147 photography techniques, tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything

Tip 101. Go full screen

To see your image as large as possible on-screen, press Ctrl/ Cmd+0 (zero). Repeatedly press F to see the pic in different view modes. 

Tip 102. Add a white border

To apply a swift white border, first open your pic then press D to reset the colours to black and white. 

Now press Ctrl/Cmd+A to select the image, and Ctrl/Cmd+T to enter Transform mode. 

Hold Alt +Shift and drag in a corner handle to make a white surround in proportion. Press Return, and you’ll have a clean white border with very little fuss.

Tip 103. See a single layer

With a multi-layered image, there are times when you want to see what’s on a particular layer. Alt-click on the eye icon of the layer in the Layers panel. This will turn off all the other layers.

Tip 104. Add a bleach bypass in seconds

To boost contrast and give a stylised look to a pic, press Ctrl/Cmd+J to duplicate the image onto a new Layer, and then press Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U to get rid of the colour. 

You’ll see a mono image, but change the Blend mode to Soft Light in the Layers panel, and the black-and-white layer will be blended with the colour to boost contrast and tone down the saturation, giving an attractive bleached look.

Tip 105. Speed up filter use

To repeat a filter and boost its effect, press Ctrl/Cmd+F to reapply the last filter you used. This is a fast way of making blur filters more blurry.

Tip 106. Save for the web with precision

When you’re saving JPEGs of pictures for web use, make sure you use the dedicated File > Export > Save for Web feature. 

Set the Preset to JPEG High, and use the options to resize, adjust and compare different quality settings – and even preview it on a web page. 

You’ll find it’s a much smarter way than using File > Save As, choosing JPEG, and guessing the rest!

Tip 107. Change your mind on filter settings

If you’ve gone too far with a filter effect and want to dial back the settings, press Ctrl/Cmd+Z to undo the filter. 

You’ll see the image return to its pre-filtered state. If you now press Ctrl/Cmd+Alt+F, you’ll bring up the Filter dialog box without having to reselect it. Change the settings and click OK.

Tip 108. Use Dehaze for contrast

Found in the FX panel of Lightroom or Camera Raw, the Dehaze slider is designed to reduce atmospheric haze in scenic shots, but it can also be used as a powerful contrast control. 

To quickly apply a contrast boost, slide it to the right; and to reduce contrast, take it to the left.

Tip 109. Pick the right colour

When you need a pure colour in the Color Picker, it’s impossible to directly click right in the corner to get pure white, pure black or the colour you have.

 To get your cursor right to the edge, click anywhere on the Picker and drag the cursor to the corner you want. This will get you the pure colour you’re after.

Tip 110. Get moving

You can move a layer or a selection in any direction by selecting the Move tool (shortcut V) and dragging the mouse. But if you want to be really precise, you can tap the cursor keys on the keyboard to move the item in 1-pixel amounts. 

If you hold down the Shift key while tapping the cursor keys, you’ll move the item in 10-pixel increments.