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Learning Photoshop terms for beginners

Let's talk shop... Photoshop.

Photoshop can be overwhelming to learn especially with all exciting tools. You can easily get overwhelmed.

So let's start by learning Photoshop terms for beginners.

Here we go...

Layers. Photoshop gives you the ability to create layers. These are great for any project from a simple photo edit to a large composite. You can add another image, transparent layer or an adjustment layer.

Screenshot of layers and adjustment layer options.
Layers and Adjustment Layers

Adjustment Layers. These are layers you can add to adjust your image. You can see in the attached screenshot that there are multiple adjustments available. From brightness to color balance. Each of these will be on their own layer separate from your other layers, similar to filters.

Filters. Filters are very popular when creating in photoshop. As you can see from the attached screenshot there are a variety of basic filters you can easily access from the layers panel. Filters will be attached to a specific layer either separately, as you can see on the screenshot, so you can make adjustments later or the filter will be completed directly on the layer. Whether separate or directly depends on the type of layer it is, a Rasterized Layer or a Smart Object Layer.

Screenshot of Smart Object Layer and Filter Options
Filters for Smart Object Layers

Smart Object. A Smart Object Layer coverts your image to a vector keeping the integrity of your image to allow for resizing without losing resolution. It also allows you to add filters, adjustments, etc. to the image while maintaining the ability to make changes later. In contrast, a Rasterized Layer does not allow this.

Rasterize. Converts your image to pixels. Which in turn reduces its size. It is a nice option if you have a large file or multiple layers. Some filters or tools can only be used on rasterized images so sometimes it's necessary.

Screenshot of object selected and transform options
Transform Options

Transform. When you enable transform on an image you can rotate, scale, change perspective and even warp the image as seen in the attached screenshot.

Masking. This was a feature I steered clear from when I was first learning Photoshop but now I use it on nearly every layer I create! What is nice is you can use masking on any layer. You can use it on your image for removing the background or on your adjustment layer so you can choose exactly what part of your image you want the adjustment to effect.

Masking can be done on any layer!

Feeling savvy yet?

Now that you have basic terms we can dive into creating docs and importing images!

Until then... Keep imagining. Keep creating. Keep inspiring!

♡ Crystal


Is there something you would like me to cover in Photoshop? Contact me!


I have a BA degree in Advertising with over 20 years experience using Photoshop and two years experience exploring Photo Manipulation.


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