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Photoshop Tips & Tricks for Photographers

  • 20-04-2006 11:36pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    Hey there,

    Seeing that quite some people are posting photo's on here that desperately need some simple photoshopping I decided to start this thread where people can post quick and handy photoshop tutorials to share their photoshop skills with people who don't know much about it yet (maybe good for a sticky?). I'm using Photoshop CS2 myself, so maybe not all of the tools of things I'm posting here are available for you if you use Photoshop Elements or CS, my apologies to them! ;)

    I'll start with a quick photoshop tutorial on a very common problem... it's something every photographer experiences, although some more than others :rolleyes: But it's definitely one of my favourite and mostly used photoshop "fixes": How to Straighten Horizons. This post will be up within the next half an hour or so.

    Feel free to add new tutorials to this thread and spread those skills! :D

    Cheers,
    Dimy


«1

Comments

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 10,681 Mod ✭✭✭✭ melekalikimaka


    great idea, this forum is really taking off.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    Well here's my first tutorial, in this tutorial I will show how to fix a common problem, a tilted horizon or background. While I'm at it, I also show how to use the clone tool effectively.

    Start Image
    IMG_before.jpg

    Ok here we have the starting photo, as you can clearly see the background is tilted cpunter clockwise by a few degrees.

    Step 1: Select the Measure Tool
    select_measure_tool.jpg

    Step 2: Use the Measure Tool

    using_measure_tool.jpg

    With the Measure Tool Selected, click and drag a line. In this example I dragged a vertical line accross the wall in the background, for landscape photo's you can of course drag a horizontal line at the horizon in the background. Release the mouse button to finish the measurement line.

    Step 3: Rotate
    select_arbitrary.jpg

    Go to the Image Menu --> Rotate Canvas --> Arbitrary...

    rotate_canvas.jpg

    Now don't change anything to the presented angle in the screen above, by using the Measure Tool it automatically calculated the amount of rotation degrees needed to straighten up the image... so simply click OK here

    rotated_image.jpg

    Step 4: Crop!

    Now that we rotated the image, we need to crop the image. I prefer cropping at 2x3 ratio, but if you want a square crop or different dimensions feel free to do so.

    Select the Crop Tool:
    select_crop_tool.jpg

    Make a crop selection by simply clicking and drag a box, when you're happy with the selection release the mouse button. If needed you can still change the size of the crop selection by moving any of the 4 borders upwards, downwards, left or right by just hovering over the side you want to change, click and hold the mouse button and drag.

    select_area_to_crop.jpg

    Check the info box for the size of your selection and adjust either width or height of the selection until you have the desired ratio... in my case 3x2 or 557x371 pixels:

    size_selection.jpg

    When you're happy, click on the Crop tool Icon once again to confirm the crop.

    cropped_image.jpg

    This is where the Straighten Photo tutorial ends, but as you can see the image above now has a new problem... the top right hand corner is blank, here's where the Cloning Tool comes in hand!

    See my next post for a Cloning Tutorial


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,645 Shrimp


    General tip: Always have the contrast* of a photo slightly stronger than you expect. Keep that in mind.





    *not just the contrast slider, I'm talking about anyhting that effects the relation between light and dark.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    Cloning is another very useful tool in Photoshop... it can be used in many ways, but here's a useful example of how to use this tool effectively.

    Here's the starting image:
    cropped_image.jpg

    This is the image we ended the last tutorial with, as I mentioned this photo still needs some editing as after cropping the rotated image the top right-hand corner became blank. We can fix this easily with the Cloning Tool.

    Step 1: Select the Clone Stamp Tool
    select_clone_stamp_tool.jpg

    Step 2: Set desired Origin from which to Duplicate
    alt_click_with_clone_tool.jpg

    Press and hold the ALT-key and click the desired Origin Point to duplicate from. Now this requires a little bit of practise and is difficult to explain... but in the image above you see what Origin Point I have selected for my example.

    Step 3: Start Cloning
    start_cloning.jpg

    Now you have selected an Origin Point you can use the Clone Stamp Tool like any ordinary Brush, you can also change the size of your brush if you want a smaller or larger brush. I started "brushing" with the clone stamp tool at the point indicated in the image above, simply hold the mouse button and drag your mouse around over the area you want to clone.

    Final Result:
    IMG_after.jpg

    And that's it... above you can see the final result. We straightened the tilted background of the original and used the clone tool to fill in the blank area!

