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April, 2012

Welcome to my share page. Each month I'll try to bring you an enlightening thought, quote or tip. Questions or feedback is always welcome at: roger@imageinations.com


Irving Penn

I myself have always stood in the awe of the camera. I recognize it for the instrument it is, part Stradivarius, part scalpel. - Irving Penn - September/October 2001, American Photo , Page: 43

Photographing a cake can be art. - Irving Penn - asserted when he opened his studio in 1953

A beautiful print is a thing in itself, not just a halfway house on the way to the page. - Irving Penn - Hall page: 154

A good photograph is one that communicate a fact, touches the heart, leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective. - Irving Penn - "What Makes a Good Picture?", The Best of Popular Photography by Harvey V. Fondiller , Page: 274

To see more Irving Penn's images, click here


While watching the credits at the end of a movie I thought of how much help is involved, and how we, as photographers, have to wear so many hats. If you take one portrait you have to be:

  • Camera operator and technician
  • Artist, making decisions about color and contrast
  • Director, posing and placing your subjects
  • Warm-up act, getting everyone in the mood to smile or get just the right expression
  • Art director, concerned with color and backgrounds
  • Lighting director
  • Costume consultant
  • Set designer
  • Hair and make-up consultant

So keep that in mind if someone quibbles about your fees. And try and learn a little more about each thing every chance you get.


This month I thought I would share with you some of the Keyboard Shortcuts that are used in Photoshop. Some of these are used all the time and others you might never find even if you look, but all will come in handy at some point. Thanks to Dainis Graveris. If you really want the full story CLICK HERE

I wrote this article using Windows, so if Your are using Macintosh – CONTROL = COMMAND command and ALT = OPTION

Global keyboard shortcuts

1.You can check all Your preferences pressing CTRL + K and learn more.

2. Press TAB – to show/hide tool panels;

3. Press SHIFT + TAB to show/hide only Your palette;

4. Press F repeatedly to cycle screen modes;

5. Press CTRL + TAB to switch to Your next document;

6. Press CTRL + SHIFT + TAB to switch to Your previous document;

7. Press CTRL + T to enter free transform mode;


Tip: You can scale proportionally from center Your transform by pressing and holding ALT + SHIFT, when You are dragging.

8. Press ALT + DELETE to fill the layer with foreground color or SHIFT + DELETE to fill with background color;

Tip: You can use ALT + BACKSPACE or SHIFT + BACKSPACE to fill non-transparent pixels.

9. Press X to switch foreground/background color;

10. Press D to reset foreground/background color to black/white;


Tip: You can use ALT + DELETE shortcut to fill just current selection.

11. If You work in high zoom pressing and holding SPACEBAR comes very handy by giving You hand tool to move small distance.

Also You can use it greatly with the marquee tool (or rectangle, shape tool etc.) – just start dragging on the document,  and press  SPACEBAR while holding Your mouse and move it to desired place, resize as You want it and repeat circle until You are pleased;


12. When You are working, there are lot of experimenting going on, so very handy becomes undo/redo shortcuts :

Press  CTRL + Z to undo/redo previous activity;

Press CTRL + ALT + Z to undo multiple times;

13. While working with big files, it is very important to save often (every 5-10 min) – press CTRL + S to save Your document;

14. I always use this one – press CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S to bring up ‘save for web & devices ‘ dialog;

15. If You often use filters remember this keyboard shortcut, to repeat previous accomplished filter  : CTRL + F


16. To draw precise, symmetrical  circle or square or straight line press and hold SHIFT, while drawing it.


17. To temporarily switch to move tool while using another press CTRL + CLICK + hold you mouse

18. Open FILL dialogue by pressing SHIFT + BACKSPACE


19. You can test Your fonts easily by selecting Your text, then selecting “set font family” form and just pressing UP or DOWN buttons.


20. A always hated that I just can’t simply apply my text by pressing ENTER button..that was until I heard about some great keyboard shortcut!

So how to approve and escape text editing mode? – easy. Just press Your numeric ENTER or CTRL + ENTER

21. Increase/decrease brush size pressing  [ or ] – (left bracket or right bracket)


22. Use Your toolbar shortcuts to switch between tools faster!

Memorize shortcuts of tools You use the most.


You can easily see keyboard shortcut by mouseover on certain tool :


Use Your Zoom zoom-tool tool wisely!

23. Double click on zoom tool to zoom Your document 100% size;

Tip: You can press CTRL + ALT + 0 to get actual pixels too (100 % size)!

24. Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom in/zoom out Your document:

Zoom in – CTRL + +

Zoom out – CTRL + -



use Your mouse scroll wheel to zoom in/zoom out -  ALT + SCROLL WHEEL UP/ALT + SCROLL WHEEL DOWN

25.  To temporarily switch to zoom zoom-tool tool, while using another press:

Quick zoom in: CTRL + SPACE + CLICK

Quick zoom out: ALT + SPACE + CLICK

26. Use keyboard shortcuts CTRL + 0 to set Your image fit to window;

27. Press CTRL + W to close just Your current open document;


Note : check out  Your palette keyboard shortcuts pressing ALT + W

28. Layers menu

Note: press F7 to show/hide Your layers menu.

29. Press CTRL + SHIFT + N to create new layer with dialog box;

30. Press CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + N to create new layer without opening dialog box;

31. Press CTRL + ALT + J to duplicate active layer with dialog box;

32. Press CTRL + J to duplicate active layer without opening dialog box ;

33. How to navigate between layers:

Mouse click on active layer and press SHIFT to select several layers:


Press and hold CONTROL to select or deselect definite layers;

34.Press CTRL+G to group selected layers in one group:

Tip: use CTRL + SHIFT + G to ungroup layers


35. Collapse or expand all groups in Your layers palette by pressing CTRL + CLICK on the group’s triangle:



36. Show/ hide Your layers by and holding Your  mouse and dragging it up/down. Repeat to do inverse action:


37. To mask layers, do this trick – hold ALT + MOUSEOVER on the line between layers:


38. Click and drag background layer to make duplicate. I suggest to use this action starting every new file:


39. Press ALT + CLICK on eye icon – to show/hide all layers, except active one:


40. Press CAPSLOCK to show cursor precise/standard mode;

41. Press CTRL + CLICK on layer layer to make selection:


42. Press CTRL + I to inverse current selection;

43. Press CTRL + D to deselect current selection;

44. You maybe knew about deselect shortcut, but did You know how to reselect previous selection? Just press  CTRL + SHIFT + D !

45. Press CTRL + E to merge selected layers or press CTRL + SHIFT + E to merge all visible layers into one;

46. If You ever wanted to make  Your text longer or little bit shorter with tracking, You can do it easy with keyboard shortcuts – so first select Your text and then press CTRL + ALT + > or CTRL + ALT + < to set wider or thinner indent.

47. You can easily change Your layer or brush opacity opacity by just pressing number keys – 1 = 10%, 2 = 20%, 3 = 30% etc.





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