Using Photoshop Adjustment Layers
Get more flexibility and control when you use these specialized Photoshop layers to apply image enhancements
Of all the tips and techniques that I cover when presenting or teaching, I'm most adamant about the value of Adjustment Layers. Next to the invention of the layer itself, Adjustment Layers arguably represent Photoshop's best feature for retouching.
Optimize RAW files twice—once for highlights and once for shadows—for a better tonal range
One of the big challenges of photography has always been how to best capture the tonalities and brightness of the real world. Every film, every sensor (and its processor) will interpret it slightly differently.
Trade Tricks: Black-And-White From Color
Shoot in color first for the best B&W image
Black-and-white photography still mostly comes from black-and-white film, and remains a viable, challenging way to photograph. For best results in the computer, scan from the black-and-white or color negative; then, depending on how your scanner works, remove the color in your image-processing program. You also can shoot black-and-white directly with many digital cameras.
Trade Tricks: Getting It Straight
Correcting distortion of architecture in the computer
Photographers know that wide-angle lenses sometimes cause distortion. Straight lines appear curved, especially if they're close to the edges of the frame. Sometimes, the effect is desirable, and other times, it's not.
Bordering On The Edge
Enhance your images using mattes and borders
Creating a print is the ultimate goal for a photographer. From the moment the shutter is released, it's the image on paper that each photographer likely has in mind when the scene is captured on the camera's CCD or film. Yet the creativity involved in making the image in-camera doesn't have to end when it comes time to output that final photograph.
The Critical Adjustment: Levels & Black
When the darkest and brightest parts of a photo are adjusted properly, the image will look and print better
Despite the special features of today's digital cameras, many photographers have found the results from camera to print disappointing. Certainly, it's essential to calibrate your monitor and run tests with your printer, but that's not enough if the blacks of a photo aren't set correctly. I've seen poor prints from photographers puzzled by the fact that they did all the necessary calibration and "matched" the monitor, and still had lackluster results. I've even been surprised to find this problem from top pros who are now shooting with digital cameras.
Trade Tricks: Layer Masks
Gain more control over your photos with this key image-processing tool
While they're not particularly intuitive and may discourage photographers who could benefit from using them, Layer Masks are an essential tool when working in an image-processing program. As you'll see, they're worth the effort required to learn them.
The Power Of JPEG
Capture outstanding photos from JPEG-saved images by following these shooting guidelines
The two primary shooting formats for digital cameras are JPEG and RAW. JPEG is a file compression format that offers superb image quality when used correctly, while RAW is an excellent format for photographers who either need it or like working with it, but it isn't for everyone.
Trade Tricks: Replacing Backgrounds
Three easy steps to save or enhance your portraits
Do you have a portrait of a subject who looks lovely, but is ruined by a busy and unappealing background? Consider performing some simple tricks in the computer to help it out. Replacing the background can introduce a new feel or mood and save a photograph that might otherwise be headed straight for the trash bin.
10 tips to help you get going quickly in using Photoshop and Photoshop Elements
If asked to list the most intimidating parts of digital photography, a large number of photographers would include Adobe Photoshop. Without question, it's the premiere image-processing software on the market, but its high price matches its learning curve. The good news about Photoshop is that it has a huge number of controls; the bad news about Photoshop is that it has a huge number of controls.
A Classic Method Goes Digital
Easy ways to achieve beautiful digital black-and-white prints
Classic—the personification of black-and-white images. Weaving that classic look of black-and-white printing into the digital realm is easier than ever today. Software has a range of effects that enables greater control over your images in a way that traditional black-and-white film printing never could. In addition, plug-ins, specialized inks and papers are available that, when combined, produce beautiful high-quality prints with smooth tonal transitions, depth and detail.