Mark Heaps

Mark Heaps

Mark Heaps is the Executive Director for Heaps LLC, a digital communications studio. Mark has taken care of clients for over twenty years offering solutions for boutique businesses and top listed Fortune 500 clients alike. He’s an Adobe Community Professional and Certified Expert, an Adobe MAX Masters Award Recipient, a past Senior Instructor of Brooks College, a traveled musician, dad of two great kids, husband, dog owner, and foodie.

You’ve likely heard the old saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The lesson in this adage is extremely relevant to photographers; it’s all about how you look at the thing or moment to which you’re assigning potential. Sometimes we have complete control over the scenes that we compose but, in other cases, it’s like the wild west: how fast can you get your finger on the trigger and pull? I’ve edited so many images in my career as a retoucher and production artist that I’m always trying to see the greatest potential in an image. If you’ve ever studied successful image makers ove...

Remove and Improve: Clean Up Your Image Quality close

You’ve likely heard the old saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The lesson in this adage is extremely relevant to photographers; it’s all about how you look at the thing or moment to which you’re assigning potential. Sometimes we have complete control over the scenes that we compose but, in other cases, it’s like the wild west: how fast can you get your finger on the trigger and pull? I’ve edited so many images in my career as a retoucher and production artist that I’m always trying to see the greatest potential in an image. If you’ve ever studied successful image makers ove...

A New Perspective!

with Mark Heaps

Not too long ago, Adobe added some functions to Photoshop that allowed non-3D artists to play with some 3D-like controls. Now you may be thinking, “Yeah, I read about the 3D model’s capability in Photoshop and Adobe Dimensions, but that’s not for me!” You’re not alone, as there are many people who are intimidated by 3D graphics but, in this article, we’re going to talk about 3D controls that, well, aren’t 3D controls. We’re talking about perspective controls. If you’ve ever taken an art class in school, then you probably already have at least a basic understanding of the principles of persp...

A New Perspective! close

Not too long ago, Adobe added some functions to Photoshop that allowed non-3D artists to play with some 3D-like controls. Now you may be thinking, “Yeah, I read about the 3D model’s capability in Photoshop and Adobe Dimensions, but that’s not for me!” You’re not alone, as there are many people who are intimidated by 3D graphics but, in this article, we’re going to talk about 3D controls that, well, aren’t 3D controls. We’re talking about perspective controls. If you’ve ever taken an art class in school, then you probably already have at least a basic understanding of the principles of persp...

Do you remember when Content-Aware first became available in Adobe Photoshop? It was a game changer. Not because of how well it worked at the time, but because the feature laid out a path toward intelligent auto-corrections in Photoshop. For those new to this feature, it allows you to replace pixels, or areas on the canvas, by evaluating the surrounding pixels. It looks at colors, patterns, and tonality, then the software tries to “jigsaw-piece” the replacement fill based on the neighboring pixels of the area you’re replacing. It can be really impressive with the right image.  A Starting...

Cracking Open Content-Aware close

Do you remember when Content-Aware first became available in Adobe Photoshop? It was a game changer. Not because of how well it worked at the time, but because the feature laid out a path toward intelligent auto-corrections in Photoshop. For those new to this feature, it allows you to replace pixels, or areas on the canvas, by evaluating the surrounding pixels. It looks at colors, patterns, and tonality, then the software tries to “jigsaw-piece” the replacement fill based on the neighboring pixels of the area you’re replacing. It can be really impressive with the right image.  A Starting...

Adding Faux Freckles

with Mark Heaps

Just for fun, let’s look at adding some freckles to a person’s portrait. It’s a great way to learn how to paint and retouch elements in a photo using custom brush settings.  As a snapshot of this technique, here are the topics covered and the skills necessary for this tutorial.  Choosing a custom-shaped brush  Adjusting brush controls for Jitter to create variance and randomization  Converting to a smart object  Setting blend modes and Opacity on a layer  Using Warp with Free Transform  Adding smart filters  Using a layer mask  Step One: Choosing Your Custom Bru...

