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In Photoshop CS5: Landscape Photography, Ben Long outlines a full, shooting-to-output workflow geared specifically toward the needs of landscape photographers, with a special emphasis on composition, exposure enhancement, and retouching. This course also covers converting to black and white, using high-dynamic range (HDR) imaging techniques to capture an image that’s closer to what your eye sees, and preparing images for large-format printing. Learn to bring back the impact of the original scene with some simple post-processing in Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.
There are many forms of electronic display and delivery of images. You can e-mail an image, put in on a photo sharing site, add it to your blog, stick it in a PowerPoint presentation and so on. Or we might need to deliver a high-quality electronic file to a publisher, or a magazine. If you need to output an electronic file, you'll first go through your sizing and sharpening process, as we've already done, and then you'll be ready to save it. So I have this image here that I am going to e-mail to somebody. So I've gone ahead and sized it down to a good e-mail size: 800 x 533.
When I'm outputting just for web or electronic delivery, I don't care about document size. It doesn't matter what the resolution is, or what the print width and height are. It's just about pixels. All the pixels will be shown, unless they have a facility for zooming in and out on their web page or whatever, but this part is irrelevant. So I've got this to the size that I want. My next step then is to flatten the image. I'm going to save this as a JPEG, and JPEGs don't support layers. What's more, the image is only going to be viewed. No one needs access to these adjustment layers to make changes or anything. So I'm going to, in the Layers palette, open this menu right here and choose Flatten Image.
That applies the edits in those adjustment layers to my image. It basically kind of bakes the edits under the image. So here's my finished, flattened, adjusted image. I can also get to that Flatten command up here from the Layer menu. It's right down here. It's grayed out now because I don't have layers. So I've got a flattened image. I'm almost ready to go. Before I send an image out into the world though, because images tend to float around the web pretty easily, it's not a bad idea for me to add some ownership metadata to prove my ownership of this image. So I'm going to go up here to the File menu and choose File Info.
And here, I get access to a whole bunch of metadata fields that I can edit. These are standard fields that I can include all sorts of information. And IPTC is the International Press Telecommunications, something that starts with C. I think that was in there and Council, International Press Telecommunications Council. These are metadata fields that they've agreed upon. And so these are used for newspaper and magazine publishing, but they're also good for you. You can put your obviously all of your contact information and things in here.
I'm going to put my name. Because I've typed it before, it gives me an option, a shortcut there. I can put multiple names. When I fill in the Author field that automatically also fills in the Creator field in IPTC. I would like to have my copyright information. So I can choose Copyright here. I can add a Copyright Notice and a web address here. This is the sort of thing that I'm to be adding probably to all of my images that I output, something I'm doing very regularly. So fortunately, Photoshop has a facility for storing this as a template. So I'm going to export this.
So that's this year's copyright information. I'm going to hit Save. And now that's saved as a metadata template, that perhaps we'll see I can apply from a lot of different places. From this dialog box, I can just simply come down here and choose Import and pick the template, or I can pick it right there, and it'll fill in all these fields the next time I open an image. So now my metadata is applied to that image. I'm ready to save. There are a few different ways I can save out of Photoshop CS5. Again, my goal here is a JPEG. I'm going to go up to file and choose Save As. I can pick a location and a name and just pick JPEG.
One of the nice things about CS5 now is even when you have a 16-bit image, you can now save as JPEG. You couldn't do that in previous versions. You had to convert down to 8-bit first. So this is one option is saving out here. Another option though, is to go up to File and choose Save for Web & Devices. This brings you up to the Save for Web dialog box, which can automatically build images optimized for the web in particular formats. So it's a good way of getting the best quality you can out of a JPEG image.
Now by default, it's coming in as a GIF file. We don't want that. We want to change this preset up here to one of these JPEGs settings. So I'm going to choose High, meaning the best quality. And her,e it's filled in somethings. It picked some quality levels. It is automatically by default converting to sRGB. sRGB is a color space designed for the web. It's not going to guarantee that your image is going to look great on any monitor out there in the world, but it will improve your chances of your image looking good on a majority of monitors. So that's not a bad thing to keep checked.
