24 Feb 2014

photoshop rookies // a guide to starting out

If you are lucky enough to have photoshop then you are in for a treat today
I've just started design at school and it's so much fun learning more about photoshop than just the basics.....
But before you can start doing photo edits and manipulations you got to know the basics
like layers and transforming images and the most important of all..saving your work properly
I get heaps of questions about how to make headers and thing so using photoshop or other image editors is really good.

1 // Layers
Even though I just said that saving your work is very important, to make photoshop work and be easy (like it is supposed to) you have to know how to use your layers
Your layers are transparent apart from where you have added an object to it

Imagine it like this...
you a drawing up a house, you have a yellow base, a red roof and green doors
if you suddenly don't like your green doors (let's say you would like a blue door instead) you can't remove them but if each part of the house is on a different layer, you can just trash the layer with the (ugly) green doors

To find your layers tab in photoshop: Menu Bar (transparent bar at top of screen) > Window > Layers
This should open a window that looks like the drawing above (^^) with a diagram of buttons and their functions

2 // Selection
This one always seems so weird but it's so handy.
There are many ways to select a selection (??) but here are some of easiest and when it's the best time to use them

Magic Wand Tool - if you have a solid background you can select with this tool. Selecting and then deleting with this tool is a great way to delete a white background of an image.
Lasso Tool - There are many variations of the lasso tool like the magnetic and polygonal (just to name a couple) but the main function of the lasso tool is using the mouse to drag around the selected area. Something that can be easy or really hard
Marquee Tool - This tool is a set shape like a circle or rectangular selection so good for images from a camera or making photos into circles.

3 // Transform an Image
To resize and rotate your image is simple
Control + T (Command for mac) and you can resize and rotate your image

To resize a photo (for example so that you can fit the image into your blog area) you can just type in your width and it will automatically constrain the image to a smaller version without get a stretched photo (skinny and fat!!!!)

To adjust image size (in pixels): Menu Bar > Image > Image Size > adjust as necessary

4 // Saving
This is important so don't stop reading
When you save a photoshop document it will automatically save as a .psd doc. Meaning that you can re open and edit it. But a .psd file is not an image and will not upload to a place like blogger because it is a layered image

Your best option is to save as a .jpg or .png file as both will flatten your image. But as well as your flattened image always save a .psd as well so that you can go back and change something if you change your mind!

I hope these tips getting you started with photoshop.
I'm going to start doing some other tutorials like making GIFs and other things that these tips will make easier when you follow those tutorials
x harri



  1. This was helpful ! I can't wait for the ones about gifs and stuff - they will be really helpful !
    Eb x

  2. These are wonderful tips Harri! I was thinking of doing a post like this but yours is just so great! I absolutely LOVE how you did drawings of everything as well! Amazing post :)

    1. Thank you!! Sorry that I bet you to it ;)

  3. I can't believe you drew all the diagrams out! I love it! Not only was this informative but also freakin adorable, well done and thank you!

    1. I know right?? Downright creative.

    2. thank you so much, both of you! x

  4. great tips for someone who is starting in photoshop, love the diagrams :)

    Curly Made/

  5. Amazing! Your drawing is gorgeous.

  6. Thanks a lot!!
    I´ve always wanted to see tutorial for this :D hahaha
    love u for this even more

    xx Barbora

    1. Thank you. Glad it will be of use. x

  7. This is really helpful thank you x

  8. Thank you! So simple and clear.
    love your drawing!

  9. You MUST tell us how to make gifs :)

  10. What photoshop do you have? I've been wanting to get it, but there are a lot of different ones...

    1. I use Photoshop CS6 but elements is much cheaper. xx

  11. how much did you get the photoshop for? I still dunno which photoshop should I get :(

    1. sorry, I have no idea because I get the entire CS suite free from school. x


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment. I read everyone and try to reply as soon as possible so check back. Hope you enjoyed this post x Harri