CT&D #22. Production Tips in Photoshop

What tips or methods did you find insightful from reading about Photoshop? How will this impact your design process?

As a beginner in using this software, my photo editing experience through Photoshop has been mostly straightforward; however, there are some tools and methods that I clearly need some guidance in. One area in particular is creating masks. Luckily for me, there was an insightful section in a reading entitled “Alternative Silhouetting Methods” that would wind up being helpful to improve on this area of editing. Usually, I use the quick selection tool to extract part of an image I want retained on a background but the process is fairly cumbersome due to two things: the quick selection boundary encompasses more area than it should despite my best efforts to minimize boundaries of error that take out parts of an image I want and the overuse of the blur tool to refine edges after using quick selection.

What I found you can do alternatively in some cases is to create a density mask in the center of a photographic area of interest with any outlying shape (commonly a circle or oval); the shape created can be filled out with any color to allow for a backdrop behind the object being masked (but this still requires some quick selection or gradient fading to remove parts of a photo that aren’t needed within a shape). This is a great tip nonetheless and is one of many I found through looking up Photoshop basics; over time, learning a number of these will positively impact my design process concerning photo editing. How so? One, I would become versatile in choosing many different tools (or the right combination of tools based on experience) in Photoshop to edit and two, as a graphic designer I would become more adept at showcasing great photo work (beyond the raw capture) both quickly and effortlessly.

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