Exploring Photoshop


Background Replacement

This Lesson Covers: Sizing, Saving, File Types, Layers, Camera Raw, Masking, Color Matching and Selection Methods.






We will learn to open, resize and save files, edit Photos in Camera Raw, work with layers, masks, selection techniques, blend layers and match exposures.


Get comfortable handling, layering and masking images. Composite two photos together.

Lesson Plan

Follow along with the provided materials or your own photo.

Š       Preferences

o   Window > Workspace > Essentials√ > Reset Essentials

§  Now we should all be looking at the same windows

o   Photoshop > Preferences > Units and Rulers

§  Adjust to your preferred mode of measurement.

Š       Choose Inches, Pixels and Points (for type)


1)     Open, Resize, Save

a)     File > Open > Screen Shot.png

b)     Image > Image Size

i)      Constrain Proportions√ (chain link icon)

ii)     Resample Image√ (changes resolution)

iii)   Upres: enter larger H or W dimension

(1)    Sampling: Bicubic Sm­­­oother for enlargment

iv)    Downres: Enter smaller H or W dimension

(1)    Sampling: Bicubic Sharper for reduction√

c)      Image > Canvas Size

i)      With + Height value > Units > Pixels

ii)     Canvas Extension Color (Background color)

iii)   Anchor (Where to reduce into or expand out from)

d)      File > Save As > .png > compression/smallest.

i)      Output Formats / Compressed

(1)    .JPG/.JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

(a)    Advantages

(i)     Small file size

(ii)   Photographic image quality

(iii)  Adjustable compression levels

(iv)  Universally supported

(b)    Disadvantages

(i)     Lossy Compression (loses information)

(ii)   Layers not supported

(iii)  Transparency not supported

(2)    .PNG (Portable Network Graphic)

(a)    Advantages

(i)     Small file size

(ii)   Photographic Image quality

(iii)  Widely supported

(iv)  Supports Transaparency

(b)    Disadvantages

(i)     Lossy Compression

(ii)   Layers not supported

(iii)  No control over compression scheme

(3)    .PDF (Portable Document Format)

(a)    Advantages

(i)     Lockable

(ii)   Universal Support

(iii)  Supports Transparency

(iv)  Supports Color modes/profiles

(v)    Supports Dynamic Text

(vi)  Customizable Compression Schemes

(vii) Embeds other formats and Metadata

ii)     Working Formats / Lossless / Layers / Transparency

(1)    .PSD>(Photoshop document) .TIF>(Tagged Image File) .PSB>(Large Document Format) Photoshop .PDF>(if Photoshop Editing capabilities are preserved)

(2)    Raw formats .RAW, .ARW, .DNG, Photoshop Raw

2)     Camera Raw

a)     Preferences > Camera Raw > Open any compatible .JPG’s and .TIF’s

b)     File > Open > enlargement.jpg

c)      Adjustments

i)      Histogram

(1)    Identify goals / Lost Data / Clipping / Color issues

ii)     Color:

(1)    White Balance / Exposure / Highlights / Blacks

(2)    HSL / Camera Calibration

iii)   Sharpening / Denoise

(1)    Detail / Clarity / Amount 30

(a)    Option/Alt + slider for previews

(2)    Masking 90

(3)    Noise Removal

(a)    Luminance [23]

(b)    Color [25]


d)     Tools

i)      Spot removal

ii)     White Balance sampler

iii)   Adjustment Brush

iv)    Targeted adjustment

v)     Straighten, Crop, Hand (spacebar)

vi)    Redeye correction

vii)  Graduated Filter

3)     Layers

a)     Paradigm

i)      Top layers obscure bottom layers / are closest to the camera

ii)     Backgrounds are locked + don’t support transparency

iii)   Layers can be blended, masked, added, subtracted etc.

b)     Exercise

i)      Double click Background layer to unlock (new layer from background)

ii)     New layer

(1)    Transparent layer / blank

iii)   File>Place embedded

iv)    Channel>Red(or any )>Cmd/Ctrl +Click to make selection

v)     Make layer mask

vi)    Click and drag layer to move up or down

c)      Layer Anatomy

i)      Image thumbnail=Layer Source info

(1)    Types of Source info layers

(a)    Paths/polygons/clipping masks/image file(jpg,tif,png,arw)

(b)    Rasterized

(c)    Smart Object

(d)    Adjustment Layers

ii)     Name=Layer handle

iii)   Grey Layer Bar=Container

(1)    Contains masks styles, effects, blending modes and image.

4)     Group Exercize

a)     Follow along

b)     Refer to “Photoshop History Log” to reiterate in the future.

Other uses for these techniques.

By understanding how to work with layers, resize, isolate and mask images, many artistic possibilities open up to us. Having an overview of tools is useful for making the most of our digital photography, publication layout, graphic design, print and screen graphics.

For those who may want to know.

The history log will be made available for those who want to reiterate at home or in the future at shaunmachia.com/photoshophistorylog



Š       https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KYA6KhvZFPg5PESRmag_8M58yaEQBeNO

Š       Practice Images

Š       File Types Cheat Sheet

Š       Photoshop Reference Guide (print)

Š       Lesson Plan (print)

Other Resources

Š       Examples of Techniques

Š       Photoshop Reference Guide (web)

Š        Photoshop History Log

Š       For a webpage version of this document go to: