In this article, you will find the basic steps for acquiring, retouching and resizing images in Photoshop. The information applies to photos destined for printing as well as for Web images. All instructions are intended for maneuvering inside Photoshop CS.
To begin, open your Photoshop program, then hold down Ctrl-Alt-Shift in Windows or Command-Option-Shift for Mac OS. This restores the default preferences. Click on "Yes," which resets, and then close the screen.
Open an image file inside Photoshop, then make a duplicate layer to work on. This is one of the best habits you can develop for working with Photoshop; once you're used to editing only on a copy of the original, you will see that it's easy and worth it.
Select the "Crop" tool icon from your Tools bar, then drag it downward diagonally from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner. Release the mouse and then use it to manipulate the image size with the crop "handles." Hit "Enter" or "Return."
Go to "Image" in your top menu, then choose "Image Size." Enter the dimensions you need and hit OK. (You can radically change the outer shape of the image by unclicking "Constrain Proportions" at the bottom of the page and entering
different dimensions, then clicking OK.)
The "Auto" resolution button on the right of your Image Size dialog box will resize your image to small, medium and larger sizes. Under "Document Size" in your Image Size box, you'll see a place to enter the desired resolution. For the Web, normal resolutions will be 72 pixels per inch.
For print work, the resolution should be at least 300 ppi. When you increase the resolution, you increase the image size, and may need to resize it, but the resolution will stay the same.
Go into your Image > Adjustments menu and try using the automatic presets there: Auto Levels, Auto Contrast, Auto Color and/or Variations. This last option is especially fast and flexible, offering fine-tuning for shadows, midtones and
highlights as well as saturation.
Click Image, then Levels in your top menu. You will see a Channel box on top with a pull-down arrow that exposes options for red, green or blue. You can affect the color
cast of an image inside this level box by clicking on that color and moving the slider bars. Watch the image as you make the changes.
>From your top menu, click "Filter," then "Sharpen." Normally, the "Sharpen Edges" function, judiciously applied, will be all you need to bring clarity to your photo.
There is an unlimited cornucopia of enhancement options for the well-versed Photoshop user. The very basic steps above will get you started.
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