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LEARN PHOTOSHOP CC & LIGHTROOM THE EASY WAY!

Issue 54 September 2015


www.digitalcameraworld.com

44

ENHANCE YOUR PHOTOS WITH ESSENTIAL EDITS & HIDDEN TRICKS

LEARN PHOTOSHOP CC & LIGHTROOM THE EASY WAY!


Issue 54 September 2015
www.digitalcameraworld.com

WATCH THE VIDEO


http://tiny.cc/28htsx

LEARN PHOTOSHOP CC & LIGHTROOM THE EASY WAY!


Issue 54 September 2015
www.digitalcameraworld.com

44

ENHANCE YOUR PHOTOS WITH ESSENTIAL EDITS & HIDDEN TRICKS

DOWNLOAD THE
PROJECT FILES
To download this
issue's files, type
the following link
into your web
browser on your
PC or Mac:

44

ENHANCE YOUR PHOTOS WITH ESSENTIAL EDITS & HIDDEN TRICKS

Welcome to issue 54 of Practical Photoshop!


If you enjoy the issue, why not subscribe and get
a whole year for just $19.99
This issue we serve up a host of tips and tricks that
will help you make the most of your cameras raw
format, from multi-processing raw files to mono
effects. Also in this issue we reveal how to make
a lovely bokeh portrait effect and how to start
shooting tethered with Lightroom.

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FIND US HERE
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James Paterson, Editor t James.paterson@futurenet.com

www.digitalcameraworld.com

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HIGHLIGHTS: WHATS INSIDE


The World of
Photoshop

44 secrets of
Camera Raw

Multi-process
your raw les

Beautiful bokeh
Shoot tethered
background effects with Lightroom

Q Get inspired by
Photoshop art from
around the globe

Q Become a Camera
Raw pro with these
tips and tricks

Q Tease out detail in


your landscapes by
combining images

Q Enhance your
portraits with
dreamy bokeh

Q Connect your
camera for instant
picture control

1 Aquamarina
2 We Are Three
3 The Complexities
of Bubbles
By Vicki-Lea Boulter
Using Photoshop CC

My creative
portraiture is
about capturing
the very essence
of a persons character
revealing the story they
wish to show to the outside
world. For me, making
these images is a way
of communicating, and
expressing myself and
my ideas.
www.vickiboulter.com

1 Abstract summer 2 Nightfall 3 Stress


By Martn De Pasquale

Using Photoshop CS5 and CS6

Abstract summer reflects everyday situations in


a twisted way. I love playing with the impossible
under normal-life situations. This image is part3D, which required time and accuracy. Stress
reflects a very stressful time of day: returning home
after work. I used the sunset, and shot uphill to give a
dramatic feeling. Dragging my own head is a good way to
demonstrate this.
www.martindepasquale.com

Stress is an excellent
demonstration of the benefits of
shooting with consistent angles
and lighting for compositing
James Paterson, Editor

Everything the Canon


photographer needs!

A comprehensive reference guide


to your Canon EOS digital SLR

44

We delve deeper into Camera Raw than ever before to find the
hidden delights, handy tricks and little-known features that will
help to give your raw images the edge

WORKFLOW TIPS
AND AFTER VIEWS
01 BEFORE
The buttons in the bottom right corner of the
image display give you a set of useful preview options
for comparing the before and after of your edits. The
left icon that looks like a Y gives you different splitscreen before/after views, such as horizontal or vertical
comparisons and splits (hold your mouse button down
on the icon to choose from the list, or click to toggle
between each). The second and third icons enable you
to toggle between before and after settings.

03

CACHE SIZE

If youre in the
habit of bringing lots
of images into Camera
Raw at once, you might
notice that the images
take a second or two to
display, in which case
increase the cache
size in the Preferences
menu. The larger the
size, the greater the
number of image
previews ACR can hold.

02

SCRUBBY ZOOMING

The latest CC versions


of Camera Raw feature
scrubby zooming, which
means, as long as your
graphics card can handle it,
you can drag right or left with
the zoom tool to fly in and
out of your image. To make
sure the feature is enabled,
click the Preferences button
in the toolbar at the top and
check Use Graphics Processor
in the Performance tab. When
using another tool, such as the
Spot Removal tool, you can
hold Cmd/Ctrl to temporarily
switch to the Zoom tool, so its
easier and quicker than ever to
retouch an image by jumping in
close to different areas.

