Enhance Your Customer Response With Proper
“Image Concept” Editing

This tutorial uses PHOTOSHOP CS2 PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 15 (PRO) WORKS AS WELL, AS DOES “GIMP” The process is the same except for the names of the tabs to locate the procedure you want to use.

Although the thought of working with Image editing tools may be daunting, if you disregard all the extraneous info and concentrate on the process you need, you will find that it is easier to do than first imagined. The “concept” editing process goes like this:

  • Make sure Computer screen is updated (WWW.CALIBRIZE.COM)
  • Open Photoshop
  • Go to saved images and open image you desire
  • Follow the editing procedure religiously
  • Re-name your enhanced image and save to “Pictures” in the file of your choice. Include store name and “BAT” (Bon A Tirer – Ready to Print) in the title of the image along with the working date. ie: ETSY good stuff BAT 2-12-16.jpg

17 STEP PROCESS

  1. Open image you want to enhance
  2. Select “Window” from top heading and check: COLOR, HISTORY, TOOLS, LAYERS, and OPTIONS
  3. Make “duplicate” image
  4. Work on “duplicate” with “original” next to it for comparison
  5. Correct to “horizontal”
  6. Edit for “Lens aberration”
  7. Edit for vertical distortion (parallax)
  8. Crop for “effect” (positive psychological response)
  9. Change size and pixel count as required by “Store”
  10. Correct “Histogram” and “White Balance”
  11. Correct “Brightness/Contrast”
  12. Edit “Shadows/Highlights”
  13. Correct Color Balance
  14. Sharpen
  15. Soften background intensity and sharpness
  16. Evaluate and correct if needed
  17. Save your work often as you go along the process!!!

Learning “what” to do is easy! Learning “when and why” requires knowledge. Few of us have learned “how” to stop editing! The best end result should present an image that is compelling, enticing, accurate, detailed and informative.

PROCEDURE

  • In Photoshop CS2, bring up image to be edited
    • FILE -> OPEN
  • Click on blue banner over image and select “duplicate” (Save the original along side the dupe for comparison as you work)
  • Select “duplicate image” to enhance by clicking blue top banner
  • Select “lasso tool” to isolate specific areas for improvement. >CTRL D when done

To correct “HORIZON”

  • From Utensil Bar on left, select “eyedropper”, select “+”,
  • Draw a straight line with the “cross” along a line you want to be horizontal
  • Go to “IMAGE -> rotate canvas arbitrarily and click “OK”
  • Add or emend new image to fill space allotted

To correct “LENS ABERRATION” (a slimming or bulging)

  • From top bar, select Filter-> Distort -> Lens Correction
  • Adjust sliders to correct or change image, click OK

To Edit for “VERTICAL DISTORTION”

  1. Click on outside edges of image box and extend outside line about 1/2 inch leaving a blank space border.
  2. Select “Ctrl-J” to make duplicate layer
  3. Select from “Edit -> Transform -> Skew
  4. Select top right arrow and move to the right or left as needed to correct
  5. Do the same, if needed, on each other arrow.
  6. When satisfied, hit “enter”
  7. If you made a mistake, hit Ctrl Z, and re-do

TO CROP FOR “EFFECT”

  • From just below top descriptions, “W and H” describe width and height dimensions you want to end up with, or leave blank for random rectangle
  • Enter appropriate numbers if desired
  • From side Utensil Bar, select “Crop Tool” (3rd one down on the left)
  • Place cursor in upper left corner and holding cursor down, move to lower right corner. The ratio will always stay the same as you designated in “W and H”.
  • For minor v/h adjustments, use arrows on keyboard
  • Press “Enter” to set
  • On the image above, we took a portion of the left side and moved it to the right using the “duplicating” tool. This gives central figure an area into which to look instead of out of the frame.

Additional “why to crop” resource for you:

To Change SIZE AND PIXEL COUNT

  • Click “Image -> Image Size
  • Make certain boxes in lower left are checked and “BICUBIC” is seen in window
  • Change top number (WIDTH in pixels) to 1000, (ensure “width” and “height” are locked) or as recommended by “Store”, and only then
  • Change “Resolution” to “72 pixels”
  • This will give you the size of the “required” image in your site

Now that you have solved the mechanical anomalies and the product image is in the correct format and size, you will go on to enhance the concept….

