Photoshop Friday: Photoshop Hacks, Part 1

Hack # 5: Enhance a photo by crossing it with another photo with a better color palette.

Any of my blogger peeps out there using Photoshop to enhance graphics? I don’t normally use it for my blog and usually opt for some simple Instagram effects. If there were more hours in a day I’d skip the Instagramming and go straight to Photoshop to add filters and adjustments myself just to enhance colors and make photos more vibrant. In my life outside of running, my real job is teaching Photoshop and Web Design to high school students. It’s a lot of fun. When I can get the kids to buy into what I’m teaching, they seem to like it (as much as they can like school, I suppose). I don’t like to use textbooks (boring) but they are often a necessary evil teach a concept initially, and then we can do cool projects from there. Enter today’s lesson. I swear, I have a point relative to blogging.

My Photoshop class was getting a little stale this year, and I came across an article with 21 Incredibly Simple Photoshop Hacks Everyone Should Know. Buzzfeed is good to get their attention because I know they’re familiar with the site. Of course, Buzzfeed is blocked for my kids at school. But computer geeks like myself know how to print to PDF and get a saved copy of a web site that kids can reference online without having to visit the site. I’m tricky like that. Take THAT, district technology department.

Today’s assignment started with the kids reading the article and simply responding to a forum asking them which of the hacks they want to try in class. I knew we could easily do #5 on the list today because we covered the concepts in a previous chapter. I have tons of camera raw graphics in desperate need of a lighting fix on my phone that I could use as an example. I put together a fun assignment where they got to use their own pictures and try hack #5 and they seemed to really like it.

As I was reading through their responses to the writing portion of the assignment, I realized how many of these tricks and tips would be useful to any bloggers out there that use Photoshop. While I watched them complete the assignment with minimal instruction, the kids could do it with little difficulty. Even with no special training, many of these fixes are super easy and really fun. If you’re a Photoshop user, you should check this article out. We have CS5 at school, but I’m sure they would be easy to do with any version.

Since we did # 5 in class today and my example for the kiddos was a picture I took on a run, I figured I would share it. Here is the before and after:

Hello fall colors!! I realize my results are a bit dramatic, but you have to be dramatic to keep the attention of a 16 year old. I merged the color palette from the piece of artwork below – lots of vibrant colors to make a seemingly lackluster photo more vibrant:


It’s simple. Have both graphics open, but have the picture you are trying to improve as your active graphic. Visit Image –> Adjustments –> Match Color and start playing with the settings. The effect is so basic but pretty incredible! Stay tuned for more Photoshop hacks over the next few weeks!


33 Replies to “Photoshop Friday: Photoshop Hacks, Part 1”

  1. So beautiful and vibrant! After a year of teaching myself Photoshop (I learned it in high school but sadly don’t remember much from that) I still have so much to learn – and this is so helpful, thank you!

  2. OMG, you officially have the coolest job ever!!! I’m so jealous! I was pretty proficient at PSE for a while. Took some classes centered around digital scrapbooking. I learned some really great techniques. But then I got a newer version of PSE and was kind of lost with the menus and such since I hasn’t used it in awhile. Need to revisit those training videos!!

    1. It is a pretty fun job! It was getting a little stale recently though so these little tutorials and hacks were a fun addition to this week. The one my kids all want to really learn is #8, where you can remove the tourists from your pictures. I need to take whole bunch of pictures and get on that one!

  3. I love this!!! What an awesome way to get your students interested in learning such a valuable tool once they join the workforce.

    I don’t use the Adobe suite for my blogging pics, mostly because I use it so much for work that by time I get home, I don’t want to look at it. 😉

  4. Ooh, that’s so cool! 🙂 I took a photoshop class when I was in high school and college, but unfortunately I don’t have photoshop or Adobe Illustrated anymore. Still, I’ve been able to use what I learned making graphics for my blog on other programs, which has been neat. Great idea to reference Buzzfeed! I would’ve LOVED that! 🙂

  5. I love love love PS. Anytime I use an online editing program or something on my phone (if I am not by my home computer with PS) I feel it’s lacking. LOL! I can’t wait to read the article, thanks for sharing! And what a fun job! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s