Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Software > Editors (Photoshop, Vegas, Final Cut Pro, Kdenlive, etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 26, 2005, 1:50 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 429

I recently took several photos that just do not look all that Sharp of focus to me. I also just bought Photo shop Elements. Anyone have any tricks or help for me to clean up my pictures. I use a FZ 20 camera. Here is a photo like what I am looking at. I have only resized it.

Attached Images
RP33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 26, 2005, 7:05 AM   #2
Senior Member
Stevekin's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,611

First off, make a copy of the background layer to work on. Go to Layer/New/Layer via Copy, or press Ctrl+ J on your keyboard, this will be called Layer 1.This keeps your original background layer untouched by any changes you make, and also allows you to switch off the working layer to see the differences that have been made.

The first thing anyone should do when editing an image is to check the levels. Quite often this is all that is necessary to improve an image. Go to Image/Adjustments/Levels, or press Ctrl + L on your keyboard, to bring up the levels adjustment dialog box.

The levels on this image are near enough spot on, but move the Shadows slider (The one on the left) over to the right until it comes into contact with the firstgroup of pixels. As you can see this is a very short amount, but makes a subtle change to the image.

The highlights are ok and do not need adjusting.

Next, you want to bring out some detail in the overhanging branches. Select the Lasso tool and draw a selection around the overhanging trees. Try to keep close the edge of the trees, but it doesn't have to precise.

Now go to Select/Feather and input a value of 20 pixels. Feathering softens the edges of the selection so that any changes blend in, and the highish value increases the transition area of the blend, sort of fading away rather than a harsh edge to the change.

Open the Levels dialog again, (Ctrl + L), and move the Highlights slider to the left, until it reaches the first group of pixels. Look at the values in the three Input boxes above the Histogram. When you move any of the sliders, the value changes accordingly.Drag theHighlights slideruntil it shows around 160 in the right hand box. Now move the center slider, that's the Midtones, to the left until the middle input levels box shows a value of 1.40.

Click ok and go to Select/Deselect or press Ctrl + D to deselect the selection.

Take the Lasso tool again and this time select all of the top part of the image above the water line. Feather it by 15 pixels and go to Image/Adjustments and select Brightness/Contrast. Drag the Contrast slider to the right for between +25 and +30. Click ok and deselect, (Ctrl + D).

Now take the Magnetic Lasso tool. To get this tool click and hold on the Lasso tool and move your cursor until it is over the Magnetic Lasso tool, then release the mouse. We want to select the golfer to make changes just to her. Click with the magnetic lasso on an edge of the golfer and release the mouse, now drag, slowly, around the edge of the golfer until you come full circle. You will know when you have completed the selection as a small circle will appear next to the lasso tool, now click and the selection will be complete. Alternatively, if you are very close to the end and it is a fairly straight line to complete then double click the mouse and it will automatically complete the selection.

Go to select/Feather and this time use a value of 2 pixels, as we want to keep any changes just to the golfer and 2 pixels will soften just the edges so as to not make it too obvious.

This next step is entirely up to you, but I thought that the golfer needed to be 'brought out' a little, so this time, with the selection in place click on the icon in your layers palette for 'Create new fill or Adjustment layer'. The half black/half white circle. Choose Levels. Now move the midtone slider, the middle one, to the left and see if you like any change made. I set mine to 1.13 but you may prefer different. When done click ok. Now you can see a new layer consisting of a layer thumbnail and layer mask thumbnail. The purpose of this is to enable you to go back and make any changes to the adjustments you have just made to the selected area. Or, in this case, you can click the eye icon next to the layer to switch it off and see the change you have made, to determine if you wish to keep,alter or do without thechange.

You could also select the water and make a slight contrast adjustment, but it's not absolutely necessary on this image.

Before the final touch I also cloned outwhat appears to be a large ear to the right of the image or possibly the tip of one of your fingers.

Now, if you are happy with any changes made, go to layer/Flatten Image then go up to Filter/Sharpen/Unsharp Mask.This will correct the softness of the image.I chose for the amount, 54%. For the Radius, 1.8 pixels and left threshold at zero.

As long as the preview box is checked, you will see the changes on your image as well as in the preview pane. Adjust the settings and look at your image while clicking the check mark to see the before and after.

When you are happy with the image save as a different name to your original. I quite often just add EDIT to the end of the file name, this keeps your original so you can do this all over again if you wish .

All of these changes can be made using different tools and techniques in photoshop, such as layer masks, but you don't have direct use of layer masks so that is a whole new tutorial.

See how you get on with this first.

Hope this helps.

Stevekin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 27, 2005, 1:55 AM   #3
Senior Member
VTphotog's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,241

Being rather new to Photoshop myself, (I recently got PSE3 included with a new scanner) I thought I would give this a go from a simpleton's point of view.

This is a very contrasty photo, with the subject's face in shadow, but the white eyeshade is a touch overexposed, as seen by the fringing at the edges. Shoulder also has some fringing.

The first thing I did was use the shadows/highlights tool with default setting for shadows, about -5 for highlights, and +20 for midrange contrast. This did nearly all that was needed, but I went ahead and did a bit of noise reduction (settings of 3 for amount, 38 for preserve detail, and low on quality) After this, I applied some unsharp mask at 0.3 radius and 70 for amount. All applied to original image, then saved as copy, as I like to keep things simple.

Probably won't be using Photoshop much, as I will be upgrading to version 11 of Photoimpact, which has the features I have been missing in v.10, and it is so much easier to work with.

Attached Images
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:48 PM.