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A ShortCourse Book
Photoshop CS for Digital Photographers

Photoshop CS for Digital Photographers

Photoshop CS for Digital Photographers

Finally, a well written, easy to follow guide for digital photographers using Photoshop CS. This guide is available as a traditional 187 page large-format (8.5 by 11) spiral bound book printed in black and white, and as a full-color, fully searchable PDF eBook you can order on a CD.

 

Introduction

Photoshop CS is the undisputed leader in photo-editing software. Widely used by photographers, graphic artists, printers, designers, and other creative professionals, it has something for everyone. It's this breadth that lies at the heart of its complexity-there are tools for everyone and everything.

Our goal in this book is to simplify your introduction by focusing on those aspects of Photoshop that are most useful to digital photographers. From this single perspective, the program becomes much easier to master because you follow a single main road through the program. Detours along the many back roads of the program are left for another time and another book.

We recognize that digital images can be edited in a wide variety of ways. In some cases you're a photographer trying to improve an image by eliminating or reducing its flaws. In other cases you are a graphic artist taking an image to a new place, making it something it never was, or incorporating it as one element in a larger project. In this book we focus on the photographic aspects, but in the process introduce you to many of the same tools you need to combine photography and the graphic arts.

This book is divided into eight chapters and an appendix.

  • Chapter 1 Getting Started introduces you to the Photoshop CS screen display and tools. This chapter lays the foundation for the rest of the book.

    Photoshop is a powerful program suitable to even the most technically oriented photographer. Because it can do so much, it initially looks complicated, and in many ways it is. However, since it's a program you won't outgrow, it's worth the time it takes to master it. In this chapter we lay the foundation for everything to come. You'll learn about the screen display, help system, the toolbox, palettes, basic commands and undoing mistakes. Once you understand this material, you will be ready for the chapters that follow on viewing, opening, printing and editing your images.
  • Chapter 2 Working with Image Files introduces you to basic procedures such as opening, saving and printing images.

    Your digital camera (or scanner) stores images in files that are then copied to the computer for editing. As your collection grows, managing images so you can find them later becomes very important. To assist you, Photoshop has a File Browser that displays thumbnails of images and lets you manage the collection using features such as keywords, ranking, flagging, and sorting. In this chapter you learn how to use the File Browser and other methods to organize, view, open, print and save images. These are important procedures that support the main functions of a photo-editing program-editing and improving images-discussed in the chapters that follow.
  • Chapter 3 Fixing Your Images shows you how to evaluate tones, colors, sharpness, and other characteristics of an image and how to select the tools you use to fix or improve it.

    It is the rare image that can't be improved by tweaking. You'll find that you are often adjusting the image's size, tonal range, colors, sharpness, and retouching small defects or blemishes. In this chapter we start by showing how you analyze an image to see how it can be improved. Until you can look at your images critically, it's hard to know what needs to be done to make them better. You'll see how to evaluate tones, colors, sharpness, and details. In this same section we also help you choose the tools and procedures you need to make needed adjustments-with the best highlighted. The rest of the chapter covers each tool in detail, showing you how to use it and choose among the many options you are presented with. As with most things in life, knowing what to do and how to do it well can make all of the difference in the outcome.
  • Chapter 4 Working with Selections shows you how to select areas of an image to copy, move, or enhance.

    When editing a digital photo, commands usually affect the entire image. However, if you first select an area of the image, you can confine adjustments to just that area. You can also select areas and then copy, move, or delete them, perhaps to create a collage or to paste part of one image into another to create a composite image. There are a number of ways to select the areas of the image to be affected. The approach you choose depends on the nature of your image, the changes you want to make, and the area you want to select. For example, the Magic Wand tool is useful for quickly selecting areas of similar color, such as a clear blue sky. To select a more complex area, such as a person standing in a crowd of people, you can use the Lasso tools.
  • Chapter 5 Working with Layers discusses how you use layers to adjust your images.

