Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Photoshop Starting Point

Photoshop is exciting and intimidating simultaneously. It is exciting because of all the amazing image editing options available within one program. It is intimidating because it is easy the spend a week setting up the program to process the first image. When I began using Photoshop in the mid 1990s I wasted countless hours trying to set the program up for perfect editing. What a waste of time. I somehow thought this was necessary to get even the most minimal results from the program. I now think it is better to jump into the program and refine the usage of it as it gets easier to understand the program.

Begin by transferring the camera photographs to the computer. Use a card reader rather than a connection cord. It's inexpensive and faster. That's probably why many new computers come with a built in card reader.

1 Choose a file to edit
2 Make a copy of the file by going to the the File menu and choosing Duplicate
3 Drag the copy file to the Photoshop icon to open it. Once it opens make the following changes.
4 Under the Image menu> select Image Size> Uncheck Resample Image Box. Change resolution to 360. Click OK
5 Under the File menu>select Save As. A dialog box type of window will appear. Go to Where and from the drop down menu choose Desktop. Go to Format and from the drop down menu choose TIFF. Click Save. A dialog box will open titled TIFF Options. Under Image Compression choose LZW. Click OK. A new TIFF will open and automatically close the JPG file. The file will appear on the Desktop. If not printing the image skip this step.
6 Under the Edit menu>select Convert to Profile. Under Destination Space there is a Profile submenu. From this pull down menu select Pro38 WCRW. Click OK.

If not printing choose Adobe RGB (1998). Pro38 WCRW" refers to the printer and the paper. In this example the printer is an Epson printer and Epson Watercolor Radiant White paper. Every printer and every paper has a different profile.

7 Go to the Image menu> select Mode> set for 16 bits per channel.
8 Adjust file in Levels

To adjust the brightness and contrast of a black and white image, or to adjust the brightness and color balance of a color image, Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. "Levels" opens a complex window with several buttons and a graph. The graph is called a histogram and is showing the tonal range of the image with the shadows on the left, the midtones in the middle and the highlights on the right. The 3 little triangles running along the line below the histogram are referred to as the input sliders. The color of each one (black, gray and white) shows what part of the tonal range that each one represents. There are 3 boxes above the histogram showing the numerical representations of every tone in the image. 0 is jet black and 255 is paper white.

Begin by moving the either of the end sliders to modify the shadows and highlights. It does not matter as to whether the black or white slider is moved first. When the shadows and highlights look right adjust the midtone slider. For the midtones move the midtone input slider to the left to lower the contrast and to the right to increase the contrast. Click on the OK button to complete the procedure and then save the image.

If everything was done right the photograph should look better than before the editing. A camera can only capture part of the image. Every photograph looks better after editing.

If putting the image online rather than printing continue as follows

2 Go to the “Image” menu
3 Choose “Image size” and a window will open named “Image Size”
4 Go to the “Document Size box"
5 If the size is displayed in anything but inches, use the pull down menus to change the width and height to inches and the resolution to pixels/inch
6 All 3 of the boxes below this should be checked
7 Change the long side to 7. This will change the other dimension automatically. So if you change the width to 7, the height will change automatically. For some online posting a size bigger than 7 is better.
8 Change resolution to 72 and click on OK. This is screen resolution, so nothing is gained at a higher resolution.

© 2012 Paul Light all rights reserved


Post a Comment

<< Home