Must-Know Photoshop Tools for Editing Your Blog Photos

Using Photoshop was life-changing for me, in terms of blog photography. Believe it or not, since I started using Photoshop I actually spend less time editing my photos. I think that editing is one of my favorite things to work on, actually- especially when I get to “save” a less-than-perfect photo. I find it very relaxing and soothing.

The cool thing about both blogging and photography, is that you never stop learning. I actually cringe when I look at my photos from as early as last year, so it’s really fun, seeing your progress over the years. I get so many requests asking how exactly I edit my blog photos and that post is coming soon- promise! In the meantime, I’m sharing a few of my favorite Photoshop tools that I use every single day.

DODGE TOOL

This is a very handy tool when you deal with a lot of shadows or want to brighten only a certain area of your image that’s underexposed. It’s very easy to use, too- just select the Dodge Tool and brush it over the areas you want to brighten. Now, the trick here is to not overdo it- otherwise the image can end up looking really “fake” and overly edited. I usually like to adjust my exposure % accordingly and select “midtones” to make sure that my image looks natural.

Before and after using the Dodge Tool: overall exposure is the same, but certain spots (shadows) were brightened. 

SPOT HEALING

This is a tool you’ll find very useful if you do a lot of beauty product photography. It’s basically a tool that heals, or erases spots. I use this all the time when photographing beauty products that have been loved and used a lot. If I have a small dent in my powder compact, or an eyeshadow residue on a palette that I didn’t wipe down for the photo, I just reach for the spot heal tool. It doesn’t matter how many times I wipe everything down, I always end up with a few of Blu’s hairs somewhere on my photos. He loves hanging out with me when I take my blog photos (must be the warm sunshine coming through the glass door I shoot next to) so I use this tool for removing those tiny dog hairs, too.

Spot healing brush tool will do just that: heal or conceal any small spots like this tiny dent in this palette.

NOISE REDUCTION

This doesn’t happen too often as I don’t usually shoot at high ISO (even when I do my camera can handle it) but this is a very handy tool if you end up with a grainy image. Most of the time when I’m in a hurry I just edit my photos in Camera Raw because it’s very quick and easy. When working with a grainy photo or when I want to smooth the entire surface of an image, this is the tool I use. This, once again, really comes in handy when working with makeup products- it smooths their surface so they look a bit prettier. Not that there’s anything wrong with photographing used up/loved products, but it’s a nice and quick fix. To use it, go to Filter -> Camera Raw Filter -> Details.

More photography tips:

+ How to Take Bright Photos in Gloomy Weather
+DSLR Basics + Photography Tips for Beginners
+My Best Photography Tips

Reducing the noise makes the products’ surface look really smooth. I exaggerated the noise reduction here, so you can see the difference it can make. I also used the Spot Healing tool to remove that little dent in the powder palette. 

SHARPEN

The last thing I do before saving my photos is sharpening them. I don’t always have to do it, but I end up sharpening them up a bit almost every single time. Now, before you sharpen your images, you want to resize them first.  You don’t want to apply sharpening to the image as is, and then try to resize it. To resize your image in Photoshop go to image -> image size and adjust your size accordingly, depending on your blog display settings. Once your image is resized, go to filter -> sharpen -> unsharp mask. Leave your threshold at “0”, adjust your radius- don’t go too high with your radius either, otherwise, your image will end up looking off, lastly, adjust the sharpness.

Before and after sharpening the image. 

SAVE FOR WEB

When working with photos you plan to publish on your blog, don’t save them by clicking “Save As”. Web browsers use sRGB color profile to read images and if you upload an image with a different color space, your image won’t look the same when uploaded to the web. Ever edited a photo that looked beautiful when you were done but the colors were way off once you uploaded the image on your blog? This is why. Even when the images are saved with different color space, web browsers will use the sRGB profile to read them. So, to fix that, once you’re done editing, resizing and sharpening your image, go to File -> Export -> Save for Web. Make sure that the “convert to sRGB” is checked, name and save your image.

 These are a few Photoshop tools that I can’t live without. I use pretty much every single one of these on daily basis. They’re very simple to use and easy to understand but can make a HUGE difference in the way your images look.

 

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