Martini Hour 059, In Which We Attempt 20 Photoshop Tips in One Martini Hour

Welcome back, dekeCats and dekeKittens. Welcome to one of the best Martini Hours ever (in my opinion, and I’ve been to all of them). Filled with practical information today’s show pits me, innocent little Photoshop rookie, against two legends of the Photoshop world—Deke (aka “The Man”) and Katrin (as in Eismann, aka the “Photoshop Diva”), in our first ever round-table Tip-a-Palooza. The premise here is to get through 20 (in honor of Photoshop’s Birthday) tips, circling around our virtual lounge table, throwing down some of the best kick-ass Photoshop tips you’ll find. Anywhere. Let alone anywhere that serves cocktails.

Seriously, despite the pressure, this show is one of my favorite in a year of hanging out in the lounge. So, I’m gonna “get the hell of the front page” (TM deke) and tell you to click through to see an enticing list of the 20 Photoshop tips the geniuses and I came up with:

(Note: you’re gonna have to listen to get the details. This list is to whet your appetite, dekeSters.)

  1. Colleen (starts simple by skipping Photoshop altogether): Open an image in ACR and make your adjustments right there.
  2. Katrin (after some debate at whose turn it was): Neutralize the color cast of old photos by applying an ingenious by applying the offending color’s opposite at an Opacity level less than 50%.
  3. Deke: Reduce shadow noise via an inversion of a Channels selection.
  4. Back to Colleen: Control-Option to resize your brush on the fly. On the PC, it’s Alt+right-mouse-button-drag.
  5. Katrin: Create a controlled (personalized) vignette with an ingenious combo of Curves, layer mask, and the gradient tool set to white-to-transparent, and some warping.
  6. Deke:  Miraculous power duplication/scale/positioning maneuvers by adding Option (or Alt) and Shift to the Free Transform command.
  7. Colleen (who calls in a favor from friend and Photoshop expert Michael Ninness to add to her cred): Apply a filter to more than one layer, while maintaining control over individual layers.
  8. Katrin: Use your cool texture photos with a luminosity selection technique.
  9. Deke: Establish a good clone source for portrait retouching by adding a negative value in the Clone Source panel and rotate the angle if necessary.
  10. Colleen: Option-two finger gesture on a Mac trackpad (PC: Alt+scroll wheel) to zoom in.
  11. Katrin: Find the “secret history” by using Cmd+Option+Z (Ctrl+Alt+Z) to undo up to 1 operations in Adobe Camera Raw.
  12. Deke: Switch to an unused panel to use the Preview in ACR to see the effects of all your changes.
  13. Colleen: Cmd-Shift-Option-E (PC: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E) to “merge up” a flattened version of your entire layered composition.
  14. Katrin: Soften a portrait by inverting the High Pass sharpening technique.
  15. Deke: Undo Revert to get a convenient before and after preview.
  16. Colleen (another gift from Michael Ninness): Use selective Clarity in portraits in ACR, both positive and negative for the appropriate areas.
  17. Katrin: Darken blue skies (and other homogenously colored areas) with a B&W adjustment layer set to luminosity.
  18. Deke: Fix yellow teeth with the Sponge tool set to desaturate. Colleen jumps in with an adjustment layer alternate.
  19. Colleen: Use Reveal All to find missing pieces of an image that may have gone out beyond the visible document.
  20. Katrin: Search #photoshop on Twitter to learn great tips from the vast sea of Photoshop lovers everywhere.
  21. Deke: (I know, we’re done. But it’s Deke, what can I do?) Use the Width value in the Image Size dialog box to make your friends and family thinner.

Twenty tips plus one to grow on! Here’s the regular-quality (128kbps) audio file. You can stream, or for best results, right-click and choose Download or Save. For you audiophiles out there, here’s the link to the high-quality (320kbps) version. Be sure to download, don’t stream. And don’t forget the usual suggestion to subscribe via iTunes.

Our absolute gratitude to Photoshop Diva Katrin Eismann who jumped in on our first tip-roundabout with some seriously cool stuff and a sense of humor. You can follow her on Twitter at @KatrinEismann, and you should follow her in general, anywhere she’ll let you.

Cheers until next week, dekenFreunde!

Next entry:Photoshop Top 40, Feature #2: The Layers Palette

Previous entry:Photoshop Top 40, Feature #3: Image Size


  • 21 tips

    Wow… what a lot in one go!
    That list/index really helps BTW.
    Excellent music balance too. (My regards to the Pims quartet)
    The Martini hour just gets better and better Deke.
    Many thanks,  BRB (in the UK)

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  • another phenom mh!

    great tips from all…

    colleen, i must say your gentle… yet, direct prodding of deke kept the show flowing along nicely.

    i really dug the Alt+right-mouse-button-drag move… i hate having to wait (well for pretty much anything) but specifically wasting time trying to pick the correct size brush.  thanks for that.

    and how on earth do y’all find the time to keep doing all these great weekly shows?

    kudos, from your big fan,


  • I think they use CS to alter time?

    or maybe they steal our time somehow?  In any case I’m glad they do what they do.

  • An extra tip

    Addition to tip 6. If you select all (Ctrl-A) before you do your transformation, a floating selection will be transformed instead of a new layer, so you won’t have a bunch of layers to merge down.

  • Great tips!

    This was a nice episode. Thanks for the tips.

    Best regards from Austria!


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