    When you first open a digital photograph it contains a single layer. However, you can add additional layers either directly or indirectly. Why would you want to do so? In some cases you have no choice. For example, if you use the Type tool to add text to an image or a shape tool to add a shape, the text or shape is automatically entered on a new layer. In other situations you want to add layers yourself. For example, you can add an adjustment layer to change such image characteristics as levels, brightness and contrast, or hue and saturation. If you later hide or delete this layer, the image reverts to its original form. Before layers were introduced, changes were always made to the original image and were difficult or impossible to undo later. Every change had to be well planned, as if you were carving in stone. Now you can use layers to make changes and modify and delete them at will without affecting the original image. The more you learn about layers, and the tools you use to manage them, the more uses you will find for them.
  • Chapter 6 Painting & Drawing shows you how to use the program's painting, drawing, and erasing tools used to improve selected areas of an image.

    The author of a book on making black and white prints from negatives called his chapter on spotting prints to remove dust spots "So You Have To Know How to Paint After All." That would also be a good title for this chapter because painting and drawing are useful tools in digital photography. Although often used by graphic artists to add elements to photographs and layouts, these tools are also used to fix or touch up areas of your images or to select areas that you want to change. You can paint, erase, and draw shapes with several different tools, all of which are introduced in this chapter. In the next chapter you'll learn how to use these tools to create masks that precisely select the areas of your image you want to adjust.
  • Chapter 7 Creating and Using Masks shows how you work on specific channels or areas of your images.

    In previous chapters, you were introduced to making selections, using layers, and painting and drawing. In this chapter we bring these elements together to create masks. These powerful tools are used to confine adjustments to selected area of an image or to make one are of an image transparent so the layer below shows through. Unlike a selection, a mask is a grayscale image just as your images are. This means you can edit one just like you edit images; using brushes, erasers, fills, filters, and almost every other tool and technique you have learned. Having all of these tools at your disposal means you can create more complex selections than you can with the selection tools you learned earlier.

    Because masks make precise selections possible, they lie at the heart of compositing-the creation of a new image by piecing together parts of other images. You can either cut and paste selected areas or make some areas transparent so layers below show through. Once you master a few basic tools, the possibilities are endless.
  • Chapter 8 Automating Tasks shows you how to automate processes involving more than one image. These processes include printing contact sheets and picture packages, creating a Web gallery, stitching images into panoramas, creating PDF presentations including slide shows, and batch renaming files, creating actions and batch processing files.

    In some ways, we've reserved the best for last because it's now time to discuss some of the many things you can do with your digital photographs. Digital photography opens up a vast new range of exciting ways to display and share the best of the images you capture. Projects are limited only by your imagination, and Photoshop has brought automation to the process to make things easier and faster. In this chapter you'll see how to print contact sheets and picture packages like those made by professional studios. You'll learn how to create a Web gallery to showcase or share your images, stitch together images into panoramas and create PDF's that can be displayed as slide shows on the computer or TV. All of these possibilities and many others are fun to explore and easy to accomplish.

    You can use commands on the File Browser's Automate menu to perform these automatic processes. You can also run these commands by selecting File>Automate from the main menu, but running them from the File Browser saves you a lot of time, because you don't have to open each individual file.
  • Chapter 9 Color Management discusses how to make sure your prints match what you see on the screen.

    Colors in the original scene pass through a number of steps before they finally emerge to be displayed on the screen or in a print. To ensure that colors change as little as possible as they pass from one device to another, you must perform at least three basic steps in Photoshop-calibrating your monitor, customizing color settings, and creating profiles of your equipment. Although you don't have to do these things, you should do so because the choices you make influence how the colors in images are displayed and printed. The entire process is referred to as color management and it sounds more complicated than it is. Taking the time to color manage your system saves you much uncertainty and frustration in the long-run, especially when capturing photos where color accuracy is important. Much of the background of color management is discussed in The Textbook of Digital Photography and that lengthy discussion isn't repeated here.

Note. Photoshop CS runs on both Mac and PC systems and you will find minor differences between the two platforms. These differences are limited to a few keys on the keyboard and a few menu commands. Although this book features the PC version of the program, you should be able to master the Mac version using this book.

Contents

Chapter 1
Getting Started ...6

Developing A Process—Your Workflow ...7
Starting and Quitting Photoshop ...8
Learning Photoshop ...11
Using the Toolbox ...13
Using Palettes ...16
Basic Commands ...19
Undoing Changes ...21

Chapter 2
Working with Image Files ...22

Opening and Closing Image Files ...23
The File Browser—Introduction ...25
The File Browser—Viewing, Opening & Managing Files ...26
The File Browser—Organizing and Finding Files ...28
The File Browser—The Metadata Palette ...31
Zooming Images and Image Windows ...32
Working with Multiple Images ...34
Saving Image Files ...35
Printing Images ...39
Optimizing Images for the Web ...43

Chapter 3
Fixing Your Images ...46

Evaluating Your Images ...47
Specifying Image Sizes ...51
Specifying Canvas Sizes ...53
Cropping Images ...54
Rotating Images ...56
Using the Histogram Palette ...57
Using the Channels Palette ...58
Adjusting Brightness and Contrast ...60
Adjusting Levels ...61
Adjusting Curves ...64
Using Eyedroppers ...67
Adjusting Shadows and Highlights ...69
Adjusting Color ...71
Using Filters ...75
Sharpening Images ...78
The Camera Raw Plug-in—Introduction ...80
The Camera Raw Plug-in—Making Adjustments ...83

Chapter 4
Working with Selections ...85

Introduction to Selecting ...86
Using Marquee Tools ...88
Using Lasso Tools ...90
Using the Magic Wand Tool ...92
Selecting a Range of Colors ...93
Adjusting an Existing Selection ...94
Moving, Copying, and Pasting Selections ...96
Saving and Reusing Selections ...99
Transforming Selections ...101

Chapter 3
Controlling Sharpness ...62

Eliminating Camera Movement ...63
Sharpness Isn't Everything ...66
How to Photograph Motion Sharply ...67
Focus and Depth of Field ...69
Focusing Techniques ...71
Controlling Depth of Field ...75
Capturing Maximum Depth of Field ...76
Using Selective Focus ...78
Conveying the Feeling of Motion ...79

Chapter 4
Capturing Light & Color ...80

Where Does Color Come From? ...81
White Balance ...82
Color Balance and Time of Day ...85
Sunsets and Sunrises ...86
Weather ...88
Photographing at Night ...90
The Direction of Light ...92
The Quality of Light ...94

Chapter 5
Working with Layers ...103

Using Layers ...104
The Layers Palette ...105
Creating and Preserving Layers ...107
Creating and Using Layer Sets ...109
Managing Layers and Layer Sets ...111
Using Adjustment Layers ...116
Using Fill Layers ...118
Entering Type ...120
Creating Clipping Masks ...124

Chapter 6
Painting & Drawing ...125

Selecting Foreground and Background Colors ...126
Using Brushes and Pencils ...129
Specifying Tool Options ...132
Erasing ...134
Retouching Images ...137
Using the Paint Bucket and Gradient Tools ...141
Drawing Shapes ...143

Chapter 7
Creating and Using Masks ...145

Masks—An Introduction ...146
Editing Masks ...148
Using Quick Masks ...149
Using Layer Masks ...150
Using Alpha Channel Masks ...153
Using the Extract Command ...154
Replacing Color ...157

Chapter 8
Automating Tasks ...158

Printing Contact Sheets ...159
Printing Picture Packages ...161
Creating a Web Photo Gallery ...162
Merging Images into a Panorama ...166
Creating a PDF Presentation ...168
Batch Renaming Files ...171
Creating and Using Actions ...172
Using the Batch command ...176
Batch Processing Camera Raw Image Files—A Tutorial ...179

Chapter 9
Color Management ...182

Calibrating Your Monitor ...183
Specifying Color Settings ...185
Using Profiles ...187

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