Master retouching tips document

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> yes, all i am doing is resizing them and then overwriting them with
> the smaller size.
> i created the action (before making a droplet out of it) and try to
> run it within photoshop and it does the same thing. it stops at the
> point where it asks me to choose the quality of the jpg setting
> forcing me to hit enter on every single one that i ran the action
> on.
> thanks,
> joe
> Netorah wrote:
> > I can get it to work with .jpeg's and psd's and others, but not
> > with gif. That still brings up the save as menu, and tries to make
> > it a psd even though I have it setup for jpg. Don't know what the
> > deal is there.
> >
> > I assume you're just resizing jpeg's yes? So this is not a
> > problem? As for the specifics, I've never used a droplet before,
> > and have questions about the use and workflow with these would be.
> > You group select your images in explorer and drop them on the
> > 'saveasjpg.exe" droplet? Or do you do it PS, in which case what is
> > the purpose. Also, if you do it from ecplorer, it still has to run
> > PS, at which point could you not have just run the action yourself?
> >
> > If I'm confused here, please coreect me. If you want details on
> > making a droplet for save as that doesn't bring up that menu, or if
> > you want the file it self (action and/or droplet) just let me know.


I would love to say that there was some sort of devine intuition or inspiration in deducing the solution to your problem, but that would be a a lie. When you record your action to do the resize, then the save as part, set up the folder and name and format; when it gets to the jpg options, selct your prefernance, and then (here it comes)..


deselect 'preview' under the cancel button.

Magical yes?


Photoshop add blue sky and clouds

How To Add Blue Sky & Clouds

1. Open the file. Choose File --> Open --> Enter the image name to be fixed.
2. Hold the Ctrl Key down and hit the + key a few times to zoom the image to 50%.

3. Select the sky with the magic wand (check the contiguous box and set the tolerance in the range of 22).
4. Choose Layer --> New --> Via Copy. This will create a new layer with just the selected sky selected with the magic wand.
5. Choose Image --> Adjustments --> Variations. Check the midtone box in the right top section of the screen.
6. Click on Add Blue variations as many times as needed by watching the preview screen. Click OK when done.
7. Choose Edit --> Fade Variations. Move the opacity percent to a level that is needed for your photograph.
8. Add a layer mask to the sky and paint a semitransparent mask along the horizon where the blue sky normally fades using a large soft brush set at 40% opacity. This step is optional depending on the type of photograph and whether the sky actually meets the horizon.
9. Choose Filters --> Render --> Clouds. This will add the clouds to the new sky. Make sure the sky layer has been selected.
10. If needed, change the opacity of the new sky layer.


Photoshop B&W colorize
see another tutorial here

C:\Documents and Settings\bgb\Desktop\photo_stuff\photography_stuff\RetouchPRO Tutorial - Colorization.htm


Photoshop blending two images
What you want to do is to use a mask on one of the layers to fade between that layer and the one below it.
1) Position the two photos in separate layers. The layers must have an area of overlap.

2) On the topmost layer, add a mask.

3) Select the new mask on the top layer to allow editing of it. Whatever you draw in the main window will now write to the mask rather than to the image.
4) Using the gradient tool with a black background / white foreground color, drag between the overlapped areas. Where the mask is completely white the topmost image will show completely; where the mask is completely black, the lower image will show completely. The shades of gray in between will fade from one layer to the other.



Photoshop brighten shadows
This card contains a number of different techniques to brighten shadows or dark spots in a picture.

This is a step-by-step tutorial on how get the same results as the Applied Science Fiction Digital SHO plugin for Photoshop, without using a plugin.

I came up with this after downloading and trying their demo version.

The demo was rather disappointing. Please note, that I used the plugin on regular, consumer quality, digital and scanned photos, and not on extremely high quality photographs (perhaps the outcome might be different?).

Nevertheless, It doesn't work as magically as the online demo would have you believe (particularly the woman in the pool).

I got the idea that I could probably duplicate the outcome myself, so I tried a few things and came up with this.

It works the same as the Digital SHO, on every image I've tested. You may find that it produces less noise as well.

(I would have preferred to use a more dramatic photo for this instruction, but I couldn't find one, in the hundreds I have on my system.)

The Applied Science plugin allows you to make adjustments before it completes the changes.

Mine allows you to adjust the effect afterwards (see "Adjustments" below).

The Steps

This tutorial was used with Photoshop 4.0, so it should be compatable with all versions of Photoshop.

Duplicate your "background" layer. This new layer is now "Layer 1".

Select "Layer 1".

From the main menu, select IMAGE-ADJUST-DESATURATE
From the main menu, select IMAGE-ADJUST-INVERT
Change the layer opacity/blend mode to COLOR DODGE at about 40%-50% (you can come back and tweak this later). NOTE: Some versions of Photoshop have the "Flow" option. Set this to between 40%-50% also.
From the main menu,


Select the SATURATION slider, and move it left to about -25 (you can come back and tweak this later too).
The image below gives you an idea of how the layers stack up.


To Increase/Decrease Brightness: Select "Layer 1" and adjust the layer opacity slider, right or left.

To Increase/Decrease Saturation: Double click on the "Adjustment Layer", and move the "Saturation" slider right or left.
As unlikely as it sounds, you can also apply Sharpening by selecting "Layer 1", and applying a slight Gaussian Blur.(.5-1.5).


Another Algorithm

I just developed a "twist" in the popular "contrast masking" technique. Let me know what you think!

Here's the steps:

1) make a duplicate of your image (image>duplicate). Convert to CMYK mode. Select the black channel. Select all, and copy to clipboard.

2) Back in the original RGB image, paste the black channel info into a new layer.
3) Invert the layer, and gaussian blur it (5/10 pixels for low/high res image).

4) Instead of making the layer "Overlay", make it "Color Dodge". Change the opacity to very low. I used about 35%.

So the only change to the original technique is that instead of using a blurred, inversed, grayscaleded version of the original, set to Overlay, I'm using a blurred, inversed version of the black channel, set to Color Dodge.
The difference with this method over the traditional method is that ONLY the very dark areas of the photo gets lightened up. Lighter parts don't get darkened... for example, the sky should stay exactly like the original. This technique is good when you only want to lighten up the underexposed shadows.

Another Algorithm

John - did you know that you can achieve the same results with the normal contrast mask....

after you have applied the gaussian blur you and you want to affect only parts of the image then use a mask on the layer and paint with a black brush to get back to the original image. If you mess up pant back with white. Want only a partial effect, then lower the opacity.
When happy if you right click in the mask on the layer pallet you will get a drop down that allows you to apply he mask or turn it into a selection and a few other options.

Create a new blank layer and ALT click on MERGE vis-able and you get a layer showing all the results in one image.

The above method means you have very specific control over how all the image is modified.

I just got back to my computer this afternoon and see your post is still active so I looked in my information files and found another method that I consider to be a very short and easy procedure that will give a better adjustment than the Gradient Overlay method (previously posted).
If you want a very short procedure to correct your original image, below is one that will take only a few minutes to process and will not require Cloning, Dodging, Burning, or other rather tedious and time consuming steps.
1. Open Image

2. Layer> Duplicate Layer

3. Image> Adjustments> Invert

4. Image> Adjustments> Levels and adjust to 0 0.75 255

5. Image> Adjustments> Desaturate

6. Set Layers Blending Mode (Top of Layers Palette) and select OVERLAY

7. Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur -- set Radius (slider) to 76 Pixels

8. Layer> Flatten Image

9. Image> Adjustments> Levels and adjust to 0 1.70 255
10. Image> Adjustments> Brightness/Contrast and set Brightness to +5 and Contrast to +20
11. Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask and set Amount 35%, Radius 5% , Threshold 0 (zero)
12. Save Image


Photoshop color to B&W with Photoshop
Weird effects

Essentially I created a color blend layer and chose a color using the color picker that looked good with this particular shot.

I then created another adjustment layer for Contrast
I played with a couple of different brushes for dodging and burning and this is what I came up with.
It's not perfect but the original image was far from perfect. I wanted to apply this technique to some of my concert shots.. I'll work on it a little more but for now I am happy with the way it is progressing.


1. Copy B channel to R and G channels to form greyscale image.

2. Convert above RGB greyscale image to LAB greyscale image.

3. Copy L channel of above greyscale image to L channel of color original.


easiest way to try:
Channel mixer adjustment layer, click monochromic and make sure r+g+b add up to 100%. If you like, some of the channels can have negative numbers.


ANOTHER WAY - excellent

Yeah, these pics all went through a non-colored gray scale phase. The color was added at the very end, with a hue/saturation adjustment layer, colorize, saturation 25, hue 25, then make the layer 50% transparent. I decided I like them better with the sepia tone.

The sequence I used to go from straight-out-of-the-camera color to these B&W versions is thus:

1. Channel Mixer to create a pleasing contrasty B&W image

2. Film Grain filter to add noise

3. Curves to regain contrast after Film Grain reduced it

4. Add hue/saturation adjustment layer as described above

Photoshop colorful vibrant washed out
Photoshop Elements Tip: Make Your Pictures Pop

Increase contrast to make your photos look more vibrant and colorful. Watch today at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern.