Adding Faux Freckles close

Just for fun, let’s look at adding some freckles to a person’s portrait. It’s a great way to learn how to paint and retouch elements in a photo using custom brush settings.  As a snapshot of this technique, here are the topics covered and the skills necessary for this tutorial.  Choosing a custom-shaped brush  Adjusting brush controls for Jitter to create variance and randomization  Converting to a smart object  Setting blend modes and Opacity on a layer  Using Warp with Free Transform  Adding smart filters  Using a layer mask  Step One: Choosing Your Custom Bru...

In this issue, I challenge you to ask yourself, “What are some features in Photoshop that I’ve never used to help me make selections,” and then ask yourself, “How could I integrate that into my workflow?”  Here’s a good example: If you’ve ever worked in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Lightroom to process your RAW files, you probably know there’s a Sharpening feature. The issue with using the Sharpening slider to enhance detail in ACR is that it often exaggerates noise or adds banding in out-of-focus areas of the image. Not something we desire in our output! To resolve this, Adobe added a Mask...

“Think Different” About Selections and Masks close

In this issue, I challenge you to ask yourself, “What are some features in Photoshop that I’ve never used to help me make selections,” and then ask yourself, “How could I integrate that into my workflow?”  Here’s a good example: If you’ve ever worked in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Lightroom to process your RAW files, you probably know there’s a Sharpening feature. The issue with using the Sharpening slider to enhance detail in ACR is that it often exaggerates noise or adds banding in out-of-focus areas of the image. Not something we desire in our output! To resolve this, Adobe added a Mask...

We’ve all seen this effect of masking out an image inside a piece of type. Maybe you’ve seen it on a movie poster or on the cover of a photo book. For those of us who obsess over workflow and optimized editability in our projects, there are times when we stop and ask, “Is this the best way?”  If you’re like many of us, you’d classically create this photo/design treatment by building a type layer, making a selection of it, and then generating a layer mask. If you are doing it this way, that’s totally fine. It’s accomplishing what you want, and that’s what matters. Create the things you wa...

When the Best Mask Isn’t a Mask at All! close

We’ve all seen this effect of masking out an image inside a piece of type. Maybe you’ve seen it on a movie poster or on the cover of a photo book. For those of us who obsess over workflow and optimized editability in our projects, there are times when we stop and ask, “Is this the best way?”  If you’re like many of us, you’d classically create this photo/design treatment by building a type layer, making a selection of it, and then generating a layer mask. If you are doing it this way, that’s totally fine. It’s accomplishing what you want, and that’s what matters. Create the things you wa...

An interesting question was posed recently in one of the Photoshop groups I follow on social media: How would you select a tattoo design on a person? There was your usual array of responses ranging from “Use the Magic Wand tool” to “I’d trace it with the Pen tool.” No answer is wrong if it gets the job done at a quality that’s satisfactory to you or your client. What is surprising, though, is that people are seeing the “object” of the tattoo, and not the “tonality” of it.  For example, the Object Selection tool (W), which is a fairly recent addition to Photoshop CC, will make quick work ...

Complex Selections: The Tattoo close

An interesting question was posed recently in one of the Photoshop groups I follow on social media: How would you select a tattoo design on a person? There was your usual array of responses ranging from “Use the Magic Wand tool” to “I’d trace it with the Pen tool.” No answer is wrong if it gets the job done at a quality that’s satisfactory to you or your client. What is surprising, though, is that people are seeing the “object” of the tattoo, and not the “tonality” of it.  For example, the Object Selection tool (W), which is a fairly recent addition to Photoshop CC, will make quick work ...

Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Well, for many of us the answer is whatever the client ordered. One role for many editors out there is to make marketing materials for products that aren’t actually being produced yet so clients can generate interest, test the potential of their products, and even begin taking orders. Oftentimes, these products need to be shown in a variety of colors. This has been a common practice for years with regard to makeup, fashion, automotive, paint, and just about anything that needs to show a variety of color options.  A company might start with a phot...

