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In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.
When you're ready to either open your image in Photoshop or save out the image, bypassing Photoshop, you want to make sure that you pay attention to your workflow settings. So let's click on this hyperlink to see what those workflow settings are. The first thing that you can change is your working space. This is a little bit of an oversimplification, but I would recommend that if you're going to go into Photoshop, that you definitely want to set your working space to Adobe RGB. If, for example, you had a hundred images that you were going to save for the web or a hundred images you were going to pass to a lab in order to have printed, then you might want to change these workflow options to sRGB.
For now, I'll go ahead and leave this at Adobe RGB. If you are going into Photoshop and you're going to make additional changes, like layers or masking or adjustment layers, I would highly recommend that you take the image into Photoshop as 16 bits per channel if you've started with a RAW file. Right now with the exercise file, we are starting with the JPEG file, and JPEG files can only be 8-bit, so it doesn't really make sense for me to bring this into a 16-bit-per-channel file in Photoshop, unless perhaps I was going to composite it with other images that maybe started off as RAW in a larger bit depth like 16-bit.
Now, depending on the file that you're working on, you're going to get different options for Size. Right now, because I've saved this as a smaller file size, I only have the native size that we're working on, plus two sizes that I can resample this image up to, to make it larger. If you started off with a RAW file, not only would you have two options for resampling up the file, you would have two options that have minuses after them, so that you could resize your image down, if you didn't want it this large. As for Resolution, that depends on where you're going with the file.
If I knew that I was going to print this, I could leave it at 240, or I could even go up to maybe 300 pixels per inch. If I was going to post this image on the web, then I'd probably want to bring this down to 72 pixels. But don't forget, this is just the distribution of the pixels. You've actually determined the total pixel count up above in the Size category. The Resolution just says how to distribute those pixels, how many pixels to put per inch. We also have options for sharpening.
This is considered output sharpening, so if you knew that your images were going to be displayed onscreen, you would select that. If you knew you were going to print to glossy paper or matte paper you would choose one of those options, and then you can kind of dial in whether you want a low standard or high amount of sharpening. If you're not sure where the image is going or if you're going to refine it further in Photoshop, I would suggest that you leave the set to None, because you don't want to sharpen for a specific output device and then make a bunch of changes or corrections in Photoshop, because you might be amplifying that sharpening.
Finally, we have the option to open into Photoshop as a Smart Object. That's a little more advanced, we'll get into that in later tutorials, so for now we'll just leave that unchecked. We'll go ahead and click OK. As you can see, those options are really quite important, yet they are easy to overlook because of this very small hyperlink down here. To create the correct file for your workflow, be sure that you check these workflow settings before using the Save option, or before opening your files into Photoshop.
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