Independent Studies: Photoshop

By; Sai A.

What Is Photoshop?

Photoshop is the leading digital image editing application for the Internet, print, and other new media disciplines. It is embraced by millions of graphic artists, print designers, visual communicators, and regular people.

It's likely that nearly every picture you've seen (such as posters, book covers, magazine pictures, and brochures) has either been created or edited by Photoshop. The powerful tools used to enhance and edit these pictures are also capable for use in the digital world including the infinite possibilities of the Internet.

Why I Chose This

I chose to learn about Photoshop, because i have always thought it was cool. I thought all it was, was editing a photo, like cropping edges, or adding color. Not only was I wrong about that, but I was fascinated with the varieties of options and tools available to my disposal.

How quickly can YOU learn Photoshop

Learning the basics take time, but as soon as you get an understanding of the tools and layers, you can learn within 30 days. I watched tutorials, read articles, and forums, and blogs about Photoshop, and I can do basic editing to photos. I can change colors in a picture, clone objects, change the texture of an object using mask layers.

I learned all of this within 10 days, so imagine what you and I could learn in 30 days.

What I learned

  • Changing images
  • Wrapping texture over an object
  • Creating Logos
  • Making a text poster


Basic Tools

Move Tool (V)

Use this tool to move things by left clicking with the mouse.
Usually it is used it to move a Layer around after it has been placed.

Lasso Tool (L)

Use this to draw selections in whatever shape you would like. This tool is not very accurate for going around fine areas but works well if you just want to select a large area.

Magic Wand Tool (W)

This tool is used to select a color range. It will select the block of color, or transparency, based on wherever you click.

Crop Tool (C)

The Crop Tool will crop your image or part of your image to the size you specify in the values boxes in the options bar at the top. Press the Enter/Return key, to commit the crop.

Eyedropper Tool (I)

This tool works by changing your foreground color to whatever color you click on. pressing the [X] key will toggle between your background and foreground color.

Healing Brush Tool (J)

Use this tool to repair scratches, specs and dust on images and to remove small areas that need cleaning up. Choose your cursor/brush size, then holding the [Alt] key, you select a nice/clean area of your image.

Brush Tool (B)

This tool paints on your image, in whatever color you have selected, and whatever size you have selected, by holding down the left click on the mouse. There are various options for the brush tools sizes and shapes which can be found in the options bar.

History Brush Tool (H)

This tool works in a similar way to the Brush Tool, except the information that it paints with is from the original state of your image. If you go Window > History, you can see the History Palette.

Eraser Tool (E)

This tool works like an eraser and erases the information wherever you left click and drag.

Gradient Tool (G)

With this tool you can make a gradient of colors. It creates a blending of your foreground color and background color when you click and drag it.

Blur Tool (R)

The Blur tool is self explanatory and makes parts of your image blur. Left click and drag to make things blurry.

Dodge Tool (O)

This tool is used to lighten whichever area you use it on. It can be set to Highlights, Midtones or shadows in the options bar at the top of the program.

Path Selection Tool (A)

This tool is used when working with paths. As this is only the basic tools it won’t be covered here.

Zoom Tool (Z)

Use this tool to zoom into your image. Pressing and holding the Alt key will reverse the action.

Color Picker

Almost at the bottom of the tool bar you will find your color boxes. Foreground (in the front) and Background (in the back). Click on either one to bring up the color select dialog box.

What did I do these 10 Days?

My goal was to successfully edit 4 pictures using Photoshop. I wanted to edit pictures or make something using Photoshop.

I did complete my goal, I created a cat on fire, a colorful skull, and a Poster of MLK Jr. with the "I Have A Dream" speech wrapping around the contours of his face.

Subscribe to ..... on YouTube

  • bluelightningtv
  • Photoshop
  • FlashAcesDesign
  • FotoShopped's Channel

I subscribed to all of these people, and I get daily tutorials from them.

I recommend bluelightningtv, because he responded to all of my emails within a day. I sent him a few of my Photoshopped images, and he gave immediate feedback.


I am going to try to use my own pictures and edit those. I have been using pictures taken by others. For this I might need to learn about taking great quality pictures.