By Alex Lindsay

Video Highlight

Many images, especially digital photos, can end up looking drab and washed out. While we can often use curves or levels to correct these

images, it can sometimes be effective to try a Hard Light approach to increasing the contrast and color in your photos. On today's episode of "Call for Help," I'll show you how to easily add contrast and give your photos some pop. Hard Light, a mixture of Multiply and Screen, has no effect at 50 percent gray. Anything darker than 50 percent gray makes the image darker by multiplying the image to the image below it. Anything lighter than 50 percent gray gets lighter, screening to the image below it.
Learn more about the differences in my Blend Your Layers article.
How to we use it? We're going to use Hard Light to get the image to correct itself. By copying the image to a new layer, and then setting the top layer to Hard Light, the darker areas with get darker and the lighter areas will get lighter. Instant contrast! Now, it may be too much of a good thing (you will know if parts of your image go pure black or white). If this happens, you can try switching to Soft Light which is a kinder, gentler Hard Light. You can also lower the opacity of the Hard Light layer.

It gets better... It's more efficient to not copy the layer onto itself. Why? Because it makes the file twice as big and there is another way... a better way. At the bottom of the layers dialog, there are Adjustment Layers. These are special layers that essentially copy the image below them and apply an adjustment to it (like levels curves). Now, normally, these adjustment layers blend as Normal, thus taking over the image. But they don't have to. You can actually set an adjustment layer to Hard Light and it'll have the same effect as copying the whole layer over itself, but using only a fraction of the memory! More importantly, you can make more adjustments. So, you can actually add a Levels adjustment layer, set it to hard light, and then adjust the levels too. Now you have all the control you need to bring the photos to life. Next week: More of your questions and pics.


Photoshop convert to pencil drawing effect

1) With the file open, go to Image > Duplicate. This creates a new window with the same file.

2) In the duplicated file, convert it to CMYK mode (Image > Mode > CMYK color)

3) Go to your channels tab, and click on the Black channel. Go to Image > Adustments > Curves, and drag the bottom left point over about 25%. What we want is to bring down the light grays to white, while retaining the dark areas. The amount that you do is up to you, but in this image I did 25%

4) Still in the Black channel, Select All, the Copy to Clipboard. You can now close that file without saving.

5) Back in the original RGB file, go to Edit > Paste. The black channel info is now a new layer, over the background layer. Rename this new layer "Black Channel"

6) Duplicate the background layer twice. So you now have 3 layers of the original photo.

7) Hide the "Black Channel" layer and the "background layer" by clicking on the eyeballs. Rename the top duplicated layer "top". Rename the other duplicated layer "bottom".

8) Change the color mode to LAB (Image > Mode > Lab color). Be sure NOT to merge the layers when the warning pops up. Click on the "top" layer, then go to the Channels tab, and click on the L channel. Apply a Gaussian blur of 20 pixels to this channel.

9) Go back to RGB color mode (Image > Mode > RGB)

10) In the "top" layer, change the layer mode to "Difference". Make sure ONLY the "top" and "bottom" layers are visible, then do the "Merge Visible" command from the Layers Tab menu. Name the merged layer "merged".

11) Desaturate the "merged" layer. (Image > Adjustments > Desaturate) Then Invert the layer (Image > Adjustments > Invert).

12) The effect so far is coming together, but it's very very light and lacking contrast. So go into Image > Adjust > Curves. Drag the bottom left point over to the right about 75%. Each image will need it's own value. 75% seems to work for this image. Hint: you can do this as an Adjustment Layer, linked to this layer. This way you can go back and tweak the settings.

13) In your new beefed up "merged" layer, apply a 2 pixel gaussian blur.

14) Click on the "black channel" layer to make it visible. Apply the "Minimum" filter. (Filter > Other > Minimum) Use a value of 1 pixel.

15) Change the layer mode for "black channel" to Multiply. You can now see that this layer affectively fills in all the dark areas that were previously too light, or even white.

16) Merge the "black channel" layer, and "merged" layer, like you did above. Rename the resulting layer "merged".

17) Duplicate the "merged" layer, and rename it "overlay". Change the "overlay" layer to Overlay mode. Lower the "overlay" layer's opacity to what looks good. I used about 50%. This step is actually optional. You may just want to use the "merged" layer as your final artwork

To tweak this file further, you can airbrush some white in parts that you think are too dark. I did it like this:

1) Make a new layer that is the very top layer. Fill it with white.

2) Add a layer mask to the layer and fill the mask with black.
3) Select a brush, with a 10-20% opacity, and paint in white in the layer mask. This will lighten parts of the artwork. If you lighten too much, then make your brush into black, and paint black into the mask.


If you used the "overlay" layer from step 17, you can try a couple things:
1) Apply the Crosshatch filter (Filter > Brush Strokes > Crosshatch) to the "overlay" layer.

2) or you could apply the lighting effect (download info is at beginning of tutorial) to the "overlay" layer. You will then want to decrease the layers opacity much lower (maybe to 20%). This effect gives a more textured look


You can bring in more detail by doing the following:

1) Duplicate the background layer.

