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Teach Yourself Image Editing

Teach Yourself Image Editing

Post-processing is often an afterthought, especially for new photographers. However, it’s an essential part of the image-making process and time should always be allocated to it. Even at the most basic level, images that have been shot by a DSLR need to be sharpened a touch if the DSLR has an anti-aliasing filter. Image processing software also helps with the organisation and archiving of digital images. Teach Yourself Image Editing is packed with in-depth and informative tutorials that will take you through both Lightroom and Photoshop essentials. We’ll also briefly look at other editing programs, plug-ins and common editing mistakes. Once you’ve mastered the basics of Lightroom and Photoshop, delve into the more advanced feature on retouching for polishing your images to perfection, and discover how to perfect your own unique editing style.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd

in this issue

20 min
introduction to image editing

Image editing, in regards to photography, is the process of manipulating a photograph visually in order to change or improve the appearance. In analogue photography this would be done in a darkroom where the photographer could adjust exposure, alter dark and light areas and retouch small sections of the image before fully developing the photograph. In the digital world this is more easily done nondestructively, as you are able to keep the original image intact, and even undo processing steps. The principal variables you might control during image editing are as follows: size, shape and orientation; exposure across all tonal values; vibrancy of colour, or specific colours; sharpness; correction distortions associated with optical errors, such as chromatic aberration and vignetting; and other special effects. Image-editing software is now affordable for most…

17 min
10 essential editing techniques

We often talk about ‘essential’ techniques in the context of both taking photographs and then processing them in software. For even the most experienced digital photographer however, this term can seem a little opaque, with a level of uncertainty about what exactly constitutes essential in this case. While there is a great degree of personal judgement involved in deciding what shooting and processing actions are required for an image, there are some ‘tricks of the trade’ that must be employed in order to create the quality of images demanded by the world today. These cover the key elements of a successful image – correct exposure, balanced colour for a natural appearance and critical sharpness where it is most needed, such the eyes in a portrait. Other staple processing steps in…

2 min
work with raw

It is generally accepted that a RAW workflow should be the choice of most professional photographers. Unless there is a specific reason for choosing JPEG as a file format, such as maximising memory card space and buffer capacity, RAW files offer far greater flexibility. There is still some confusion amongst photographers surrounding the actual advantages offered by RAW, however. Unlike JPEGs or even TIFF files, RAW images contain all of the data captured by the imaging sensor, including full colour information. This allows changes to be made to white balance at any time and in a manner that is similar to in-camera colour temperature selection. The true benefit is that of future-proofing – any adjustments made can be revisited and altered indefinitely, without loss of image quality and risk of…

1 min
when to use photoshop

With as many colour and tonal changes made to your RAW files as possible, most images will have to be brought into Photoshop, in order for the finishing touches to be added. As accomplished as many RAW converters have become, they do not feature the vast range of retouching tools found in Photoshop and so are unsuitable for high-end work in this area. The following techniques make use of the most dynamic components of the program, layers and brushes, which cannot be currently supported in Camera Raw, Lightroom or Capture. These allow complex modifications to be made very precisely, on a highly local basis – brushes in ACR work in a similar way to Photoshop brushes, but offer nowhere near the same level of sophisticated control. There is also the…

4 min
the lightroom workspace

Photoshop Lightroom combines the professional raw-processing tools in the more expensive Photoshop CC with the asset-organising powers of the cheaper Photoshop Elements. It also has plenty of unique photo-fixing and organising tools of its own, as you’ll discover while working through this book. One of the biggest challenges that we face as digital photographers is managing our collections of images. Lightroom enables you to take the tedium out of asset management. It provides easy ways to add keywords to batches of files as you import them from a memory card, so you can find specific images more quickly in the future. We’ll look at Lightroom’s asset management functions in more detail later. You may be dealing with thousands of images that are scattered across folders on your PC as well as on…

2 min
import your photos into lightroom

1 Choose a source Lightroom collects files from a variety of sources and displays them in its Catalog. After launching Lightroom, click the Import button at the bottom-left of the interface (or choose File>Import Photos and Video from the main menu.) An import window will appear. In the Source section, browse the files and folders and choose a source such as a memory card, your camera if it’s plugged in, or a folder of photos on an internal or external hard drive. 2 Check or uncheck? The assets in the selected source folder or memory card will appear as thumbnails. Use the slider to increase the thumbnail size for a closer look. All the files are checked automatically. You can tick Uncheck All and then manually check the thumbnails of all the photos…