Photoshop CC Tutorial #1 – LANCE MILLS

Hi this is the my first attempt at writing a Photoshop CC tutorial, by no means would I class myself as a professional, I am still learning each and every day something new.

I am hoping these will be easy to follow, and any questions, criticism or advice would be kindly appreciated.

In this tutorial I will show editing a photo from start to finish, hopefully in this tutorial you will learn how to set up your Photoshop to your liking, cropping, straightening, working with the raw filter, converting to black and white, dodging & burning, vignette and we will look at how to use levels to create an old style fade, along with naming and saving your file correctly.

I will do shorter tutorials on all of the above more extensively over time.

I have decided to work on this image i captured a few years ago.

DSC_0740 2.JPG

I would not class this as anything special at the moment and looks slightly washed out.

The first thing to do is open it up in Photoshop. (I am going to be using photoshop cc on a mac, so it may be slightly different from your version. but the majority of photoshops will have all the features i will use.)

This is now the photo opened in Photoshop.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 14.46.22.png

So now to set up photoshop ready for use, on the right the main 4 windows I have viewable are;

  • Navigator: This allows me to view and zoom in and out of the photo very easily.

  • Adjustments: This is basically a selection of most used tools to transform your photo

  • History: I really like this one as you can easy change between before and afters to make sure you like the change, also if you change your mind you can take as many steps back as desired.

  • Layers: Layers are one of the most powerful features of Photoshop, we will talk more about these at a later time.

You can select which ones are visible to you from the window tab at the top.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 15.08.42.png 

Now we are all set up we are ready to go!

The first thing i like to do is use the raw filter (I shot this in jpeg, if you shot in raw it will be the first window to open.)

Once opened you will get this window pop up.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 15.13.58.png

I feel this image will hold much more intrigue if it was in black and white, there are two ways to this

1st slide the saturation down, this is the quickest and easiest way.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 15.15.09.png

2nd Convert the image to grayscale on the hsl/grayscale tab, the advantages of this mode is you have much deeper control in each aspect of tones.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 15.15.26.png

For this image I will just be sliding down the saturation for ease of use.

I am going to play with the rest of the basic sliders until I reach close to the feel I am looking will work best for this photo.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 15.35.29.png

Now I have finished with the sliders and I am happy with how it is starting to look if you are unsure though there is a great tool near the bottom right of the picture to use. which will allow you to see the before and after, keep clicking on the button there are many different views.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 15.17.03.png

I am almost finished with the raw conversion but i’m a little concerned about the darkening of the corners (this is called vignette), luckily there is a quick and easy fix for this.

Its under the lens correction tab, when you slide the bar up it lightens the corners, and down will darken them.

 Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 15.37.35.png

Once you are happy click Ok and it will bring you back to main photoshop window with your newly converted image.

Next we are going to straighten our image to make sure it is level, to do this we will need the ruler tool.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 15.49.13.png

To use the ruler tool draw a straight horizontal line across what should be level, then click near straighten. this will instantly make your photo level.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 15.52.43.png

Now you may notice that there is a checkered pattern around the photo, this is because we have slightly turned the photo so now there is gaps in our crop, so we are now going to have to crop the image to make sure it fills the frame, to do this select crop on the left side, you can also change the ratio in case you would like to change it, I am going to stick to original tho.

You will have a box split into 9, drag the corners to set where you would like the crop, if you click and hold the frame you can drag and reposition the frame.

Once happy press enter or click on the tick.

I still feel the image could do with a little more contrast and I want to emphasis certain areas of the photo, so I will use dodging and burning, dodging brightens an area whilst burning will darken an area.

 I will want to burn (darken) the sky and the crops, whilst dodging (brightening) the path to give it a nice dramatic high contrast feel.

I am reasonably happy with image already but it may benefit to give it a nice faded retro feel to it, to do this we need to make an s curve in curves.

Now as said we need to make an ‘S’ shape to do this we need to make to anchor points by clicking on the curve a little from the end on each end.

Now we are going to bend the bottom point up, and the Top point down, it should look a little like this;

Ok so I feel i am happy with the image now so time to save it. Go to file, save as.

So first we want to name our image, when the window first opens there will be some highlighted text just type over than to save the title of your file

Leave what is after the full stop as that defines the file type.

I want to make sure I save it to my desktop so I can easily find it when I have finished, you can make sure by selecting desktop in the where tab.


Now we get the choice of what format we want to save it as,

If we save it as Photoshop we can reopen it at any time and it will remember the history of the changes we have made, and you can go back and re-edit it through the history, the cons of this are if you’re uploading it anywhere, the most common format is jpeg.

Usually I save it as a jpeg and a Photoshop, this time though I am just going to save it as a jpeg.


Once you are happy with all of the above click save, you will get one final window pop up.

This is just asking how high quality do you want to save it as, the higher the quality the more space it will take up, 99% of the time I save it at max.

And we are done!

We have transformed this slightly boring image;

Into this moody black and white image!

I hope this tutorial was easy and helpful. Thanks for your time

Lance Mills