The Perfect Match: Color Editing to Create Product Options that Don’t Exist Yet! close

Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Well, for many of us the answer is whatever the client ordered. One role for many editors out there is to make marketing materials for products that aren’t actually being produced yet so clients can generate interest, test the potential of their products, and even begin taking orders. Oftentimes, these products need to be shown in a variety of colors. This has been a common practice for years with regard to makeup, fashion, automotive, paint, and just about anything that needs to show a variety of color options.  A company might start with a phot...

One thing that’s as old as Photoshop itself is the creation of digital collages. This type of photo asset is used for everything from poster backgrounds to the covers of corporate financial reports. It’s a classic storyteller technique that mixes and blends a variety of images to create a visual motif. Below is an example of a collage representing science and research.  While working at an event recently, my team was asked to make 10 collages to be placed in a presentation for a high-level executive who was going onstage in 90 minutes! This meant we had to find the right five or so image...

Quick Collage with Selections close

One thing that’s as old as Photoshop itself is the creation of digital collages. This type of photo asset is used for everything from poster backgrounds to the covers of corporate financial reports. It’s a classic storyteller technique that mixes and blends a variety of images to create a visual motif. Below is an example of a collage representing science and research.  While working at an event recently, my team was asked to make 10 collages to be placed in a presentation for a high-level executive who was going onstage in 90 minutes! This meant we had to find the right five or so image...

Masking and making selections is still one of the most fundamental skills in Photoshop. It used to be much more complicated, but with the inclusion of new technology, such as Adobe Sensei, we’re continually seeing the process get easier. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about best practices when it comes to your workflow and how to protect yourself from dreaded “rework” in the future.  Need to Know  If you’ve been using Photoshop for any length of time, or have been reading this series, you’re familiar with layer masks, those handy little elements you can attach to a layer so y...

Masking Your Mask Is So Meta! close

Masking and making selections is still one of the most fundamental skills in Photoshop. It used to be much more complicated, but with the inclusion of new technology, such as Adobe Sensei, we’re continually seeing the process get easier. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about best practices when it comes to your workflow and how to protect yourself from dreaded “rework” in the future.  Need to Know  If you’ve been using Photoshop for any length of time, or have been reading this series, you’re familiar with layer masks, those handy little elements you can attach to a layer so y...

Selections by Calculation

with Mark Heaps

In this month’s issue, we’ll discuss features that are lesser known in Photoshop. Thanks to Dave Williams, our resident travel photography guru, for pointing out that I haven’t shown Calculations for making Selections up to this point. Calculations have been around for a really long time and were a well-kept secret by professional editors for many years.  Like so many selection techniques in Photoshop, Calculations is a way to build a selection or mask through a focus on channels. Found under Image>Calculations, it allows you to choose how to blend together multiple channels, while us...

Selections by Calculation close

In this month’s issue, we’ll discuss features that are lesser known in Photoshop. Thanks to Dave Williams, our resident travel photography guru, for pointing out that I haven’t shown Calculations for making Selections up to this point. Calculations have been around for a really long time and were a well-kept secret by professional editors for many years.  Like so many selection techniques in Photoshop, Calculations is a way to build a selection or mask through a focus on channels. Found under Image>Calculations, it allows you to choose how to blend together multiple channels, while us...

Last issue, we looked at how to select tonal frequencies using the Select>Color Range feature in Photoshop. This time around, we’re going to look at how you can use Gradient Map adjustment layers to isolate specific tonal ranges, which you can then use to influence how you make a selection using techniques such as luminance masks. This technique was first shown to me by Scott Valentine, a fellow author here at Photoshop User.  Gradient Maps  You can find the Gradient Map option either by clicking the Create New Adjustment Layer icon (half-black/half-white circle) at the bottom of t...