To correct “shadows/hi-lites and White Balance”

  • Click on Image Adjustments -> Levels to bring up a histogram of the image
  • There are 3 arrows pointing up to the black hill (Histogram)
  • Move left arrow to the right to beginning of hill on left (shadows)
  • Move right arrow to the left to the ending of the black hill (highlites)
  • This gives you a complete basic range of color density
  • Additional moves, either left or right, will change density
  • Change the numbers instead of the arrows. Experiment.
  • When done, click “OK”
  • Also…see Images -> Adjustment ->”Highlite/Shadow” . Move sliders to achieve required image adjustment.
  • WHITE BALANCE: To correct a suspected color shift, (correcting “white balance”) click on “eyedropper” on the right, place the end of the dropper over an area you want pure white and click.

To correct “Brightness & Contrast”

  • Select Image Adjustment -> Brightness & Contrast
  • Move “Contrast” to 17 and evaluate. Adjust as you see fit.
  • “Contrast” may tend to exaggerate some colors. To correct this, see next paragraph on how to reduce the intensity of unwanted color

To change “HUE &/OR SATURATION”

  • Select Image adjustment -> Hue/Saturation. Selecting “MASTER” affects ALL colors in image. Select a “color” to modify from drop down menu and adjust “Saturation” slider to achieve wanted result.
  • Adjust other slider if necessary.
  • Click OK

MOST ALL IMAGES NEED SOME”SHARPENING”

  • From top menu choose FILTER -> sharpen -> smart sharpen
  • Start with: Select: “Preview”, Basic, Default
  • Amount = 31, Radius = 2.8, Remove: Gaussian Blur
  • Under picture opening, use 100%
  • When image is in picture window, you see “Sharpened Image” To see original image, left click on image.
  • Adjust the numbers as you see fit for each image
  • Watch for white halo around subject! Back off until satisfied!
  • Reset all numbers when done!

To soften background (helps make product stand out)

  • Select “BLUR TOOL” from Utensil Bar (7th down on the left of column)
  • Make sure “CAPS LOCK” is off
  • With brush circle over image, right click and select “Hardness” as “0”. This gives a very soft edge.
  • To change circle diameter, use left/right “Bracket” keys to enlarge or diminish size of brush
  • Adjust Strength” to 100% on second to top Menu Bar. To change intensity of each click, adjust “Strength” number
  • Place brush circle over area to soften and go over it without lifting finger from mouse. This prevents double blending. Each time you click the mouse, it will give the percentage entered in the “Strength” box on top of what you have already done. Experiment!

To ADD A “BORDER” or “VIGNETTE” for excitement

ORIGINAL

  • For “A”, “B” , and “C” , select “Rectangle Marquee Tool” upper left in tool box, and starting about 1/8″ in from the upper left corner, click and hold while going to lower right corner, inscribing a rectangular dotted line equi-distant from the sides.
  • Normally, the enclosed inscribed dotted line will select everything within its border. For “A” and “C”: go to “Select” and select “inverse” which selects everything outside the dotted line. Go down to color selector at bottom of tool chart. Click on upper left color (usually black) and a selection will pop up. click on the rainbow, slide up or down to select the color you want for the border (you will see it in the bottom half of the selection box. When satisfied, click “OK”.
  • Hit “Shift B” for the brush tool. Go to header and change brush size to 400 (more or less, depending on size of image), “hardness” to 0. Change Mode to “Normal”, Opacity to “100”, Flow to “100”.
  • For “A”, brush over the corners. Do it again, if needed. CTRL Z will remove last attempt, or go to “HISTORY” and click on previous window to go back. Or hit “SAVE”
  • For “C” , get brush (as above) and brush over narrow border to change color. Hit “SAVE”
  • For “B” , create border outline without hitting “inverse”. Change brush to smaller size, select desired color as above, change OPACITY to 50, and FLOW to 90. Brush in corners until desired pattern appears. Experiment. Use “History” to remove unwanted attempts. SAVE!

EVALUATION!

  • Here’s where you become a pro! Learn from your experience. Ask friends and neighbors to evaluate your efforts. Look at ads in high fashion product magazines and try to see what the editor has done. What could you have done better, or differently, to enhance the image. Check out the images at Etsy, Shopify, Ebay, etc. (and be CRITICAL!). Try enhancing other’s images…it’s fun to do and extremely rewarding, besides improving your skills as an image editor.
  • CAVEAT! Uncorrectable qualities are: image out of focus, poor technique, part of image is missing, 100% true color rendition of original (color originating sources are different), digital zoom errors, and low pixel count (un-sharp).

PURCHASE OUR TALENT

  • One-on-One e-mail based tutorials and criticism
  • Lectures and classes “On your site” for small groups
  • Small quantity Individual contract for image enhancement

If, after reading the article, you don’t feel qualified, comfortable, or persuaded to do it yourself, consider hiring us to do it for you. We have low single prices as well as much lower multiple image contract prices.

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All original images in this post were taken from the web and are intended for educational purposes only.