Using A Photo To Mask Itself With Photoshop


Written by Steve Patterson.
In this Photoshop Effects tutorial, we’re going to learn how to use a photo as a layer mask, essentially using the image to mask itself, something that Photoshop doesn’t normally allow us to do. We’ll be using it to give the image a nice soft glow effect, but if you experiment on your own, you’ll find lots of creative ways to use this technique.

Download our tutorials as print-ready PDFs! Learning Photoshop has never been easier!

Here’s the photo I’ll be using for this tutorial:

The original image

And here’s the finished result:

The final result

Let’s get started! Continue reading  

Mastering Photoshop With Paths


Anomalously residing within the pixel-gridded world of Photoshop are a series of tools waiting to break out of the canvas’ inherent squareness. Mastering these tools opens the stage for a higher level of flexibility, full of clean lines and non-destructive editing. Presented here is a guide to help you build proficiency, increase productivity and demystify the elusive world of Paths.

Photoshop Mastery Series: Paths

Creation Continue reading  

Photo Realistic Drop Shadows in Photoshop


Written by Steve Patterson. Let’s face it, Photoshop’s built-in drop shadow effect has it’s limitations. It’s fine for basic shadow effects, like making text appear to be raised slightly off the background on a web page, but if you’re after something more photo realistic, the drop shadow on its own doesn’t cut it. With a little help though, we can turn those plain, uninteresting drop shadows into something much more realistic looking by “mapping” our shadows onto the image using what’s called a displacement map. Displacement maps are what the pros use to add realism to images, but don’t let that scare you away. You don’t need to be a pro to use them. In fact, they’re really quite simple.

As we’ll see in this Photoshop tutorial, a displacement map is really nothing more than a separate, black and white version of your image which Photoshop uses to figure out how to reshape your shadows so that they appear to be following the natural textures and depths of the background behind them, just like what a real shadow would do. Think of a displacement map as Photoshop moving pixels from “dis place to dis place”. If that sort of makes sense to you, great! If not, don’t worry, it will by the time we’re done this tutorial.

Download our tutorials as print-ready PDFs! Learning Photoshop has never been easier!

Here’s my original image, a simple photo of some water:

The original image

Continue reading  

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Masking in Photoshop


Final Image


clippingpathzone_image masking


Several years ago a friend of mine asked me to teach him how masks work in Photoshop. This is my incredibly late response.

We’ll go over the basics of what masks are, what they’re used for and how wielding them properly will take your Photoshop skills to an entirely new level. Continue reading  

15 Advantages of Working in a Graphic Design Company



Working in a graphic design company is a fulfilment for many designers. It is where they get experiences that they would not be able to get when working alone. There are so many challenges that one needs to face when working in a graphic design company but after overcoming such challenges it is all worth it. Challenges would include dealing with your boss and co-workers. Not to mention the tons of work that you need to do for you do not have a choice but really do it.

But aside from those challenges, there are also some benefits and advantages in working in a graphic design company. Although you might have known the advantages of freelancing, it is now time for you to chew on the benefits of working in a firm. For this post, you will be able to know the good things you’ll get from your company. If you are at the point of thinking on switching jobs, then this article can help you weigh your decision. Come take a look.

1. Gives you a stable income.

Gives you a stable income
Image:shutterstock Continue reading  

Fix White Eyes in Pictures of Pets with this Tutorial


Did this ever happen to you? You catch your pet looking irresistibly cute so you grab your camera and snap a picture. When you view it, suddenly instead of looking cute they look like they’re possessed by some demon. Their eyes are glowing white or some other unnatural color.

Don’t panic and call an exorcist, just launch Photoshop Elements to easily fix white eyes. Follow this tutorial to restore your pet’s eyes and their cuteness. 

Open an image of an animal with white-eye. In the Layers palette drag the background layer onto the Create A New Layer icon. That way we will fix white eyes on a separate layer.

The photo below is of our dog Lydia. Lydia is the sweetest golden retriever ever and you can see she loves her creature comforts. But with that white eye glowing it’s hard to imagine how lovable she is.


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Raw vs JPEG For Photo Editing





Written by Steve Patterson. In this tutorial, the first in a series on editing and retouching images with Adobe Camera Raw, we’ll take a quick look at the main difference between the two most popular file formats used by digital cameras today – raw and JPEG – and learn why one of them has a major advantage over the other when it comes to image editing and retouching. Many digital cameras today, including both DSLRs and higher end compact cameras, give us the option of saving our images as either raw files or JPEG files. The JPEG format has been around for over 20 years and remains to this day the most widely used file format for saving and sharing digital photos. The raw format, on the other hand, is a much more recent development, but if you’re thinking “Well, obviously newer is better, right?”, it’s not quite that simple. While JPEG is an industry standard file format, it may surprise you to learn that raw isn’t really a file format at all. At least, not in the traditional sense. Continue reading  

Photoshop Tutorial – Making a Silhouette






Welcome back to Tutorial Tuesday!

It’s kinda ironic to me that I am teaching ANYTHING.  I mean…I’m a homeschooler…who went to college to be a teacher…realized VERY quickly that I am not cut out for it and will praise the fine educators of the world till kingdom come…took up a camera less than five years ago and photoshop after that….to be here, attempting to teach you little tricks with no real training myself except a whole lot of trial and error (emphasis on the error!).  That’s irony people.  At least I think it is…I was homeschooled afterall :) Continue reading  

How to Create a Lighter Illustration from Scratch in Photoshop


Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:




In the following tutorial your will learn how to create a lighter illustration from scratch in Photoshop.

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How to Make a Photoshop Montage


Final Image


clipping path zone



Anyone can cobble together a few photos and textures and create a humdrum montage.

To elevate yours beyond this it takes a few simple tricks using Photoshop’s awesome array of tools.

Do it right and the style has got dozens of applications from static navigation or graphics, through to animated banners and interactive collages.

I’ve picked a musical theme, as the style works really well for band graphics or music based sites.

This tutorial explains how to create a great Photoshop montage in 19 steps, so let’s get started and have fun with it. Continue reading