How I Edit in Photoshop

How I Edit in Photoshop

My friends, I struggle a lot with sharing technical information. Not because I want to keep it a secret, but because I prefer the focus be put on creativity over tools, on imagination over technology. However, I also love Love LOVE to share as much as I can with others, technical or otherwise, so that we can all be elevated.

This week I answered a swelling call I’ve been receiving to go into a little more depth about editing. This video is a juicy ten minutes of Photoshop explanation, philosophy, and the editing of a new image.

When I started photography I also started using Photoshop. I didn’t have a background in it, and to be honest, it scared the daylights out of me. I am not a technical person. I do not learn quickly or easily. I get intimidated and frustrated as easily as cake. But I knew that if I wanted to see my visions come to life, that was what I had to do. So I did.

I am self taught in Photoshop with the aid of my husband for the extra-technical bits.

This is how I believe I was able to teach myself Photoshop:

I only researched exactly what I needed. I never went to workshops or watched classes because that was information overload for me. Instead, I put an image in Photoshop. Then, I decided the one most important thing that the image needed, and I searched for that one tool. Little by little I was able to learn Photoshop, and here I am today.

If you are just starting out – with anything – remember to take small steps. They add up to a sum greater than we think possible. Nothing is beyond our reach. I have to believe that because my life is based on it. Little by little, our reach grows; we are expansive.

In the video you will see me use all of my favorite Photoshop tools, like curves, lasso, and feather. They will help me to…

Composite extra hands into my picture
Expand my frame
Add fog to the background
Change the light and color

…and more.

If you want to learn how I edit in depth, I encourage you to check out my online classes.

I get a lot of requests to put full-length editing tutorials online. While I totally understand the request, for now I’m pointing you to my online tutorials.

Why? Because I put months and months of my heart/soul/energy/time/money into them to make them as comprehensive and perfect as I could for you, and in turn, it allows me to be supported in my art. I thank you so much for buying them and showing me that my weird vision is worthwhile.

What is your favorite tool to create with?
How often do you actively seek to learn something new?


Model: Steph Perez


14 thoughts on “How I Edit in Photoshop

  1. Topaz Studio, although I make heavy use of Photoshop CC.

    Every day I struggle to learn new ways of doing things. I love to research and figure things out. I have always had an insatiable curiosity about the world around me, and will never give up learning. I think that’s why I’m still so active at 81 years!

    1. I love that you are learning new things! So many aren’t. I’ve never tried Topaz but I’ve always heard great things about it.

  2. My favourite tool in Photoshop are the masks which I work with with the brush.

    Once a
    Month I lool up something on Photoshop

  3. My favourite tool in Photoshop are the masks which I work with with the brush.

    Once a month I look up something on Photoshop

    Lightroom and Photoshop mainly

    Everyday, I do a lot of research (old habits don’t die because you change professions) I enjoy learning something new, rather it be in LR or PS or photography or even in life. Learning is the key to a fulfilled life and one never knows enough is the way I feel.

  5. Yay Monday!!!! Thank you so very much for this Brooke!! For me, I feel like I have the inspiration and ideas floating around in my head but completely lack the technical ability to make them come true which is beyond frustrating to me. It is such a tedious process and rather than sit being frustrated I tend to walk away, grab my camera and just go shoot some more dreaming of the day that I will make it all come together. In other words, editing is not my jam lol but I am finding it to be a necessary evil if I want to bring my creative vision to life. These tips and tricks are so inspiring and truly changing perspective and approaching it as a “blank canvas” where I can create is quite an inspiring revelation. I actually devote at least 30 minutes a day to focusing on trying to learn something new. Growth is such an incredibly important thing and knowledge truly is power. As far as “tools”, aside from my imagination, I really try to get things as close to correct in camera so that I can avoid PS Bwahaha. There in lays my issue because obviously a lot of what I want to create can not be made possible in camera. Oh. . . The struggle is real. But as always, I am now starting my week full of inspiration and possibilities thanks to you and your kindness and generosity in putting these Videos together. Thank you so much for being so absolutely incredible!!

  6. I, too, use Topaz filters. My favorite set of filters from them is LensEffects. With all things digital, I am self-taught; camera, digital darkroom, etc. I have a film (black/white) degree from Pasadena City College, back when digital first hit the market. My portfolio work back then was experimental photography (Fine Art). I loved working with litho film, infrared, hand applied emulsions, etc. It was not easy for me to move from a true darkroom to a digital darkroom, but I did. I can easily say that I enjoy not having to worry about chemical exposure. But, Photoshop was like learning a whole new language for me. I continually stretch and educate myself with the many features PS has to offer. I’ve also purchased a couple of your CreativeLive courses. Recently, I completely watching your Promoting Passion series. I watched 10 episodes a day until I completed the series. I learned a great deal from you, Brooke, and wish I had been following that series back when you stared it. So, to your question, my fave PS tool would be masks. And, yes, I actively seek to learn something new every day. As an intervention teacher, I can only encourage my students to follow in love with learning if I am doing the same.

  7. I’m trying to decide if my favorite tool in Photoshop is the clone stamp or the lasso tool. I use them both so much that I can’t decide 😉 I’ve been using Photoshop for almost 20 years, and like you, it has happened one step at a time. I look up (it used to be in the manual) and use only what I need for a project.

    My problem has been that I LOVE acquiring new skills a little too much. It was very hard to create a series when every time I finished an image I was on to the next thing to try. It has been really satisfying this year to settle myself down and stick with a concept and color scheme.

    We did the same road trip as you seven years ago. I loved it so much that I invited all my kids and grand kids to join us to experience it all again a couple years ago. Those memories will last all my life.

  8. Great video. And for anyone wondering, her classes are well worth the money!
    The new PC looks like it is working out very well. 🙂
    The tools I use the most are:
    Brush with a layer mask
    Undo, I use that one a lot! LOL
    I am always earning stuff or relearning stuff I forget how to do.

  9. My hands are my favourite tool, they write the notes, press the shutter and guide my battered Wacom pen around my screen in Adobe Photoshop!

    I aim for daily discoveries, even the smallest thing – a mayfly by the lake, a tutorial for creating headdresses or a new creative network connection. It helps me to keep moving forward.

  10. I spend way to much time re-researching how to do something. I usually forget a step and can’t get the darn thing to work the next time I want to do it! 🙂

    1. Vicki, if it is something that you will do repeatedly make it into an action and then you don’t have to remember the steps. Watch Ben Willmore on Creative Live show you how to make actions. He is a fabulous teacher and you can watch the video over and over because you will own it.

  11. My favorite tool to create with is my boundless imagination, along with PS layer masks. I seek to learn new skills on a daily basis. I am 56 yrs old working toward my degree in photography. I attend workshops with National Geographic and Creative Live in Seattle when ever I can. I watch tutorials on PHLEARN and F64 when I have a challenge in PS that I need help with. Oh yeh! I also watch Brookes videos and tutorials for inspiration and guidance. :}

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