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7 Greate Photoshop Tips

Updated on November 16, 2012



Adobe Photoshop, the world's no.1 photo creating and editing utility is the extremely versatile solution for graphic designers. Photoshop is widely using in highly skilled and professional work like graphic designing, image editing, photographic retouching, web development, multimedia, animation and so on. The wide array of operation tools and intuitive user interface allow for complex tasks to be carried out quickly and easily even for new users. Large set of reference, guide, books, online articles online and classroom courses make it more popular than other photo editing utility like Paint Shop Pro, DeBabelizer...etc.

Here are some simple and effective Photoshop tips will help you to create best one.

1.Use sections between photos for poster optics (Tips for Photoshop CS2, 3, 4, 5)

Clear, panorama photos are very impressive but also very laborintensive, especially when several individual snaps are to be merged and compiled. There are special software applications, but they are pretty expensive for occasional pictures.

When compiling panorama photos on the computer, what is especially tedious is to balance out the inevitable differences in the brightness and color moods between individual photos. Insert these undesired properties instead of simply creative stylistic devices.

Pictures that have been merged make the overlaps visible. Thus every image speaks for itself but is a part of the big picture at the same time. The effect definitely catches the eye of the viewer. A little trial and error and the montage can be made to look like a folded poster from a magazine.

PREPARE: What is important for a successful plan is a systematic process during photographic implementation as well as during the subsequent image editing. In an ideal situation, you should prepare a sketch of what you would like the final image to look like. The more structured your series of photos is, the more liberty you can take when assembling the montage later. The individual images should be shot using a tripod. Ensure an overlapping of approximately 30 percent. If you are taking a picture manually, increase the overlapping.

PHOTOGRAPH: Set a sharp auto-focus for the subject on the camera, and switch to the manual focussing mode. Aperture, lighting time and light sensitivity need to be set manually and this combination should be used for all images. Then photograph the subject in rows or columns. In order to ensure that they do not merge into each other, separate them at the end of every column or row manually or using an object before the tripod. It is thus easier to separate the photo series later.

ASSEMBLY ON PC: Create a new PSD document using ‘File | New’ or using [Ctrl]+[N]. Our sample montage may be 36 x 16 cm in case of a resolution of 300 dpi. Enter these values in the dialog and click ‘OK’. Divide the work surface into large image segments via ‘View | New Auxiliary Lines’. Our example comprises four rows and six columns. The segment size is 6 x 4 cm.

The ‘Square’ selection tool can be used to drag a selection over the first segment. Then open the relevant individual image, copy it to clipboard with [Ctrl]+[A] and [Ctrl]+[C]. Then go back to the template and paste the image in the selection with [Shift]+[Ctrl]+[V]. The image does not get cut here but only selected and can be moved in the selection. A slight shift is necessary so that adjacent photos do not overlap. This gives the effect of a folded poster. Use the same procedure for all individual images. Grouping the levels helps in maintaining the clarity. For this, select all levels of a column and press [Ctrl]+[G].

Now amplify the transitions. For this, give every segment a style of type ‘Hard shadow inside’ using the ‘fx’ symbol in the level pallet. After adjusting the opacity, you can save the settings with ‘New style’ and use them for various areas using the style pallet. As a further effect, you can use a tonal value correction for some elements. At the end of the image editing, you can carry out fine grinding of the subject. First, copy all levels comprising parts of the structure with [Ctrl]+[J] and sharpen them via ‘Filter | Sharpness Filter | Mask Blurred’. The effect - the building stands out from its surrounding. In order to increase the contrast, carry out tonal value correction again, but this time for the entire montage.

2.Add copyright meta-data to individual image files (Tips for Photoshop CS4,adobe Elements 8)

You want to upload good photos on a photo community website. But there is no copyright information in the images so far and you want to change that now.

Create an action that automates the process for adding the necessary data. Used in stack processing, you can edit the image folder at one go which saves a lot of time. You can also create an index for your photos. It is then possible to search for specific photos via search criteria. In case of a large collection, it provides a better overview.

Call up the dialog for the meta-data via ‘File | File Information’. Here, you can enter your contact data. Additional information such as name, email address and homepage should however not be divulged. Save everything with ‘Export’ or ‘Advanced | Save as template’ so that you do not need to enter it all over again for the next image.

For every photo after that, you can just add the saved information via ‘Import’. The important thing here is that you may not overwrite the meta-data here. Thus, select ‘Expand’ in the left list for file information and click ‘Save’ and ‘Attach’.

Photoshop also provides the option of using actions for automation. For this, open a photo and click in the work pallet on the symbol ‘New’. Name the action and continue with ‘Record’. Now import the author and copyright information as described before. When recording the process, the recording symbol lights up in red. When you are done entering the data, click ‘End recording’. The action can be repeated by clicking the Repeat button.

