Category Archives Photoshop

Hi all! It’s #TravelTuesday and here on Scott’s blog, that means one thing: I’m here! I’m Dave Williams, normally found hiding behind the guise of Capture With Dave, and I’m offloading some know-how for you all! Today, it comes in the form of my favourite Adobe Photoshop power keyboard shortcuts!

It’s fair to say that we’re all, in every sector, looking to optimise and streamline our flows and processes. One surefire way to achieve this aim is to hit buttons on the keyboard rather than to carefully and daintily manoeuvre the mouse about the desk. So, to that end, I’d like to share some of my favourite, lesser-known keyboard shortcuts—the power shortcuts!

The Brush tool (B) is frequently used, and there are shortcuts specifically designed to speed up our flow when using it. It’s commonly known that the bracket keys ([ and ]) make the brush size decrease and increase respectively, but did you know that you can use the comma and period keys to cycle through the brush styles, or that you can switch the crosshair on/off for precision brushing using the Caps Lock key?

When it comes to viewing your project it’s important to view everything correctly. As well as hitting the Z key to select the Zoom tool and “scrubby” zooming by sliding our mouse left and right with the left mouse button held down, we can quickly move around an image, whilst still having the Zoom tool selected, by holding the Space Bar and moving the image around right in front of us. Furthermore, from wherever we are on an image, at whichever zoom level, we can quickly and easily zoom back out and fit the image into our view by pressing Command-0 (zero; PC: Ctrl-0), which quickly gives us an overview of the finer work we’re completing.

When it comes to working with layers, we can utilise some handy shortcuts here for commonly used tasks, too. For example, to select the top layer, we just need to hit Option-. (period key; PC: Alt-.) or replace the period key with the comma key to get to the bottom layer. To move up and down through the layers stack, just hit Option-[ (PC: Alt-[) or Option-] (PC: Alt-]), and to move a selected layer up or down in the stack, press Command-[ (PC: Ctrl-[) or Command-] (PC: Ctrl-]). To select all the layers, it’s simply a case of hitting Command-Option-A (PC: Ctrl-Alt-A) or to merge all the visible layers, press Command-Shift-E (PC: Ctrl-Shift-E).

And, finally, if you frequently use certain blend modes, you can apply them quickly with these power shortcuts, but make sure you have the right layer selected and the Move tool (V) active: –

It’s always Option-Shift (PC: Alt-Shift) together with: –

N – Normal
I – Dissolve
K – Darken
G – Lighten
M – Multiply
O – Overlay
U – Hue
T – Saturation
Y – Luminosity

Or, cycle through the blend modes with Shift-+ (plus sign) or Shift-– (minus sign).

I hope you can make use of these power shortcuts to speed up your Photoshop flow! Until next week.

Much Love


You can do this one in either Lightroom or Photoshop’s Camera Raw. It just take five seconds, but it can make a world of difference in your skies.

STEP ONE: Here’s the original image, and as you can see the sky is kinda “meh.” Go to the HSR/Color panel and click on the Luminance tab up top.

STEP TWO: In that Luminance Tab (in the HSL/Color Panel) drag the Blue slider to the left (as seen above) to bring out the blues in the sky. The farther to the left you drag, the bluer the sky gets. That’s all there is to it.

Above: Here’s a side-by-side before and after. Told ya it was a quick tip!

Here’s wishing you a blue-sky week! :)


P.S. Today over on my other blog, I have a beginner’s tip for Lightroom users on how to unclutter your screen to avoid distractions while you edit. Here’s the link if you’ve got a sec.

It’s #TravelTuesday right here on Scott’s blog, and that means that I, Dave Williams, am here!

It has been a full-on week with lots of prep and planning for a couple of upcoming missions for me. I’ve been working through files from my most recent trip to Norway, and I’m lining up ideas for a little trip to Dorset this weekend for my birthday. It’s all go here, and to top it all off, I’m formulating ideas for an awesome project that has already started rolling: The Diary of the Traveling Platypod, which sees a Platypod Ultra travel the world to help create amazing images (#TravelingUltra)! Larry, the creator of Platypod, sent it to Gilmar Smith to begin its journey, and now I have it! You can sign up here if you want to host the Ultra on its global journey.

