"Creativity is Contagious; Pass It On" - Albert Einstein

When it comes to editing photos, there are techniques that can make your life easier. These techniques can almost magically help you to sharpen an image, remove a cigarette butt from a street, etc., in Photoshop.

This photo editor, which can make your snaps much nicer, is already 29 years old! Given that 22% of its users claim it revolutionised the industry, it’s no surprise that Photoshop is seen to be the industry standard for photographers or graphic designers.

Editing photos has never been easier or more accessible, you just need to learn how. Here’s our advice for getting started with Photoshop!

Installing Photoshop

To resize pictures with Photoshop, you need to first install the programme. Not every computer (Mac or PC) comes with Adobe Photoshop installed.

How much is Photoshop?
If you want to use Photoshop, you'll need a computer. (Source: freephotocc)

You have to pay for Photoshop. You need to pay nearly £20 per month for Adobe Creative Suite. Even resizing photos comes at a price. The suite includes Photoshop and Lightroom.

Don’t forget that there are free trial versions available of these photo editing programmes which are a great way to see if you like them. If you do like them, it’s very simple to install them. By visiting Adobe.com, you can see the different offerings.

Once you’ve chosen your product or subscription, you can download the programme in just a few clicks. In the Adobe Creative Cloud catalogue, have a look for Photoshop. You’ll need an Adobe ID. If you don’t have one, don’t worry. You can get one in a few seconds.

Finally, by following the steps, you’ll have Photoshop installed on your computer in just a few minutes. 2019 is the latest version and you could feasibly install several on the same computer.

Understanding the Photoshop Interface

Once you install the programme, it’s time to learn about the interface and how to use it. You’ll be able to use Photoshop for so much. It’s important to think about what you need Photoshop for. There are several panels that you can use to edit photos. Whether you’re resizing a family photo or increasing the saturation on your holiday photos, the interface is your workspace.

What can Photoshop do?
Photoshop has plenty of features and functions. (Source: Free-Photos)

So what does your workspace include?

At the top of the screen, you have the menu, which includes your typical “File”, “Edit”, “Image” tabs that you can use to access other menus.

Under the menu bar, you have the options bar, which changes depending on the tool you’re using. For example, if you want to resize a photo, you’ll need to choose the ideal size using the appropriate tool. Practical!

On the left of the screen, there’s the toolbar that includes the various tools for editing photos or creating your own pictures.

On the right, there’s the Color, Layers, and Properties tabs which are pretty self-explanatory. For example, “Layers” allows you to create and manage layers. Photoshop is simpler than you think.

There are useful tools on both sides of the screen and in the centre of the screen. In the middle of the screen, there’s the document window. This is where you’ll have your photo or image.

Whether you’re cropping with the crop tool, resizing, merging two images, or changing the colours, it’ll be instinctive with Photoshop. Make sure you learn the basics first. To do this, you could pick up a small book or find help online.

Most people are familiar with Photoshop. That’s why “Photoshop” has become a verb to mean edit a photo. Don’t hesitate to get help if you have a problem.

Find out more about using Photoshop Lightroom.

Opening an Image to Be Modified in Photoshop

Learning to use the basic tools for editing photos is a good idea but you’ll need to learn more than just the basics. Before you work on an image, you need to know how to open a file first.

Where can you get Photoshop tutorials?
Photoshop is very useful once you know how to use it. (Source: StockSnap)

Click on “File” then “Open”. A window will open allowing you to choose the image you want. You can also drag the photo directly into your workspace. The image will appear in the document window. You don’t necessarily need to work on a pre-existing image. You can also create images from scratch. Graphic designers can use this programme for their own creations. However, you don’t open a blank document in the same way that you’d open a photo. To do this, you’ll need to click on “File” and then “New”. At this point, a small window will pop up and you’ll need to choose the type of document you wish to create.

Whether it’s a photo or a new document, you’ll need to learn how to modify it. This is one of the first things you should learn how to do.

On a Mac?

Consider using Aperture.

Resizing an Image in Photoshop

When you’re first getting started with Photoshop, you might be tempted to explore certain projects. However, changing the size of an image is something that every user should learn how to do. Resizing an image can be useful for certain formats or improving the sharpness. It’s a useful technique!

How do you get started with Photoshop?
Photoshop can be a little overwhelming for beginners at first. (Source: Pexels)

When you resize images, you tend to measure them in pixels rather than centimetres. This unit is used for both images and videos. Thus, you can resize any image without too many problems. For blank documents, you can resize the image as you create it. For preexisting photos, there are two ways to resize them:

  • If you know exactly what size you want your image to me, you can do this through the “Edit” menu. You just need to type in the dimensions you want and you’re good to go.
  • The second solution is to click on “Image” and then “Image Size”. A window will open. You can edit the width and height of the image. You might want to retain the proportions by clicking on the appropriate box. Photoshop will ensure that the width-to-length ratio is retained.

Looking for free photo editing software?


Modifying Images in Photoshop

You might be familiar with some of the terms referring to image manipulation but not know how to use the particular functions, plugins, or sliders. Even a beginner can do some impressive stuff if they learn the tricks. Here are some techniques that you can get started with:


If you need to be precise, you might want to zoom in on an image. If you have a mouse, you can hold “Alt” and then scroll.

You can also click on “Tools” and then “Zoom”. Then you just have to click on the part of the image you want to zoom in on.

Finally, the simplest solution, but the least practical, is to type in the zoom percentage you want into the bottom left of the screen. You’ll zoom into the image at the scale you specified.

Learn from the best photography courses on here.

Making an Image Black and White

“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.” - Diane Arbus

A lot of users may want to make a photo black and white. In Photoshop, this is known as desaturation. In the “Properties” menu you can find black and white presets. You can also change the colours to greyscale. In the “Settings” window, choose “Black and White”. You can also click on “Layers” and create a new black and white layer. You can also rename the layer if you wish. This will put the programme into the black and white mode for this layer.

Join the best photography courses in the UK on Superprof.

Cancelling an Operation

If you’ve made a mistake, don’t panic! Everything can be easily fixed. There are a number of different techniques for cancelling what you’ve done.

  • To cancel the last action, go to the “Edit” window and then “Undo”, or you can press “Ctrl + z” (on Windows) or “Cmd + z” (on Mac).
  • You can also “Redo” an action.
  • You can cancel multiple actions at once, too.

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Saving Your Work

Of course, everything will be for nought if you don’t save your work when you retouch a photo or do some graphic design. You just need to click on “File” and then “Save” or “Save as...”.

By choosing the .psd format, you can save the file as a Photoshop-compatible file. You can also save your work as image files like .jpg or .png. which can be used in other photo software.

Let Your Curiosity Get the Better of You in Photoshop

As you know, Photoshop is a fantastic image editor. Being curious is one of the best ways to learn about the programme.

There are tonnes of tools and settings to explore like luminosity, contrast, saturation. You won’t get to learn them all in one sitting, but the more you use it, the more you’ll learn about Photoshop.

Don’t forget, creativity is at the heart of Photoshop.

There's also Adobe Photoshop Elements, a lighter version of Photoshop CC that includes the Adobe Camera Raw module (useful for working with raw files). There's also Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe Photoshop CS5, etc, though most of the information in this article can be used on all versions.

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.