    I hope you found these tutorials useful... I might post some other tutorials later, also if you happen to know a useful trick yourself please feel free to add a tutorial yourself in this thread!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    Oh and special thanks goes to my nephew and niece, Youri and Anouk, who kindly posed for the picture :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    Thanks for posting up those tutorials! I can finally start using some of the power of my Photoshop 5 :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,070 Placebo


    Cropping is fine, maybe some refinning but i dont agree with the fact of photoshoping photography, maybe if the image is being used for something else but it is very misleading when people pitch up the hue/saturation on flickr[for instance] and make it seem like the cameras amazing, before buying a camera - i personally, always go online to look for its results. But croppings, minor adjustments are fine etc, just my opinion, great tutorial anyway, didnt mean to over take.

    while im on this, if anyone wants a flamour type shot, or dreamt effect.
    DUPLICATE the layer, apply GAUSSIAN BLUR filter[around 4.0] effect. Change layer mode to overlay and flatten the image/combine the layers. Looks nice at times , if its a pic of youre baby.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,624 ✭✭✭✭ Fajitas!


    Shrimp wrote:
    General tip: Always have the contrast* of a photo slightly stronger than you expect. Keep that in mind.

    Correct. Try to bring the contrast up to a level that suits, between 0 and 30 usually looks most natural. You might be better off to adjust the darkness slide before this though.

    Other than that, if you're starting off in PS, the "Colour Variations" button can be of great help. Experiment with it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    Placebo wrote:
    Cropping is fine, maybe some refinning but i dont agree with the fact of photoshoping photography, maybe if the image is being used for something else but it is very misleading when people pitch up the hue/saturation on flickr[for instance] and make it seem like the cameras amazing, before buying a camera - i personally, always go online to look for its results. But croppings, minor adjustments are fine etc, just my opinion, great tutorial anyway, didnt mean to over take.

    Before any other people reply to this, please don't! This topic is not about whether YOU agree with using Photoshop or not! If you don't like it, don't use it. This topic is meant for the people who do want to use photoshop and need some help. Anyway, the above tutorials are both very minor tweaks imo, and that's the last I have to say about that topic! Please start a new thread if you want to discuss the use of photoshop.... Thanks.

    -Dimitry


  • Registered Users Posts: 431 ✭✭ CONMIKE12


    Brilliant idea,very informative and much appreciated.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,292 joolsveer


    Very useful idea. It's great to see you being helpful again. Keep it up Dimy.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    joolsveer wrote:
    Very useful idea. It's great to see you being helpful again. Keep it up Dimy.

    Your photo's with tilted horizons were an inspiration jools... ;) I have some other tutorial-ideas so will make a few more additions to this thread.

    Also if anyone has a question about how to do something in Photoshop, feel free to post your original image here and describe what you would like to be done about it, I might give it a go and describe it step-by-step if it's possible to do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,411 ✭✭✭ CrowdedHouse


    Excellent tutorial-many thanks Dimy

    Seven Worlds will Collide



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 170 ✭✭ Flipflip


    Excellent idea dimy, good stuff, your tutorials are good man, keep it up sher.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    Is it possible to sharpen out of focus pictures?

    see this picture - not in focus :( is there anything I can do about it in photoshop?

    282837691a369633438b106633545l.jpg


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 10,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Borderfox


    Nice one Dimy great tutorial


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    Thirdfox wrote:
    Is it possible to sharpen out of focus pictures?

    see this picture - not in focus :( is there anything I can do about it in photoshop?

    282837691a369633438b106633545l.jpg

    I'm afraid that one is beyond help... you can't do magic with photoshop :rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 170 ✭✭ Flipflip


    Hey how about an dodging/burning tutorial from someone, its the only part of photoshop that id consider myself pretty bad at.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,110 ✭✭✭ Thirdfox


    Lol thanks Dimy anyway! The picture was soooo close to being in focus :(


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    Flipflip wrote:
    Hey how about an dodging/burning tutorial from someone, its the only part of photoshop that id consider myself pretty bad at.

    I must admit that I never used dodging and burning myself so don't know much about it. Maybe someone else can post a tutorial for that here.
    Anyway...I was going to post a few more tutorials here this weekend, but Irish Broadband messed that up for me... about 90% of the web, including boards.ie, wasn't accessable for me from friday night until about 40 minutes ago :(. This afternoon I'll be going to Greystones again with a friend so no time. And when I have the time I'll look into dodging and burning myself so we can learn together ;-)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,645 Shrimp


    Simple: Dodging and Burning.. use dodge if you wish to highlight a certain area, use burn if you wish to darken an area.. Then the settings within them are self explanatory.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭ Zillah


    Dodging and burning is so much easier to understand if you've done real life photo printing. I get it, but I don't think Im qualified to do a tutorial, although I am considering a couple others.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 650 EireRoadUser


    I'm having a problem with photoshop ,whenever i load up a picture they have a yellow tint on them .
    It's like photoshop is set to autoadjust the lighting, but i don't want it ??