But, let’s get back on track and take a look at a cool Adobe Camera Raw trick that can help you create an HDR look from a single file.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a look that has come in and out of fashion, but the concept behind it remains very useful. With this trick, you can take a single exposure, so long as it isn’t overly clipped either way, and create an HDR look from it by ignoring every piece of advice I’ve ever given you and going to 100 on a few sliders! Watch this: –

Here’s a fairly bland shot of a Norwegian road in Senja, turning a corner along the edge of a fjord, with the rugged mountainscape background (mountainscape—definitely a real word).

You can see it’s pretty “regular” looking—more of a snapshot than a creative photograph. By opening this RAW file in Camera Raw and maxing out some sliders, we can really bring it to life.

If we first consider what HDR processing involves, we can start by replicating it. We’ll do this by bringing in the darkest elements of the brightest exposure and the brightest elements of the darkest exposure by setting the Highlights slider to –100 and the Shadows slider to +100. We can give some “punch” to the image by also setting the Contrast slider to +100 and the Clarity slider to +100, increasing the contrast across the entire dynamic range of the image.

Once this is done, we’ll likely end up with something a little bit dodgy looking, but stick with me. The last little tweak is the Exposure slider. We’ll just move this slightly in order to reduce that overly dramatic hit. In this image, I’ve moved it to 0.60, and it has done just the trick.

We now have that HDR look from a single exposure, and it was incredibly easy!

Catch you all next week and, in the meantime, please do keep in touch over at @CaptureWithDave on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Much Love


It’s one from Adobe’s big update back in November, and it’s a really simple thing, but man is it sweet! In the short video below, I’m going to show what the feature is, and how to use it to make your images look more awesome.

Hope you found that helpful. :)

I made the top 50! Whoo hoo!

A big thanks and shoutout to the folks at who included me in their list of “50 Photography Portfolio Websites From The Best Photographers In The World” – I’m honored to be included in a list of so many photogrpahers I look up to.

Here’s the link to the full list:

My top 5 favorite New Features in Lightroom’s Book Module

Since we’re doing “favorites” today, Adobe added a bunch of new features to Lightroom Classic’s book module (including one that’s a real game-changer) and if you’ve got a sec, here’s the link to check them out over at my other daily blog at

Here’s wishing you all an awesome week, and here’s to learning awesome new features! :)


Here are seven more of my favorite Photoshop keyboard shortcuts — ones I use every day in my work and I hope you find them useful in yours. Here goes:

To move your current layer up one layer (in the layer stack), press Command-] (Windows: Ctrl-]). To move it down a layer in the stack, press Command-[ (Windows: Ctrl-[).  Note: the left and right brackets keys are just to the right of the letter “P” on your keyboard.

When you have the Crop tool, you can press the letter “x” to flip the orientation of the crop from wide to tall (or vice versa)

To fill the current layer with your Foreground color, press Option-Delete (Windows: Alt-Backspace). This works if you have a selection in place, too.

To Hide everything and just show your image on screen surrounded by a nice clean black background, press F-F-Tab. To get out of it, press F-Tab.

When you’re zoomed in tight on an image, hold the Spacebar down and your cursor temporarily changes to the Hand tool so you can click and drag your image around, rather than using the scroll bars which don’t work well when you’re zoomed in.

To create a new blank layer, press Shift-Option-Command-N (Windows: Shift-Alt-Ctrl-N). This is a really handy one — start using it now and it’ll be 2nd nature in two weeks.

To move a selection as you’re drawing it, hold the spacebar and you can reposition it as you drag. This is better than it sounds — try selecting something in your image that’s round, then try this trick. Pretty awesome, right? :)

Hope you found those helpful. 🙂

You keep sayin’…
…that one of these days you’re going to go to the Photoshop World Conference. Why not this year? If you register now you can save $100 with the Early Bird discount, plus right now you can snag a hotel room right at the Hyatt Regency (our host hotel) at a special discount rate for attendees. Plus, airfares are cheap to Orlando now. Come on, say it with me — “This is the year. I’m going!” All the details are at

One more thing…
I’ve got 5 handy tips for making photo books in Lightroom Classic thanks to the new features that were added in a recent update – it’s over on my daily Lightroom blog, Here’s the link if you’ve got a sec. 🙂

Have a great Monday, everybody!



A few weeks back I got an email asking about what can be done in Photoshop if you caught your subject with one eye partially closed when you pressed the shutter. I’ve had that happen so many times over the years that I already had a fix for it. In fact, it literally only takes two-minutes if that (well, maybe three minutes the first time you try it, but after that, you’ll have it down to two-minutes flat). Here goes:

Above: Here’s our original image and her eye on the left is partially closed (it was the only one I shot that day where her eye was like this), but luckily the fix is easy because her other eye is fully open and that’s what we’ll use to do our quick retouch.