04 SYNC
SETTINGS
When several
images are opened
together in Camera
Raw, you can edit
them all at once in
two different ways.
Either select
several in the
filmstrip by Cmd/
Ctrl-clicking them,
and then begin your
edits. Alternatively,
edit a single image
first, then select several and use the Sync settings option in the top-left drop-down menu.
This second option has the added benefit that you can choose exactly which edits are
synced useful if, for example, you need to batch-fix a recurring sensor mark, but leave
the other settings untouched.

DONT EVEN NEED TO OPEN PHOTOSHOP!


05 YOU
Bridge can host Camera Raw, so theres no need to have

SLIDERS
06 RESET
Double click

Photoshop open. Simply open Bridge, then right click an image


and choose Open in Camera Raw.

any slider to reset it.

SNAPSHOTS
07 AND
PRESETS
Use the Snapshot
panel to save
noteworthy points in
your workflow, and
the Presets panel to
save settings for use
on other images.

RAW
08 CAMERA
DEFAULTS

NAVIGATION SHORTCUTS
09 MUST-KNOW
Use Cmd/Ctrl + or to zoom in or out, and hold down the
space bar to drag around the image when zoomed in.

Sometimes you just


want to get rid of
everything youve
done to an image and
start afresh. Click the
flyout menu next to
the panels and choose
Camera Raw defaults.

TOOL TIPS
10

SPEEDY SPOT COLOUR

The Targeted Adjustment tool can


give you a rough-and-ready spot-colour
effect in seconds. Right click with the tool,
choose Saturation, then drag down over
the colours you want to remove.

11

FIX THE WHITE BALANCE

One of the great advantages of


shooting in raw mode is that the files
hold more colour information than
JPEGs, which means you can use the raw
colour data to adjust the white balance
after taking the shot to correct colour
shifts and inconsistencies. To do this,
simply grab the White Balance tool,
then look for a colour in the scene that
should be either white or grey, such as
the rocks in this picture.

12

CHECK FOR MARKS

The Visualise spots check box in the Spot Removal tool settings is ideal for those
with dirty sensors. Check it for a clear black-and-white view of the marks.

13

JUMP TO 100% VIEW

14

TOGGLE CROPS

15

CUSTOM CROPPING

Double click the Zoom tool


to jump to a 100% view useful
for judging sharpening and noise
reduction then double click the
Hand tool to jump back out and fit
the whole image on the screen.

When using the Crop tool,


press X to toggle between a
vertical or horizontal orientation.

16

REMOVE WIRES

When using the Spot Removal tool to get rid


of wires in a landscape, click one end, then hold Shift
and click the other end to draw a straight line and fix
the whole thing in one go.

When using the Crop tool,


right click the image to choose a
proportion such as 2:3 or 1:1. Tap
A to switch to the Level tool, then
drag along the horizon.

17

MONOCHROME IN
A SPLIT SECOND

Grab the Targeted


Adjustment tool
from the Tools
panel, right click and
choose Grayscale Mix
for a speedy mono
conversion, then finetune the image by
dragging up or down
over points in the
image to lighten or
darken them.

SELECTIVE ADJUSTMENT TIPS

18

SAVE ADJUSTMENTS

If you find that you make a similar adjustment lots of times, then save time by
storing the adjustment as a New Local Adjustment Setting in the flyout menu at the top
right of the Adjustment Brush settings. When you want to make the same edit, choose
the adjustment from the menu to quickly load up the brush with the right settings.

19

DOUBLE DOSE
OF CLARITY

If youre a fan of crisp details,


sometimes setting +100
Clarity in the Basic panel just
isnt enough. In which case,
grab the Graduated Filter
tool, load it with extra Clarity,
then click the space outside
the image and drag away
from it. This will double the
amount of Clarity added.

20 SMOOTH
SKIN
For soft, silky skin
in seconds, grab the
Adjustment Brush,
click the minus icon
next to the Clarity
slider on the right
to dial in negative
Clarity to about -50,
then paint over the
skin, being careful
not to go over areas
of detail like the
eyes and lips.

24

QUICK
VIGNETTE

Cmd/Ctrl-double
click with the Radial
Filter tool to add a
circular blend that
extends to the
edges of the image.
This is perfect for
quickly adding
vignette effects
to the corners of
your pictures.

