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First steps in Photoshop for beginners



I put here a link from the website of Michael Reichmann called "Luminous Landscape".

This is one of the best websites I know on the internet about photography. He has written some very interesting articles about how to use photoshop.

Here is the first one for beginners:

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The luminous landscape has a new website. Therefore some of the links are not valid anymore.

Here is the new one for the article photoshop fo beginners:

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I us a canonscan 2700F to scan into photo shop and some times when I have to manipulate brightness and contrast much I end up with visable scan artifacts in the out of focus plain areas of the image. When I scan I use 2700 dpi with out re-sizeing, I then process this image in photo shop I then send this to the epson printer software which re-sizes this image to correct size for printing. Now for the question am I doing this correctly or should I use the twain software to re-size, or re-size in photo shop.
Any assistance with this would be very welcome thanks.



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I recently purchased a book for photoshop that I fell in love with. It takes the perspective of the photographer, looks at the task that the photographer wants to do and leads them step by step in photoshop on how to accomplish it. "The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby (Author)". The book makes many corrections easy to understand. Just thought I would share information that I found useful. ~ Scott


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Here is my frustration with digital photography.

''For landscaps, the digital workflow is easier.

The digital workflow of portraits could be more difficult. I find the colour balance of the skin could be tricky. I had experience of adjusting the colour for two hours in one shoot, in the end I was still not as happy as if I were shooting film. There is still in many occasion that I find the digital image of portraits less natural or having an artificial look. Digital processing still fails to normalize this problem, or at least no matter how hard I tried.''

The way I do this is by using Photoshop elements. I first adjust the brightness and contrast. This part is easy and I have no problem.

Then I will go to colour variation where I can add or subtract red, blue or green. It has also three area where I can choose, midtones,highlights or shadows. This bit is the area I find most tricky and most demanding. I have to decide where to add or subtract red, blue or green.

While I am doing this change of red, blue or green. I first look at the computer monitor for change I made on the image and I print it out. I discovered that the colour on the monitor very often do not agree with the colour of the print image. I find out it is actually more accurate if I print the image and look at the printed image for changes rather than the image of the monitor. Sometimes I have to make more than 10 prints in order to get the colour right.

I do find the colour balance of the human face very tricky. There is still plenty of room for me to improve or for the technology to improve.

I am happy to stay with film, part of the reason because I have not get hold of the technique to get the colour balance right.

Is there an easier way to do this other than my way ?


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You appear to be doing a lot of expensive trial and error routines with your printing. What you really need to do first is calibrate your monitor/printer setup by using either the cheap method, Adobe Gamma which is included with Photoshop, or spending a bit of money and getting a screen calibration device from the likes of:

1. Colorvison
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2. GretagMacbeth
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3. Monaco
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Here is a link to a site that goes through this process. I have no dealings with any of these people above or below but include them as a guide.

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I'm sure that there will be a lot more, and better answers for you coming soon.




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Wang (is that the right name?)

Since you are working in a closed loop, and not dealing with outside labs or printing for magazines, you can set it all up to get the match prints dead on the money to your screen.

Select Adobe RGB as your color space for everything. Tune your monitor so the photo looks perfect. Best to use one of the calibration tools mentioned above. (I just use the one for Mac OSX because I couldn't get it better with a third party calibration tool). When prompted select that calibration to be the default, date it or name it, and add it to all the Color Profile choices.

Now, with an image open in Photoshop go to > View > Proof Set Up > Custom. The entire list of color profiles will appear. Scroll to the calibration you just saved and select it.

Then, to be sure, go to PS Menu item > Edit > scroll to Convert to Profile > and the same color profile list will appear > select your saved calibration.

Now correct your photo.

When you send to the printer, make sure that the "colors selected by Photoshop" is selected. And make sure the monitor profile is selected as the Proof choice.

That way everything is singing off the same song sheet.



Another thing I do when I want to look for good color balance is to use white balance adjustments rather than individual RGB adjustments. This provides you with a more natural alternative by changing all three in a way that's more akin to the way color changes in life.


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Are you shooting RAW files? And, have you considered upgrading to PSCS2? The Adobe RAW Converter is miles ahead of all previous versions. While balance can be done in RAW conversion and then applied to all similar shots in a matter of seconds... especially valuable when shooting a series of portraits.


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Thank you for all these advices.

I will go ahead with these suggestions. Before I feel successsful with digital, I am happy with film.

I shoot with JPEG at work. The important thing in my work is the 3D rendition of human face. What we look at is actually eyebags or wrinkles. It is important to see the difference between hollow and prominent features. Does these features show up better with using RAW ?

I certainly find in the older days when we are using film for my work, the film prints have better 3D character in the human face than JPEG prints.


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For those using R1, shoot it with Adobe RGB rather than sRGB or VIVID.

For scanners, always scan it to give the file in Adobe RGB colour space.

For the monitor, I calibrate it to Adobe RGB rather than Adobe RGB D65 WP 2.2...

For Photoshop CS2, I always open the file with Adobe RGB which is the one comes with the file.

For my printer, I also set it to Adobe RGB colour space.

I think this is the easiest way, does everyone agree ? In fact, this is what Marc said in his earlier posting.


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Sounds good except one thing. In order to take all colours your transparency able to produce, use
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while scanning. Archive this tiff, then do all corrections you need and after that convert to Adobe RGB or sRGB for printer.


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The way to get more out of your scans and digital camera files is to use 16 bit. Select it when scanning, and select it in Adobe RAW Converter.

Using a custom profile is a matter of personal taste. I find Joe's use of his Ektaspace to result in artificial colors depicting natural scenes. However, others may find it to their liking.


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Good, I was trying to fit the Ektaspace into my 5400 II drive but I am having trouble.

Perhaps the easiest way is to keep on with Adobe RGB with everything.

Ya, I am dealing with 16 bits as well.