Digital Processing

I use iPhoto to organize my photos currently, although I am in the process of learning Aperture and may switch soon.

I use Photoshop CS5 (recently upgraded from CS4) to process my photos. I typically do minimal processing, primarily cropping and straightening. Sometimes, a photo also needs sharpening, and to add contrast I use the Auto Tone and Auto Contrast (great new tools in CS5) as well as Levels and Curves.

Favorite Photoshop Tips

  • The feature of photoshop I use most frequently to edit photos that have exposure problems is the layer mask tool. If a photo is overexposed or underexposed in one area, I can sometimes save an otherwise poor photo by copying the image to a new layer, adjusting the exposure and then using a layer mask to "paint in" the adjusted image only into the areas which needed brightening, thus combining the original image with part of the adjusted image for an overall improvement.
  • Photoshop CS has an excellent file browser built into the application. You can access it from the File menu or by pressing Apple(Cmd)-Shift-O. It can do all a regular functions Finder does and much more.
  • The fastest and most convenient way to cycle through all the options without touching the drop down menu is by pressing Shift-Alt and + or -. To instantly jump back to normal I'd press Shift-Alt-N (Shift-Option-N). This way I can focus on the image and pay no attention to the drop down menu.
  • When you drag a guide and want to change it from horizontal to vertical or vice versa you can press the Option key (Windows= Start/Alt Option) to alternate between them.

Wanna know how to create a high contrast and sharp image using Smart Objectsmake 3-d wallpaper? (curtesy of the Photoshop Roadmap)

Original Image

Processed Image

  1. Double-click on the “Background” layer to make it editable.
  2. Convert it to a smart object: Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to smart Object
  3. The shadow highlight adjustment isn’t a filter, but it acts like a smart filter and can be applied non-destructive. Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlights
  4. Click the show more options.
  5. Move the amount Slider to 100% percent in the shadows and highlights. This will bring all the detail in the image.
  6. Adjust the Tonal with in the shadow to 8% and in the highlights to 33%. The total with adjust how exaggerated the effect will appear.
  7. Color correction saturates or desaturates the image.
  8. In the adjustment section increase the Midtone to 16%