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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Essential Techniques for Working with Photoshop CS2

Photoshop CS2 is the industry standard for state of the art image design.

In this article, you'll find the essentials to get you started, but it's good to be aware that they are only the tip of the iceberg of this powerful juggernaut called Photoshop.

Longstanding art and photo composition rules employ the "Rule of Thirds" for cropping a picture or filling the frame with the subject, depending on which is more appropriate.

Filling the frame with the subject is self-explanatory and easy to do. Using the "Crop" tool icon, found in your Tool bar, click and drag down diagonally, then release and adjust the crop tool's "handles" to choose the exact image you want, then right-click and click "Crop," or double click inside the image.

To use the "Rule of Thirds," visualize a grid over the image with 9 perfect squares, three by three.

Crop the image so that the primary focus rests at one of the intersections on the grid, outside of dead center.

It's important that the resolution of your image is correct for its designated use. If it will be published on the Web, the image should be at 72 pixels per inch (ppi). But if the photo will be printed, you'll need a resolution of at least 300 ppi.

To enter the desired resolution, choose "Image," then "Image Size." You can then type the correct number in the resolution box.

A great favorite feature in Photoshop is its "Variations" options. Click on "Image" and then click "Adjustments." Choose "Variations, at the bottom of the list and select the one you like best.

Photoshop's retouching tool options are virtually infinite. The novice should first master all the tools in the Tool bar. Lurking behind each icon are a number of hidden options to choose from, so experiment with those, too.

The "Healing Brush" and the "Clone Stamp Tool" in your Tools bar are good places to start when you're ready to repair and retouch.

Work in a large magnification, choosing the area you want to copy as a template by holding down your ALT key. With a little practice, you can make any portrait look perfect.

The easiest way to straighten a picture is with the Crop tool. When you make a Crop shield with it, then hover over a corner, two arros appear.

By clicking and holding the mouse, you can easily rotate the image to be straight. You can use this method to rotate the entire photo as well, but you will have to double-crop it, since you'll lose information the first time.

Under "Filter," then "Sharpen," you will find a handy device called "Sharpen Edges." This is the fastest tool for correctly sharpening up an image in Photoshop.

Have fun mastering the basics. Once you do, that's when the real fun begins!

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