5 Photoshop Skills to Make Professional Photos

Using Photoshop is one of the most creative jobs for any user. This includes all the post processing steps to create the final image. For a beginner or for those who rarely interact with this tool, it can become a tedious job. With all the menu options and hundred ways where you can manipulate the image, it's also confusing. Learn these Photoshop skills and create your image just like a professional.

First of all, you need to have Photoshop on your computer. You can have any version of the software like CS3 or CS4 etc. In order to create a good image, you just have to be aware of light, colors, texture and some sense of photography.

A good photo is created with a little hand on the software and your imaginations.

We will explore some of the basic functions of Photoshop to create a good image. Here are some of the tricks that will help to make your image look professional.

Replicate the Layers1

There is a common practice of duplicating the layers. When you start creating an image in Photoshop, start by duplicating the layers.

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Go to Windows > Layers – to see the duplicate layer option.

This option is also displayed on the right pane of the Photoshop window generally.

Select the layer and click on the triangle icon on it, this will open the options menu and then select ‘Duplicate Layer’ option from the menu.

The alternate keys for this command are command + J (Mac) and Alt + J (Windows).

Duplicating layers would allow you to work on adjustments independently. This will not alter the original layer and help you to retain the original image. If the changes you have made are undesirable, you can drag and trash the duplicate layer.

Color Curves

There is an option for the color curve in the Photoshop window. This allows you to adjust the colors, texture, and warmth of your image.

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To access the option – click Image > Adjustments and then click on curves.

This will open a box with color curves. You can adjust the colors of the image as per the dots in the curve. You can change the style of the curve as ‘medium contrast (RGB)’ or ‘strong contrast’. You can make changes as per the convenience of the concept. Use the color curves to change the image with the help of plot in curve window.

Enhance the Colors

You can use the soft light tool provided in Photoshop in order to enhance the colors in your photo. The subject light gives a tinted look in the image.

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To access this option, go to the background layer and create a new layer. Go to normal button at the top of the layer and click on it. The normal option will have a dropdown that contains the soft light option. Click on the soft light to enhance or make the contrast of your photo more intense.

In order to make the color intensity less, try to increase or decrease the opacity of the layer to the background layer. This will give a mild look to the photo.


This is one of the most interesting and most used effects in Photoshop. To make an image black and white gives it more sharpness and different looks. There are so many guides for making an image black and white in Photoshop. Here is one of the simplest ways to create a black and white of any photo in Photoshop.

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To do this; Go to Duplicate layer > click black and white circle – you will get this in lower left corner of the layer.

In the drop down select Black and White – this will open a window with all the adjustment tabs. You can preview all the changes you are making in the left-hand window.

Make a Border

This is one of the most basic tools that a Photoshop user should use. But again, its significance remains the same. Let’s see how to create these borders in Photoshop.

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Select the top layer in the layer pallet

Click on image > canvas size

There will be a dialogue box; select the width and height of the border lines. Choose the color of the borders and adjust the image and border.

Click OK and you will have your border.

By following a few simple steps, you can make a very good photo with Photoshop. Hope you have been able to learn these photoshop skills. There are so many enhancements that you can make in your photos by experimenting with these parameters. Being a big tool, Photoshop also experiences issues with old or low memory systems. ‘Cannot open Photoshop scratch disk full’, ‘could not complete the request because of a program error’, are some of the error messages you can experience with old machines.

Although using Photoshop is always fun for the creative minds. You can have a number of enhancements in your photo, working on Photoshop.

5 Photoshop Skills to Make Professional Photos was last modified: June 23rd, 2020 by John Harris

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