10 Advance Photoshop Tips to Take Your Pictures to the Next Level

sport skating halfpipe skater

Image via Pixabay

Creatives of any experience level have dabbled with a photo editor at some point, and almost all have experience with Adobe Photoshop. It is a useful tool that can radically alter the look on a person’s face, or take your background to places only limited by your imagination. The following Photoshop tips range from commonly overlooked to universal for photographers and designers everywhere.

What Is Photoshop?

photoshop logo

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This graphics editor has been the standard for multiple industries for decades. The power it has for heavy photo manipulation is undeniable. You open your image file to the program and use its wide range of tools to edit photos through creating layers, adding colors, or shifting the tones in every single part of a target image.

While there are cheaper alternatives, they do not have the features needed for making quality work. Its user interface remains intuitive, and developers designed it expertly for tablets too.

Who Uses It?


Chances are even regular people will use a professional-grade image manipulator to fix their photo or make a meme. The three things beginners must learn are how to use the Brush Tool, Selection Tools (Marquee, Magnetic Lasso, and Polygonal Lasso) and Layers. From there, any rookie can branch out their Photoshop education to fit into where their passion truly lies, for a hobby or professionally.

children with an excited expression

image via Pixab??ay


Professionals consider it the weapon of choice for everything they need after snapping photos. All photography schools have courses that have Photoshop tips on sizing, cropping, and retouching, among other tutorials. They also use Photoshop for photo restoration, camera raw and processing images, and even to create outstanding panoramic shots.

woman taking night photos

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Graphic Designers

Graphic designers use it for everything whether for print or digital. They work to make eye-catching visuals that have people captivated not just by the words, but to their graphic style. Strangely enough, that’s where Photoshop comes into play since designers must learn how to combine multiple images and objects, apply effects, add text, or edit images, to fit a theme.

graphic designer holding a photo

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Web Designers

The individual elements of a website require expert designers that know modern styles for sites. One perk for them is that they do not have to master every part of Photoshop, just the parts that will improve their workflow. Many tips regarding web design include creating custom grids, palettes, and mockups. These are just several features needed to create the perfect UI. Photoshop, via Adobe’s Creative Cloud platform, is a very important part of creating a website.

woman working at her desk

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Web Developers

Designers and creative types have a general idea of how Photoshop works, but it is very different for front-end developers who are more software-centered. They need to learn about design just as much as they do about HTML/CSS. This comes from learning Photoshop tips that help integrate photography and image information into the backbone of their site. Their use of Photoshop normally covers spacing, typography, and colors.

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10 Advanced Photoshop Tips To Take Your Pictures To The Next Level


Flattening Out Raw Images

two children holding each other

screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

There is no way a photographer can edit a photo without setting it to the right settings. First, open the image using Camera Raw, then go to the Adjustments menu and make changes. Next, move the highlights and shadow sliders, changing the color temperature and exposure of the image until it is dull and in the same range as the mid-tones. The image will come out looking boring, but that’s the best place where Photoshop tips on contrast and toning will start.


Clever Cloning Tricks

clever toning

screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

You can easily take out distractions or blemishes using the Clone Stamp Tool, but there is more to it than just replicating a small part of an image. In the Tool options, select the blending tones to either Lighten or Darken using your Clone Stamp. Darken works best for spots that need lightening while maintaining the darker background and Lighten will work on darker spots that won’t affect lighter-colored backgrounds.


Dodge and Burn

burn and dodge

screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

This is one of those Photoshop tips that is a standard, seeing as this is the digital version of a darkroom technique used to manipulate a photo’s exposure. There are multiple ways to achieve this in a non-destructive way. You can create a new Curves Adjustments level and click on the brightest or darkest part of the image to dodge or burn it, respectively. If you want to use the Dodge/Burn Tool, add a new layer above the target layer and fill it with 50% gray, then set it to overlay before you start the process.


Retouching Through Frequency Saturation

retouching through frequency saturation

screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

There is a stigma associated with skin retouching, so concentrate on just making the skin look smooth through blatant manipulation. But with a technique called frequency saturation, you can repair imperfections without overtly messing with skin features. You can do this by creating multiple layers of the original image. With those separated layers you can make a wide range of retouching options:

  • Add a Gaussian Blur
  • Set the blending mode to Subtract or Linear Light
  • Use the Healing Brush on selected areas


Wrinkle Reduction Everywhere

wrinkle reduction

screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

Blog posts and magazines everywhere will show before-and-after photos of how laughter lines, crow’s feet, and other marks vanish under the right digital trick. It is a multi-step process that starts with using the Healing Brush at 100% hardness on the selected area of the skin. You can also go to the Red Channel on the Channel menu of the image’s layer, add a Layer Mask, and change the opacity until wrinkles shift to a more natural look.


Add A Shallow Depth Of Field

iris blur

screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

Photographers like making photos look more interesting by changing the depth of field, the distance between the nearest and farthest parts of an image. A shallow depth of field focuses on a small portion of the image while the rest is blurry. The quickest way to give a photo this effect is by duplicating the image layer and then selecting Iris Blur from the Blur Gallery. Move the settings (the circle edges and shape, the white squares, and the blur intensity/effects) until it reaches the desired level.


Stick Fixes To One Layer


screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

The tricky part about using multiple adjustment layers is that applying them by default affects all the layers below it. If you want to keep the effect of an adjustment on just one or a group of layers, look at the bottom of the Adjustment Layer panel. Click on the furthest button the left — it allows that layer to “clip” on to the desired layer or layers below it.


Pen A Composite Image

using a pen tool

screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

Many artistic scenes you will see on sites like deviantART are the production of multiple image layers carefully pieced together using a popular tool of choice, the Pen Tool. You can choose images layer by layer and use the tool to cut out a part, leaving no imperfections behind so the image looks clean. You can set the image in the foreground with a new backdrop, and with some blending and blur effects for added realism, it becomes an imaginative piece of art.


Sample Colors for the Right Tones

sample color

screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

This is one of those Photoshop tips that is a lifesaver on composite images with uneven tones and colors. Select the Color Sampler Tool, match the images by clicking on the darkest part of the background layer, and note the red, green, and blue values. Next, select the Subject Layer and add and attach a Curves Layer to it. Put in the red, green, and blue values from the background into the Curves Layer.

There still might be parts of the Subject that stand out from the background, so you might have to adjust levels manually or add more layers at different blending modes, colors, and opacity to reach color harmony.


Turn Photos From Day To Night

turning photos from day to night

screenshot image from Adobe Photoshop

For an example of how powerful Photoshop can be on photos, just think of a radical switch from a sunny day to darkness. Once again add a Curves Layer over an image, and lower the red, blue, and green points until it is dark. Balance the colors by lowering the mid-tones, then add another Curves Layer with a mask. You can use a soft white brush on the mask to brighten the image or add more warmth by changing the red and blue settings on the second Curves layer.


There is not just one list of Photoshop tips that will fit all your design needs. For example, any quick and dirty way to get a shallow depth of field will have at least two or three additional methods. What is important is practicing these tips until you master them while editing your photos however you see fit as fast as you need to (and using presets for that do not hurt). There is a cornucopia of tutorials for you to discover. It is just a matter of choosing the right photo editing tips that will work best for you.

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