Michael Breitung Photography


Tutorials - Photo Editing Basics

On this site you find a set of basic photo editing tutorials, which provide the foundation for the more advanced post processing techniques I show in my other tutorials. Watching the videos below you learn how to use Photoshop for basic and also more advanced photo editing.

Keyboard Shortcuts in Photoshop

Keyboard shortcuts are essential for a fluid photo editing workflow in Photoshop. In this video I show the shortcuts I use the most. Learning how to use such shortcuts can speed up your photo editing significantly. In the beginning it might be a bit hard to remember all the shortcuts and a cheat sheet might come in handy. But with time you'll build the muscle memory and your fingers will flow across the keyboard while you edit your photos.

How to create advanced masks in Photoshop

In this tutorial I lay out the foundation for my creative photo editing. I use masks a lot in Photoshop and here I show a set of my most commonly used masks, including hard edge masks, Luminosity Masks and a more targeted Luminosity Mask. Knowing how to create those different kinds of masks in Photoshop is very valuable, if you intend to raise your photo editing skills to the next level.

How to use masks in Photoshop

After knowing how to create certain masks, it's even more important to know when and how to use them. In this video I show some photo editing use cases for each of the masks I created in the previous video. As an example I use a photo of the Vatican I took in rome some years ago.

How to Dodge and Burn

In this video I show you how I do doge and burn, which is an essential technique I use a lot in my photo editing. You'll also see me using it in my other tutorials. I also show you how I use Photoshop plugin Lumenzia in the process here. It allows me to quickly create luminosity masks, turn them into selections and then perform the doging and burning through them. This allows me to do very targeted dodge and burn and I can be very intentional with my photo editing.

Exposure Blending

Building upon the previous videos, in this tutorial I show you how to do exposure blending using luminosity masks. Since most of my photos consist of bracketed exposures, which I take to be able to capture the complete dynamic range of a scene, exposure blending is usually one of the first photo editing steps I do when I work on a photo. An important part of it is, aside from using luminosity masks, properly balancing the different exposures during the blend.

Focus Stacking

Focus Stacking is equally important as exposure blending for my photo editing. As I show in the video below I often combine the two techniques to not only create a photo that shows the complete dynamic range of a scene, but also capture all the details from the near foreground to the far background. This combination add a bit of complexity to my post processing, but as I show in the video it's also no rocket science and can be done quite effectively with masks in Photoshop.

Recommended Plugins

I use a set of plugins in my photo editing workflow, which I also want to share with you:

  • A recent discovery was the Lumenzia Plugin* by Greg Benz. It's my new preferred tool for luminosity mask creation in Photoshop and it will be featured in upcomming tutorials.
  • My favourite set of Plugins was recently acquired by DXO. But there is also still a free version of the The Nik Plugin Collection available.
  • Just recently I started integrating another set of plugins into my workflow, which provide even more creative possibilities. Those Luminar Flex Plugins* are a great way to further boost the look of a photo.
  • To sharpen my photos for the web I use another free plugin, the Web Sharpener by Andreas Resch.

Now you should have a good foundation to continue with my more advanced tutorials. In those you learn all the techniques I apply to create photos that don't only look great on the web, but also when printed large - photos like the one below.

Photo Editing how to result - Cape Woolamai Panorama * This is an Affiliate-Link. If you use it to buy something, I'll get a commission.