Photography tips

Stretch out a sky

If you want more blue sky above your subject, go to Image > Canvas Size. Put 20 % in Height, tick the Relative box, and click the middle-bottom Anchor box. Click OK, then make a thin selection along the top edge of the existing sky using the Rectangular Marquee tool. Press Ctrl/Cmd+T to go into Transform mode. Pull the top-middle handle upwards to create headroom.

Copy and move layers quickly

If you’ve placed a cutout on a separate layer and want to use it elsewhere in an image, select the Move tool by pressing V, then hold Alt and drag the mouse. This copies the selection to a new layer and positions it wherever you drag it.

Lose your palettes

To see a pic without distractions, press Tab and you’ll hide all the palettes and tools. To restore them, press Tab again. To lose everything except the Toolbox, press Shift+Tab.

Go full screen

To see your image as large as possible on-screen, press Ctrl/ Cmd+0 (zero). Repeatedly press F to see the pic in different view modes.

Add a white border

To apply a swift white border, first open your pic then press D to reset the colours to black and white. Now press Ctrl/Cmd+A to select the image, and Ctrl/Cmd+T to enter Transform mode. Hold Alt +Shift and drag in a corner handle to make a white surround in proportion. Press Return, and you’ll have a clean white border with very little fuss.

See a single layer

With a multi-layered image, there are times when you want to see what’s on a particular layer. Alt-click on the eye icon of the layer in the Layers panel. This will turn off all the other layers.

Add a bleach bypass in seconds

To boost contrast and give a stylised look to a pic, press Ctrl/Cmd+J to duplicate the image onto a new Layer, and then press Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U to get rid of the colour. You’ll see a mono image, but change the Blend mode to Soft Light in the Layers panel, and the black-and-white layer will be blended with the colour to boost contrast and tone down the saturation, giving an attractive bleached look.

Speed up filter use

To repeat a filter and boost its effect, press Ctrl/Cmd+F to reapply the last filter you used. This is a fast way of making blur filters more blurry.

Save for the web with precision

When you’re saving JPEGs of pictures for web use, make sure you use the dedicated File > Export > Save for Web feature. Set the Preset to JPEG High, and use the options to resize, adjust and compare different quality settings – and even preview it on a web page. You’ll find it’s a much smarter way than using File > Save As, choosing JPEG, and guessing the rest!

Change your mind on filter settings

If you’ve gone too far with a filter effect and want to dial back the settings, press Ctrl/Cmd+Z to undo the filter. You’ll see the image return to its pre-filtered state. If you now press Ctrl/Cmd+Alt+F, you’ll bring up the Filter dialog box without having to reselect it. Change the settings and click OK.

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