STEP ONE: Zoom in tight and use Photoshop’s Lasso tool to make a very loose selection around her open eye, as shown here. Now press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to put that eye up on its own separate layer.

STEP TWO: Using the Move tool, drag the copy of her open eye over so it covers the partially closed eye (which is what I did here), but you can just leave it at that because she’d have two right eyes (and that would look weird). To fix that, press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to bring up Free Transform (it puts a bounding box with handles around that copy of her eye) and then right-click anywhere inside that bounding box to bring up the pop-up menu you see here. Choose Flip Horizontal as shown here. Because she’s leaning over quite a bit in the image, it won’t be a perfect match to the other eye — you’re going to need to rotate the flipped copy into place, so move your cursor outside the Free Transform bounding box and your cursor changes into a two-headed arrow cursor. Click and drag in a circular motion to rotate her eye to where it looks about right (as seen here as well).

STEP THREE: To really make sure you get the eye at just the right position and angle, here’s a trick I use that works wonders. While you’re still in Free Transform, go over to the Layers panel and lower the Opacity for this layer down to around 60% or so. Now you can see through this copied eye, to the original eye’s position on the layer below it, and you’ll now be able to rotate the eye easily to the exact right amount, and then move your cursor inside the bounding box and drag the eye copy until it lines up perfectly (as seen here). Now press Return (Windows: Enter) to lock in your transformation, then raise the opacity of this layer back up to 100%. Before we move on, you can see the problem here — the shadows aren’t right, and that’s because the eye we copied was on the side of her face that was farther away from the light, and was partially in shadows. This isn’t going to be a problem, because we don’t need all that area around her eye; all we really need is the Iris and whites of the eyes to make it look open (which we’ll fix in the next step).

STEP FOUR: Hold the Option key (Windows: Alt key) and at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on the 3rd icon from the left to add a black Layer Mask over your image (its icon looks like a white rectangle with a black circle in the center). This hides the eye-copy layer behind that black mask so you can no longer see that layer, but that’s exactly what we want. We don’t want to see the whole eye copy — just the Iris and whites of the eyes. Set your Foreground color to white (if it isn’t already); choose a small soft-edged brush from up in the Brush Picker on the top left side of the Options Bar across the top, then paint over just the areas where you want to reveal the eye on the top layer. Here I pained over her eye on the left with that small soft-edged brush and it reveals just that part of the eye from the top layer. If you look closely, you can see my circular brush cursor painting on the far right side of her left eye. I’m careful not to paint in too much or it will start showing those shadows, so I’m pretty much just staying inside the eye area and not going onto the eyelashes or lids too much. We still have a problem. The catch-light in her left eye is on the wrong side.

STEP FIVE: To fix the catch lights, first we’ll create the missing one. Get the Clone Stamp tool; choose a soft-edged brush and make the size of the brush just a little larger than the white catch light in her right eye. Move your cursor over that eye; hold the Option key (Windows: Alt key) and click once to sample that white catch light. Now move over the left eye, where you catch-light should be (on the upper left side of her iris) and click once, and it clones the white catch-light from the right eye over onto the top left of her iris on the left eye. Of course, now she has two catchlights in the left eye, so we’ll need to remove the extra one so it matches the other eye.

STEP SIX: Get the Spot Healing Brush tool; make your brush size cursor just a little larger than the extra catch-light; then click once to remove the extra catch light. Easy peasy!

Above: I zoomed out here so you can see the final retouch, quick and easy. :)

Hope you found that helpful.

I was in the studio all day today…
The shot you see above was from a few years back — today I was in our studio at KelbyOne HQ making new images while recording an update to one of my most-popular online courses, it’s called “10 Essential Studio Techniques Every Photographer Needs to Know.” This new course will replace the original which was recorded nearly 8 years ago. The recording session today went great, and I was really tickled to get to redo the class using today’s tools and today’s techniques, and applying some of the things I’ve learned in the past eight years. I think (well, I certainly hope) it will help a lot of photographers who want to break into shooting in the studio. I’ll let you know when it comes out — shouldn’t be too long now.

Hope you all have a fantastic SuperBowl weekend. Don’t forget, when the Patriots lose, America wins! #GoRams!