As a photographer there are all kinds of techniques, tips, and tricks that you practice in order to capture that perfect shot. For many photographers the lion’s share of their energy and focus goes into getting the picture and they rush the processing step and so don’t show their work to best effect.

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Professional or amateur these days you’ll be saving your photos onto a computer and hopefully backing them up into the cloud as well. This means that there’s no excuse for not editing your photos. There are plenty of different pieces of photo editing software out there. However, Adobe photoshop is still the gold standard.

Yes it’s the most expensive but it’s also the best tool and with the introduction of Adobe Creative Cloud its much more affordable than it once was.

This graphics editor allows you to perfect and enhance images so that the end result is stunning. Of course, there is a learning curve involved. In order to help you out, we’ve put together five tips that will help you master Photoshop. If you’re a more advanced used you might want to check out this advice from professional photographers and photoshop users.

Take a Course

Almost every photographer has been on a photography course. These range from a basics course all the way through to specialist courses focusing on advanced techniques.

However, many photographers don’t think about a course on how to use Photoshop or whichever is their chosen software package. Arguably these packages are more complex than a good camera. Learning to make the most of them is not straightforward and so taking the time to have an expert show you at the very least the basics is time well spent.

Give Thought as to How the Image Will Be Used

When you sit down to process a photo in Photoshop it’s all part of the creative process. It needs planning as much as a great shot does. Before you start have a think about what you are seeking to achieve and who the audience will be.

For example, are you planning to make a gift out of a picture such as a photo mug, a photo on a t-shirt, or a calendar? If so, then the pictures will need to work well on the particular background which they will be used on. You’ll also need to think about what aspect ratio they’ll need. This article has some more tips on this.

Make Use of the Shortcut Keys

Learn the shortcut keys in Photoshop. Just like with any other software program, Adobe Photoshop features a number of shortcut keys that will save you huge amounts of time and fiddling about. These can take a bit to master and remember, but once you do you’ll be flying through your edits. Here is Adobe’s listing of shortcut keys.

Start Using Actions

This is one of those tips that takes a while to learn and really grasp, but once you do you’ll never go back. Actions allow you to automate repetitive tasks, just like a macro in Microsoft Excel. Photoshop allows you to record a number of steps that you are performing and will then repeat them for you at the touch of a button. Many people also publish their Photoshop actions so that others can achieve the same effects as they have.

That’s it. Four tips that will move your Photshop on quickly and let you get the results you want.