    What can I do?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,027 alleepally


    I'm having a problem with photoshop ,whenever i load up a picture they have a yellow tint on them .
    It's like photoshop is set to autoadjust the lighting, but i don't want it ??

    What can I do?

    http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/321608.html


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 650 EireRoadUser


    Thanks alee for that ,I hadn't a clue what was wrong ,so i didn't know how to find out.
    Working fine now ,I could have been messing with it for hours.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    Here's a new tutorial, this time about how to save images for the web. Although most people should be familiar with this already, we still find many unnessary large files posted on this and other boards. Most of the photo's I post are below 100kb, I obviously keep large high quality photo's for personal use on my hard drive, but when it comes to publicing on a website I resize them. Here's a step-by-step guide:

    Step 1: The start image

    For obvious reasons I will not post the start image here, but here's the stats:
    Resolution: 3472 x 2312 pixels
    File format: JPEG
    Size: 4.10 MB

    Step 2: Resize

    For forum use a max width or height of 640 pixels is usually more than enough! If people want to see larger versions, you can always send them a link to download a larger version of your photo. Go to the Image Menu and select Image Size...

    image-size-menu.jpg

    This brings you to the following screen:
    image-size.jpg

    Now make sure you have the Constrain Proportions box ticked and make sure you have the size in pixels instead of percentage. Then change either the width (or height if your original photo is portrait mode) to 640 pixels, it will automatically adjust the height to keep the same proportions.

    image-size-2.jpg

    Now click OK and the file will be resized to the new dimensions.

    Step 3: Save for Web

    Select Save for Web from the File Menu
    save-for-web-menu.jpg

    Now have a look at the top right hand side of the screen that pops up:
    save-for-web-options.jpg

    Here you can see the settings I'm generally using when I use the save for web function of photoshop. As I prefer to have the file output format in JPG I selected JPG rather than GIF, I still want to keep high quality as I don't want to much JPG artifacts in my resized photo's and I keep the quality slider at around 75%. You can experiment with this and use whatever setting here that suits you best.

    In the lower left hand side corner you can find the new file size if you choose to save with the current settings you have selected:
    new-file-size.jpg

    In my case about 42 kb! That's a huge difference from the original 4,1 MB...

    And here's the result:

    IMG_after.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,763 Fenster


    Applying a fake vignette effect:

    I often use this to darken the corners or a side of a photo, so that the eye will focus more readily on the subject. Its especially useful with macro shots, such as those I posted yesterday, and its quite easy to do. In my case I am using the Gimp under Linux, but the process is absolutely identical in Photoshop.

    To start, open up the layers tab and duplicate the layer. You click either the "Duplicate Layer" button in the Gimp or just drag the layer in question to the "New Layers" button in Photoshop.

    vig2.jpg

    Next off, click on the new layer in the Layers tab and right-click it. Select "Add Layer Mask" and make it full white:

    vig3.jpgvig4.jpg

    Your next stop is the Blend tool (Gradients in Photoshop). Firstly make sure the layer mask of the duplicate layer is selected in the layers tab, by clicking on the mask. Select the shape of the gradient you want and then drag from the point you wish to start to the point you wish to end the gradient. Although a Radial gradient is selected in the photo, I actually used a Bi-Linear one, so I could darken the tops and bottoms of the photo. Go me.

    vig5.jpgvig6.jpg

    Once the gradient applies, go back to the layers tab and click on the layer:

    vig7.jpg

    Now just apply whatever effects you wish. They'll only be applied within the gradient. In this case its the top and bottom of the photo, where I darkened it and applied a light gaussian blur:

    vig8.jpg

    And behold! The final effect:

    vig9.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 189 ✭✭ CoolBoardr


    Dimy wrote:
    Step 3: Save for Web

    Now have a look at the top right hand side of the screen that pops up:
    save-for-web-options.jpg

    Here you can see the settings I'm generally using when I use the save for web function of photoshop. As I prefer to have the file output format in JPG I selected JPG rather than GIF, I still want to keep high quality as I don't want to much JPG artifacts in my resized photo's and I keep the quality slider at around 75%. You can experiment with this and use whatever setting here that suits you best.

    At this stage here you can click the little arrow (to the right of the Preset setting). This allows you to enter your target output size (ie. 100kb). Photoshop will then automatically set the JPG quality to the optimal setting.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 709 Dimy


    Can this thread be moved to the Digital Darkroom subforum? Maybe we can give it some new life there :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 937 ✭✭✭ Mr.Diagnostic


    Hi,

    I have just started playing with Photoshop CS. The posts above are great and very helpful.
    One thing I would like to do, and so far have failed in, is to combine 2 images. What I mean is have a place background image behind a foreground using layers.
    If someone would like to do a tutorial that would be great.

    Thanks


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