2) Apply the Filter > Stylize > Glowing Edges filter.

3) Desaturate and Invert.

4) Gaussian blur of 2 pixels

5) Change layer mode to Multiply

6) Move this layer on top of everything. Adjust opacity if desired.


Instead of a pure black/white drawing, i added a little aged color it it:

1) Add a new Adjustment Layer (Hue/Saturation).

2) Set it to "colorize".

3) Set the Hue to 20, and Saturation to around 10 (something "nearly" grayscale)


Photoshop dodge burn

see alternative at end

'Dodging' reduces the amount of light falling on an area and so the exposure is less and the section of the print is lighter.

'Burning-in' allows more light to fall upon an area of the print giving more exposure and the section of the print is darker.

This simple technique is the most versatile and useful one I've come across in a long time!

Here's how it goes:

Open image

Add new layer (Don't click on the "New layer" icon at the bottom of the
layer's palette, but go to LAYER>NEW>LAYER, (Or SHIFT
+CTRL+n) This will bring up a dialogue box. Change mode
to OVERLAY. Click in the box beside "Fill with overlay-
neutral color 50% gray.
(If you find this procedure as useful as I do, you can assign a key to activate it after recording it as an action)

Take a soft edge brush with the opacity set LOW. On some images I have it set as low as 2 or 3 for very subtle changes.It takes a lot more strokes but you are less likely to overdo it, plus it is easier to backtrack.

Paint with BLACK as your foreground color to "BURN", or WHITE to "Dodge".

If you go too far with one, just reverse the color and go back over it to undo it.

It's as simple as that!

Don't forget that in addition to making needed corrections to shadows and highlights, you can use it to add your own touches to the image by creating your own shadows and highlights! (Try putting highlights in hair for example)

Finally, you can sample a color as your foreground color and "BURN"

that color into your image. (Pink in cheeks, or reds in lips)
To see how you are altering the background image just turn off the "eyeball" beside the background and look at the adjustment layer.

Of course the beauty of all this is that since you are making the alterations on a layer, you have not altered the original image pixels until you flatten it.

It takes a little practice to get the hang of it, but not much.

I hope you find it useful,





Clive R. Haynes FRPS

Dodging & Burning

People familiar with standard wet-darkroom practice will recognise the terms of 'dodging' & 'burning-in'.

'Dodging' reduces the amount of light falling on an area and so the exposure is less and the section of the print is lighter.

'Burning-in' allows more light to fall upon an area of the print giving more exposure and the section of the print is darker.

The effect is just like sunburn - more light, the darker; less light, the lighter.

On the Photoshop Tool Bar, the 'Dodger' tool looks like this

whereas the 'burning-in' tool looks like this

So to locally lighten or darken an area use the appropriate tool. Unlike the darkroom however, the tonal range can be determined so that the 'dodger' or the 'burner' can be used to predominately affect Highlights, Midtones or shadows. These choices appear on the options bar (V6) or in the Options Palette (V5). In addition the amount of 'exposure' may be set as a percentage. See illustration below.


When we need to progressively lighten ('dodge') or darken (or 'burn-in') an area, a preferred method of working is by using the Gradient tool. This is especially useful for areas of sky or foreground for instance where we wish to 'contain' the image. The 'Gradient' allows a smooth transition from light tone to dark. Gradients have a variety of uses and can be many styles or produced from different colour combinations. However for the purposes of this exercise, we'll restrain ourselves to using black only and choose the 'Linear Gradient'.

Left: The Gradient Tool selected, showing the styles of gradient available (V6). The choices for V5 can be viewed by clicking on the Gradient Tool and dragging to the right. The one chosen is the 'Linear Gradient'.

For the purposes of 'Dodging' and 'Burning-in' I usually set the tool opacity to around 30% and use the 'Foreground to Transparent' setting with the Foreground colour, black


dup layer twice

mode of one multiply
mode of other screen
layer mask filled with black for each
paint with white, low flow, maybe 10% or so

click on multiply layer to burn, screen layer to dodge


doesnt have the artifactual look if you go too far like regular B&D tools, especially burning

doesn't increase contrast like the overlay technique

you can go back and decrease the effect in local spots by painting in black, this doesnt work well with B&D tools.

if when you are done you feel you generally overdid it, which is usually the case for me, you can decrease layer opacity, either of the screen or the multiply layers or both. Or you can duplicate either layer and control the opacity of the reduplicated layer to get a Greater effect.


Photoshop edge effects

> Hi Folks, i want to add some 'sloppy borders' (I think that is the
> correct term, I mean a kind of rough medium format negative edge)
> to some black and white wedding album prints. I have no idea where
> I could get hold of such a frame (especially as I have never shot
> medium format....)
> Can anyone point me in the right direction (or would be good enough
> to e-mail me a file.....)

Torn Edged Frame:

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