Hacking Tonal Selections for Precision close

Last issue, we looked at how to select tonal frequencies using the Select>Color Range feature in Photoshop. This time around, we’re going to look at how you can use Gradient Map adjustment layers to isolate specific tonal ranges, which you can then use to influence how you make a selection using techniques such as luminance masks. This technique was first shown to me by Scott Valentine, a fellow author here at Photoshop User.  Gradient Maps  You can find the Gradient Map option either by clicking the Create New Adjustment Layer icon (half-black/half-white circle) at the bottom of t...

Gain the ability to command color in your images! Join Mark Heaps as he teaches you the terminology, fundamentals, theory, and tools to adjust, edit, change, and tweak the colors in your photos. You’ll learn how color exists within Photoshop, how to control saturation, different ways to isolate colors, how to match the color of objects, how to affect the mood of your images by adjusting color, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll have the skills to approach editing color with confidence.

A Guide to Commanding Color close

Gain the ability to command color in your images! Join Mark Heaps as he teaches you the terminology, fundamentals, theory, and tools to adjust, edit, change, and tweak the colors in your photos. You’ll learn how color exists within Photoshop, how to control saturation, different ways to isolate colors, how to match the color of objects, how to affect the mood of your images by adjusting color, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll have the skills to approach editing color with confidence.

In this issue, we’re going to continue with our previous themes of selecting things that are more atmospheric. Even though artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies are being added to Photoshop (see recent article here), the truth is that machines can still only be taught what a particular thing is: pizza, car, person, dog, building, clock, etc. But, as an editor, there are often things that can’t be seen as an object or thing. That’s where we still have to solve the problems for our projects by applying some awareness of tone, physics, and light.  For this image, let’s i...

Selecting Atmosphere with Tones close

In this issue, we’re going to continue with our previous themes of selecting things that are more atmospheric. Even though artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies are being added to Photoshop (see recent article here), the truth is that machines can still only be taught what a particular thing is: pizza, car, person, dog, building, clock, etc. But, as an editor, there are often things that can’t be seen as an object or thing. That’s where we still have to solve the problems for our projects by applying some awareness of tone, physics, and light.  For this image, let’s i...

It’s as if a dream has come true in the world of selections in Photoshop. During the Adobe MAX event this past November, Adobe released Photoshop 2020, and there were some great advancements in the software, not only in performance, but also in feature upgrades. There’s a lot to play with and learn in this new version. Check out Julieanne Kost’s review of all the new elements , as well as Scott Valentine’s in-depth article from last issue on all the upgrades. So what’s the exciting update for selections? The Object Selection tool! When you upgrade to Photoshop 2020 and go into your Toolb...

The Object Selection Tool is a Game Changer close

It’s as if a dream has come true in the world of selections in Photoshop. During the Adobe MAX event this past November, Adobe released Photoshop 2020, and there were some great advancements in the software, not only in performance, but also in feature upgrades. There’s a lot to play with and learn in this new version. Check out Julieanne Kost’s review of all the new elements , as well as Scott Valentine’s in-depth article from last issue on all the upgrades. So what’s the exciting update for selections? The Object Selection tool! When you upgrade to Photoshop 2020 and go into your Toolb...

Turning a single rainbow into a double rainbow is actually a rather challenging proposition because rainbows, like many artifacts of light, don’t have hard edges, plus they’re semitransparent, which makes them challenging to select. You can try tools such as the Magic Wand, but it can only select pixels based on a color sample. We need something that understands a level of blending for the rainbow. Select>Color Range could handle some of these challenges with its ability to isolate particular frequencies of color such as red, yellow, green, etc. There’s a tool we could use for this th...

Chasing Double Rainbows: Patch Tool Selections close

Turning a single rainbow into a double rainbow is actually a rather challenging proposition because rainbows, like many artifacts of light, don’t have hard edges, plus they’re semitransparent, which makes them challenging to select. You can try tools such as the Magic Wand, but it can only select pixels based on a color sample. We need something that understands a level of blending for the rainbow. Select>Color Range could handle some of these challenges with its ability to isolate particular frequencies of color such as red, yellow, green, etc. There’s a tool we could use for this th...

This month, we’re going to focus on using custom brush settings for masking when you need to work quickly. Anyone who has been working with this tool for a long time will tell you how important it is to understand your brush tools. There are a powerful set of controls related to the various types of brushes that can help you fake your way into the right selection or mask that you need. Painting with custom brushes, such as the grass brush, is often a great way to isolate things based on the edge texture of the subject you want to mask/select. You can use this same grass brush technique t...

Fake It ’Til You Make It close

This month, we’re going to focus on using custom brush settings for masking when you need to work quickly. Anyone who has been working with this tool for a long time will tell you how important it is to understand your brush tools. There are a powerful set of controls related to the various types of brushes that can help you fake your way into the right selection or mask that you need. Painting with custom brushes, such as the grass brush, is often a great way to isolate things based on the edge texture of the subject you want to mask/select. You can use this same grass brush technique t...

One of the reasons that so many users love Photoshop is that there are always new things to learn about the program. As much as people like to complain when Adobe changes something, it’s usually in an effort to make the program better, with respect and consideration for new and old users. In this month’s article, we’re going to show a feature that’s relatively new to Photoshop. It’s actually been a part of the program since Photoshop CC 2014, but I’ve been reluctant to show it, or even use it, because I struggled to get good results with it. After some recent changes, however, this is becom...

Focusing on Focus Area Selections close

One of the reasons that so many users love Photoshop is that there are always new things to learn about the program. As much as people like to complain when Adobe changes something, it’s usually in an effort to make the program better, with respect and consideration for new and old users. In this month’s article, we’re going to show a feature that’s relatively new to Photoshop. It’s actually been a part of the program since Photoshop CC 2014, but I’ve been reluctant to show it, or even use it, because I struggled to get good results with it. After some recent changes, however, this is becom...

Distorted Geometry

with Mark Heaps

In this selection series, we’ve talked a lot about the traditional means of making selections and offered lots of case studies about selecting by sampling color or luminosity . We’ve also discussed the popular approach of painting selections in masks, especially the Quick Mask mode. There’s also been the less popular, but extremely precise, use of the Pen tool to produce a selection. This month, however, we’re ignoring all of that. In fact, we’re going to get back to basics and use a little feature that’s less utilized than it probably should be. Geometric Selections with Transformations...

Distorted Geometry close

In this selection series, we’ve talked a lot about the traditional means of making selections and offered lots of case studies about selecting by sampling color or luminosity . We’ve also discussed the popular approach of painting selections in masks, especially the Quick Mask mode. There’s also been the less popular, but extremely precise, use of the Pen tool to produce a selection. This month, however, we’re ignoring all of that. In fact, we’re going to get back to basics and use a little feature that’s less utilized than it probably should be. Geometric Selections with Transformations...

Color. Is it a big mystery? It seems like every week I come across a question on user forums, social media groups, etc., asking, “Why don’t I get the right color when I send my images to .” It seems that, as Adobe continues to make our tools simpler to use, the more that advanced and deep technical knowledge of those tools fades into history for many users. Don’t get me wrong, most of us don’t miss making clipping paths for Quark Express, or a lot of the other techniques we needed to know for older technologies! But understanding, or simplifying, color management is something that seems to ...

The Science of Color: Why Can’t I Get the Color of My Images to Come Out Right? close

Color. Is it a big mystery? It seems like every week I come across a question on user forums, social media groups, etc., asking, “Why don’t I get the right color when I send my images to .” It seems that, as Adobe continues to make our tools simpler to use, the more that advanced and deep technical knowledge of those tools fades into history for many users. Don’t get me wrong, most of us don’t miss making clipping paths for Quark Express, or a lot of the other techniques we needed to know for older technologies! But understanding, or simplifying, color management is something that seems to ...

