Do you feel overwhelmed every time you open your image editing software on your MacBook?
Do you wish you could create stunning images that impress your friends and colleagues?
Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate-level designer, you know how hard it is to master image editing skills and produce visually appealing images while saving time and increasing the productivity of your work.
So, to give you a hand, in this article, we are going to share 9 tips to become a better image editor on your MacBook!
Grab your MacBook, and let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Tip No 01: Use the right software
The software you use for image editing on your MacBook will determine the quality of the output. If you use more advanced software like photoshop but don’t know how to use it or what tools to choose, you will get exhausted and give up on editing quickly. The same can happen if you choose basic software for professional work.
So you should choose the right software that matches your editing skills and the type of work you are going to do.
If you’re a beginner, you can start with basic software like Photos or Preview, which come pre-installed on most MacBooks. These software offer basic editing tools, such as cropping images, resizing, and adjusting exposure, that are perfect for simple editing tasks.
Tip: Check this guide to learn how to crop a photo on Mac
If you are a skilled image editor or want to do professional image editing, use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. These are industry-leading software and they are packed with advanced editing tools and features for professional-grade image editing.
There are some other software tools like Affinity Photo and Pixelmator for image editing that some users prefer over the adobe products mentioned tools. If you go with these tools, you will be able to save a couple of dollars in your pocket.
Tip No 02: Utilizing keyboard shortcuts
As an image editor, you may probably spend a lot of time navigating menus, clicking buttons, and using your mouse over and over. But did you know that you can use keyboard shortcuts to save a lot of time?
Many image editors, like Photoshop, have keyboard shortcuts assigned for commonly used tools. Some of these are,
- Brush tool – Press the “B” letter.
- Transform a selected layer or an object: Press the Command + T buttons together.
- Undo previous action: Use Command + Z keys.
By mastering keyboard shortcuts, you can navigate and edit your images much faster. It can also help to reduce mouse activity and make your hands stress-free.
Here are some useful links to get to know about keyboard shortcuts on different image editing software for your mac:
Tip No 03: Making use of batch processing
If you have to do repetitive editings on multiple images such as resizing or renaming, then the Batch processing is the feature that you need.
Batch processing will allow you to apply the same editing settings to a group of images simultaneously, saving you time and streamlining your workflow.
Most image editing software, including Photoshop, have the batch processing feature and it is more advanced than basic image editing software. If you use the batch processing feature on photoshop, you will be able to do advanced adjustments such as cropping, resizing, color correcting, Watermarking, and Image conversion.
To make use of batch processing, start by selecting the images you want to edit and choose the batch processing option from your software’s menu. From there, you can apply your desired settings and run the batch processing tool to apply them to your images.
Tip No 04: Taking advantage of layers
Needless to say, layers are the most powerful feature that you can utilize in image editing. Layers allow you to work with multiple elements of an image separately, making it easier to make adjustments without affecting the entire image.
Another advantage of using layers is, it allows you to go back and forth and make changes to a specific layer without affecting the rest of your image. This is pretty useful if you’re working on complex work.
If you haven’t decided on the editing software to use, this is something that you should consider, as it can save a lot of time and make your editing work easier.
Tip No 05: Leveraging blending modes
You can use blending modes to leverage layers by blending two or more layers together to create unique and interesting effects.
For example, the “Overlay” blending mode can create a high-contrast effect, while using the “Soft Light” blending mode can create a subtle and smooth transition between layers.
Normal, Multiply, Screen, Soft Light, Hard Light, and Hue are some of such standard blending modes available on most image editing software that supports layers.
In addition to those standard blending modes, some software also has custom blending modes that allow you to create your own unique effects.
Understanding how these modes work will let you create unique graphics from various elements and take your creations to the next level.
Tip No 06: Adjusting color temperature
Color temperature determines whether the colors of your image are warm or cool. For example, a warm image will have more red and yellow tones, and a cool image will have more blue and green tones.
Keep in mind that adjusting the color temperature can have a significant impact on your image, and doing wrong or over-adjusting it can result in unnatural-looking images, so be careful.
Like any other feature that we have discussed above, you will be able to adjust the temperature of images on most image editing tools. The steps to take in order to adjust the temperature may differ depending on the software you use.
Tip No 07: Playing around with gradients
If you want to blend two colors together seamlessly, then that can be done by using gradients; they’re superb for adding textures, background colors, and other interesting effects, depending on how you use them.
For example, you can use a gradient to create a sky background that transitions from blue to pink.
When adjusting gradient settings, you can change the angle, direction, and color stops of the gradient to create stunning effects. A good understanding of gradient settings will simplify the creation of unique and eye-catching visuals with minimal effort.
Tip No 08: Take advantage of overlays
Overlays give you the freedom to add extra elements such as text, shapes, or graphics over an existing image. Unlike normal images and graphics, overlays have a transparent look, that will blend with the image underneath.
Here are some useful scenarios in which you can use overlays to enhance your artworks.
Texture overlays: Texture overlays are useful when adding depth and interest to an image.
Light leaks and lens flares: Adding a light leak or lens flare overlay can create a vintage or retro look in your images.
Bokeh overlays: Bokeh overlays add a dreamy and ethereal effect to your images by creating a soft and blurred background that draws attention to the main object of the image.
Graphic overlays: Icons or shapes, can be used to highlight certain elements or add a unique graphical look to your designs.
With the right combination of overlays and adjustments, you can turn your designs into more exciting ones and not invest too much time into them.
Last Tip: Saving your work in multiple formats
Let’s say you are a freelance graphic designer and you have just completed a project for a client. Your client has requested a variety of images for their marketing campaign, including print ads, social media graphics, and email newsletters.
To ensure that your client can use the images in all of their marketing materials, you will need to save your work in multiple formats. (high-resolution TIFF files for print ads, JPEG files for web publishing, and PNG for social media graphics, etc)
Not only when doing projects for other people, saving files in multiple formats will future-proof your work. Different devices and platforms may require different file formats, so by having multiple file types of your work, you can ensure that your images are ready to use on any device and in any software.
Becoming a better image editor on your MacBook requires practice, patience, and a willingness to learn new techniques and tools. By following the tips that we have given in this article, you will be able to take your image editing skills to the next level and create stunning and visually appealing images.
It is worth mentioning that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to image editing. Experimentation and creativity are essential components of any successful image editing workflow.
So, get a good image editing software, take the time to practice, and explore the tips given in this article. You can also watch youtube videos on how to utilize the tools of your image editing software to unleash its full potential.
Before leaving this article, if you have any questions, feel free to ask by comment.
Have a nice day!
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