by Daniel Giordan and Steve Monitz
One of Photoshop's greatest strengths is its ability to conform to the relative strengths of each individual user. Some people like to use curves for example, while others prefer levels, and still others may prefer Brightness/ Contrast. Photoshop gives you a range of tool options, allowing you to choose which one you like best.
In this chapter, we'll look at one unique way in which Photoshop lets you select certain areas of your image. Oh sure you have the magic wand tool, the lasso, and the marquee tool, and each of those work very well in defining a selection by its edges. The Photoshop Quickmask feature lets you define a selection by painting an area, brushing in the selection using the full gamut of Photoshop's toolset. If you tend to think in terms of painted areas rather than outlines and paths, then you may find Quickmask selections to be a more intuitive way of defining an area.
Quickmask is a special mode in Photoshop that is completely devoted to defining a selection. While in Quickmask mode, every Photoshop function, tool result, and menu command is related to defining the selected area. When you paint or draw, you are painting a selected area. When you use the blur tool, you are blurring a selected area, and when you apply a filter, you are actually filtering a selected area. We will look at how to use all of these effects in this chapter, along with other masking and selection options.