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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right, so this image looks so much better than it did before. We have brought back those blonde highlights. We have some nice luminance distribution here. I think the colors are just awesome. But she is imbalanced, that is to say. Actually it's the image that's imbalanced it's crooked. So we want to straighten it out and it's just so darn obvious it's crooked because we have this grid in the background that's showing exactly what up and down should be. So let's go ahead and take care of that, and I also want to get rid of these partial letters up here at the top. I wish I could bring back her feet but that's not an option. But still, let's crop inside Camera Raw. Open this image and what we are going to do is we are going to get this Straighten tool right there and you get that Straighten tool by Clicking on it and this also has a keyboard shortcut of A, it just first vowel in straighten. And I'm going to drag along something that obviously should be straight. So this is like the Measure tool inside of Photoshop, except much easier to use.
Thing is, you want to sort of spend a moment or two making sure you get this right because the second you release you are not going to get a line that you can edit, you are going to get cropped boundaries you will see in just a moment. So make sure that you are tracing the angle of that bar and there is really no angle feedback inside the software. It's not telling you that you are drawing this line at 1-degree angle or something like that. It's just doing what it does. So release and then you get a cropped boundary just like so. Now the crop boundary works just like the crop boundary inside of Photoshop, except that you are not prohibited from doing other things the way you are inside Photoshop and Photoshop relegates you to that Crop Mode which is so, very, very irritating and in Camera Raw that's not a problem. You can make as many adjustments as you like.
All right and then of course, you can change the size of the crop boundary if you want to by dragging one of the corner handles. You can rotate the crop boundary by dragging outside of the bounding box like so, which you may want to do and I'm finding that I want to do because I don't feel like I quite got the angle exactly right especially under the word B or whatever that is up there, I'm not sure what that word is. Since it's cut off. But I'm going to drag the top of the bounding box down just a little bit. Go ahead and rotate the crop boundary a little bit more, take this down as far as I can, so I can keep as much of her feet as humanly possible because people need feet, don't you know. And let's go ahead and sort of center things right here. Now, you do have the option of choosing if you want to very specific Aspect Ratios, which you can change on the fly.
Again, something you can't do inside of Photoshop, you have to start the crop boundary over again if you want to change Aspect Ratios. You can enter a Custom Aspect Ratio. Look at that. Enter whatever you want. Click OK or not only ratios but pixels, inches, centimeters, Cancel, so much here and then you can get rid of the Aspect Ratio of any limitations, any constraints you have applied by switching this back to Normal and you can Clear the Crop. Another way to clear the crop and you should just be aware of this is to Click outside of the image like this, to Click in this empty area. Now don't afraid.
If you accidentally do that, you do have multiple undos inside of Camera Raw, Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac is going to be your single undo redo just like it is in Photoshop and then Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z on the Mac is going to back step. Ctrl+Shift+C is going to forward step, that's Command+Shift+Z on the Mac. So everything is just as it should be. Now in case you are looking at this going well, here is a downside Deke. I can't see a preview of what it looks like after it's cropped. All I can see is the crop boundary and I guess when I open inside Photoshop maybe, then I'll see what it looks like cropped, right? Yes, that's true except you can also preview it now if you want to, just by switching to a different tool. So if I switch back to the Zoom tool, now I see the cropped and straighten version of the photograph and I can gage for myself whether this is what I want. I know it's not, because I'm looking, the design doesn't look straight to me.
So we have a little bit of distortion inside the image that's no surprise. So getting the exact top, exactly straight, exactly was it really the thing to do perhaps. So let's go back to the Crop tool and the crop is still live, my friends. Oh, I wish cropping was like this. Anything remotely like it is inside of Photoshop. I wish that Crop tool was destroyed and rebuilt, I tell you which is basically what happened inside of Camera Raw. They just started over again, came up with a much better plan. Let's try to get the bottom more less straight. So we do have a little bit of distortion, that's going in and up and this is going down a little bit. Are we getting this right? I hope so. Let's see if I move this over just a little bit.
Gosh, that's true, looks like I'll be getting it straight that way, doesn't it? Let's check there, that rail would be a little crooked, let's cheat a little more like so and see what we end up coming up with. All right, it may just be that the railings in the doorjamb are out of sync with each other that they are not straight with each other. And let's move this over just a little bit, so we have equal amounts of checkers on both side and then I'll go ahead and Click on the Zoom tool once again to see the cropped version of the image. I like it. I like it very much in fact so much. Then I'm going to come down here and Click on the Done button in order to return to the Bridge and to see a preview of the cropped image. There it is.
And it's temporarily cropped, folks. You can't do any permanent damage inside Camera Raw. It is humanly impossible to harm that DNG file where Camera Raw is concerned. There might be another program out there that can do it. So watch, I'll just Double-Click because I have this set up, so I can Double-Click to open it in Camera Raw inside the Bridge and right there if I go back to the Crop tool, everything is still there, no permanent damage has occurred. Okay, Click Done again. So there you have it straightening and cropping handled so beautifully in Camera Raw.
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