category_outlined / Photography
Photo EditingPhoto Editing

Photo Editing

Photo Editing 1st Edition

Easy to follow advice on the basics of fixing and optimising your photos, from resizing and cropping through to brightness, contrast, layers, colour adjustments, B&W, and how to prepare your best images for high-quality prints. This handy guide explains how all image editors provide a workspace with menu bars and toolbars for accessing the adjustments. Although their layout may be a little different, in essence most of them operate similarly and are easy to use. Photo Editing shows you the best ways to adjust and optimise your photos, including how to resize, crop, retouch, convert to monochrome, fix contrast, brightness, colour, use layers, filters, and effects. This guide shows you how to take control of the many ways to improve and perfect your photos.

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access_time8 min.
chapter 1 getting started

We’ll begin this guide with a look at the basic equipment and software you need for editing and printing digital images, focusing on still pictures (not movie clips, which have different requirements). The tools you need will vary, depending on what you want to do with your photos:• Are you aiming to make large, high-quality prints for framing or display?• Do you simply want to correct minor flaws to improve the way your photos look on social media?• Are you interested in special effects?Once these decisions are made, you’ll need a computer, monitor, pointing device, and one or more output devices. You’ll also need editing software that is appropriate to the hardware you’re using and the ways you plan to output your images for viewing and sharing.In this chapter, we’ll…

access_time5 min.
chapter 2 the editing toolbox

All image editors provide a workspace with menu bars and toolbars for accessing all the adjustments. Although their layout may be a little different and some tools can be grouped differently in different submenus, in essence most of the tools will do similar things.More powerful programs will provide more tools than simpler programs like Google Photos. Entry-level software is more likely to automate a lot of functions, which can restrict what you do with some tools. For this reason, we are using the more powerful applications for our demonstrations.The Menu BarThe menu bar contains settings that enable you to open image files, change the size and orientation of images, alter colour, contrast and saturation and work with layers and selections. It also provides access to both special effects filters and…

access_time2 min.
what if you make a mistake?

Sometimes you find the adjustment you just made didn’t achieve the desired end result. That shouldn’t be a problem as almost all editors allow you to undo changes and some provide a wide range of options for ‘fading’ the intensity of adjustments.If you simply want to reduce the impact of the adjustment without totally removing it, clicking on Fade in the Edit sub-menu opens a slider that lets you move between 100% and no adjustment. This gives users a high degree of control over the strength of adjustments.The top item in Photoshop’s Edit sub-menu is the Undo tool, which identifies the last action and lets you step back to the state of the image before it. Clicking on Step Backward achieves this objective with one click.The History palette allows you…

access_time5 min.
chapter 3 resizing and cropping

Resizing and cropping are two of the most basic image editing functions. Both require careful consideration as they can affect image quality. Resizing changes the dimensions of the image, which usually affects the file size (and, thereby, image quality). Cropping always involves cutting away part of the original image and results in some of the pixels being discarded.ResizingThere are plenty of reasons to resize images, the most common being reducing the size of large files to make them easier to email or share online. Many cameras can do this in-camera but it’s easy to accomplish with basic image editors and there are plenty to be found via a web search. Before you use them on your own photos it’s important to understand what is involved because resizing requires a great…

access_time1 min.
rotating images

Most editors will identify images that were taken vertically (in ‘portrait’ orientation) and display them correctly in the editing workspace. For those that don’t – and at other times when you want to change the orientation of a photo – there can be several ways to change an image’s orientation, both subtly and radically.The simplest way is to select the Image Rotation tool shown in the screen grab above, which is taken from Photoshop. Choosing the 180o option flips the image upsidedown, while flipping the canvas provides a mirror image of the original. Selecting the Arbitrary mode lets you rotate the image by small increments.Another way to rotate an image is to click on Select>All and then swap to the Edit menu and choose Transform to open a sub-menu containing…

access_time4 min.
chapter 4 working with layers

Adjustment layers are among the most useful editing functions, partly because they enable you to edit non-destructively but also because you can use the Layers function to select part of an image and work on it without affecting the remainder of the image. The best way to visualise layers is as transparent overlays upon which specific effects are applied.Creating layersWhen you open an image file it becomes the Background layer. To open a new adjustment layer, select Layer from the top menu bar and click on either Layer or New Adjustment Layer in the dropdown menu.New Adjustment Layer is used when you know precisely which action you will carry out. It saves time by opening the appropriate dialog box for the action selected. Clicking on Layer means you must select…