Thursday, April 15, 2010

Photo Thursdays- The Photoshop Basics

I have gotten a lot of requests for a tutorial for some of the photoshop basics. So, here it is. These are the things that should be among the first that you learn about photoshop.

The first thing we are going to talk about changing, is the lighting in a picture. Open your photo and then open levels. (Go to image/adjustments/layers or Crtl-L) The layers box will look like the one below.
There are three little triangles at the bottom of the histogram. The one on the far right, brings more highlights into your photo. If you pull it to the left, it will add more, as in the picture below. It brightens all the light areas.
The middle one does your midtones. A lot of times when you have a dark picture, this is where to start but be careful, this can also make your pictures look flat (like they don't have enough contrast). Pulling to the left, brightens the mids and to the right, darkens.
The far left one darkens the shadows. As in the photo below.
There is a drop down menu on in your levels box at the very top. It usually says RGB but you can change it to say an individual color. This gives you the ability to add a certain color or take away a certain color from a photograph. For instance, I have red selected in the photograph below.
and now green. This feature is really helpful if your pictures have a lot of blue/red or any other particular color in them.
Another basic feature is to change the hue/saturation levels in your photo. (Go to image/adjustments/ hue/saturation.) Saturation allows you to change how much or how little color is in your photos. In the photo below, I upped the saturation so the colors are extremely vibrant.
In the photo below, I changed the colors of the photo by playing with the Hue slider.
and this is what it looks like when you take the saturation bar the other way. Your photo goes black and white.
Another extremely important basic is controlling the brightness/contrast. (Go to image/adjustments/ brightness/contrast.) By sliding the brightness slider to the right you make your photo brighter (as in the photo below) and by sliding it to the left you darken it.
With the contrast slider, you can add contrast or take it away. This allows you to put contrast into photos that feel flat. (right=more contrast, left=less contrast)
Every photo is different, so in order to figure out exactly how to fix your photo, you are going to have to devout yourself to a little bit of playing around.

Any more questions? E-mail me at debrajoyhawkins @
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