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  1. #1
    RIP :(
    Don Kuykendall's Avatar

    Photoshop Tips and Tricks

    We have a number of people here that are great at Photoshop so we need a place for people to share their wisdom with Photoshop. When you post your tips or tricks please note which version of Photoshop so others might see why it might be a little different on their version.

    Thanks


    › See More: Photoshop Tips and Tricks
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  2. #2
    RIP :(
    Don Kuykendall's Avatar

    Re: Photoshop Tips and Tricks

    Open you JPEG photos in Adobe Raw

    To set a preference so your JPEG or TIFF photos open directly into Camera Raw

    1. In Bridge, choose Edit/Adobe Bridge CS6 > Camera Raw Preferences.
    2. At the bottom of the dialog, from the JPEG menu, choose Automatically Open JPEGs with Settings, and from the TIFF menu, choose Automatically Open TIFFs with Settings, then click OK
    Thanks/Like Bill16, Blade Canyon, Epoc, WhiteLight Thanks/liked this post
     

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  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: Photoshop Tips and Tricks

    I'll join you. This is a very basic tip about adjustment layers, but I was ignorant of it for years. When I used to tweak pics in Photoshop, I would go to the Image menu, then pick adjustments, then tweak brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, color balance, levels, etc. This was all done on the image itself without making new layers. (Sometimes I might copy the background layer, just to keep it preserved in case my changes screwed it up too much.)

    I have used Photoshop for years, but never understood the value of adjustment layers and layer masks. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, many of the tweaks you might make on your pictures (levels, brightness/contrast, hue/saturation, color balance, etc.) can be done in individual layers. Those are called adjustment layers, and each adjustment layer has the added benefit of a layer mask that goes with it.

    To create an adjustment layer, go to the Layer menu, then choose New Adjustment Layer, then choose the specific tweak you want to make. Alternatively, if your layers window is open, just click on the white/black circle in the middle of the items on the bottom of the menu. It will give you a list of tweaks to choose from.

    Say you want your subject to have normal color saturation, but you want the background to be desaturated. I used to go through a laborious selection process so that an effect might affect only part of the image. With adjustment layers, however, you choose the hue/saturation adjustment layer, and that new layer appears with the hue/saturation control box open and ready. You reduce the saturation so the background looks right, then close the control box.

    Wait, your subject is also desaturated? Here's where the layer mask comes in. The layer mask is the all-white box on the same layer in the layer window. All parts on the mask that are white let the desaturation effect go through. Click on that white box, then get a paintbrush with soft edges and choose black as your color. Now start painting the black directly on your subject. If you have properly selected the layer mask, you will not see black painted on your subject. Instead, you will start to see the original saturation levels return to the places you are painting black. That's because the black paint is on the layer mask itself, and the black blocks the layer's effect. If you paint with lower opacity (shades of gray), you can control the amount of the effect you let through.

    One other great benefit of the layer mask is that if you overdo the effect, you can then go to that layer's properties and turn down the layer's opacity, thus reducing the effect over the entire picture.

    If you don't know about adjustment layers and layer masks, there are many videos on Youtube that show you how to use them. Much more info than I can put here, but it's the best new thing I've learned in PS in years.
    Last edited by Blade Canyon; 07-18-2013 at 01:08 AM.

  4. #4
    RIP :(
    Don Kuykendall's Avatar

    Re: Photoshop Tips and Tricks

    Thanks Blade Canyon,

    Up till recently I had been using CS5 and had never really delved into it and was only using a very small portion of what is available. I upgraded to CS6 recently and am trying to learn all I can. Moved to shooting in RAW only and the Adobe RAW editor is so much better. The shadow control is probably my second favorite control. My favorite is the Clarity control. It really gives many photos the Pop that I like. I have to be careful not to overdo it.
    I will be working on adjustment layers as soon as I get off here. One other question though. Do you flatten the layers at some point or just let the eventual JPEG save take care of that?
    Thanks/Like Bill16, frontline Thanks/liked this post
     

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  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Re: Photoshop Tips and Tricks

    You're right, the RAW editor is great, and you can fix clarity, shadows, and even add some minor vignetting while still in Adobe RAW. You can also fix the white balance in RAW, even on JPEGs, by opening the JPEGs from the Bridge into the Adobe RAW editor. (What you said in your second post... good tip!)

