Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

  1. #1

    Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Hey guys, Don't chastise me, but I'll make this my "Welcome Thread." I've been on and off with photography and videography thanks to my father's former side business. However, Last year I began to take photography a lot more seriously, and was experimenting with my father Nikkormat. half a year later, I bought the Canon XTi and love it, however I've never worked in a darkroom, and my PS skills are limited, since I've just started to use the app.

    It would be great if anyone is willing to give me some pointers (they can be general) as what to do/look out for in editing in PS. Here's just a few, shots I've messed around with using the levels, curves and brightness/contrast adjustment layers.

    Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Hi KicknGuitar,

    Welcome to the forums

    It looks to me like you're off to a pretty good start. After a while you'll probably slip into your own routine for processing images (your "workflow") - I would tell you how I approach my work, but as I shoot in RAW mode, it's going to be quite different to what you'll need (I'm assuming that you're shooting jpegs?) (RAW might be a good next step for you?)

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  3. #3

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Well I do shoot in RAW, I'm pretty knowledgable on computers and so I'm familiar with the formats. Although I have yet to adjust the photos as a RAW file, Should I be doing that before I convert it to a psd?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    "Should I be doing that before I convert it to a psd? "

    Big YES to that one!

    The difference between doing the initial processing in ACR (Adobe RAW Converter) or waiting until you have it open in PhotoShop can be quite significant - depending on how big the changes are that you're making.

    When you make as many adjustments in ACR as you can (with the exception of sharpening) you're pretty much making them non-destructively. Case-in-point - white balance adjustments. When you open a RAW file in ACR the file contains the actual pixel data, but also additional data that define what those values mean (eg "when we say "red", this is what we're talking about) (called the colorimetric interpretation data). When you adjust the colour temperature, ACR simply changes the colorimetric interpretation values, so no data is lost. When you do the equivalent in photoshop it has to scale the entire channels - and data is lost.

    In reality - if the adjustments are small - then you probably won't notice much (if any difference) - but adjusting what you can in ACR is very much best practice.

    In terms of workflow, what I typically do is ...

    1. Transfer the images from the CF Card to the PC using the Adobe DNG converter (which transfers them + renames them + converts them to DNG all in one hit).

    2. Open the images in Bridge and make initial selects.

    3. Open the remainder in ACR where I set the white balance, adjust exposure, black clipping point, brightness, contrast, saturation, vibrancy, clarity etc. For tricky images I may go in to some of the other tabs and tweak individual channels or customise response curves.

    4. In photoshop I usually start with capture sharpening (300%, 0.3 Radius, no threshold) - zap any dust bunnies - add a levels layer and tweak clipping points and gamma - and then get more into whatever needs to be done (content/creative sharpening, saturation, masking etc) (varies each time).

    An excellent starting point for learning about RAW processing is "Real World Camera RAW for CS3" by the late Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe (or just the Bruce Fraser version if you're still running CS2).

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  5. #5
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    226
    Real Name
    Daniel

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Hi, even I use mostly Aperture, once a while I change to Photoshop in order to do some things I'm not able to do with Aperture.

    However, I could also recommend you to include on your workflow a lens pincushion/barrel distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration, and perspective's correction. There are several plug-ins to do it.

    Cheers,

    Daniel

  6. #6

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Thanks for the replies guys. I was guessing most of it will come with experimentation and not training. Just a few technical questions for you Mr. Southern. An FYI, I am running CS3 on an iBook, Mac OSX.4.11 This thing has lasted me four years, and she still runs nicely.

    -ACR is the auto window which pops up when I open a RAW file in PS, correct?
    -The Adobe DNG converter, is part of an option when I use Bridge, or some sort of Adobe CS app for importing from my camera. Why do you convert to DNG? I am familiar with lossless and lossy (in audio) so I am assuming this is a lossless to lossless conversion. I should probably look up DNG on wikipedia next.

    Dasle, mind delving into what these plug-ins are? As I mentioned, I am new to PS and only know a few techniques including how to use those typical photo-editing tricks such as levels and curves.