Now open ‘File | Automate | Create Droplet’. A droplet is a symbol that triggers a linked action as soon as the elements are dragged onto it. Select your created action and define a location for the droplet. For quick access, you can use the Windows desktop. In the dialog, activate the box ‘Include all subfolders’ and ‘Suppress colour profile warnings’.

CAUTION: If you select ‘Save and Close’, Photoshop overwrites the original files. The ‘Target Folder’ setting can be used to save them separately. You can drag only from a Windows Explorer window from an image folderto the droplet. All the contained photo files are then automatically processed with the saved steps.

3.Optimizing photos taken in difficult mixed light for Adobe Photoshop CS-CS4

Photos are not only insidious in interiors, but also in landscape shots. Photo sensors fi ght with the high dynamic range and also with the color temperature coordination due to diff erent light sources.
Often, this problem cannot be solved by processing a single image version. You can however develop two versions using image processing, which reproduce certain image areas optimally and combine these into one image.

DEVELOPING TWO VERSIONS: Coordinate color temperature for the different light sources with the RAW module and adjust exposure to the important image area. Then save the versions separately as TIF or JPEG.

STACKING IMAGES: Open the two versions and push one image onto the other using the mouse. Select both images in the layer pallet and click ‘Edit | Align layers automatically’ (from Photoshop CS3 onwards). In older versions, superimpose the images using the arrow keys.

MASKING AREAS: Select the upper layer and lay a mask over it by clicking the circle symbol. Activate the brush in black and set a large diameter with feather. Use it to paint over areas, which should not be there in the final image. The corrected colors will become visible.

FINISHING AT THE EDGES: You must proceed cautiously at hard edges, e.g. the bridge in the sample image. Reduce the brush size and increase the sharpness. Don’t worry if you have done too much masking at some points. Change the color in the toolbar to white and paint over the relevant areas. This works in both directions. Then combine all layers using ‘Layer | Flatten image’. You can now process the final version further. For instance, adjust the image size and re-sharpen using ‘Filter | Sharpen | Unsharp mask’. Now save the image in the desired format.

4.Optimum mood lighting through creative white balance (Tips for Photoshop CS 1.x–4.x)

Even with high quality cameras, the color reproduction in photographs does not conform to the colors of the scenery in your memory.
Unwanted color casts reduce the overall white balance. Our eyes adjust to diff erent lighting conditions, both in terms of intensity and color. Even automatic cameras have a chromatic adaptation. With automatic white balance, the gadget misses the color temperature of the ambient light and adjusts the colors in the photo accordingly. The function is not always satisfactory. Above all, many cameras have a hard time with artifi cial light and twilight.

SELECT RECORDING FORMAT: A mixture of technique, intuition and trial are required to achieve the best results. You have an optimum start position if you shoot simultaneously with RAW and JPEG format with automatic white balance. Therefore you don’t have to be concerned about the photograph; a greater part of the image is good and thanks to the RAW format, it gives the protographer freedom to adjust the white balance in important photographs later.

ANALYZE IMAGES: White balance cannot be accurate for every photo. Finally, there are some colors that are too warm, setting the mood for a candle-light dinner. Therefore, the technically right white balance isn’t always ideal.

ADJUST WHITE BALANCE: With the subsequent white balance, you have a creative tool with which you can make the color mood of the pictures intentionally unnatural. The medium of choice is the RAW converter. First, try all the default settings. The options ‘Light bulb’ or ‘Fluorescent tube’, for example, ensure signifi cant variation in mood lighting in daylight shots. ‘Artifi cial light’ ensures a blue coloration in sunset scenes. Distorted results often seem more interesting.

5.Make caricatures out of your own photos for Photoshop CS 2, 3, 4

The year is over and the birthday is just around the corner. You want to have your own party. The invitation that you have created on the PC should be equally enticing.
In addition to settings for tonal value corrections, poor horizons and depths/light dialogs, you can also use Photoshop to have fun and alienate pictures. An image with a right background is ideal for a start since it gives you a lot of freedom.

EDIT HEADS: Open the image and create the level ‘Body’. In the 100% view, select the head using the magnetic lasso. In the option bar, adjust the ‘Soft edge’ with a width of ‘1 px’. Use [Ctrl]+[X] to cut the head from the image and use [Ctrl]+[V] to paste it at a new level which is automatically created by the program. Use ‘Image | Transform | Free transformation’ to increase it to 200% and move and turn it into the position. Now activate ‘Filter | Distortion fi lter | Fuse’ and the ‘Blow up’ tool. The values for ‘Tool tip’ and ‘Tool pressure’ depend on the resolution, e.g. ‘30’ and ‘50’ would be right. They stand out with just a few clicks of the eyes.

