Photoshop: back to basics

Finally, the topic I have been dying to see emerge! Due to being a personal interest of mine for many years, I have always been the observer and never the artist when it came to any artistic endeavors within Photoshop which normally ended with very disappointing results. The lesson was amazing as per usual as not only did I find myself fully immersed but I learned the basics of Photoshop which has allowed me to begin to create images of my own. Looking at Photoshop more closely its easy to see why it is one of the most widely used pieces of software used within a huge rage of industries. Using Photoshop since this lesson has allowed me to introduce colour to my sketches which has made my work look more professional and presentable.

Gareth spoke to us about the difference between scanning an image at 72 DPI and scanning another in 300 DPI. The difference between these is how you intend to use them, so in general terms 72DPI is great for web as it loads fast while 300DPI is better for print because it helps retain quality when printing images. If a 72 DPI image was used for printing, then the image would look poor due to looking pixellated hence why more pixels are used in order to give more detail. We also discussed the difference between a vector and raster (also known as bitmap) image, but I found my original definition of this to be completely wrong so I decided to look up the difference between the two.

After researching this, I discovered there are several differences about raster and vector images. Firstly, A vector image uses mathematical formulas in order to calculate curves and lines. This implies when the image is stretched it will be able to calculate where the additional pixels will go in order to recreate the original image despite its change in size. With a raster image, individual pixels are used in order to create an image and when you zoom into a raster image you can see the individual pixels used within the image. There are a range of advantages and disadvantages between each such as due to raster images using mathematical formulas in order to create an image, the file size is generally a lot smaller than a raster image. While on the other hand, raster images can be considered better as they work better on the web than vector images do.


Within Photoshop, we looked at a range of tools that the software had to offer.
Firstly, there were layers which acted as a form of acetate giving you the ability to look underneath or change where you would like to place the ‘layer’. This is useful for when you want to delete or adjust sections of an image you have created in a more organised way without having to rid all that you have created since that error. This would not only waste time and become annoying but would also mean redoing everything you had done since that point as you would have to click ‘undo’ which gets rid of your last action. Having layers in place allows you to become more organised and structured with your work. This is what acetate looks like for those who have never seen acetate paper before:acetate

After this, we look at transformations and adjustments. Using transformations in Photoshop allows us to change the shape and orientation using a range of tools such as free transform, rotate, distort, scale and warp. As for adjustments, it allows us to tweak the image using tools such as curves, brightness/contrast and hue/saturation. Using all these tools effectively allows us to manipulate the image to meet our needs and proves useful to many Photoshop users and artists. For example whenever we adjust the hue it allows us to alter current colours by using from a wide spectrum of colours, so you could change your red hat into a blue hat by simply using this tool. Here is an example of adjusting hue I found on Google images which is being shown in an older version of Photoshop, but still shows you the idea behind hue.


There were many more tools we spoke about, so here is a general explanation of each for those who are interested:

Marquee tool – allows you to copy and paste sections which you select, this is also known as the lasso tool.

Cloning tool – Allows you to select an area and to blend the selection into a dedicated area. This is good for things such as blending an area with a texture.

Dodge and Burn tools – allow you to alter exposure and create shadows or light to your image.

Add/Subtract selection tool – Allows you to alter your selection without having to click off the image.

Distort tool – Allows you to change the perspective of an image.

Hope this helps you as much as It helped me!

One thought on “Photoshop: back to basics

  1. Pingback: Photoshop: Further research | Dragonling Designs

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