Essential Photoshop Skills for Photographers

posted in: Photography, The Tools | 1

I’m not entirely sure I agree with this list, actually.

I tend to follow the dictum that, as photographers, we should strive to make a better photograph in the camera, not in the computer. However, the reality of the modern age is that Photoshop exists and, well, the people who use it will tend to have an advantage over those of us who don’t.  According to DIY Photography, there are Twelve Essential Photoshop Skills that Every Photographer Should Know.  Those twelve things are Cropping, Adjusting Brightness and Contrast, Using “Curves and Levels”, Adjusting Saturation, Working with Layers, Sharpening, Using Cloning and Healing to Fix Photographs, Using “Content Aware Fill” and Adjusting Color Balance.

Now, just a bit of a disclaimer here; I use Adobe Lightroom to make minor adjustments to my digital photos.  And, with that in mind, I whole-heartedly endorse using software to do basic cropping as well as some correction for lens and camera aberrations.  And, yes, I do absolutely use Lightroom to correct color and white balance.  I even use it to make some very small and unobtrusive corrections for things like shadows or the occasional bit of junk in the background that distracts from the photo I want to share.
So, with all that being said, I still think the article is suggesting we learn Photoshop skills for the sake of simply using Photoshop.  “Curves and Levels” in this context are just a way of cheating and fixing sloppy photography in software.  So is a lot of the color corrections they describe.  Personally, I think it would be better and, for me at least, more satisfying to just improve my photography and take a better picture!

Still, it’s Friday and if you’re looking for some tips to improve your Photoshop skills, that link above will take you to a series of videos that will show you the basics of DIY Photography’s 12 Essential Photoshop Skills for Photographers.  Check it out and let me know what you think.