Best Practice Using Photoshop

In my many workshops in the creative industry and that includes photography, it is very common to know that some Photoshop users are still using the application like it’s the 90’s. They are using the current version but the approach and practice is way back couple of decades ago.

Somehow, our source of learning is from a colleague who learned it from a senior colleague who also learned it from another one. That’s how an old practice travelled through time and up until now is being practiced. Although, Youtube tutorial has introduced newer approach, some of the tutorial are using it the wrong way.

Edited this image using Adobe Camera Raw for global color adjustments and more intensive editing in Photoshop.

Here are common old practices that is still performed today when editing photos;


There are two ways to access adjustments in Photoshop. One way is to go through the menu Image/adjustments. Another way is through the Layers panel then creating an adjustment layer. You’ll know if you’re doing the old school way if you do your adjustments through the Image/Adjustment.

The best practice is to use adjustment layer. The idea is to preserve the original image and create temporary adjustments that you can re-adjust in any part of your editing process. It is an non destructive way of editing and much more efficient and effective. Couple it with using the layer mask for more versatility to your editing.

Camera Raw Filter

For those a bit advanced user, the option to use Camera Raw as a filter is a gift. Photographers would normally shift from Photoshop to Camera raw to get the benefit of the different tools available that is more adaptive to photographers. This time, you can stay in Photoshop and use the Camera Raw as filter thereby, no need to leave Photoshop.


If you’re a photographer, never use CMYK. Stay in RGB for the rest of your editing workflow. Even if you’re about to print your photo, submit RGB. Photo lab prints better in RGB while other printing method may work best with CMYK, let them do the conversion since they know the bet conversion for you file. You to inform them though.


If you’re editing and there is a need to re-edit your photo in the future, keep the PSD layered file. Maybe an 8-bit file is enough unless you’re working on a high resolution workflow, stay in 16-bit. After all the editing is done, you can export to JPEG for submission or for printing. TIFF on the other hand is a much better file than JPEG. Although JPEG file is acceptable for print, high quality print work may require TIFF.

Always keep updated not only for the new techniques and tools but more importantly, best practices. There are old ways but still being practiced today but there are those that are obsolete already and needs to be changed. Youtube is a good source only if you know which ones are sensible.

Keep on shooting everyone!

Text and photos by Albert Pedrosa

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