5 Photoshop tips and tricks for beginners 

1. Save for web

This is my favourite method of saving photos for Facebook and my website. Hit Shift+option+cmd+S to bring up Save for Web window. You can quickly adjust image size and it will be saved in high quality, yet small file that will take no time to load once it’s online.

2.  Rotate view 

Did you notice how difficult can masking or brushing be if you have to move your  hand in an unnatural way to get to all those hiding spots or tight angles? To rotate your view hit R and drag it to the desired angle. 

Hit R and turn the image with Hand tool (H)

3. Cycle blend modes

Cycle through different Blend Modes using Shift + or -   It’s super fast and you’ll use this shortcut on every edit. 

This one is a bit difficult to see, but cycling through blending modes using Shift + or - will speed up your workflow rapidly

4. Dodge and burn the right way

Here’s how to do it: create a new layer, that’s Shift +Command + N, Change mode to Soft Light. Click Fill with Soft-Light-neutral colour (50% gray) then hit OK. Now, select a soft brush and change opacity to anywhere between 1 and 20%. The Black colour will darken, white colour will brighten your image. 

Follow those steps to create a great dodge and burn layer

5.Changing colours

This is where Photoshop really shines! You can change any colour with a few easy clicks and blend modes. Create a new layer and paint over your subject with new colour. Next change blending mode to “Colour” or “Hue”. Both interact with colours in different ways so try with and see which one you like most.

Simplest way to change colours in Photoshop.

Bonus tip:

Use Layers, from now on, make sure that every change you make is on it’s own layer. If you’re adjusting brightness create a new layer, If you’re cleaning up blemished do it on a new layer, if you’re adjusting exposure,  you get the point. Layers will allow you to change any edits to image, or even remove them completely.  Don’t forget we do not work on the original image we always work on layers. 

Layers, layers, layers. Layers everywhere. Use them!

5 Lightroom tips and tricks for beginners

1. Lights out / Max screen

If you want to maximise your workspace and remove all distractions the Lights Out Mode is your friend. Press L and work areas will dim around your photo. Press L twice and your photo will be displayed on a black background. Press L again to return to normal mode.

Click on the image to scroll to see how Lights out mode works in the Lightroom

2. Don’t clip 

When editing images it’s easy to lose detail in the highlights and darkest parts of the image if you push your image too far.  Let Lightroom alert you by pressing J in Develop mode or click little triangles in the histogram to toggle the feature on/off.

Scroll to see blacks and highlights clipping example

3. It’s all about stacking

So you got your Raw file and TIFF, Master TIFF and JPEG for instagram, maybe a different JPEG for Facebook and so on. But how do you organise those in a nice way to have all image files together? Start with selecting all the images you want to stack, then press Command + G or Ctrl +G to move your selected files into a neat stack. You can expand and collapse stacks by pressing S. Shift [ or ] will move your selected image up and down the stack.  

Example of collapsed and expanded stack in Lightroom

4. Quick before and after with \

Hit backslash \ to turn off your edits and view original image. Hit it again to return to edited image. This will not change any of your edits just hides them.  

Hit \ to see edited and unedited image

5. O is for Overlays

Whether you’re cropping your image or want to find that sweet golden ratio spot hit O to show all different overlays Lightroom has to offer. Shift + O will rotate the overlays for you

See different overlays Lightroom has to offer, and don’t forget you can easily rotate them as well.

Bonus tip: Pimp up your Lightroom with your own logo or name

I admit this doesn’t make the boat go any faster, but it does personalise your Lightroom. Go to Lightroom>Identity Plate Setup menu to customise the workspace. 

There are two options to choose from in the drop down menu:

-Use a text identity plate - for example your name 

-use graphic identity plate - for example your logo. Just upload a PNG file and there you go a custom looking Lightroom