Adobe Photoshop is the go-to program for enthusiast and professional photographers around the world. Although Photoshop has the power to turn otherwise boring images into works of art, it can be a steep learning curve for beginners, that’s why Adobe has introduced Adobe Photoshop Express. This new lite version of Photoshop offer tons of cool features and automates some of Photoshop's most popular effects. The article below will cover some of the most useful things you can do in Photoshop Express.
The Microsoft App Store generally gets ignored, missing out on plenty of cool apps which are only developed for Android and iOS. Thankfully though, Adobe hasn’t done this, making Adobe Photoshop Express available and completely free. To put it simply PS: Express is basically a cross between Photoshop and Instagram. Allowing you to customize pictures with simple, easy to use and powerful tools. As we mentioned above the app is free to use but there are some paid options, which, for the most part, you can go without.
First, Composing and Cropping Images.
First up and probably one of the most important things you can do with a photo, cropping your image. This allows you to remove any junk from the edges that you may have captured and also allows you to better frame your subject if your initial shot was a little off. To crop a photo, open the photo you wish to edit and select the Crop Icon in the bottom left corner.
You should now see a few handles scattered around the edges of your image. Drag these around to cut out and frame the subject of your photo. There are some rules you should follow when doing this to make an image more dramatic or professional. (Googling the Rule of Thirds will give you a detailed explanation of what we mean) You also have the option to rotate your image using the crop tool, which is super handy if you haven’t quite got that horizon line straight. Once you have finished cropping click the backward arrow in the upper left-hand corner.
A New Look (Instagram-Like Filters)
Filters were originally Instagrams claim to fame, however, these days everyone is having a go at filters, Adobe Included. Filters are an ingenious way to add character to otherwise dull photos or increase the dramatic feel of an already great image. As with most programs and apps that offer filters, PS: Express has plenty to choose from, as well as a few premium ones, which you can preview on your image before purchasing luckily.
To add a Filter or as Adobe like to call it a Look, click on the Look Icon on the bottom toolbar. From here you can flick through the styles until you find one what works for your image, once you have found one, click the back arrow once to return to the menu. Personally, I still think the Instagram filter selection is unrivaled.
Correct and Contrast Settings.
This is one of the most useful tools in the App and is something you should get familiar with using. It’s probably something worth doing before you even consider applying a look/filter. The Correct tool has three different tools within it, Contrast, Exposure, and White Balance.
Selecting Contrast will give you access to three sliders: Contrast, Clarity, and Vibrance. Three super great tools to use, especially the Clarity tool, which sharpens details in your images, just be careful not to go overboard. Contrast will adjust the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of your image. Lastly, Vibrance effects color and saturation, again don’t get too crazy with saturation as images can look overdone with too much color.
Exposure and White Balance Settings.
Inside the Exposure tab, there are three more sliders you can choose from, Exposure, Highlights, and Shadows. The names pretty much sum up the task of each, and choosing how to adjust them will take some practice as they all work well together to affect the overall image.
Adjusting the main option, Exposure will allow you to brighten or darken the image overall. Highlights will focus on either darkening the brightest parts of your image or lightening them, depending on which way you drag the slider. Shadows do the same, however, target the darkest parts of your image. Lastly White Balance affects the Warm and Cold feel of your image, generally either a blue, red, green, and purple coloring. In Photoshop Express the sliders are called Temperature and Tint. Temperature controls the blues and reds, whereas Tint controls the Greens and Purples.
Sharing and Saving.
Before saving or sharing your image, there is one handy little trick left. By clicking on the View Original button in the bottom left corner near the share/save icon, you can see a quick view of before and after. If you are happy with your work, you can click Save/Share. Clicking this will save the image to your device and share will allow you to share it on Facebook. Unfortunately, for now, Facebook is the only place you can share images to directly from the app. If you would like to share the image to another app you will have to choose to save and share the file manually.