Ive noticed over in the scripting forum [webmasterworld.com] they often have tips, tricks and techniques to help with scripting. Id quite like to see something similar for the big 3 image manipulation progs, so i thought id try to kick it off - feel free to jump in and maybe we could all learn a bit.
I only use photoshop/imageready really, so my contribution will be based around that. Sorry if these things are obvious.
Heres a couple of things i use everyday.
Lightening a dark image:
there are many ways to lighten a dark image in photoshop, but sometimes using levels, contrast and the like can kill some of the detail. My preffered method is to duplicate the layer with the image you need to lighten, and change the blending mode of the duplicate to 'screen'. If this results in an overly bright image, you can knock the opacity of the 'screen' layer down a bit.
If you only want to selectively lighten parts of the image, you can then take the eraser tool with a big soft edged brush, take the opacity of the tool down to about 30% and erase the parts of the image (on the 'screen' layer) that you do not wish to lighten.
If you have a washed out image and you want to bring some of the colour and contrast back, use the same procedure but set the blend mode to 'multiply' instead of screen.
Keyboard Shortcuts are your friend:(and theres millions of them)
B = Paintbrush
M = Selection Tool
V = Move Tool
E = Eraser
T = Text
Space = Hold down at any time for the hand tool
CTRL+H = Hide selection edges, guides, slices etc
CTRL++ = Zoom in
CTRL+- = Zoom out
Shift+CTRL+I will invert a selection (unless you have icq running, in which case it pops up the main dialogue for that - on my machine anyway :()
Holding down shift and using any of the tool selection shortcuts allows you to toogle through the options for that tool, e.g. pressing shift+M repeatedly toggles between rectangular selection and circular/oval selection tools.