    Really appreciate the help, I just get so frustrated with PS because I know what I need to edit, but I can't seem to get it the way I envision. Redid the Frontman shot, still not right...
    Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner
    Last edited by McQ; 14th January 2009 at 04:02 AM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    "-ACR is the auto window which pops up when I open a RAW file in PS, correct?"

    Yes - AKA "The RAW Converter". The program itself is hosted by either photoshop or bridge, but it's become so powerful that some have jokingly suggested that it should be the other way around.

    "The Adobe DNG converter, is part of an option when I use Bridge, or some sort of Adobe CS app for importing from my camera."

    Not sure - I use it as a stand-alone application. It wants to know where the images to be converted are - where you want the converted images put - what you want to call them - and a few other options - then it just gets to work.

    "Why do you convert to DNG?"

    I posted the reasons somewhere else here today (can't remember where - must be losing my mind. No - hang on - I've got kids - that explains it! Whew!)

    4 main reasons ...

    1. It transfers the images from my card to PC

    2. It converts and renames them all in one smooth operation with pretty flexible naming options.

    3. It allows me to open the files from my 1Ds3 in CS2 (at home) or CS3 (at work).

    4. It means I don't get companion *.XML "side-car" files that I have to keep in the same directory as the main files.

    All good, no bad.

    "I am familiar with lossless and lossy (in audio) so I am assuming this is a lossless to lossless conversion."

    Yes.

    "I should probably look up DNG on wikipedia next"

    Or better still, look it up on Adobe's website ...

    http://www.adobe.com/products/dng/

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    Colin

    PS: Found my previous post you might like to look at ...
    Preventing washed out prints from Walmart, HyVee, Sam's etc.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 14th January 2009 at 05:03 AM.

  8. #8

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Ah, sound good. Except, from Adobe's site Camera Raw 5 (which list my camera here, http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw.html ) isn't supported on CS3. (and here's another possible exception) Yet I could have sworn when I import directly from my DSLR using adobe's app, I could convert to DNG rename, make copies, etc. I do have Lightroom 2, maybe I should give that a try next.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Not sure what camera you have - so can't help with that. That's one of the nice things about DNG - so long as you download the (free) converter that covers files from your camera, you can then open the images in ANY version of CS. I've personally long forgotten that compatability issues even exist with my gear

    I see that the DNG v2.x.x.x specification is out now too - but haven't had the chance to readup on any changes yet.

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  10. #10
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    226
    Real Name
    Daniel

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by KicknGuitar View Post
    Dasle, mind delving into what these plug-ins are? As I mentioned, I am new to PS and only know a few techniques including how to use those typical photo-editing tricks such as levels and curves.
    for example

    for about $25 you can get the following, you can use just the plug-in and include the correction in your workflow
    http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/

    or use the filter included in Photoshop
    (here is the tutorial)
    http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Photosho...-2DA2A6588335a

    Cheers,

    Daniel

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    "However, I could also recommend you to include on your workflow a lens pincushion/barrel distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration, and perspective's correction. There are several plug-ins to do it."

    Daniel,

    I take it that you're aware all the issues you mentioned have corresponding tools in PhotoShop? (CA has a control in ACR on the lens tab, pincushion / barrel distortion / perspective correction are in PS under Filter -> Distort -> Lens Correction - and vignetting can be fixed in either ACR or PS).

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  12. #12
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    226
    Real Name
    Daniel

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post

    I take it that you're aware all the issues you mentioned have corresponding tools in PhotoShop? (CA has a control in ACR on the lens tab, pincushion / barrel distortion / perspective correction are in PS under Filter -> Distort -> Lens Correction - and vignetting can be fixed in either ACR or PS).
    Hi Colin, therefore I'm providing him also with the option included in Photoshop and even the link to learn how to use it.

    I think, as Mac and Aperture user and once a while PSE user, that learning how to use PS is not so simple. You really need to get some books and practice and practice and practice. Is not like Aperture that is more intuitive, therefore sometimes using some plug-ins might be easier. The downside is the extra price you have to pay.

    Cheers,

    Daniel

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Hi Daniel,

    "learning how to use PS is not so simple."

    I couldn't agree more - it's a VERY deep and wide package - I've probably got around 20 books on it - and many of those only deal with one particular aspect of it.

    "therefore sometimes using some plug-ins might be easier."

    I hear what you're saying, just wasn't sure if you were aware that functionality was already included in photoshop for the issues you mentioned (and those particular things are pretty much just "1 control per issue - so pretty "bomb proof").

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  14. #14
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    226
    Real Name
    Daniel

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Hi Colin, it seems that my lack of experience with Photoshop it's obvious.

    I got a book from Scott Kelby, which I found easy to understand, however comparing Photoshop with Aperture, I muss say that I find PS really complicate, it always needs more than one step to do something or achive the result you want.

    Everytime I'm using PS I feel that I'm controling a nuclear plant , therefore I'm always checking my books in order to follow the correct procedure and get what I want.

    Cheers

    Daniel

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Part of the problem is that photoshop is a very deep but very wide program - like a toolbox with 1000 tools and 1000 ways to use each one; but that doesn't mean to say you need to use every tool for every job, nor does it mean that there's only one way to make a particular change - so there's a lot of "overlap" between functions and "many ways to skin a cat".

    The tools I use for processing my images are probably nothing like the tools that others use in creating, say, photorealistic montages - but the tools that are needed for either job are still available in the same toolbox. Most of the time I find myself just doing the same things in roughly the same order - so fairly quickly it becomes 2nd nature. Keep in mind too that Aperture and Photoshop are vastly different programs, for different things.

    Not sure which Book of Scott's that you have (he seems to have a new one about every 10 minutes!), but his 7 point system for Photoshop CS3 is probably about the best for getting up to speed on common processing tasks.

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  16. #16

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Thank you both for the quick tips. Best part of it is my iBooks HD is kaput! Fin! It is No-More! So I'm having a new HD installed this week, hopefully get it back by Thursday. Thankfully, I stored my photos on the external HD. I'm dying to edit some more, especially since I've got a whole new batch of shots to play around with. All I need now is some money for bracket... a second battery, another flashCard... I just want to be shooting!

  17. #17
    crisscross's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Herefordshire UK
    Posts
    816
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Way too late for original thread question, but as it is still 'linked' via Links to Useful & Informative Threads
    So, some misconceptions about mac computers.

    OS4 is the worst OS mac ever produced since OS8, a bridging program before Intel core2duo processors became the norm. Sure G4 & G5 macs still work (& can be left in the bottom of the cupboard, preferably with OS10.3.9, for rare uses of 'classic' (OS9 and earlier progs)), but not fast enough for modern programmes and 10+ MP cameras. OS10.5(7) is thankfully a return to the mac tradition.

    It should never be possible to lose info from a mac hard drive as the OS at UNIX level should lock you out from re-start the second one file goes wobbly. It is then still easy to suck out the contents from another mac using an ethernet cable.

    Although it is suggested to be un-necessary to ever turn a mac off, it is actually a good idea to do so every week or two as some unseen 'house-keeping' does get done on re-start.

  18. #18
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    2

    Re: Tips on PS Editing For a Beginner

    Yes, PhotoShop does have a steep learning curve. It can be quite overwhelming for someone that's just starting out without the aid of a tutor.

    I've been watching video tutorials on PhotoShop on various sites (podcasts, youtube, etc.). I've find them quite useful, so you may want to try this out as well. I find watching the videos easier to understand than reading text instructions, and then trying to recreate. There's a few websites that have on going lessons (free) that build upon what you've learned previously. For example, http://www.russellbrown.com/tips_tech.html
    Last edited by JohnnyOo; 22nd June 2009 at 07:50 PM. Reason: typo

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •