Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fiddling With Photoshop: Sarah

After re-reading our post with requests on future blog topics, it seems that Photoshop Techniques ranked near the top. Due to our minimal staffing here at the Fringe in Focus (smiling), I have decided that I shall volunteer myself to tackle Photoshop one bite at a time. Please feel free to comment as we go, ask questions, and let me know if you have discovered better techniques or tricks of the program. As a self-taught 'Photoshop-ist' I always love to hear what others know that I do not.

Let’s start with the basics.

Open your file of choice (pretty basic!)
The first thing you need to determine is what would enhance or fix your photo. Many times we get a photo, and we like the theme or the subject but there is just something missing. When I have a photo like this, I usually open Photoshop and use the following options in the order listed:

Brightness and Contrast:
The brightness and contrast option can be found Image/Adjustments/Brightness and Contrast. Try changing the contrast first, then the brightness. Sometimes just a lack of contrast can make your photo fall short of what you are looking for; this is especially true in B&W when you have no color working for you.

Color Balance:
Ah-ha. Oops! Forgot to use that flash, or change your white balance? Yes, either you have a particularly yellow or blue looking subject. Never fear, this is fairly easy to fix. Take a trip to Image/Adjustments
/Color Balance
or Image/Adjustments/Curves. From here you can work on your color balances and level out your yellows, etc. Just be sure that after you open the color balance screen that your Preview box is clicked. This preview option is available on most Photoshop screens. This will give you a preview of how the changes you are making will look on your image.

Always ‘Save As’:
Once you have finished playing with your photo just be sure to select the Save As option under the File menu. Save under a different name than the original you opened. Just because your image is digital does not mean that you should treat your original any different than a film negative. This is your negative- Always save under a new name.

This concludes Fiddling Photoshop #1. Again, The Fringe in Focus is always looking for writers that would be willing to contribute to Your Home for Christian Photography. As Christian photographers we realize how hard it is to find clean photography information in a world that bombards us daily with unclean and ungodly images. The world needs inspired and dedicated Christians who can take back the world of photography for the glory of our Lord. One of our goals here at the Fringe in Focus is to provide not only amateur photographers with photo tips but a place that pros can visit and be encouraged to see that other up-and-coming photographers are inspired to take back this realm for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need those Christian pros to pass on what they have learned over the years, so please email us at .


  1. Amen! Christian's definitely need to recapture the art of photography.

    As for photoshop techniques, I was shown a really quick way to perform a fairly accurate color correction. It isn't 100% accurate, but it is most of the time. To start, duplicate your image layer [cmd(ctrl)-J] then (filter>blur>average) the duplicated layer. You will then get the average color of the image (surprise surprise). Then go to image>adjustments>invert and inverse the color of the duplicate layer, then change the layer blending mode from "normal" to "color" and reduce to opacity of the layer to roughly 30% (+-). You'll now notice your unbalanced colors will have been corrected for. Sometimes the photos is dark, just adjust the brightness in "curves" (cmd-M) to finish the photo.

    Despite that semi-long tutorial it can actually be simplified into a 3 key strokes and two clicks of the mouse and then a final key stroke. see below.

    cmd-J (duplicate layer)> cmd-F (redue last filter) > cmd-I (Invert layer) > change blending mode > change opacity > then shift-cmd-E (flatten).


    I really enjoy this blog, your explainations of complicated technical photo jargon are great!


  2. Unknown,

    Thanks for the example!



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