IN MY many workshops in the creative industry, including photography, it is very common to know that some Photoshop users are still using the application like it’s the 90s. They are using the current version, but the approach and practice is way back from a couple of decades ago.
Somehow, our source of learning is from a colleague who learned it from a senior colleague who also learned it from another one. That’s how an old practice traveled through time and up until now is being practiced. Although, Youtube tutorials have introduced newer approaches, some of the tutorials are using it the wrong way.
Here are common old practices that are still performed today when editing photos:
There are two ways to access adjustments in Photoshop. One way is to go through the menu Image/Adjustments. Another way is through the Layers panel then creating an adjustment layer. You’ll know if you’re doing the old school way if you do your adjustments through the Image/Adjustment.
The best practice is to use adjustment layer. The idea is to preserve the original image and create temporary adjustments that you can re-adjust in any part of your editing process. It is a non-destructive way of editing and much more efficient and effective. Couple it with using the layer mask for more versatility to your editing.
Camera Raw Filter
For users who are a bit advanced, the option to use Camera Raw as a filter is a gift. Photographers would normally shift from Photoshop to Camera raw to get the benefit of the different tools available that is more adaptive to photographers. This time, you can stay in Photoshop and use the Camera Raw as filter thereby, no need to leave Photoshop.
CMYK / RGB
If you’re a photographer, never use CMYK. Stay in RGB for the rest of your editing workflow. Even if you’re about to print your photo, submit RGB. Photo lab prints better in RGB while other printing methods may work best with CMYK. Let them do the conversion since they know the bet conversion for you file. You have to inform them though.
PSD / JPEG / TIFF
If you’re editing and there is a need to re-edit your photo in the future, keep the PSD layered file. Maybe an 8-bit file is enough, unless you’re working on a high-resolution workflow, so stay in 16-bit. After all the editing is done, you can export to JPEG for submission or for printing. TIFF, on the other hand, is a much better file than JPEG. Although JPEG file is acceptable for print, high quality print work may require TIFF.
Always keep updated not only for the new techniques and tools but more importantly, best practices. There are old ways that are still being practiced today, but there are those that are obsolete and need to be changed. Youtube is a good source only if you know which ones are sensible. Keep on shooting, everyone!