GRADS
21 STRAIGHT
Hold down Shift to snap graduated filter lines to horizontal,
vertical or at 45 degrees helpful when darkening a sky.

A PIN
22 COPY
Hold down Cmd/
Ctrl+Shift+Alt and drag
an adjustment pin to
make a copy ideal for
copying adjustments
from one eye across to
the other, for instance.

A ROUGH
23 ADD
BORDER

WITH GRADS

For a rough-andready border effect


that mimics the look
of old film borders,
load the Graduated
Filter tool with -4.00
negative exposure,
then drag a few short
lines inwards at the
edges of the frame to
add dark, thick lines
to the image.

YOUR
25 RESET
ADJUSTMENTS
When using the
Adjustment Brush,
the tool remembers
the previous
settings. To
simultaneously load
the tool with a new
setting and also
reset everything
else, simply click the
plus or minus icon
next to any slider.

SHORTCUTS
26 FEATHER
When using the
Adjustment Brush, press ] or
[ to resize the brush tip, and
Shift+] or [ to adjust the size
of the feathering around the
brush tip.

A CIRCLE
27 SHIFT
While dragging a circle
with the Radial Filter tool,
holding down the space bar
will allow you to shift its
position while you drag.

A MASK
28 ERASE
Hold Alt while painting
with the Adjustment Brush
to erase parts of a mask.

29 AUTO-MASK
The Adjustment Brush Auto-Mask feature
transforms the brush by making it seek out and snap
on to colours that are similar to the first colour you click
when using it, making it much easier to isolate objects
and shapes for adjustment.

SETTINGS TIPS
THE OLD FILL LIGHT SLIDER
30 USE
If you find the Basic panels Shadows slider
just isnt lifting your shadows as much as youd like,
then theres a hidden cheat you can use. Go to the
Camera Calibration panel and change the Process
version to 2010, then go back to the Basic panel,
and youll find the Fill Light slider. For some reason,
the old Fill Light slider is more extreme than the
Shadows slider that replaced it.

32

INTERACTIVE
HISTOGRAM

The histogram is
interactive, so you
can drag different
parts of the graph to
adjust those areas
of the tonal range,
from the blacks on
the left to the whites
on the right useful
both for fine-tuning
tones, and also for
understanding how
histograms work.

31

CHECK FOR
CLIPPED PIXELS

Clipped pixels are either pure


white or pure black, and are
entirely lacking in detail, so
its usually best not to have
too many in your photos.
To check for clipped pixels
in the highlights or shadows
of an image, press either O
(for over-exposed) or U (for
under-exposed) to toggle
the clipping warnings on
and off. Alternatively, Altdrag any of the Exposure,
Highlights, Shadows,
Whites or Blacks sliders
for a view of the image that
displays the clipped pixels
very clearly.

33

MASK YOUR SHARPENING

Often we dont want to sharpen all of our images, just the areas of detail. After
applying sharpening in the Detail panel, hold Alt and drag the Masking slider. The black
areas that appear will be excluded from the sharpening effect.

35

AUTOMATIC
SLIDERS

Shift-double click
any of the first eight
Basic panel sliders
to apply an auto
correction to each
individual setting.

CAMERA
36 TRY
PROFILES

SPLIT-TONE COLOURS
34 PREVIEW
When using the Hue sliders in the Split Tone panel to add
tints, hold Alt while dragging to preview the colour at 100%.
This makes it easier to judge the colour first.

The Camera
Calibration panel
can be a useful first
stop in the editing
process. Try different
camera profiles to
change the look of
tones and colours.

PORTRAITS
37 DESATURATE
If you want to give your portraits

MONOS WITH TEMP AND TINT


38 TWEAK
After converting an image to

a trendy desaturated look, try lowering


Saturation, then increasing Vibrance in the
Basic panel. Or vice versa if you prefer more
vibrant colours.

monochrome with the HSL/Grayscale


panel, you can go back to the Basic panel
and experiment with Temp and Tint to finetune the look of the black-and-white effect.

HAZE TO LANDSCAPES
39 ADD
Found in the FX panel, the new Dehaze command enables you to cut through
atmospheric haze in your landscape scenes, but it also does a great job when used
in reverse to add haziness to scenes. This is useful when you want to add a dreamy
atmosphere to your landscapes.

OUTPUT TIPS
PROOF FOR PRINTING
40 SOFT
The workflow options (accessible via the blue link below
the image) not only enable you to choose a colour space, but
also to soft-proof your image by displaying different ICC print
profiles in the Color Space options. You can also choose to
simulate the paper and ink youre using to get a more accurate
idea of how your print will look.

42

16-BIT
TIFFS

If youre planning
on taking the
photograph further
with heavy editing
in Photoshop, and
you want the best
possible image
quality with the most
colours, choose to
output the file as
a 16-bit Tiff in the
workflow options.

43

BYPASS
CAMERA RAW

If youd rather bypass


Adobe Camera Raw
and open a raw
file straight into
Photoshop, hold
down Shift and
double click the file
in Adobe Bridge. This
will process the raw
file with the default
ACR settings.

41

OPEN AS A
SMART OBJECT

To open an image
in Photoshop from
Camera Raw as a
Smart Object, hold
Shift and the Open
Image button changes
to Open Object. Once
done, you can double
click the Smart Object
layer in the Layers
panel to send the
image back to Adobe
Camera Raw.

AND
44 CROP
PRINT
You can prepare
images for printing
directly from
Camera Raw. Use
the Crop tool to
crop to specific
dimensions, then
go to the Image
Sizing options,
check Resize to
Fit and choose the
width, height and
resolution.

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AFTER

BEFORE

WATCH THE VIDEO


http://tiny.cc/bg5u1x

Pull detail out of your raw files by processing them several times
Multi-processing raw files
is a great way to squeeze
extra detail out of landscapes and
high-contrast scenes. All you do
is process the image a number of
times, focusing on different areas
such as land or sky then blend
them together in Photoshop. This
gives us the best of both worlds.

We can use Camera Raws tonal


controls to tease out detail in
different areas of the image, and
use Photoshops superior selection
and compositing controls to bring
everything together seamlessly.
Whats more, with Smart Objects
we can easily send the image back
and forth between the two.

PROJECT INFO
Youll learn
How to process a raw
file several times, then
combine the versions
in Photoshop
Youll need
Photoshop CS5 or above
Itll take
10 minutes

DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT FILES HERE http://tiny.cc/2o0w1x ON YOUR PC OR MAC

CREATE
BEAUTIFUL
BOKEH IN
PORTRAITS

AFTER

Spice up your
portraits by
adding out-offocus effects,
and learn
amazing brush
techniques while
youre at it!

BEFORE

WATCH THE VIDEO


http://tiny.cc/th8u1x

PROJECT INFO
Youll learn
How to make a
background bokeh effect,
and create and customise
your own brushes
Youll need
Photoshop CC
Itll take
30 minutes

DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT FILES HERE http://tiny.cc/2o0w1x ON YOUR PC OR MAC

01

MAKE A
NEW BRUSH

Go to File>New, choose
A4, set Background
Contents: Transparent,
and click OK. Grab the
Elliptical Marquee tool.
Shift-draw a small circle,
go to Edit>Fill and use
black. In the Layers panel,
set Fill 50% and go to
Layer>Layer Style>
Stroke. Set Size 8px,
colour black. Click OK.

02

DEFINE YOUR
BRUSH

Go to Edit>Define Brush
Preset. Name it and click
OK. Create a new layer,
press Alt+Delete to fill
it, go to Layer>Layer
Style>Gradient Overlay.
Click the preview bar,
then double click the
little squares under the
gradient and choose two
colours (blue and purple
here). Click OK.

03

CUSTOMISE
THE BRUSH

Grab the Brush tool.


Toggle the Brush panel
in the options bar. Use
Brush Tip Shape, set
Spacing 100%. Use
Shape Dynamics, set
Size Jitter 100, Minimum
Diameter 50. Use
Scattering, set Scatter
1000, Count 3. Use
Transfer, set Opacity and
Flow Jitter to 50%.

04

PAINT AND
ADD BLUR

Make a new layer, click the


blending mode drop-down
menu in the Layers panel,
and choose Color Dodge.
Pick a light grey colour and
paint scattered bubbles.
Pick Filter>Blur>Gaussian
Blur. Blur the bubbles
using a Radius of 40px,
then click OK. Repeat on
another layer, with a lower
amount of blur.

05

BUILD UP
THE EFFECT

Continue painting and


blurring on more layers
(set to Color Dodge),
varying the brush size
and blur amount. Go to
File>Place Embedded
and choose bokeh_
cutout.png to drop in the
subject. Add more bokeh
layers on top. Press
Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E
to merge a layer.

06

ADD TONAL
EFFECTS

Select Filter>Blur
Gallery>Iris Blur, and blur
the edges of the frame.
Go to Filter>Camera Raw
Filter. Grab the Radial
Filter tool, set Exposure
-3, and drag to darken
the corners. Create an
adjustment layer, choose
Color Lookup and select
a tonal preset, such as 2
Strip, used here.

WATCH THE VIDEO


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This month learn how to


tether your camera, and
control it with Lightroom
If youd like to watch the
complete course now, get the
app from the Apple App Store

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Your quick-start guide and reference


to image editing in Photoshop

If youre relatively new to editing in


Photoshop, or you just dont know
where to begin, then this section is the best
place to get started. Over the next nine pages,
youll find an overview of the different versions
of Photoshop available, a breakdown of the

typical image-editing workflow in Photoshop,


an overview of raw file editing, a guide to the
six most useful layers, and a glossary of the
most useful shortcuts. This guide condenses
most of the tools and techniques youll use
every time you import a new roll of pictures.

LIGHTROOM 6
100.07 OR INCLUDED WITH
CREATIVE CLOUD WINDOWS, OS X

PHOTOSHOP
CC
8.78/$9.99 PER MONTH WINDOWS, OS X
Photoshop is the software of choice for most professional
and non-professional photographers. Beyond the standard
photo-editing features, it boasts a vast array of more
creative tools and filters. Layers are one of the key differences
between Photoshop and Lightroom. They enable you to mask out
selected parts to build up increasingly sophisticated images.

Lightroom combines
the professional rawprocessing tools in the
more expensive Photoshop
CC with the asset-organising
powers of the cheaper
Photoshop Elements.
Lightroom is available as
a traditional boxed copy
(Lightroom 6), and as part of
a Creative Cloud subscription
(Lightroom CC). Essentially,
the applications are the same,
except Lightroom CC has
Creative Cloud support, ongoing
updates, and access to the
mobile and web workflows.

LIGHTROOM MOBILE
INCLUDED WITH CREATIVE CLOUD
IPHONE, IPAD, ANDROID

ELEMENTS 13 66.43/$99.99 WINDOWS, OS X


Elements is the consumer variant of Photoshop, and
contains many of its key tools and features within a
simplified interface. Its limited, but it does provide access
to layers for those who have switched to a Lightroom workflow.

Lightroom Mobile is
the lightweight iPad,
iPhone and Android
version of the application,
integrated with Lightroom CC
but not Lightroom 6. To use
Lightroom Mobile you need
to sign up for an Adobe ID so
that you can access the Adobe
Creative Cloud. This enables
you to create a collection of
photos on your desktop copy
of Lightroom and sync them via
the Creative Cloud to Lightroom
Mobile on your portable
devices. You can then use
Lightroom Mobile to edit or add
ratings to your pictures.

ADOBE SHAPE
FREE
IPHONE, IPAD, ANDROID

ADOBE
PHOTOSHOP
MIX
FREE IPAD, ANDROID
Mix enables you to merge two photos together
to create a composite image. It offers a simplified
compositing process that makes it easy for beginners
to start combining an object from one image with a background
from another. You can then send the composite to Photoshop
for further edits. If you like you can also use Mix to edit a single
image. It offers a few simple tonal adjustments and more
complex edits such as Content-Aware Fill.

ADOBE COLOR
FREE IPHONE, IPAD, ANDROID
If you ever need help
selecting coordinated colours
for your designs, try using
Adobe Color. It enables you to create
colour themes from photos taken
on your mobile device. This could be
anything from a scene in your local
park to a famous painting. So if you
come across an inspirational scene,
capture the colours and save them.

Adobe Shape enables


you to turn photos and
sketches into beautiful
vector shapes for use in your
designs or artwork. The app
smooths out jagged edges in
images, resulting in gorgeous
vectors that are endlessly
scaleable, just as if youd drawn
them by hand with the Pen tool.
Make a shape with the mobile
app and the next time you open
Photoshop on your desktop, the
shape will sync to your Library.
Drag it in to any document to
add colour and make further
adjustments.

ADOBE BRUSH
FREE
IPHONE, IPAD, ANDROID
Adobe Brush enables
you to make your
own custom brushes
from photos or sketches for
use in Photoshop, Illustrator
or the Sketch app. The most
successful subjects are usually
those that can be easily
isolated, such as a splash
against white, or a leaf against
the sky. You can capture objects
for your brush tips using your
devices camera, choose from
your camera roll, or use your
Creative Cloud library. Once
captured, you can then finetune the look of the tip and
apply brush settings.

ADOBE COMP CC
FREE IPAD

ADOBE
PHOTOSHOP
SKETCH
FREE IPAD
As the name suggests, this app enables you to paint
freehand using a selection of brushes, colours and
other tools. However, Sketch is more than just a
painting app. It also enables you to connect with like-minded
creatives, so you can follow artists and see their work updating.
Once youre done sketching the image on your iPad, you can
upload to the Sketch community or continue working on the
image in Photoshop CC. You can also bring in brushes made
with Adobe Brush, and for those who cant paint, theres an
option to overlay images so you can trace over a photo. Sketch
is compatible with Adobes pen and ruler hardware, Ink and
Slide, but you can get great results with your finger.

ADOBE SLATE
FREE IPAD
Slate enables you
to create visual
presentations
by making it easy to bring
together words and images
in interesting ways. It offers
a selection of themes and fonts that will give your story the look
of a magazine without the need for advanced design tools.

If youre a designer
who wants to build
a quick layout for a
web or print page, then Comp is
the ideal place to start piecing
ideas, images and text together.
You can draw common design
elements such as text or image
boxes with quick gestures. For
example, a couple of squiggly
lines with a dot makes a
header, and a cross makes an
image box. It makes it easy to
mock up a layout in seconds.
You can then add words and
graphics. The app even spits
out a Photoshop, Illustrator or
InDesign document.

BEHANCE
CREATIVE PORTFOLIO
FREE IPAD, IPHONE
Behance is the online
social space for
creatives to share
and showcase their portfolios,
connect with one another,
and find work. With work
from the best photographers,
digital artists and designers
out there, its also a great
place to find inspiration for
a new project. If youre a
Creative Cloud subscriber you
can set up a Behance page in
minutes. The Behance app
for iOS devices enables you to
manage your page, while the
Creative Portfolio app provides
a polished portfolio.

Manage your photos from capture to output in three stages


The image-editing process begins as
soon as youve transferred your photos
from your memory card to your computer.
1 The first stage is to begin sifting
through your pictures to discover which are
the keepers. The image organiser that comes
with Photoshop is ideal for this task. Adobe
Bridge has controls for keywording, rating and
filtering your images, and there are handy tools
for batch renaming files, creating panoramic
stitches, making contact sheets and more.
Launch Adobe Bridge and navigate to a
folder containing new images. Use the cursor
keys to quickly flick through the images and
click below a thumbnail to add a star rating, or
use the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl+1-5. You
can then filter your images by the star rating to
group the ones you want to work on.
2 The next step is to open the images
from Bridge into Adobe Camera Raw. ACR
is the best place to make initial changes to
your images to boost tones and correct any
problems with exposure and so on. It doesnt
enable you to combine images youll use
Photoshop for that but it does enable you to
make the kind of edits photographers need.
3 In Photoshop, you can further refine
the image with layers and adjustment layers,
which offer a much more flexible way of
working than ACR. Once youve finished, its
time to share it with a wider audience. Go to
File>Save, and your image will be saved as a
Photoshop document (PSD). This keeps all the
layers intact, which means you can go back and
retweak the image at a later date. However,
PSD files are large and take up lots of hard drive
space. If you want to share your images online
or via email or social media, save them as JPEGs.

Discover how to process your raw files to perfection


The latest version of the raw file
processor included with Photoshop is so
powerful that most photos can be processed
entirely in the raw processor, with no need for
further editing in Photoshop. And by making
your adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw

rather than in Photoshop, youll ensure the


best possible image quality, because raw files
contain more picture information than bitmap
images such as un-layered PSDs and JPEGs.
Heres our reference to the features youll use
the most in the Basic panel.

