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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
When an image is formed by the camera lens its focus is defined. The moment you press the shutter release, you accept that focus and store it as a permanent attribute of the photograph. If the photograph is slightly out of focus, it stays out of focus. No postprocessing solution can build more clearly defined edges than what the camera actually captured or fill in missing or murky detail. So how can I do a chapter on sharpening an image? By faking it. Well. I won't be faking it. I'll be completely sincere. You'll be faking it and with Photoshop's help.
Although Photoshop can't reach back into your camera and adjust the lens element for a better shot, it can simulate the appearance of enhanced focus by comparing neighboring pixels and increasing the amount of contrast between those pixels that trace the already existing edges. Your brain thinks it perceives a differently focused image, but really it sees an exaggerated version of the focus that was already there. But so what if it's a contrast trick? Does that say anything less of Photoshop's sharpening capabilities? Not to my way of thinking. After all photography itself is a trick that simulates reality, very specifically geared to human eyes and brains.
If Photoshop sharpening augments that trick, more power to it. I just want you to know what you're doing. After all, the magician who truly understands his bag of tricks is better equipped to perform magic and sharpening magic, or at the very least parlor trickery, is what this chapter is all about.
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