Category Archives: Digital Editing Tips

A variety of editing tips for the software programs Adobe Photoshop, Bridge, or Camera RAW

Prepare the portrait image for editing in Photoshop

Once you have chosen the image to use and edit for the final work, open the document in CAMERA RAW from ADOBE BRIDGE by going to the file menu and open in camera raw:

Once in Camera Raw, go to the information dialog link at the bottom of the page to make some changes to the images for editing in Photoshop (it is the text information in blue text and underlined):

In the workflow dialog box, change the bit depth from 8 bits/channel to 16 bits/channel. This will double the amount of information for better editing, but understand that it also doubles the file size of your work:

Once you have made these changes, you can start your editing in Camera Raw, and then proceed to open the document in Adobe Photoshop.

Once the image is open in Photoshop, you first want to crop your image. Using the crop tool and in the drop drop dialog for crop sizes, choose the 5” by 7” 300 inches/pixel preset and make your crop:

Drag the crop tool out or into the image for your selection and press return for your final crop before starting to edit your portrait:


High Dynamic Range (HDR)

High Dynamic Range is a method that incorporates multiple images of the same scene with different exposure settings to capture a greater dynamic range between each image into one enhanced overall image. HDR images can represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, from direct sunlight to deep shadowed areas.

A tripod is required to capture a HDR image. You can allow your camera to take a overall exposure reading of the scene for the first picture. Then you take a picture using a +2 setting on your exposure compensation and take a third image using a -2 setting on your exposure compensation dial. By doing this you are capturing a picture to compensate for the bright areas in the picture, as well as, the dark areas in the picture. This will allow finer detail in both areas.

After you have capture the images, select the pictures in Adobe Bridge by selecting each image by clicking and pressing the SHIFT key:

Next, go to the TOOLS menu and select Photoshop>Merge to HDR Pro:

This will take you into the HDR PRO dialog box. Make sure that Remove ghosts is selected. Once you make this choice you have the option to chose one of the images in the thumbnails below as the base image for this process, as well as, the overall exposure settings to be used. Remove ghosts adjusts any type of movement that has taken place inside the images. Choose the best image of the three as your base image. Local adaptation should also be chosen since it provides you with the most control in making decisions. 16 bits is the best option, and then choose one of the presets to start your editing. Photorealistic is usually the best starting option. You can then use the edge glow, tone and detail and the advanced features to fine tune the image.

Once you have made your selections, HDR Pro works its magic and processes each of the images together to a final refined image. If needed, you can continue your editing through further layers such as dodging and burning, high pass sharpening, and any of the adjustment layers.

The final document size  should be 300 pixel/inch and the largest dimension should not exceed 16 INCHES.

Panoramic Photograph

The panoramic photograph captures a wide, or tall, vista of a scene. In order to capture this scene a number of photographs need to be captured and then stitched together for the final image.

It is ideal that a tripod is used when capturing the images, but hand holding the camera also works. When capturing a series of images be sure to photograph each image with about 20% of the next image overlapping the previous one. In addition, if you are capturing a landscape scene position your camera in a portrait format so that you have a larger area of capture from top to bottom since a percentage of the image will need to be cropped in the end.

Be sure that each frame taken has the same exposure settings as the last. If the exposure settings change, then the images will not match up. To ensure that this works correctly, you can take the first picture in program mode (the camera chooses the best exposure) and then switch your mode to manual and adjust the settings to the program mode settings. This will prevent any change to the camera settings.