For many users, making a selection is a simple act of sampling. We covered that in a previous article , and we’ve also covered the surgical precision approach of making selections using the Pen tool . Once you’ve made your selection, the process of refinement can involve many different techniques. We’ve also discussed refinement using the Quick Mask Mode where you can use paintbrush tools in a temporary mask mode to modify your selection. Being able to paint and adjust your selection is very intuitive, but it can be slow because of the accuracy you use to paint with the Brush tool. But, ...

Tweaking and Geeking Your Selections close

For many users, making a selection is a simple act of sampling. We covered that in a previous article , and we’ve also covered the surgical precision approach of making selections using the Pen tool . Once you’ve made your selection, the process of refinement can involve many different techniques. We’ve also discussed refinement using the Quick Mask Mode where you can use paintbrush tools in a temporary mask mode to modify your selection. Being able to paint and adjust your selection is very intuitive, but it can be slow because of the accuracy you use to paint with the Brush tool. But, ...

Technology is a wonderful thing because it makes our lives easier in so many ways. Tasks that were previously considered laborious or mundane have become simple and sometimes not much more involved than one click of a button. Automation, optimization, and other systematic approaches to industrial-scaled tasks are what turbocharged our evolution into a technologically driven society. Take the mindset of someone such as Henry Ford who was always looking for ways to streamline production, and we can see that same ethos trickle down into the most basic production roles today. Characteristically...

Select Subject: The Future Is Now, Sort Of… close

Technology is a wonderful thing because it makes our lives easier in so many ways. Tasks that were previously considered laborious or mundane have become simple and sometimes not much more involved than one click of a button. Automation, optimization, and other systematic approaches to industrial-scaled tasks are what turbocharged our evolution into a technologically driven society. Take the mindset of someone such as Henry Ford who was always looking for ways to streamline production, and we can see that same ethos trickle down into the most basic production roles today. Characteristically...

This is one of those selection techniques that has existed for decades but is still heavily under-utilized. Truth be told, it requires a certain amount of comfort with digital color theory and understanding luminance, but if you truly understand how it works, it can be powerful. As we break down images into simpler forms, basic information like black and white with 254 shades of gray between those two end points (256 total values on a scale of 0–255), Photoshop can use that information to build a mask or selection. (We’ve covered much of this in previous parts of this series.) A very han...

Quick-Click Selections, Luminance Masks, and Digital Color Theory close

This is one of those selection techniques that has existed for decades but is still heavily under-utilized. Truth be told, it requires a certain amount of comfort with digital color theory and understanding luminance, but if you truly understand how it works, it can be powerful. As we break down images into simpler forms, basic information like black and white with 254 shades of gray between those two end points (256 total values on a scale of 0–255), Photoshop can use that information to build a mask or selection. (We’ve covered much of this in previous parts of this series.) A very han...

So far in this column, we’ve looked at a lot of the various tools for making or altering selections. For a quick review, most selection-based tools in Photoshop will let you add to or subtract from a selection using either Shift or Option (PC: Alt), respectively. If you’re new to Photoshop, getting comfortable with this approach can be somewhat confusing and often stressful. Most users, however, quickly become comfortable with the simplicity of using the Brush tool. The idea of painting or erasing pixels is a very rudimentary concept. So this issue, we want to answer the question: What if y...

The Easiest Way to Edit a Selection: Paint It! close

So far in this column, we’ve looked at a lot of the various tools for making or altering selections. For a quick review, most selection-based tools in Photoshop will let you add to or subtract from a selection using either Shift or Option (PC: Alt), respectively. If you’re new to Photoshop, getting comfortable with this approach can be somewhat confusing and often stressful. Most users, however, quickly become comfortable with the simplicity of using the Brush tool. The idea of painting or erasing pixels is a very rudimentary concept. So this issue, we want to answer the question: What if y...

