Destructive & Non-destructive Photoshop Operations

Design

Photo editing comes in two ways: destructive and non-destructive. That’s pretty much it. The term ‘destructive’ doesn’t mean that the photo is torn up and ruined though (as alarming as it sounds). It’s the way the pixels of the original photo are permanently altered forever. After editing a photo on Photoshop, you can’t open it back up on Photoshop and revert it back to the original. It’s altered forever. Many editors don’t like this idea, so here’s the different types of destructive and non-destructive operations on Photoshop.

Destructive

Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

As stated before, destructive editing manipulates the pixels on the original photo. Photoshop itself and many other Adobe programs are dubbed “destructive editing applications” because of its many adjustments that destroy the original photo pixels. This makes it hard to give exact examples of destructive editing since the entire software is a destructive editor (how dangerous!). Once you tint, crop, add filters, erase, or use the healing brush, the pixels are no longer the same. Of course, this is a disadvantage as you can’t take back what you changed-and undo and redo doesn’t count in my point. To combat it because Photoshop has a lot of potential, editors find non-destructive ways to edit their photos. These tricks are harder to find if you’re a beginner at using Photoshop, but even Adobe gives info about non-destructive edit methods!

Non-destructive

Photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

The standard non-destructive method in Photoshop would be to duplicate the original photo and edit it on a separate layer. This is very effective in editing and saving the altered copy while keeping the original untouched. But there’s much more to this safe way of editing on Photoshop. To share a few methods on non-destructive editing, you can crop photos and revert it to its original whenever you please by turning off the “Delete Cropped Pixels” check box. You can also use vector masks and filter masks which hide the pixels you edited instead of deleting them. And then there’s adjustment layers that can edit a photo’s tone and color and change it back to the original whenever you need to.

Overall, Photoshop is a great yet destructive program. Many editors turn to other programs like Aperture and Adobe Lightroom that aren’t destructive. And while that’s well and fair, you don’t have to lose hope on the capability of Photoshop’s operations. There are many ways to edit photos on Photoshop without destroying the original if you look hard enough. If you would like more information on the differences of destructive and non-destructive editing, along with tips on non-destructive editing on Photoshop, click on the links given respectively. I hope you’ve been enlightened!

Photoshop Files: 72 DPI vs. 300 DPI

Computer Basics

Infamous for its versatile usages, Photoshop is compatible with many projects and occupations. And because it is a powerful and precise software, it has precise measurements and adjustments. This is where photo resolution comes in; which is how clear and sharp a photo appears. A photo’s resolution can be measured in DPI, or dots per inch. This measurement is used by printers to know how many dots they must rationally place when printed. Based on this post’s title, it’s safe to assume that 72 DPI probably isn’t as good as 300 DPI, because the more dots present, the better detailed the picture will be. But if it’s true, then why use 72 DPI? I wondered myself until I found out that 72 DPI is the standard measurement for computer screens. Or at least it was. It was a confusing fact because many computers are pretty big in size, making an image of 72 DPI seem small or at least blurry. And that’s when I researched some more and found that because technology has improved so much, that DPI differences aren’t noticed on device screens and therefore really don’t matter.

72 DPI

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

Back in the 1980s when computers were a newer concept and smaller, Apple’s Macintosh had a 9 inch display and 72 DPI. And despite the evolution of computers, many people still hold onto the stigma that a computer’s resolution should be 72 DPI. So ignore what I said in the introduction: DPI is not a measurement for computer screens (anymore), but for printing out an image. Now that it’s clear, lets focus on image resolutions when printing. Image size and resolution go hand-in-hand, and the chosen DPI affects the overall size of the photo when printed. Additionally, an original image’s PPI-pixels per inch-can affect the image size when changed by the DPI. For example, if you have image with 500 x 500 pixels and change the resolution to 72 DPI, the image may grow or shrink in size to match the amount of dots you want an image to have. Overall, 72 DPI isn’t that bad, but what if you compare it to 300 DPI?

300 DPI

Photo by Bank Phrom on Unsplash

Just for clarifications (because I’m we’re both a bit confused), an image with the resolution of 72 DPI looks fine on a computer screen so don’t bother changing it for a better photo unless it’s going to be printed. In this case, most photographers print their photos with the resolution of 300 DPI. This is the standard industry quality because the higher amount of dots will make the image more detailed and sharper. If the image resolution as 72 DPI, then the photo would be a good size, but pretty blurry. Now you’re probably wondering why Photoshop is in the title when it was only mentioned once. When printing an image, you can edit an image’s resolution on Photoshop before printing it. How to change image resolution: Image > Image Size > Resolution. That being said, I can conclude this blog here. We covered the differences, the myths, and the methods of image resolution. Hopefully, you got the gist of it but if not here’s the websites I used for DPI and the differences of 72 and 300 DPI. Good Luck!