This is page 3 of 3. "Learn Photoshop" begins here.

Now comes the fun part.

It’s time to experiment. Be sure you clicked the "Quick Fix" tab. Then look to the right side of the Photoshop page. You will see all kinds of fun things to play with.

Start by clicking on "Auto" in the smart fix area. See if you like the colors, the lighting and generally how it “picks up” the picture.

After you learn Photoshop you will immediately know whether the auto fix did what you wanted it to or if you will have to change things manually. For manual changes you will use the slide bar in each category.

Worst case scenario is you make irreversible changes to your picture. Always remember that your original is safe and sound in the original folder.

The way I had you load the pictures you never have to worry about losing or destroying your picture beyond recovery. You are only editing a copy so you can merely close the picture in Photoshop, reload and start over!

Isn't that the coolest thing you ever heard? In a few minutes you will learn how to close the picture. Right now just play and enjoy fear free!

Now simultaneously hit the “control” button and the letter “z” on your keyboard. This will revert the picture to the previous settings. You can do this any time and undo what ever step you just took.

You can undo somewhere around 20 steps. That’s how much memory Photoshop has to keep track of what you do to any given picture. Pretty cool, huh!?

It will undo your steps in the same order they were completed. This means that you cannot jump back by three steps and undo that one without undoing the steps that were completed afterward.

It’s cool though. Once you learn Photoshop, you get used to doing and undoing things just to see what will happen and how it will look. This is the best way I have found to be creative and learn Photoshop.

Explore what you can do with different options and stacking options on top of one another. It’s fun. The exploration should come after you have somewhat familiarized yourself with what some of these buttons do.

Now click on the auto button in the "levels" area, then "contrast" and work your way down the page. See what each one does and always remember the “control, z” combination to undo any given step.

Now manually move the slide in the “Smart fix” area. Do the others on “auto” then again manually to compare them and see what happens with each.

Remember to “Control,z” after each in order to undo what you just did before trying the next thing. After a while try stacking changes.

Go ahead and have some fun.

On the left there are a few more icons to play with. The functional keys for each are immediately above your work in progress. Same as always, play with each of the keys to familiarize yourself with its function.

The top icon is to zoom in or out on the picture you’re working with. If your mouse has a thumbwheel you can use that to zoom in and out. It is much easier.

Next, the little hand, allows you to move the picture around so you can see other areas when you have zoomed in.

Then the magic selection brush. This lets you “magically” select areas of the picture for work. If you scribble on an area Photoshop automatically selects all the matching areas in the picture.

I find some times this works pretty well other times not. It seems to depend on the contrast contained in the picture. Never the less it is an effective way to at least do a rough outline which can then be smoothed and corrected.

You'll have to switch to "Full Edit" mode in order to do the detail work. Do it using the lasso tool. That's a little more advanced.

But before you do any work in the full edit area of Photoshop, be sure to check out the Wacom Tablet! Before you click, be sure to bookmark me so I don't get lost in the shuffle.

On the site that this link takes you to, Richard does a great job of showing why the tablet is indispensable for more advanced work. As is adding or removing stuff to or from your picture using Photoshop's clone tool.

Also found in "Full Edit." You'll use these more as you learn Photoshop.

If you hover over any icon in Photoshop the name of the tool will appear in blue and underlined. Now move your cursor over the underlined name and click. It will open a page that tells you what the tool does.

Then if you hover over one of the working keys for the tool selected, Photoshop will show what that particular key is for.

Once again, as you learn Photoshop, you will soon become quite familiar with some of the tools and any time you want to try something new just click on an unknown tool and have at it.

Always remember worst case scenario is you make changes you cannot reverse. When ever you do that, it’s easy. Just right click on the thumbnail in the bottom bin and click “close.” When it asks if you want to save the changes click “no.”

Now, what all this does is it rids you of irreversible changes. The good news is that you have your original picture fully in tact and safely cradled in the folder in your computer. It is not affected at all.

This is worst case scenario. You merely start all over with a fresh copy dragged into the Photoshop bin. And believe me there will be plenty of times you have to do this. At least at first there will be. If not, all it means is you are not exploring enough. You are being far too conservative in your learning process.

Once you have a picture altered to your satisfaction it’s time to save your beautiful work of art.

Each time you open Photoshop, the first picture you save, you will be prompted by a screen that says this;

As I earlier stated, I don’t use the organizer so each time I open Photoshop and save my first picture of the day I have to click the “no” and then “O.K.” on the next pop up screen. That way my organizer remains inactive. I know this is a little effort, but it is much more work if I initialize the organizer and have to deal with it going into action each time I use Photoshop.

I have not, as yet, figured out a way to disable the organizer once it is initialized. So I go through this little ritual each time I open Photoshop. Please let me know when you figure out how disable it after it has been initialized. Thanks.

When you have finished with a picture and are ready to save it, Photoshop gives you the option of replacing the original or making a copy of it to save. I always make sure I keep the original. I do not replace it.

In the upper left corner of your screen click on “file.” In the drop down box click on “save.” This will open a screen as such.

Near the bottom center of the screen is the “As a Copy” square. Check the square. This will save your art work as a copy rather than replacing the original. Be sure it says “copy” at the end of the file name and that the “As a Copy” box has the check mark in it. When you hit “save”, if a box opens that says “…already exists, Do you want to replace it?” just hit cancel and start the save steps over.

You don’t want to replace anything unless you know for sure what you are replacing. And if the screen pops up when you don’t expect it to, that means you are saving a picture with an existing name. You want to save it using a different name.

You can name it anything you like. I always merely hit the right arrow on my keyboard and add the letter “a” at the end of the name, then save it like that.

That way I can easily compare the two pictures, as they will typically show side by side, and that tells me what’s up. I just make sure that if the pictures are very similar I either delete the older one or figure out some way to definitively tell them apart.

Now on the bottom toolbar of your PC screen, click on the block of the folder containing the pictures you are working on. This will bring your work folder to the front.

Maximize the window. The “Copy” you just saved will be the last picture in that window. Click and drag it, or cut and paste it, into the “Ready” folder. Drag the original into the “Done With” folder. You are done with those.

You have the original preserved in case you need it later, and believe me there will be plenty of times you will be happy to have the original! You also have the “ready” picture in the “ready” folder because it is, you guessed it!, “ready” to be printed and put in an album.

Mighty fine job Grasshopper. You have completed your first piece of art. How does it feel to learn Photoshop? Great I imagine. I know it is for me!

I have personally found this system to be efficient. I have all the pictures I want to keep yet I don’t have an abundance of partials or old pictures I don’t want.

And speaking of photo albums; how about a digital scrapbook? It's getting pretty popular and for good reason. It's fun to do and fun to show a digital scrapbook.

Freely learn Photoshop below!

File Size Matters l Special Effects l Saving Finished Photos

Quick Fix of Photos l Photoshop Clone Tool l Photoshop Lasso Tool

Image Resizer l Straighten a crooked Picture

If you think that post editing a photo is like tracing a drawing, go here before you make your final decision.

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