You may have noticed a color shift in your image, particularly in an image like this that has lots of red in it. This metadata thing here lets me control what metadata that's already in the image that will be included in the JPEG file. In other words, I can have that strip out certain metadata. I could choose All, which will include all of the camera and exposure metadata and all that kind of stuff, or I can include everything but that. In this case, I'm going to just leave the Copyright and Contact Info that we already added. If I wanted, I could resize the image here. It's still nicer to do the resizing on your own in a controlled image size step.
I just feel like I get more control that way. And I can get a better idea of the trade-offs of different sizes. So I can hit Save here, and it would ask me where to save it. So this is another very nice way of saving JPEG images. Very often though, you're not going to be just outputting a single image. You're going to be outputting a whole mess of images. And Bridge allows for some easy batch processing capabilities. I'm going to switch over to Bridge here, where I've got a batch of images. So let's say I wanted to output these for the web. The first thing I would want to do is apply my metadata to all of the images.
So I'm going to go up here to Edit and choose Select All. Then if I go over here to the Tools menu and choose Replace Metadata, I'm going to replace all of the metadata that's in this image with this template that I created earlier. So that template that we've created in Photoshop is already over here. So I can just pick this, and it will replace any of the IPTC metadata that's currently in the image with what's in my template. And my template had a lot of blank fields in it. And I might have, at some point, filled in some of the other fields on this image. So I'm going to choose Append Metadata, which will only fill in the fields that were in this template.
So it's going to fill in my name and copyright information. So I pick that. At first, you may think, well, nothing happened, but if you look down here you see some progress indicators. So it's added my metadata to all of those images. Now, I'm ready to spit them out in whatever form I want. And if you look, we've got a variety of forms here. We've got TIF files, and we've got PSDs. So let's say I was going to put these out as JPEGs, because I was going to e-mail them, or maybe upload them to Flickr, or something like that. I could open up each image individually and go through a save process, but that would really be a drag.
Instead, I'd rather have my computer work for me. I'm going to go up to the Tools menu, go to Photoshop and choose Image Processor. This actually takes us back to Photoshop because this is a Photoshop automation script that's built into the CS5. This was also in some previous versions of Photoshop. Select the images to process. Well, I wanted to process the images from Bridge. There're 24 of them. Great. Where do I want to save them? I don't want to save them in the same location. I could come down here, and say, give me a New Folder called Images For Web.
And they're going to go in here. Now how would I like them to save? I'm going to save them as JPEGs. I want a higher quality than that. And now, there's this cool thing: Resize to Fit. Obviously, if you're resizing a portrait oriented image, that's different from how you might want to resize a landscape oriented image. I know that the widest dimension on my target screen is, let's say, 700 pixels. So I'm going to say resize this image to fit in a 700 pixel box, or you could say what's the tallest? Well it may only be 500 pixels, so I'm going to resize them to be 500.
I can actually spit out multiple formats. I can also, at the same time, save a TIF file. If I wanted, I could also run a Photoshop Action. So I might have an Action that I've defined that maybe burns a watermark into the image. I could check this, pick the Action and have it added. If I did not add my Copyright Info through a metadata template, I could type it in here, and it would be added. Now when I hit Run, all of those images will be written out as JPEGs. That might take awhile, because my original files are very large, and there's a resizing step and some other things, but I could go to lunch while my images are exported.
You won't always be outputting as JPEGs. Sometimes you will be needing to output a quality file for inclusion in a high-quality printing process of some kind. For that, you're going to size it appropriately, sharpen it, flatten it, unless the person with that asks specifically for a layered document. Then choose Save As. And you're probably going to want to save as either Photoshop or TIF. In most of these cases, if you're going out to service bureau for printing or a publisher for printing, you ought to ask for very specific output export parameters. Do they want 8-bit or 16? Do they want a particular color space? What file format do they want? If you do need to change bit depth, you can do that up here from Image > Mode.
I can knock this down to 8 Bits. And then ask them what file format they need. That's saving electronic files. Next, we'll talk about outputting a web gallery.
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