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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time lynda.com author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.
The Crop tool also includes a Straighten tool that's available from the Options Bar which allows you to drag along the horizon to straighten a crooked image. I have opened a file called Protector of Pisa.jpg, found inside the 06_Crop folder. Now it appears to me whoever last edited this photo had problems choosing between the horizon line and the Tower of Pisa because neither of them are plumb. Of course, we want the horizon to be perpendicular and the tower to lean. So I'm going to switch over to the Crop tool. And notice dead center in the Options Bar, we have the Straighten tool.
And you use it by dragging along the horizon line. Now you get one shot when using this tool because as soon you release the Crop tool goes ahead and rotates the image and automatically crops it as well. In my case, it looks like I've done a pretty good job of straightening that horizon line. But I don't want to cut away the model's feet. If you don't want this Auto Cropping function, then just go ahead and press the Escape key in order to abandon the crop, and work with the old school ruler instead. You get to the Ruler by clicking and holding on the Eyedropper tool and then choosing the Ruler tool from the flyout menu.
Now drag with the Ruler tool in order to create a line along the horizon. The advantage to working with this tool is you can edit that line before straightening the image. So you have the opportunity to get that line exactly right. And then once you do, you go up to Options Bar and click on the Straighten Layer button. The difference here is that while the Ruler tool goes ahead and generates an independent layer, so we're not clipping away any pixels, Photoshop makes no attempt to crop the image. It just rotates the layer inside the existing canvas.
You then have to return to the Crop tool. At which point you can decide exactly what the crop boundary is going to look like. Now, in my case I still have the 2x3 constrain active. So I'll go up here to this popup menu on the far left side of the Options Bar and switch it back to Unconstrained. And now I can drag these crop handles as desired. And I'm going to move this left side handle until it snaps to the edge of the image. And I'm going to drag this bottom handle all the way down so that would reveal the model's foot. And this looks pretty darn good.
Double-click inside the crop boundary in order to apply the crop. Now I'll switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool. Now I still have some wedges showing with that transparency checker board in the background. So this is an imperfect crop, and I'll show you how to fill in those missing details in the next movie.
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