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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.
Another common problem that you might need to fix is a crooked horizon. Again, Camera Raw makes it easy. There are really two ways that you can fix this problem. The first way would be by using the Crop tool. So, we can either select it from the tools across the top or simply tap the C key. Depending on whether or not you want to constrain this to a certain aspect ratio, we can either choose that from the list or simply click Normal, then click and drag out your crop marquee. When you position your cursor outside of the area that you want to keep, the icon will change to the double-headed arrow.
Then I can click and drag in order to create or change the angle of my crop, and you'll notice when I have the mouse down, I get this nice grid overlay so that I can line that up with the horizon that I want to straighten. Then I'll simply let go and I no longer see the grid, but I can still change the size of the crop by simply clicking on any of the anchor points. So, we'll go ahead and just make this a little bit larger and then to apply the crop, tap the Enter or Return key and Camera Raw will straighten the image.
If we want to undo this, you'll notice that if you use the keyboard shortcut Command+Z or Ctrl+Z, it will go ahead and undo just the last thing you've done. If you want to continue to go back in time, then you need to add the Option key. So Command+Option+Z on the Mac or Ctrl+Alt+Z on Windows to step back through more than one step, because Camera Raw actually looks at the crop and the straighten as two different steps.
The other way to quickly reset your crop would be to simply select Clear Crop from the Crop menu. The other way that you can quickly straighten the horizon in an image is to tap the A key or select the Straighten tool. Now, the icon for the Straighten tool is a little bit large, and I'm not quite sure where the hot spot is. So, I am going to turn on my Cap Locks key, which will toggle the cursor to be this precise crosshairs. Then I'll position the cursor on the far left-hand side, right on the horizon, and drag it out over to the right side.
When I let go, Camera Raw will automatically create the crop and straighten that image when I tap the Return or Enter key. So, the Straighten tool is a very convenient way to both straighten and crop in one step. So, there you have it, two easy methods for straightening images nondestructively in Adobe Camera Raw.
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