A Guide to Adobe Photoshop for Basic Photo Editing

Before we get into the weeds on Photoshop skills - A special Note About My Jewelry Photography:

As a one woman business I take and edit all of my own photos for my jewelry and website. I never use photoshop to alter the reality of any piece that I have created. I simply use photoshop to brighten photos, remove dust or background distractions and shadows and crop for listings and publications. As an artisan bench jeweler who creates with traditional tools and techniques, I relish in the beauty and the reality that comes with handcrafted and one of a kind jewelry!

Ok here we go!

 I thought it might be fun to explore how to do a little photoshop correctly…

In the tapestry of our memories, there are moments of pure joy and laughter, captured forever in the snapshots we hold dear. Yet, imperfections sometimes find their way into our photos—a blink here, a frown there. But with Adobe Photoshop as our tool, we have the power to combine the best elements from multiple photos, creating a masterpiece that preserves the magic of our special moments in all their perfection.


Step 1: Choosing the photos you plan to combine

    Begin by selecting the photos you wish to blend together, ensuring that each image contains the people or aspects you wish to combine (is everyone smiling, no one blinking, no one’s hair is crazy) 
    Pay close attention to lighting, composition and alignment, ensuring that the images will blend seamlessly together. For example, don't bring a photo together that was captured in bright sun with one that was captured in shade, or a low resolution, blurry photo with a high resolution crisp photo. It’s best to use photos that were from a series in the same location, lighting and time.

    Step 2: Understand the Workspace

    Familiarize yourself with the Photoshop workspace. You'll see the menu bar at the top, the toolbar on the left, and panels and layers on the right side of the screen.

    The toolbar contains various tools for editing your image, such as the selection tool, brush tool, pen tool and text tool.

    Panels like Layers, Adjustments, and Properties provide additional editing options and controls.

    Step 3: Open Your Images

      • Launch Adobe Photoshop and open the two similar photos you wish to blend together.
      • Go to "File" > "Open" and select the images from your computer.
      • Click "Open" to load both images into Photoshop.

      Step 4: Outlining and Cropping with the Pen Tool

        • Select the Pen Tool (shortcut: P) from the toolbar on the left.
        • Carefully outline the person you want to keep from one of the photos.
        • Click to create anchor points and drag to create curved lines.
        • Once the outline is complete, right-click and choose "Make Selection."
        • Copy the selected area (Ctrl + C on Windows, Cmd + C on Mac).
        • Paste the selection onto the other photo (Ctrl + V on Windows, Cmd + V on Mac) on a separate layer of its own.
        • Use the Move Tool (shortcut: V) to position the selection where desired.

        Step 5: Editing Lighting and Tone

          • With the pasted selection layer selected, navigate to the "Adjustments" panel.
          • Experiment with adjustments such as Brightness/Contrast, Levels, and Curves to match the lighting and tone of the pasted selection to the rest of the photo that is on the bottom layer.
          • Use the Dodge and Burn tools (shortcut: O) to selectively lighten or darken areas for a seamless blend.

            Step 6: Blending the Best Elements

              • Adjust the layer blending mode and opacity to blend the pasted selection with the background.
              • Fine-tune the edges using the Refine Edge tool (Select > Refine Edge) for a natural transition.

                Step 7: Final Touches and Saving Your Work

                  • Once you're satisfied with the blend, add any final touches such as sharpening or color adjustments.
                  • Merge visible layers (Ctrl + Shift + E on Windows, Cmd + Shift + E on Mac) and save your edited photo (File > Save As).


                    Preserving a Memories Magic

                    In the heart of every photo lies a story—a moment frozen in time, filled with beauty, color, love, and cherished memories and scenes. With Adobe Photoshop as our guide, we have the power to enhance these photos, blending the best elements from different photos to create a portrait of perfection. So embrace the journey of creation, and may your memories shine bright for years to come.