Basic Image File Preparation Using
Adobe Photoshop 5.0 or 5.5
These instructions are for good standard believable photographic images, 
not for surrealistic image manipulation and artistic interpretation

WARNING. Copyright law prohibits the publication of images without permission. Posting web pages and photocopying in quantity are forms of publishing. An image does not need to display ã in order to have legal protection. When you create an original image, whether with a camera or otherwise, you have U.S. copyright protection. You may publish your own photos. They are yours unless the people in the pictures you have taken do not consent to it. Commercial use always requires model releases from the people in your pictures. 
  1. Tone improvement, 
  2. Contrast correction,
  3. Color balance, 
  4. Cropping to remove extra background, 
  5. Size and resolution, 
  6. Blemish correction,
  7. Compositional distractions
  8. Sharpen 
  9. Printing
  10. How to back up when you goof up.
  11. Other 
  12. Save it   Save the file using the File + the Save commands from the top menu in Photoshop. If you downloaded from a digital camera, your images will already be saved files. See "where to save" below. If you scan, remember to Save before working.
  1. Where to save. The first time a file is saved, you get a dialog box asking where you want to save it. Image files can be temporarily saved in a folder you make on the computer desktop (the Mac screen is called the desktop). Diskettes are too slow and may be too small for image files. Save it temporarily on the Mac desktop so it responds faster while you work. If you are more comfortable not using a Mac, Adobe Photoshop is also on the PCs on campus. You can make a temporary C:drive folder on a PC to use while you work. This avoids network lockups and speeds saving. Student assistants can help you with file management questions.
  2. File size. Large high resolution image files can respond very slowly in Photoshop. If this is a problem, you may want to scan at a lower resolution next time. However, for good quality printed photographs it pays to use a relatively high resolution. This will make large file sizes. For good quality prints the resolution should be at least 200 dpi.  More file size information
  3. Where to save when done working. Images that you want to keep should be saved in your own M:drive, on a Zip disk, or on 3.5-inch diskettes. Do not leave any personal files on an individual computer desktop or C:drive unless it is your own computer. 
  1. Enhance and Correct It. Use Adobe Photoshop to check and make corrections and enhancements. Here are several easy routines to help make an effective photograph.
1. Use Full Range of Tone 
Go to the top menu. Use the Image +Adjust +Levels menu to take out any unused latitude. If the histogram shows a flat area at either end, use the sliders to eliminate the flat area. Almost every image will be improved by this simple adjustment. Experiment with the center slider, but most images do not need this adjustment. Select OK when finished.

Tone and Contrast. The tone and contrast of the image can also be adjusted with Image +Adjust +Brightness /Contrast. Experiment with the sliders. Most pictures should look snappy but still natural, but other styles may be better.

Color Correction. Often digital photos have a slightly magenta cast. Others have the wrong color balance because of the light during photographing. Correct color balance by using the Image +Adjust +Variations. By experimentation the color can be made to look more natural. If we print out the image on a color printer, we generally find that the printer produces a different color balance than the monitor does. Artists who understand color theory can generally get a good print after two or three printouts. Some monitors can be "tuned" to match the printer, making it easier to use Variations.

Crop. Cropping should be done before finalizing the image size. Crop images to eliminate uninteresting, and/or distracting elements. Photoshop 5.0 hides the cropping tool under the top left button with the rectangle on it. Press this button until you see a row of secondary buttons. Press the right-most one. This allows you to draw a cropping rectangle on your image. It has grippers on the corners and the sides which allow you to adjust the size of it. Press the Enter key when the crop lines are adjusted.

