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There are several ways to blur objects in Photoshop, but the Blur Tool comes with a number of ways to control and fine tune it. Unlike Blur Filters, The Blur Tool allows you to precisely apply a blur to certain areas in an image.

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Modeled after techniques used when developing film, The Dodge Tool enables you to lighten pixels in your image. This is great for drawing attention or creating contours.

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There are several different ways to apply Gradients to your image, but their basic function is creating a gradual change between colors or a color to transparent.

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The Rectangle tool creates vector based rectangles that can be scaled up or down infinitely.

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Similar to the Rectangle Tool, The Ellipse Tool gives you the ability to make vector based circles and ovals that can be infinitely scaled up and down.

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Adding text to your image is easy with the Text Tool. Plus, there are tons of adjustments and controls that can be applied to change the way your text appears.

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Required for almost any project, learn to use the Move Tool to precisely relocate, resize, and align objects in an image.

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The Smudge Tool essentially pushes pixels around in your image. Although it is not the most practical tool, there are some artistic applications.

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The Polygon Tool allows you to create a shape with as many sides as you want. Best of all, they are vector based objects, so they can be scaled up and down without losing quality.

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One of the most useful navigational tools when doing closeup, detailed work, The Hand Tool allows you to easily move around your images.

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The Custom Shape Tool is great because you can create any shape you want, and since they are vector, they can be scaled infinitely up and down without losing resolution.

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Layer masks give you the ability to hide or show certain parts of layers. Best of all, they are completely reversible, so you can always bring back whatever you have hidden.

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Color Balance is a great way to make color adjustments to your images and can also be used to introduce some new colors as well.

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A Levels Adjustment Layer gives you control over color balance, tone and exposure. After you master it, Levels will become one of your go-to tools.

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Hue/Saturation gives you the power to adjust, change, and add colors to your images. Colors have a ton of control over the look and feel of your images, so this is a great tool to be familiar with.

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Black and White Adjustment Layers give you the most control when transfering a color image to Black and White. You can even adjust the light values for each individual color in your image.

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Curves are an awesome tool that give you control over the exposure and color in your images. Curves are very similar to Levels, but with some practice, they can give you a lot more control.

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Easily one of Aaron’s favorite tools in Photoshop! The Brush Tool can be one of the most powerful and versatile tools, capable of retouching, compositing, and stunning special effects.

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Adjustment Layers allow you to apply effects and changes to your images that are not permanent and can be adjusted or reversed. Adjustment Layers are key to non-destructive editing.

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Perfect for graphics designers and web developers, learn to use the Slice Tool to cut up a high resolution image into multiple pieces to prepare it for the web.

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Photoshop Actions allow you to record a series of editing steps, and then apply that same series of edits to anything else. Actions can save you a ton of time when it comes to complex processes like sharpening.

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As opposed to directly affecting your image, a smart object creates a reference file of the original, so you are never directly changing the original file.

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Push and pull pixels in your image with the Liquify Tool. This tool is great for reshaping or restructuring objects that seem a little off or out of place. This tool can be a Photographer’s best friend, but the key is moderation.

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Edit faster and more efficiently by utilizing Keyboard Shortcuts in Photoshop. Easily access the tools you need and spend less time searching through menus.

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All of your images are made up of a ton of color information, Channels allows you to separate, select, and view this information in 3 primary colors, red, green, and blue.

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