Let’s Get Surgical

with Mark Heaps

There are generally two different camps of thinking when it comes to making selections in Photoshop: really fast or really accurate. In this issue, we’re going to look at the tool most people use when they want surgical precision in their selections. So let’s introduce… The Pen Tool If you’re new to Photoshop, let’s meditate for a moment—breathe in, breathe out. You’ll need to stay calm while learning how to use the Pen tool. It isn’t that complicated, but unguided new users are generally very frustrated by it. It just doesn’t operate in a way that’s logical to most people outside the...

Let’s Get Surgical close

There are generally two different camps of thinking when it comes to making selections in Photoshop: really fast or really accurate. In this issue, we’re going to look at the tool most people use when they want surgical precision in their selections. So let’s introduce… The Pen Tool If you’re new to Photoshop, let’s meditate for a moment—breathe in, breathe out. You’ll need to stay calm while learning how to use the Pen tool. It isn’t that complicated, but unguided new users are generally very frustrated by it. It just doesn’t operate in a way that’s logical to most people outside the...

Think differently about your business! Join Mark Heaps as shares tips and tricks for efficiency in Photoshop, while at the same time teaching you how to set yourself and your collaborators up for success. This class has two parts, and in the first half Mark demonstrates a number of Photoshop techniques to help you work smarter. In the second half he delves into more strategic concerns designed to help you grow your business, help you define who your customers are, learn key phrases and terms, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll have a strong foundation for working as a great collaborator whether you are part of a team or an independent freelancer.

Photoshop for Business: Pro Techniques for Working Faster, Smarter, and Maximizing your Output close

Think differently about your business! Join Mark Heaps as shares tips and tricks for efficiency in Photoshop, while at the same time teaching you how to set yourself and your collaborators up for success. This class has two parts, and in the first half Mark demonstrates a number of Photoshop techniques to help you work smarter. In the second half he delves into more strategic concerns designed to help you grow your business, help you define who your customers are, learn key phrases and terms, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll have a strong foundation for working as a great collaborator whether you are part of a team or an independent freelancer.

As we continue to dive into the fundamentals of selections in Photoshop, it’s inevitable that we discuss some of the more sensitive tools. Many of our tools have a sensitivity to data by appearance value. The type of data I’m referring to falls into two categories: Hue, which is color for the new users, and luminosity, which are tones often represented by shades of gray within Photoshop. As I’ve discussed in previous articles, there’s no one perfect selection tool that rules them all. Believe me, people have opinions on this, but at the end of the production day, it always gets decided by t...

A Bit Sensitive: Sample-Based Selections close

As we continue to dive into the fundamentals of selections in Photoshop, it’s inevitable that we discuss some of the more sensitive tools. Many of our tools have a sensitivity to data by appearance value. The type of data I’m referring to falls into two categories: Hue, which is color for the new users, and luminosity, which are tones often represented by shades of gray within Photoshop. As I’ve discussed in previous articles, there’s no one perfect selection tool that rules them all. Believe me, people have opinions on this, but at the end of the production day, it always gets decided by t...

The Grand Marquee

with Mark Heaps

In our second article of this new series, we’re going to talk about the options available with the selection tools. But first, it’s probably a good idea to make sure we understand what the selection tools are. Specifically, we’re going to look at the shape-oriented selection tools: The Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools. When you’re selecting elements of an image in Photoshop, there are some general things that influence the process. Are you selecting a squarish thing, a roundish thing, an abstract or blobby thing, or a colorful thing? Terrible grammar and language aside, that’s of...

The Grand Marquee close

In our second article of this new series, we’re going to talk about the options available with the selection tools. But first, it’s probably a good idea to make sure we understand what the selection tools are. Specifically, we’re going to look at the shape-oriented selection tools: The Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools. When you’re selecting elements of an image in Photoshop, there are some general things that influence the process. Are you selecting a squarish thing, a roundish thing, an abstract or blobby thing, or a colorful thing? Terrible grammar and language aside, that’s of...