    That's a good point about whether to flatten or merge the layers. If I have a great image I might want to keep adjusting, I will save it as PSD file. That way it will re-open with all of those layers already set up for re-adjusting again. Otherwise, I choose "flatten image" from the Layers menu, then save it as a high-rez JPEG under a different name from the original file (so I still have the original file without adjustments).

    Some features (such as gaussian blur or the high pass filter, things often used for portrait touch ups) have to work on a layer that has the whole image. That means you might first make all your color/exposure/contrast/curves/levels/saturation adjustments in adjustment layers, but then choose "merge visible" or flatten image from the layers menu. You can also make the combined layer a "smart object." I have not discovered many benefits of the "smart object" option, but all of the Youtube tutorials seem to think it's the way to go.

    If you just want to save your work as a JPEG with no other work, PS will do it automatically if you pick "Save As" then JPEG in the File menu.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Instagram in Photoshop CS6 and CC

    If you like Instagram, I just found out they have the same kind of presets built into CS6 and CC (Creative Cloud) versions of Photoshop. Go to adjustment layer (as described before) and select the "Color Lookup" option. A box with three drop down text windows opens. Open the first drop down list, and you are presented with many different choices for film-type appearance. This is like all of the filter options that Instagram offers. Scroll down and test a bunch of them until you find one you like. For you old analog shooters, there are even options to make your image look like it was shot on specific types of Kodak and Fuji films.

    You can now lease the Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud without buying the program. The program is still loaded onto your computer, and you do not have to be online to use the program. You do have to log in to Adobe once per month with that PC to renew the monthly license. I'm paying $10 per month just for Photoshop because I had CS5, and $10 is the reduced monthly price for someone who was eligible for an upgrade.

    Alternatively, you can still find cheap old boxed versions of past Photoshop versions. For years I used only Photoshop 6, which has almost all of the regular editing tools.
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  7. #7
    RIP :(
    Don Kuykendall's Avatar

    Re: Instagram in Photoshop CS6 and CC

    Quote Originally Posted by Blade Canyon View Post

    Alternatively, you can still find cheap old boxed versions of past Photoshop versions. For years I used only Photoshop 6, which has almost all of the regular editing tools.
    CS6 is the New current version. This is the one I have.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Re: Photoshop Tips and Tricks

    Don, I saw you mention "focus stacking" in another thread. Can you explain how to do it here?

  9. #9
    RIP :(
    Don Kuykendall's Avatar

    Re: Photoshop Tips and Tricks

    Here is a pretty good guide to getting started in Focus stacking

    Stack Focus in Photoshop for High Depth of Field from Adorama Learning Center
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
    WeeHector's Avatar

    Re: Photoshop Tips and Tricks

    I came across a handy tip a few years ago which can work wonders for those working with lo-res images. Trying to sharpen images using the sharp filters merely increases noise, which is immediately visible when zooming in. "Sharpen more" makes the image unusable.

    So how do you tweak that photo that has fuzzy edges? Strange as it may appear, you do it by using the "smart blur" filter.
    Apply the smart blur to your image keeping the radius at 3px. Then, in the Edit menu, click on "Fade Smart Blur" and change the mode to "Colour". This can be repeated several times and makes a noticeable difference without increasing noise.

    As with most filters in PS, changes are most apparent in lo-res images. I don't know how many times it would be necessary with hi-res as each passage will have a very subtle effect. This can be used with all recent versions of PS (I believe I used it in 5.5 which was bundled with a scanner I bought).
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