THE BASIC
PANEL IN ACR

CONTRAST
Makes light pixels brighter
and dark pixels darker

HIGHLIGHTS

TEMPERATURE

Controls the brightness


of the lightest pixels

Use this slider to warm


or cool an image if the
White Balance tool fails to
correct a colour cast

SHADOWS
Controls the brightness
of the darkest pixels

TINT
This slider enables you to
correct a green or magenta
cast, again, if the White
Balance tool fails

WHITES
Sets a point on the tonal
range at which pixels
should be pure white

EXPOSURE

CLARITY

Controls the overall


brightness of the image

BLACKS
Sets a point on the tonal
range at which pixels
should be pure black

Controls the amount


of midtone contrast

SATURATION

VIBRANCE

Controls the overall colour


intensity of the image

Adjusts the intensity of


the less-saturated colours

The six most frequently used Photoshop layers for image


editing, and how to use them to improve almost any photo
Photoshop has many types of layers
and adjustment layers available, but
there are six that youll find you need to use
again and again. Learning how they should be

used may seem a little daunting for beginners,


but once youve got to grips with them, youll
find they play a part in the creative process of
almost every image you make.

01

LEVELS

This should be the first layer you add


to an image, because it fundamentally alters
the tonal range of the entire image. Create
a Levels adjustment layer, drag the Black
Point slider inwards until it touches the lefthand edge of the histogram, and drag the
White Point slider inwards to the right-hand
edge. This remaps the tones of the image to
make more of the available tonal range.

02

CURVES

Curves is one of the most powerful


adjustment layers. An S-shaped curve
brightens the highlights and darkens the
shadows, resulting in extra contrast. Create
a Curves adjustment layer and click the
middle of the diagonal line to add a central
control point. Drag down on the lower part
of the line and drag up on the upper part of
the line to improve image contrast.

03

HUE/SATURATION

This adjustment layer is best used


for altering the intensity and brightness
of individual colour channels in an image
greens and blues in landscapes, for instance.
Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer,
click the Master menu and choose the colour
channel youd like to adjust. Small changes
are usually the most effective.

04

HEALING LAYER

Most photos contain unwanted


marks or blemishes. The Spot Healing Brush
tool is effective at removing these. The best
way to apply the healing is on a new blank
layer, so that you can easily tone down or
remove selected healing work later without
having to start from scratch because you
healed directly on the background layer. To
do this, create a new blank layer, choose the
Spot Healing Brush tool from the Tools panel
and tick Sample All Layers on the Options
Bar, then continue as normal.

AFTER

05

BEFORE

DODGE AND BURN

One of the best ways to enhance a


photo is by lightening or darkening selected
areas of the image. This can be done with
the Dodge and Burn tools, but rather than
use them directly on the image, a separate
grey layer gives you greater control. To
create a Dodge and Burn layer, hold down
Alt and click the Create a new layer icon in
the Layers panel. Give the layer a name,
then choose Mode: Overlay. Check Fill with
Overlay-neutral color and click OK. Now use
the Dodge and Burn tools (with Range set to
Midtones) to work on the new layer.

06

SELECTIVE SHARPENING

Once all other adjustments have


been made, you need to sharpen the image
for output. The traditional way is to create a
merged layer at the top of the stack, apply
Unsharp Mask, then paint on the mask to
remove the sharpening from those parts
of the image you want to remain soft.
However, the Sharpen tool enables more
control over the process by enabling you to
build up the effect by brushing repeatedly
with a low opacity brush. Create a new blank
layer, select the Sharpen tool, tick Sample All
Layers and set a Strength of 50% or lower.

14 keyboard shortcuts that will massively improve your


speed and efficiency while working in Photoshop

Reset the foreground and background


colours to black and white

Switch the foreground and background


colour swatches

ALT+[SCROLL WHEEL]

[ OR ]

Zoom in or out of the image

Resize the brush tip

CMD/CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+E

SHIFT+[ OR ]

Create a merged copy of all the layers in the


layer stack

Cycle backwards or forwards through the


layer blend modes

SPACE BAR

CMD/CTRL+ALT+Z

Temporarily switch the current tool to the Hand


tool, for moving around the image while zoomed in

Undo the last change made to the document.


Works multiple times

ALT+[EYE ICON]

CMD/CTRL+[LAYER MASK]

Switch off the visibility of all other layers in the


layer stack, for before-and-after comparisons

Load the currently active layer mask as


a new selection

CMD/CTRL+I

CMD/CTRL+T

Invert the colour of a layer mask to black

Activate the Free Transform tool

SHIFT+[LAYER MASK]

CMD/CTRL+J

Disable the effects of a layer mask

Duplicate the current layer

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