Learn how make good photos great with these quick tips for using Photoshop.
Three young ladies and two young men stand together at a party.

Pick a photo to fix

Often, the photos that we take when we're out with our friends capture the fun of the moment, but are not perfect. 

In this tutorial, we invite you to pick a photo that's not perfect, and apply these quick tips to straighten a photo, remove blemishes and unwanted objects from it, add a blur effect to draw attention to the main subject in your photo, and apply a filter to create warmth for your photo.

These simple changes can make good photos great, for printing or posting to social media.

Original image is cropped and straightened, an arm is removed from side, and a stain is removed from a shirt.

Open a photo in Photoshop

Open Photoshop. Go to File > Open, or press Command+O (Control+O on Windows) on your keyboard.

Choose a photo from your computer, and click Open.

Select a photo to use for editing and correction through the File > Open menu.

Straighten a crooked photo

You can use the Crop tool to straighten crooked photos.

Select the Crop tool from the toolbar, or press "C" on your keyboard.

Position your cursor just outside of a corner or side of the image until you see your cursor change to a curved arrow. Click and drag to rotate the photo.

Press Enter on your keyboard when you're done.

Crop tool is used to straighten crooked photo.

Clean up photo blemishes

Use the Spot Healing Brush Tool to clean up distracting areas or spots in your photo. Choose the Spot Healing Brush Tool from the toolbar.

Hint: Zoom into areas of your photo for easier cleanup by pressing Command and the plus (+) button (Control and the plus (+) button on Windows) on your keyboard. Zoom back out by pressing Command and the minus (-) button (Control and the minus (-) button on Windows) on your keyboard.

Spot Healing Brush is used to remove a stain from a shirt.

Click and drag on the areas you wish to remove. 

Hint: Press the right-bracket "]" on your keyboard to increase the size of the Spot Healing Brush Tool, or press the left bracket "[" to decrease the size of the tool.

Spot Healing Brush size may be changed by hitting right or left brackets on the keyboard.

Remove distracting objects

Use the Patch Tool to remove larger distracting objects from your photos. To do this, you select what to remove, and then select a part of the photo to use as a replacement patch.  

Click and hold the Spot Healing Brush Tool and select the Patch Tool.

First, click and drag your cursor to select an area of the photo that you want to remove, releasing your cursor to complete the selection of what you wish to remove.  

Arm holding a cup on the side of thDistracting arm on the side of the photo is selected for removal using the Patch Tool under Spot Healing Brush menue photo is distracting and is removed using the Patch Tool under Spot Healing Brush menu

Next, click and drag from within your selection area to an area of the photo that you want to use as your replacement patch.

In this photo, we clicked in the selected area for removal (arm and red cup), and then dragged below to the vertical line in the wall (clean part of the wall without arm and red cup). In short, we selected the clean part of the wall as the replacement patch. 

When you're done, press Command+D (Control+D on Windows) on your keyboard or go to Select > Deselect, which removes the selection path for the Patch Tool.

Selection shows arrow demonstrating how to click and drag on the photo to choose an area used as replacement patch.

Add a creative blur effect

The Blur Gallery has blur effects, which you can use to add focus or emphasis to parts of your photo.

Go to Filter > Blur Gallery > Tilt Shift...

The Blur Gallery under Filter menu has blur effects, which can be used to add focus or emphasis to parts of the photo.

Click and drag the solid horizontal lines to change where you apply the blur effect. In this photo, we blurred the top and bottom of the image, but left the faces without blur, which creates a focus in the photo on the faces.  

Use the Blur slider to change the intensity of the blur effect.

When you're done, click OK at the top of the window.

To learn more about the different options in the Blur Gallery, see the tutorial, Add creative blur to photos

Horizontal dashed and solid lines show where image will be blurred. Sliders in the Blur Tools menu adjust intensity of blur.

Add a photo filter

Photo Filters, similar to Instagram filters, give your photos a unique color effect.

Open the Adjustments panel on the right side of your workspace. If you can't see it, select Window > Adjustments.

Click on the Photo Filter icon. From the Properties panel, choose a Filter from the menu. In this photo, we applied a Sepia filter to warm the tones in the image. Use the Density slider to adjust the intensity of the filter.

When you're done, click the double arrows at the top of the Properties panel to close the panel.

Sepia Photo Filter at 25% density is added to warm the tones of the image.

Fix other photos  

Your cleaned-up photo is ready to share or print!  

Experiment with applying these tips to other photos, and check out the related links below, which will give you more ways to make your photos look great.

Edited image of three young ladies and two young men at a party has a warm tone with bottom and top edges blurred.

Learn more about Adobe's online photo effects tools.

04/20/2016
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