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  • What is Photoshop?

    Posted on 3rd June 2019 by Greta Powell

    What is Photoshop?


    Quickstart Photoshop Training Course for beginners - online and onsiteIt’s a good question but probably the best answer to ‘What is Photoshop?’ is that it’s all things to everyone involved in image creation.


    Photographers love it because they can enhance their photographs and make them beautiful, businesses and designers use it for creating professional artwork for print and digital whereas artists use it to create painting’s from their images.


    You can import images directly from your camera or download them from online storage then create, edit and enhance them for your own purposes whether business or personal.


    How does  Photoshop work?

    Photoshop is based on a layers system which could be described as similar to acetate based layers. Each layer is created and lives in the Layer Panel and each one holds a separate element such as text, shapes, images placed on their individual layers which can be adjusted individually (or as groups). Each layer will support transparency and overlays and can be used for masking, selections, image adjustments and artistic filters. 


    As with all the Adobe software it integrates perfectly with Adobe’s other apps including InDesign & Illustrator and Lightroom.


    What is a raster & what is a vector?

    In short raster refers to a photograph (pixels) whilst vector refers to a drawn piece of artwork. So for example if David Bailey had to pick one he’d opt for Photoshop whereas Vincent Van Gogh would go for Illustrator.


    Is Photoshop Training available online?

    Online Photoshop Training Courses - what will you learn? Photoshop Course descriptionHere at Greta Powell Training we offer Online Photoshop Training via video conferencing software. This is live Online Photoshop training where you have full contact with your trainer, share screens and ask questions working with your trainer just as if you were in a traditional training room.


    You can do this in bite sized smaller training chunks or over a day or two and its fine for either one to one sessions or small groups. 


    Find out more about Online Photoshop Training


    What else can the software do?

    Adobe Courses and Acrobat TrainingAlthough it started life as a fairly straightforward image editor that has changed and the software is now used for print, web and even video output. Many marketeers love using it for short, snazzy video productions and designing GIF’s.


    You could opt to edit your videos in Premiere Pro but many people use the video tools in Photoshop because they already know the software and are only producing short, quick reels. If you wanted to work with video in depth then Premiere Pro would be your best alternative.


    Find out more about Premiere Pro


    But the majority use it to enhance photographs for corporate publications such as brochures, newsletters and tenders.


    Designers use it for poster, banner and layout design and photographers use it to retouch and enhance their photography often using the Blur Gallery, Photoshop comes with a mass of filters dedicated to photography and another bonus is its compatibility with Adobe Lightroom (well, it works seamlessly with all Adobe CC products). You can use it to retouch images such as smooth skin tone, change eye colour or simply airbrush images for corporate literature and the company website.


    Photoshop is also used to create web materials such as banners and animated GIF’s for social media and business websites and, as even as has already been mentioned create and edit video footage.


    Which do I need, Photoshop or Lightroom?

    Both are image editing software so most people don’t really think about them as an either /or choice but if you’re intending to work with imagery then you should. If you are subscribed to Creative Cloud then you will have them both as part of the package but before choosing one of the other then it’s probably best to ask the question “what do I want to do with image images so which editing software would work well for me”. 


    One of the most fundamental answers to this is that Photoshop works with layers but Lightroom doesn’t so if you’re looking to create social media ad’s, work in-depth with text or design artwork with multiple effects then Photoshop is the obvious choice.


    However if you are solely working with a large amount of photographs which you need to edit and want to keep track of then Lightroom would probably be fine because it contains an image database called a catalogue which is second to none for indexing large amounts of images.


    But if you are looking to enhance photograph’s and design social media ad’s, use images with text for print production or design beautiful graphic art then Photoshop would be the best choice.


    Find our more about Photoshop and Lightroom


     Some popular questions asked during training

    Learn Photoshop - Photoshop TrainingHow do I remove a background from Photoshop?


    This can be as easy as a few clicks by using the colour sampler tool or the quick selection tool. More complicated backgrounds or backgrounds with out solid colour may need different tools however in later versions of Photoshop such as 2023/ 2024 you can use generative fill to do this.


    Can I create digital content in Photoshop?


    Yes Photoshop offers a wide range of tools for digital design. You can create a digital setup from scratch using your own preferences or using an existing Photoshop template to work with, or use artboards to create different page sizing’s for social media or multiple imagery.  The world is pretty much your oyster as you can design web banners, animated GIF’s for websites or social media.


    Can we airbrush images of staff members for publishing


    No problem at all, using Photoshop’s retouching tools we can have everyone looking perfect in minutes.


    So what can I use Photoshop for?

    You can enhance your images for print or digital then send out for digital printing or upload to the Web. They can be incorporated into InDesign adding images to brochures, newsletters,or marketing materials or used to enhance professional photography for print.


    But we’ve had some fairly different requests over the years such as these:


    Photoshop Training Leicester - Exploring mode > tone effects

    Photoshop Retro Training Course

    On the Photoshop Retro Course we covered the basics of the software from the Introduction to Photoshop Training Course but in the latter part of the day veered off into covering specific features and techniques used in Photography. 


    For this particular image we were working with the Image >Mode menu and investigating the various options in the Duo Tone box as can be seen on the image on the left.


    We then laid out the images on a white back-ground for presentation purposes.


    Photoshop Social Media Training

    It goes without saying that Photoshop is hugely popular with social media creators and as discussed earlier in this post used to enhance your images, create GIF (animated images) or work with video to enhance and give your posts extra shine.


    You can take a look at our dedicated Photoshop Social Media Training Course here


    Who uses it?

    These days virtually everyone where once it was the province of photographers and designers now the list is as broad as it is wide.


    But just to give you an idea Photoshop Training Courses have been delivered to Photographers, Schools, Universities, Construction, Marketing, Designers, Administration, Finance, Document Production and the list goes on. If you take a look at the testimonials page you will get an idea of who Greta Powell Training has delivered Photoshop Courses to in the past


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