives you the advantage of being able to use this feature right there in front of your personal computer quick and easily. To make use of this amazing Photoshop tool you need to first access it in your toolbox and then upload your photo, open it and start working on it. The main feature of this tool is to make part of a picture darker and make other parts lighter in order to make the image more visible. It’s also used to increase impact and drama with the use of shadows and highlights. You can use it to bring out important details of the image so that viewers can appreciate it better.

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You can control your shade, light and angles almost all the time but sometimes you find yourself helpless with the background. As a result of this you come out with a very beautiful picture with an unsatisfying background. So what can you do? Make use of the sharpen/blur tool in Photoshop. This tool allows you to manipulate the contrast of the background of your focus image without impacting the image itself. Blurring can also be used to help include some creativity in your photo. But be very careful with the sharpness because too much of it can damage the quality of the picture.

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photoshop sharpen tool

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Black And White

If you’re tired of producing colour pictures you might need to shift your attention to black and white. Photographs produced in black and white help provide some gritty and dramatic effects which is not available in coloured photographs. Instead of just turning your coloured photos into black and white straight from colour which can distort its quality, Photoshop allows you to transform your picture to black and white with consideration to the different colours in the spectrum of light.

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black and white

Cropping Tool

This tool is probably the most essential of all, especially if you have a list of casual photographs you want to manipulate. Often professional and amateur photographers end up with a couple of pictures with unwanted images, items and elements. You can remove anything you want in any picture using the cropping tool. Apart from eliminating unwanted objects, cropping can also help increase the focus of the subject of your picture as well as the composition. The absence of a camera lens might make you take photographs with less depth and focus but you can easily fix this in post production using this amazing cropping tool.

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These are by no means all the tools Photoshop has but they are some of the very best. If you’re new to Photoshop you’ll need to practice with them for a while before you start using them for serious work. The more you devote your time to using them, the better you can use it to make your picture come out with higher quality.

Aaron Bale is a professional photographer who works for Lumina in London. He loves Photoshop and sees it as a vital tool for his job.