An Introduction to Photoshop

Clive R. Haynes FRPS

Note: The initial purpose of this section is to provide information for a series of introductory talks at a local photographic society
enabling participants gain a better understanding about the fundamentals of Photoshop

I hope the information will be of benefit to others as well

Photoshop is a vast and fascinating program, specifically aimed at photographers and graphic designers. I'm a photographer so my approach is necessarily from that discipline.

In this introduction to the program I'm concentrating upon the basic functions and tools that I feel are most appropriate for a photographer. There's a great deal of overlap between photographers tools and the tools that someone working in the graphic arts would use. With such a large area of common ground we all have our favourites and preferred methods.

The introduction will be a series of 'links' to appropriate pages on my website. Please note that as Photoshop has evolved over many versions and I've been using it since version 4 (around 1997) some pages may reflect the way in which the general layout appeared in an earlier form. I've tried to update where possible, however I must make allowances for people using older versions. Sometimes I present an option for one version or another however at other times, if I consider the change to be mostly 'cosmetic', I'll leave the earlier one in place. With a little interpretation and common sense most things can be translated from one version to another.

The basic topics I'll be covering will be:

Digital Cameras - How many Mega-Pixels?

File types - JPEG, Camera RAW, TIFF, PSD, DNG etc

Why use 'RAW' Files?

Back-up & Storage

Mouse or Graphics Tablet? - Options and advantages

Setting Photoshop 'Preferences'

The Photoshop 'Desktop':
Introducing: Menus, Options Bar & 'Palettes' and including:
'The Toolbar': The essential Tools

Navigation within the image: Zooming in/out & movement

Getting started with an image: Preliminary decisions and initial Tonal Adjustments:
Understanding the 'Histogram' & Using 'Levels'

An introduction to working with 'Selections': Defining specific areas in which to work and apply changes

How Big Should My File Size Be? Resolution & Definition - Explanations & Considerations (ppi & dpi) How Many Mega-Pixels Do I Need? 8 bit or 16 bit - Why the Choice?

Making more complex 'Selections' Refining and modifying the selected area and using 'Quick Mask'

What are Layers? A basic introduction to this essential component of Photoshop

More Tonal Control:
'Shadows & Highlights'

Know-How Contents
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