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Photoshop 101 - Quick Terms and Tips

Discussion in 'Darkroom Tutorials' started by PapaBob, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. PapaBob

    PapaBob ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    PHOTOSHOP 101 - QUICK TERMS, TIPS and TECHNIQUES

    The purpose of this thread is to provide a glossary of common terms, tips and techniques that may be of use to new users of Photoshop Elements (PSE) or those of you who have recently upgraded to the full version of Photoshop (PS) such as PS6, PS7 or PSCS.

    Like any tutorial, reading is not enough. You actually have to try out the tip or technique and make it work.

    I will lead off, but this section of the Scubaboard is not my personal turf. I know we have some experienced Photoshoppers out there and we would really value your input. However, I would like to lay down some rules for this thread.

    The topics should be basic and of interest to a PSE or PS novice with emphasis on underwater photography (this is, after all, the Underwater Photography forum).

    The posts should be vignettes, not full blown tutorials. If you want to create a complete tutorial, please do... just start it as a separate thread. If possible, keep your post to a single frame, and limit it to a single term (or closely related terms), technique, or tip.

    Be sure to identify what software the post refers to (eg PSE or PS).

    Include a screen shot. If you don’t know how, then CLICK HERE.

    This is a tutorial subforum and we want to keep it uncluttered. Please do not post questions in this thread or comment on the posts in this thread. That can be done by posting a new thread in the main Digital Darkroom forum or by sending the author a private message.

    As posts are added I will keep an index in the post #2 immediately below. You find the post # by looking in the upper right hand corner of the frame that contains the post, and this will be used as the index reference. In order to be sure I do not miss your post, please send me a private message notifying me that you have posted and what the topic is.

    With your help we can build this into a resource for all our fellow members who are just starting to Shop. Thanks for the help.

    —Bob
     
  2. PapaBob

    PapaBob ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    PHOTOSHOP 101 - QUICK TERMS, TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
    INDEX PAGE

    Post #3 - First Cardinal Rule...Make a Backup
    Post #4 - Second Cardinal Rule...Work on a Duplicate Image.
    Post #5 - Tip. Make a Duplicate Layer For Your Adjustments.
     
  3. PapaBob

    PapaBob ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Post #3 - First Cardinal Rule...Make a Backup

    Picture this. You just got back from a fantastic dive and you can’t wait to download your camera or memory card to your computer to really see what you got. Wow! That shark picture is really neat and the moray shot came out great! A few days later your hard disk crashes. Hope you didn’t erase the camera memory card. Uh-oh, you used it to shoot pictures at your friend’s wedding. That shark and eel are gone forever.

    Another scenario. You downloaded your camera memory and a few weeks later you decide to really make that shark shot “pop” in Photoshop. You load the image, work your magic, and save the file. When you take it to your friendly photo processor for that 8x10 glossy, there are some things you decide to change. Oops! When you saved the file you forgot to change the name or put it in a different folder and you overwrote the original image. The camera memory card was erased and used for friend’s wedding. Image lost forever.

    Cardinal Rule #1. Do not get lazy. After you download your unprocessed photos from camera to computer, the first thing you do is burn a CD or DVD. Now you have an archive of the original shots. I like to shoot in RAW and save my processed pics as Jpegs so I can share them and print them at my local Costco. If I want back to my raw file, I have the CD.

    External hard drives and “in computer” swapable hard drives have come down in price. Make an area on your auxiliary drive for your unprocessed files; but since hard drives can crash, use this for quick access to your unprocessed pictures. Always burn a CD or DVD.
     
  4. PapaBob

    PapaBob ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Post #4 - Second Cardinal Rule ... Work on a Duplicate Image.

    Ok. You loaded that shark picture into Photoshop to work on. The first thing you should do is duplicate the image. In PSE you can choose File>Duplicate from the menu bar at top, or right click on the thumbnail in the PhotoBin, choose Duplicate, and click OK.


    [​IMG]


    In PS you can either select Image>Duplicate from the menu bar at top, or right click on the image title bar (the blue bar at the top of the image) and select Duplicate.




    [​IMG]



    You now have a duplicate image to do your work. If you screw up, then instead of closing and reloading your original image (slow and dangerous way) you just make another image copy from the original image you already have loaded in your work area (safe and easy way). When you finish work then save the work copy in a different file folder (perhaps with a different name) and close the original image. The original image is preserved to play another day!
     
  5. PapaBob

    PapaBob ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Post #5 - Do Your Work on a Duplicate Layer

    You now have that shark in your work area in a copy of the original image. The next easy step is to copy the background (bottom) layer and work on a copy. That way you can always trash the copy layer and make more copies from the background layer. It also preserves your background layer if you need it for any multiple layer work.

    Step 1 - Open your Layers palette.

    In PSE make sure you are in Standard Edit mode (upper right button) and not Quick Fix mode. The palette area is on the right side of the screen. Open the Layers palette by clicking on the down arrow. You will start with one background layer.

    In PS you should pull your Layers palette into the work area. You can do this by choosing Window>Layers or pulling the palette off the palette well in the options bar at top (which is where I like to stow mine). If the palette is in a box with other palettes, you can extract it by clicking and dragging its tab.

    Step 2 - Copy the background layer. In PSE you do this by selecting Layer>Duplicate Layer, or the simple shortcut Control-J will work. You can also right click on the layer and choose Duplicate Layer from the menu or click and drag the background layer to the new layer icon. PS works the same way, but the icons are at the bottom of the Layers palette and not at the top like in PSE.

    Step 3 - With your new layer active, do your work on the layer copy. The top layer starts at 100% opacity meaning it blocks the view of the background layer below it. If you want to compare with the original image then toggle the new layer eyeball icon in the Layers palette.

    Here is what your options look like in PSE.



    [​IMG]




    If you want to save your layers then save the image as a .psd file. If you save in another file format (like Jpeg) then the saved image will be “flattened” and only your work layer will be saved. That is one reason you did your work on a copy of the image, changed the name and put it in a separate file folder.

    If you want to trash the new layer, click and drag it to the trashbin icon in the Layers palette. See, you are becoming a layers expert already.
     

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