File Size.
  1. Use Ruler. If you do not see a ruler at the top and left of the image, press Ctrl +R. Use the ruler to help you visualize the size. Or, go to View, +Rulers.
  2. Image +Image Size from the top menu can be used to change the image height and width.
  3. The Image +Image Size dialog box also gives control of the file size by stipulating the resolution after we have stipulated the height or width of the image. Web page images can be set to a resolution of 72 after they are scaled to size. Lower than this will produce noticeable deterioration of quality. More than 72 probably will not make them look better. Images intended for printing should be set to a resolution of about 250 or 300. Adjust images to fit the paper size the printer accommodates. 
  4. Pay attention to landscape and portrait orientation in File, +Page Setup.
Remove Blemishes  If your image has a distracting detail or blemish, take it out with the any one of several of the tools on the vertical tool bar. Zoom in on the area first using the magnifying glass from the vertical tool bar. Your cursor changes to a circle with a + sign. Click repeatedly to enlarge a detail. It shrinks the image smaller again if you hold down the Option key on a Mac while clicking (use the Alt key on a PC). Or just use View +Fit on Screen.
  1. The rubber stamp tool (cloning tool) is a convenient favorite for removing blemishes. It can replace a blemished portion or a distracting part of a photo with a color and texture from any place else on this photo or even from another photo open near by on the monitor. 
  • First you press the rubber stamp button.
  • Then locate it where you find a color, tone, and texture you want to copy. 
  • Hold down the Alt key (Option key on a MAC) and click once with the mouse. 
  • Move the stamp to the blemish and click on it. 
  • Repeated use can cover a large blemish or even eliminate a distraction in the background. 
  1. Adjusting the size of tools. If the stamp is covering an area too small or too large, the effective size is adjusted by selecting a different brush size. The brushes pallet is made visible by selecting Window +Show Brushes. Click on the Brushes tab. Now select with different sizes. If this fails, go to the next step.
  2. Brush Size Preferences. In the event that selecting a different brush size does not work, go to File +Preferences +Display & Cursors and pick Brush Size and Precise at he bottom. OK it and proceed.
Sharpen Use Filters +Sharpen +Unsharp Mask.
Set Threshold at 4
Set Radius at 0.6
Place the small square magnifying box on the eye of a person in the photo.
Slide the Amount slider until sharpness is maximized without pixilating the edges of images.
Click OK +Save How to back up if you goof
If you mess up, Photoshop 5.0 allows you to go back to any previous step. Go to Windows, +Show History. Click on the action where you want to revert to. You can always use File +Revert. This brings back the image as it was last saved. If you catch a mistake immediately, you can use Edit +Undo. 

By now you realize there are a multitude of additional Photoshop commands. Experiment and use the Help files to improve and manipulate. 

Saving when you are done. 

  1. If this is a file for a Web page, use File +Save a Copy. Be sure to select .jpg or .jpeg as the file extension. This allows compression to a smaller file size. In Save a Copy, you can rename the file before saving to give it a short name. Be sure to place the .jpg file extension at the end of the file name unless Photoshop is doing it automatically. The .jpg file extension may be needed my non-Mac computers.
  2. If you are saving for a Web page, use a low resolution (72 pixels per inch) and select a low or medium quality so the file size is no more than about 50k. Browsers will download your image faster and the quality is very nearly the same as with less compression (called "high" quality). 
  3. If you are planning to print the image with a high resolution printer, save the file as a high resolution .jpg or use another file extension format that does not compress the files. Use the photoshop .psd file type if you need to save layers.  This may give some very large file sizes.   File Size Review
color printing at Goshen College 
    Be sure to:
    Save or Save As a .jpg file before attempting to print (file sizes are smaller allowing file resolutions up to 300 dpi without problems).

    If jpeg is not available in the Save As file types, first use Layer +Flatten.
    This link gives more detail.
    Use the BACK button to return here.

    Very IMPORTANT if printing from Mac - Send the file to the printer in jpeg mode. 
    NEVER use asci or binhex mode (your may be charged for many garbage pages) .

downloading cameras
Newer digital cameras have a Compact Flash Card that can be read directly by inserting the card in the Compact Flash Card reader in Shertz Computing Center. Student assistants can show you how to do it. Students can move .jpg files from the Flash Card drive to their M:drive (or a Zip drive if desired).  scanning from other photos
Located in UN001, there are flatbed scanners and a slide/film scanner can be requested with which to convert any image to a computer file in Photoshop. See the Scanning Instructions sheet or an assistant if you need help scanning. 

ã1997, 2000 Marvin Bartel, Photography Instructor, Goshen College  file/art4c/studios/photPrep.doc
Goshen students may make a copy fro their own use. e-mail
updated august 2001


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