How to Do Stuff in Adobe PhotoShop® 6 or 7
Marvin Bartel

select it scan it  size it   overlap it    see through it   sharpen it  blur it
lighten it   brighten it   add contrast
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questions and answers about putting together a montage
How do I --- Scan it?
Located in UN001, there are flatbed scanners and a slide/film scanner with which to convert any image to a computer file in Photoshop using a Mac.  In the hallway are Windows stations to do scanning of negatives or prints.
  1. The scanners are listed in PhotoShop under File>Import. 

  2. On the PC (Windows) system there may be an icon on the screen for the scanner.
  3. Click on a the brand name of the scanner that you are planning to use. 
  4. Set resolution>Prescan, and then (after prescaning) set the margins by draging the border line.  Then active the Scan button.  More adjustments can be made later in Photoshop.

  5. How do you know the resolution you need?  This depends on at least two issues. 

    a.  How large is your original compared to the size you want your final product to be? 
    When using a negative scanner keep in mind that the negative is small so it needs to be scanned with a high resolution if you plan to make larger photograph.  I like to use one of the highest resolutions if I am planning to print an 8 x 10 or larger from a negative or 35 mm slide. 
    When scanning prints from a flatbed scanner, less enlarging is needed.  If a 4 x 6 print is to printed as 4 x 6, scanning at around 250 or 300 pixels per inch would be good.  If it is to be doubled in size to 8 x 10, I would double the scanning resolution.  Remember, if you crop, you are cutting off and pixels and often enlarging those that are remaining.  Start with extra high resolution if you anticipate cropping the image.

    b. Will the image be printed or posted as a web page image? 
    Since computer monitors present web pages at 72 pixels per inch, higher resolutions are not needed during scanning for web pages unless the image size is to be increased.  If I am planning to scan a 4 x 6 print and present it on a web page at 6 x 9 inches, I would scan the print at a resolution of at least 106 so that it still has integrity at 72 after increasing the size to 150%.

  1. Save it. After scanning, Save the file using the File>Save command from the top menu bar in Photoshop. If you downloaded from a digital camera, your images will already be saved files. 
    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.
    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. In some cases low resolution just isn't good enough. See B-5 for more information about file sizes and to make smaller files after they are scanned. 
    3. Where to save when done working. Images that you want to keep should be saved in your own drive, on a Zip disk, or on 3.5-inch diskettes, [or directly to your webserver folder--see the GCWeb publishers' manual]. Don't leave any personal files on an individual computer unless it is your own computer. 
  2. 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 bar. Use Image>Adjust>Levels 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Crop. Cropping should be done before finalizing the image size. Crop images to eliminate uninteresting, and/or distracting elements. The crop tool allows you to draw a rectangle on your image. It has handles on the corners and the sides which allow you to adjust the size of it. When you get it positioned where you want it you double-click within the area that will remain.
    4. File Size.

    5. [Paul suggests to web graphic designers that they do all resizing directly in units of pixels]. 
      1. Use Ruler. If you don't see a ruler at the top and left of the image, press Ctrl +R. Use the ruler to help you visualize the size.
      2. Image>Image Size from the top menu bar 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 won't make them look better. Images intended for printing will benefit from a resolution slightly better than the maximum resolution of the printer used.
How do I ---
-- MAKE A SELECTION in order to clip out only part of a picture into my montage composite?
A.  Try the Magic Wand (near top right column of the tools icons).  If the background is fairly monotone, clicking on it might select the background with out picking the foreground.  To add to the selection, hold down the shift while selecting.  To take away from the selection hold down the alt key while selecting.  If you are able to select enough background, you can change the selection to include only  your foreground by picking Select and Inverse from the top main menu. Then Copy the Selected part of you photo and Paste it in you Montage. 
HINT - The Magic Wand has a tolerance setting.  A smaller number will select less.  Larger numbers select more.  I use it between 10 and 40 in most cases.
B.  If the background can not be selected with Magic Wand, first enlargethe part you want to select by using the Zoom tool that looks like a magnifying glass (lower right).  Use the Lasso (near top left column of the tools icons). I like to use the Polygonal one.  Hold the mouse button on it until the icon options pop out and pick Polygonal. With the Polygonal Lasso you click a path all the way around whatever you want to select.  When you get back to where you started, the selection with have the "marching ants" outlining it. 
HINT - Pay attention to the "feather" setting above your image to make a soft (2 to 10 pixels) or hard (0) edge when making a selection. 

How do I ---
-- CUT AND PASTE my photo from my image file to my background montage file?

  1. Open both the image file for your background and the image file you are wanting to copy (be sure you are working in Photoshop and not some other image program).
  2. Click any place on the image you want to Copy to be sure you have the correct image active.  There are several ways to Select it (see above).  The simple way is to go to the top menu and pick Select, All.  (marching ants will go around the edges). 
  3. Then pick Edit, Copy.
  4. Then click anyplace on the background file image to make it the active file active and click  Edit, Paste.  The use the Move tool (top right on the vertical tool menu) to place the pasted file.
How do I ---
-- place one photo BEHIND another photo (for depth illusion or to make it appear flat)?
This is done in the Layers Dialogue Box.  If you cannot see it, go to the top menu to Windows, Show Layers.  With the mouse you can click and drag the up and down in the Layers Dialogue Box.  The layer that is high in the dialogue box is the one closest to the viewer.

How do I ---
-- make something LARGER or smaller (for depth illusion or to make it appear flat)?
When you do this, one layer is effected, select a layer in the layer dialogue box. The go to Edit and Transform, Scale.  Move the gripers to change the layer size.  Enter.

How do I ---
-- make some parts SHARPER?
Click Filters, Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, and slide the adjuster while deciding what looks best.

How do I ---
-- make some parts BLURRY (for depth illusion)?
Filters, Blur, Gaussian Blur, and slide the adjuster while deciding what looks best.

How do I ---
-- make some parts TRANSPARENT?
At the top of Layers Dialogue Box Click the Opacity button and slide the adjuster while deciding what looks best.

How do I ---
-- add WORDS to my composite?
Pick the big T tool.  Place the cursor about where you want to type, but before typing, check over the options along the top for size, font style, color, etc.  After typing use the Move tool (top right of tools) to place the text where you want it.  Note:  It just made a new Layer.

How do I ---
-- make it DARKER or lighter?
Pick Image, Adjust, Levels.  Slide the right and left sliders to to where the black histogram starts.  Fine tune the center.

How do I ---
-- make it have more VALUE contrast?
Pick Image, Adjust, Brightness/Contrast.  Slide the sliders to to where things look good to you.

How do I ---
-- make the COLORS BRIGHTER or less bright (for depth illusion)?
Pick Image, Adjust, Hue/Saturation.  Slide the sliders to to where things look good to you.

Also try Photoshop "Help" from the top menu bar.
Students in Art for Children class are asked to e-mail me if you find errors if you have any questions as you work.

WARNING  Copyright law prohibits the publication of images on a web page without permission. Posting web pages and photocopying 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, it has U.S. copyright protection. If you made it or if you have permission from the owner, you can publish it.  Google and other search engines can find materials that are posted very quickly, whether or not you advertize it.  Stay honest.  Stay legal.  Make your own images.  How hard could that be?

select it   scan it    size it     overlap it    see thur it   sharpen it   blur it
lighten it  brighten it    add contrast
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All rights reserved. Goshen College students may print a copy for their own use. Teachers may make copies for classroom use if the author and web site are credited.  Others must e-mail for permission to reproduce or publish. Photos, layout, and text © Marvin Bartel 1999, 2002

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Updated Sept. 9,  2002