Understanding Selections

with Mark Heaps

Oh, I’ve heard it all when it comes to describing selections: “Marching ants,” “the blinky-dot thing,” “the dashed line area,” and my personal favorite, “the ghost frame.” Yes, I’ve heard these and many more over my years of using and teaching Photoshop. The team at Photoshop User magazine has listened to your recent feedback about wanting to know more about selections, so we’re kicking off a brand-new series all about selections. We’ll start with the fundamentals of how selections work, and then in each issue, we’ll go a little deeper into advanced areas, such as masks and much more, until...

Understanding Selections close

Oh, I’ve heard it all when it comes to describing selections: “Marching ants,” “the blinky-dot thing,” “the dashed line area,” and my personal favorite, “the ghost frame.” Yes, I’ve heard these and many more over my years of using and teaching Photoshop. The team at Photoshop User magazine has listened to your recent feedback about wanting to know more about selections, so we’re kicking off a brand-new series all about selections. We’ll start with the fundamentals of how selections work, and then in each issue, we’ll go a little deeper into advanced areas, such as masks and much more, until...

It’s true, presets are probably the last thing in the world that anyone wants to read, think, or talk about. But maybe after this article, you’ll give them a whirl and try adding them to your workflow. Presets save me loads of time every day. In fact, I can’t imagine not working with them because they’re so ingrained in my workflow. How to work happy, not harder, is always a goal when working in production. One of the most stressful parts of production isn’t understanding how to make something, but the repetition of making the same thing again, and again, and again. Now you may be thinki...

The Powerfully Unsexy World of Presets close

It’s true, presets are probably the last thing in the world that anyone wants to read, think, or talk about. But maybe after this article, you’ll give them a whirl and try adding them to your workflow. Presets save me loads of time every day. In fact, I can’t imagine not working with them because they’re so ingrained in my workflow. How to work happy, not harder, is always a goal when working in production. One of the most stressful parts of production isn’t understanding how to make something, but the repetition of making the same thing again, and again, and again. Now you may be thinki...

In this article we’ll be reviewing various ways to warp, distort, and transform pixels to help improve your images or refine your concepts. The piece shown here is an example of such a project, but first let’s review some of the fundamentals of warping, transforming, and Liquify! One of the best advantages we have in digital imaging vs. working in the old days of film is our ability to transform and manipulate the shape or form of a subject in an image. This was a really challenging task in the analog days of editing, and nearly impossible to do in a way that was convincing or “real” loo...

Transformations, Warps, and Liquify, oh My! close

In this article we’ll be reviewing various ways to warp, distort, and transform pixels to help improve your images or refine your concepts. The piece shown here is an example of such a project, but first let’s review some of the fundamentals of warping, transforming, and Liquify! One of the best advantages we have in digital imaging vs. working in the old days of film is our ability to transform and manipulate the shape or form of a subject in an image. This was a really challenging task in the analog days of editing, and nearly impossible to do in a way that was convincing or “real” loo...

A long time ago at Photoshop World, Jay Maisel gave a talk about his photographs. Jay is always a great speaker and his images are spectacular. One thing Jay said that stood out while he was giving advice that day was, “Don’t put words or letters in your pictures unless you want people to read them.” This was a simple, but very true, piece of advice. The human brain has a tendency to want to read the words that it sees. We are conditioned for it, and it’s almost impossible to look at a group of letters and not try to make words out of them. But what if those letters, or words, aren’t thi...

Dealing with Distracting Objects close

A long time ago at Photoshop World, Jay Maisel gave a talk about his photographs. Jay is always a great speaker and his images are spectacular. One thing Jay said that stood out while he was giving advice that day was, “Don’t put words or letters in your pictures unless you want people to read them.” This was a simple, but very true, piece of advice. The human brain has a tendency to want to read the words that it sees. We are conditioned for it, and it’s almost impossible to look at a group of letters and not try to make words out of them. But what if those letters, or words, aren’t thi...