After you capture your series of images view your images in Adobe Bridge and select each of the images by click + SHIFT to have each of them highlighted:

Next, go to the TOOLS menu select Photoshop>Photomerge:

Once you select this option you will then let Photoshop do its work. Photoshop does a really good job analyzing the images and ordering them, so select the AUTO option. In addition, select the GEOMETRIC DISTORTION CORRECTION option to provide building to be more vertically and horizontally aligned:

Photoshop with then place each image in its own layer with a layer mask to align each image together in a photomerge:

You will need to crop areas of the document that does not reveal the image. Select the CROP tool and be sure that the UNCONSTRAINED option is selected and the DELETE CROPPED PIXELS is NOT selected:

These options will allow you to select any part of the final image without constraint and after you make the selection, the cropped areas will remain in the document in case you need to retrieve them in the future:

You can then provide some overall adjustments such as levels and brightness and curves to the image as long as they are at the top most layers:

Next you want to adjust the size of your image. Go to the IMAGE menu and select IMAGE SIZE:

In the image size dialog box un-select the RESAMPLE IMAGE box and change the resolution to 300Pixel/Inch:

Then select the Resample Image box and change the longer dimension to a size no longer than 22 INCHES:

Once this has been selected, save this document for your records. It will have all the layers and be a large size file and will be a saved as a photoshop document. This document is for you to go back in the future to make any further enhancements/edits.

The image that you want to submit for printing will need to be flattened.

To flatten the image go to the IMAGE menu and the FLATTEN IMAGE command.

This document will then be saved as a .jpg and this will be the document to submit into the drop box for me to print.

Be sure to save a final document SAVED FOR WEB for your blog post.

Composite Portrait

This project you are capturing multiple pictures of a person in a scene in various positions. You will need a tripod for this to work. Identify a location and set up your camera on a tripod. Set your camera on the program mode to capture a picture with a good exposure and focus in the space. After you have determined a good exposure with the aperture and shutter speed, set your camera on manual mode and set your camera to those settings. This will prevent your camera from changing the exposure to your scene.

Next, take multiple pictures of your model in different places in the scene. Be sure not to move the camera, or objects in the room.

After you have captured the images, save them into your master folder and create a new folder labeled ‘composite portrait’. In Adobe Bridge highlight the images you want to use for the composite by clicking the first image and then shift + clicking on the last image. Then go to the TOOL menu and select Photoshop> Load files into Photoshop Layers:

This will open a new document in Photoshop and add each image as a layer in the file:

Next, you want to create a layer mask for each layer above the bottom layer by clicking on the layer and selecting the mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel (looks like a rectangle enclosed over a circle next the the ‘fx’):

At the top most most layer you want to click on the layer mask so that it is selected and using your BRUSH tool using black, paint away the person in the picture:

The area of the mask painted will turn black

Once you painted away the figure, you want to then invert the mask layer. Press the COMMAND + I key to invert the mask to reveal the figure again:

You will want to repeat this step with each of the subsequent layers to reveal the figure:

Make sure that you use your ZOOM tool to get in close to ensure that each layer has the figure fully visible in the picture.

Save the file into your ‘composite portrait’ folder as a photoshop document with all the layers. Next, you want to flatten the layers by going to the LAYERS menu and selecting FLATTEN IMAGE:

You can make further adjustments to the image by any of the techniques previously shown this semester.

Check to see your document size by going to the IMAGE menu and select IMAGE SIZE:

The document size should not exceed 16 inches in its largest dimension:

This document is 16 inches by 10.6 inches, so it is acceptable for printing. Save the document as a jpg and submit it into the drop box as “compositeportrait_yourname”.

Save another web version to upload as a blog posting.

Content Aware and Healing Brush Tool

The CONTENT AWARE TOOL allows you to move objects in your image with relative ease. I would like to move the horse in the foreground closer to the middle of the picture:

I will select the CONTENT AWARE TOOL from the tool box:

In the tool options dialog make sure that MOVE is chosen and well as Adaptation to Very Strict:

Make a generous selection to the object you want to move:

Next, move your object where you want it to go. After you have moved the object and it has not made a good enough transformation, you may want to revise the size of your selection. You can also use additional tools to clean up picture parts:

In this case, I can use the HEALING BRUSH TOOL to clean up residual areas of where the object previously was:

Select an area that is desirable by pressing the OPTION key (you will see crosshair diagram) and then click on the areas that you want to fix and Photoshop will fix those areas: