No other graphic design program has ever developed such a reputation as Photoshop. Even those who don’t necessarily know how the program works will use the term, “it’s been photoshopped” when they feel a picture is fake. What makes Photoshop such a powerful program in the graphic designer’s arsenal?
1. Bevel and Emboss – While this is a simple tool, it is widely used for developing button images using CSS rollover script. The image selection could have a 3D look to it as it could either seem like it pops out from the monitor, or look to be embedded into the background like it was stamped.
2. Selection Tools – With varying selection tools such as Lasso, Magnetic Lass, Magic Wand and more, you can grab specific images from one picture and place them into another. For example, it would take an experience user less than a minute to put the Titanic on the Moon.
3. Blending – With tools like the Healing Brush, Patch Tool, and Clone Stamp, blending colors and images together for a realistic look can be easily accomplished. This could help create moon dunes leaning up against your Titanic in the Sea of Tranquility. They can also be used to remove blemishes, marks in photographs, and duplicate a selection to be moved to another area of the photo.
4. Smeared – Blur and Smudge tools can give a targeted area a liquid and blurred look as you smear the colors across the path of your mouse. Blur could give a picture a hazy, unfocussed look while Smudge could distort enough of an image to make it look underwater.
5. Filters – Photoshop comes with a wide variety of filters you can place on an image. Some of these could make a photograph look aged, drawn with colored pencils, created in stained glass, and more.
6. Liquify – For more of a melted look, the Liquify tool keeps the image intact without blurring the details, unlike the Blur and Smudge tools. With a steady hand, you could make it look like the Titanic was melting into the Moon.
7. Overlays – With use of layers, opacity, and colored overlays, you could modify the original picture to make it look completely different. For instance, you could use masks and overlays to turn Leonardo DiCaprio into a zombie standing on top of a melting Titanic on the Moon.
8. Imagination – Probably the most important tool in Photoshop is you. Whether you are brushing up a 30 year-old family portrait, or designing something absolutely absurd for fun, your imagination is the most powerful of these tools. The possibilities are near endless with Photoshop and it could become a full-time profession, or a weekend hobby for the artist in you.
Unfortunately, conspiracy theorists around the globe who have a working knowledge of Photoshop make determining fact from fiction near impossible at times. Although the majority of people using this program have legitimate purposes in mind, sometimes it is easy to get swept into imaginative creation with a photograph.