The Blank Slate: Do You REALLY Know Photoshop?

The Blank Slate: Do You REALLY Know Photoshop?

I realized a few days ago, that I’ve been working with Adobe Photoshop for about 15 years… That is a pretty long time to get to know something. But what I also realized is that I’m still learning Photoshop. There are still tips, tools and techniques that I pick up from time to time that I knew nothing about. It’s fascinating to me that a single piece of software can be so vast. Photoshop is one tool for photographers, and a completely different tool for illustrators and designers. This brought a question to my mind…

Knowing Photoshop

What have you recently discovered in Photoshop that you didn’t know was there? Have you found something that has helped your work flow, or maybe something that is simply a cool effect or neat trick? Share your discovery with the community, and let’s see what kind of list we can build of useful PS tricks and tools… Ready, set, go!

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.


(+add yours)
  1. Frantisek Kusovsky

    doubleclick on the zoom icon for 100% zoom level in a second :P

    • Leif

      Aso works with cmd / ctrl + 0

    • Double clicking on the ‘hand’ tool – will ‘fit to screen’ the image.

  2. willem tiemersma

    I mostly use a high pass filter at the end of my designs. I just gives a nice little touch, and gives more detail.

    Flatten image>Filter>Other>High Pass>around 1.7>set it to overlay>adjust the opacity.

    • willem tiemersma

      Forgot to say to make an duplicate of the flatten image.

      Also maybe another little trick: Sometimes you don’t want an flatten image. If you want all the layers to be intact, but you still want a flatten image. Try this:

      Just make an new layer (on top)>image>apply image>and hit ok, and you’ve got and flatten image and with all the layers.

      • Or you can click the top visible layer and hit cmd+shift+alt+E :)

  3. I recently discovered the Vignett filter, a really quick, simple way to touch up your photos.

    Flatten your image into a new layer (click the top visible layer and hit cmd+shift+alt+E) then go to Filter > Lens Correction > Custom and drag the “Amount” to -30 (depending on the picture of course) and you’re done!

  4. I would really like a shortcut (like cmd+J) but not to copy a single layer, yet a whole group. That would be awesome :> I am working with Photoshop for almost 6 years now and i agree with Nathan, PS is a really powerful tool.

    • Jacob Wadenpfuhl

      You can set up a custom keystroke to copy groups or multiple layers. I set mine as ALT+CMD+J.

      I believe you go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts

  5. I use mainly keyboard shortcuts but if you hold and click on a layer’s visibility icon (the eye) in the layers pallet, it will hide all other layers. Do it again to reset.

  6. Well, my experience with PS is not 15 years and not even half of it and I discover new tips all the time. Recently I played a lot with a Match Color (Image/Adjustments/Much color), sometimes can get really cool color effects or when working with collages helps to give color unity to final result.

  7. Leif

    Making chromatic Aberration with the Lens Correction filter is pretty fast and gives realism to renders.

  8. Amber Edgar

    shift + or – to cycle through blend modes… a friend showed me this… such a great shortcut.

  9. Great tips everyone! … Keep’em coming!

  10. Venkatx5

    I often use Studio Glow effect by
    1. Duplicate the Photo (Or Merge all visible layers and duplicate)
    2. For the duplicated layet, Filter-> Blur -> Gaussian Blur with 2.0
    3. Change the Blend mode to “Lighten”. Bingo!

    To get start shape glow, duplicate the original layer twice and select first duplicate layer, Filter -> Blur -> Radial Blur -> Set Direction 45 Degree. Select second duplicate layer, Filter -> Blur -> Radial Blur -> Set Direction -45 Degree. (Keep the Blur value somehow less). Then change blend mode of both duplicate layers to “Lighten”.

    - VR

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