This tutorial uses PHOTOSHOP CS2
Download image editing program of your choice: Photoshop CS2 and GIMP are free, or use Photoshop Elements 15 (about $75)
Although the thought of working with Photoshop or GIMP 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. Most other editing programs offer similar processes.
The editing process goes like this:
- Save your image to “DOWNLOADS” or “PICTURES”
- Open Photoshop
- Go to saved images and open image you desire
- Follow the editing procedure religiously (saving your work often!)
- 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.
- Open image you want to enhance
- Select “Window” from top heading and check: COLOR, HISTORY, TOOLS, LAYERS, and OPTIONS
- Make “duplicate” image
- Correct to “horizontal”
- Edit for “Lens aberration”
- Edit for vertical distortion (parallax)
- “Crop” for effect
- Change size and pixel count as required
- Correct “Histogram” and “White Balance”
- Correct “Brightness/Contrast”
- Edit “Shadows/Highlights”
- Correct Color Balance
- Soften background intensity and sharpness
- Evaluate and correct if needed
- Save (again!)
Learning what to do is easy! Learning when and why is difficult! Learning when to stop is critical! The end result should present an image that is enticing, accurate, detailed and informative.
- In Photoshop CS2, bring up image to be edited
- FILE -> OPEN -> SELECT DESIRED IMAGE
- 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
- From top bar, select Filter-> Distort -> Lens Correction
- Adjust sliders to correct or change image, click OK
To Edit for “VERTICAL DISTORTION”
- Click on outside edges of image box and extend outside line about 1/2 inch leaving a blank space border.
- Select “Ctrl-J” to make duplicate layer
- Select from “Edit -> Transform -> Skew
- Select top right arrow and move to the right or left as needed to correct
- Do the same, if needed, on each other arrow.
- When satisfied, hit “enter”
- 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, or leave blank for random rectangle
- 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 or as required by publisher, and
- Make certain 3 boxes in lower left are checked and “BICUBIC” is seen in window and then change “Resolution” to “72 pixels”
- This will give you the size of the “enlarged” 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 Histogram 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 correct Color Intensity
- 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 (17 is a good place to start) to achieve wanted result.
- Adjust other slider if necessary.
- Click OK
To soften background sharpness and intensity
(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%
- To change intensity of each click, adjust “Strength” number on second to top Menu Bar
- 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!
ALL IMAGES NEED SOME SHARPENING
- From top menu choose FILTER -> sharpen -> sharpen edges
- Sometimes, you need to do it twice…evaluate and retain or delete.
To ADD A “BORDER” or “VIGNETTE” for excitement
- 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!
- Here’s where you become a pro! Learn from your experience. Ask friends and neighbors to evaluate your efforts. Look at ads in your computer under your competition and try to see what the vendor or editor has done. Try enhancing other’s images……
FOR PRACTICE USE ONLY!
TO COPY A SCREEN IMAGE: Open your PHOTO EDITOR. Open Computer Images and Select image -> rt click -> save image as -> rt click -> save. Click on “download” at lower left of screen -> rt click “open with -> (photo editor of your choice)” -> When open, DUPLICATE IMAGE.
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).
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
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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.
All original images in this post were taken from the web and are intended for educational purposes only.
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