FORMING WIDE SHOULDERS: Just like the head, now select the upper body in the ‘Body’ level. Cut and paste it back into the image using ‘Edit | Paste’. Photoshop creates a new level, which you rename as ‘Shirt’ in the level pallet. Now go to ‘Image | Transform | Distort’. Move the shirt to the suitable height, click one after the other at the upper corner of the selection, and pull it away from each other and upwards. Due to the distortion, the upper body looks blown up with superhero shoulders. You should also do a little trial and error with the settings till you have attained the desired result.

MAKE THE LEGS SHORTER: The photo becomes funny when you shorten the legs in the V form downwards. Use the distortion fi lter for this.

6.Enlarging picture details without any visible losses (Tips for Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3, CS4)

Today, a 12 megapixel resolution is almost standard; in spite of that, it can still be less, basically when you want to enlarge a small detail in the picture. Conventional enlargement techniques hamper the eff ect of the photo, which leads to loss in details in the photo.
At the latest when the resolution falls below 100 dpi (Dots per Inch, pixels per inch) because of upscaling the picture contents, it has a negative effect in print. It is not only the blur edges then, which spoil the joy of a large format print. You can get optimum quality even for bigger prints with a resolution of approximately 300 dpi. Detail enlargements are basically possible hundred times more. The achievable result naturally depends on the subject and its sharpness largely. The reason being that soft and unfocussed area look rather unpleasant in the enlargements.

ELIMINATING IMAGE NOISE: Scaling not only enlarges the desired image contents but also interfering artefacts. It is better if you try and eliminate them beforehand. First remove the image noise since the filter does no longer recognizes this as such later. For that, click ‘Filter | Noise Filter | Reduce noise’ (from CS3 onwards, ‘Noise | Reduce noise’ previously) and adjust the effect of the filter on your subject. However, proceed cautiously otherwise you will end up eliminating too many details. After this treatment, the photo looks a bit soft at first. Never mind, it can be sharpened later.

SPECIFYING THE DETAIL: Now specify the desired picture detail. Activate the ‘Crop’ tool for that; the fastest way to do it is by pressing the key [C] and drawing a frame. Adjust its size more accurately using the controls. Double-clicking the selection releases the area. If you want to set accurate dimensions, enter them in the field in the options bar. Important here: release the ‘Resolution’ field, otherwise Photoshop will integrate the missing pixels.

UPSCALING THE PICTURE: Now call up the ‘Image Size’ function with [Alt]+[Ctrl]+[I]. Activate ‘Re-apply image with’ and select ‘Bicubic smooth’. Enter the desired value in ‘Resolution’, e.g. ‘300 dpi’, and change the height and width if necessary. Clicking ‘OK’ executes the command.

RE-SHARPENING THE EDGES: The enlarged pictures looks relatively soft at first, basically at the contrast edges such as letterings. You must re-sharpen them at any cost and it is best if you do it with the ‘Unsharp Mask’ function, which is below the ‘Filter | Sharpen’ menu. In case of large format prints, you can easily sharpen more strongly. You can carry out a quick Before-After comparison by just clicking the preview picture once.

7.Emulating the Tilt-Shift effect in Photoshop

What some vacation pictures actually show is insignificant cant, but they still bring back memories. Therefore, some photos are meant to be kept even though they might not be amongst the best ones you’ve shot. Here’s a way to enhance them using Photoshop.
Photograph differently: While there are several ways to breathe life into ordinary photos, one of them is the tilt shift effect. This effect can be obtained using specific lenses with cameras, but they are rather expensive. The effect essentially focuses on a specific area in the frame, hence sharpening it, and blurs the rest of the frame while increasing the depth of field. Apart from using expensive tilt-shift lenses, the effect can be obtained using a reasonably priced Lens baby lens too. The best option to capture such scenes is to shoot them from a height.
Optimizing on a PC: The tilt-shift effect can be emulated in Photoshop by using the Gaussian Blur filter. Open the shot image in Photoshop, choose the Gaussian Blur filter from the menu and set the brush radius to ten pixels. Now use the selection tool and select an area (perhaps the center) that you think
should appear to be sharp. Rectangles or ellipses are suitable shapes to make a selection. From the options bar, click ‘Correct Edges’ and create a ‘Feather’ with 60-70 pixels. Now create a ‘Level’ adjustment layer and drag this under the ‘Unsharp Layer’. Increase the ‘Hue/ Saturation’ and Brightness/Contrast’ for the Unsharp layer to an extent such that the picture appears deliberately artificial. Now let’s add another vignette,
so go to Image | Canvas size and set the Height and Weight to 110 percent. Now let’s add an oval selection on a new layer, so select ‘Feather’ while having a 90 pixel brush. Here, clicking ‘Inverse’ will select the corners of the image. Fill these corners with black and reduce the opacity of the layer. Finally reduce the canvas size to 90 percent.


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    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks for all this great and in depth information on Photoshop, i myself use Photoshop Elements if i need special features that some freeware software may not have .


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