Making accurate selections is sometimes a daunting task, yet of vital importance in much of the work done in Photoshop. Before you pick up a selection tool, look closely at your photograph. What are you selecting? Which tool will be best for the job? Understanding types of selections will help you choose correctly.

1. Shape. Smooth edges and clearly defined forms. A sign, building, pear all have definite shapes that are relatively easy to outline with marquee and lasso tools.

2. Tone and Color. Tone includes highlights, mid-tones and shadows. Color, of course is color. Do you want to choose a shadow area like Byron did previously? This is a more involved selection to make.

3. Edges and Fine Detail. Do you want to outline a person but their wispy hair seems impossible? This calls for more advanced techniques.

4. Translucent objects. How do you select a glass object, or a whisp of smoke? The glass may seem a simple shape, but preserving translucency when changing the background can be a real challenge.

5. Opposites. Select what you don’t want, then inverse the selection. This was used in “Vignetting Part 2.” The baby was selected, then the selection inverted so that the changes affected the other areas leaving the baby untouched.

Over the next few weeks, I intend to go into more detail about each of these techniques. Later, we can see what can be done with the selections. Making accurate selections is one of the most important skills you can develop in Photoshop.