Hey Hal?

The temptation of forbidden Photoshop knowledge?
After 16 straight days of class here at LIGHT, time for another episode of "Hey Hal?"  You may recall this is our new forum to highlight common questions here at the school.

Last week we enjoyed Charles Cramer's Digital Printing for the Fine Art Photographer and the number one question during all those Curves and Masks was, "Where is my brush?"  In this simple fighter pilot's opinion this is one of the most asked Photoshop questions of all time.  99/100 times the answer is "Check Caps Lock."  When Caps Lock is on the normal brush symbology disappears.  Sometimes even this small difference from the norm is enough to throw off the workflow.  So when the brush disappears, first look to Caps Lock.

We'll make it a two-for Wednesday, the second most asked question last week was "Why isn't anything working?"  How is that for general?  Interestingly, there is usually one answer that remedies this common Photoshop roadblock.  Hit Ctrl/Cmd + D to deselect (control for Win and command for Mac.)  When he have an active selection Photoshop will only allow changes to that selection.  Where this sometimes trips our workflow is when a very small selection is active and we don't know it.  Sometimes the selection is so small the "marching ants" are very hard to find.  If it seems that nothing is working try a quick deselect and assess.

As a quick addendum to the previous paragraph, sometimes being stuck in Quick Mask will cause strange happenings as well.  You will most easily recognize an inadvertent Quick Mask situation by checking your Layers Panel.  Highlight a layer and see what color or tone is used to highlight.  If you see a dark grey, you are probably in Quick Mask.  Hit the "Q" key to get out.

If you have run across a common question or occurrence that others should know about please send to Hal@LightWorkshops.com

Fiat Lux!