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Photoshop has become an indispensible tool for photographers, designers, and all other creative professionals, as well as students. Photoshop CS4 Essential Training teaches a broad spectrum of core skills that are common to many creative fields: working with layers and selections; adjusting, manipulating, and retouching photos; painting; adding text; automating; preparing files for output; and more. Instructor Jan Kabili demonstrates established techniques as well as those made possible by some of the new features unique to Photoshop CS4. This course is indispensable to those who are new to the application, just learning this version, or expanding their skills. Example files accompany the course.
If a photo is crooked, it can be disconcerting to you and to your viewers. Sometimes it's just hard to hold your camera straight or if you are scanning a printed photo on a flatbed scanner, it's particularly hard to get a straight photo. But don't worry. You can straighten things up in Photoshop as I'll show you here. First, I'd like to use the Ruler tool to straighten an image. The Rule tool is located in the toolbox behind the Eyedropper tool. I'm going to select it here, and then I'll come into my image and I'm going to find something that I think should be straight.
It's pretty clear in this case that that should be the horizon here. So I'm going to click on the horizon. Holding my mouse down, I'm just going to drag this Rule tool over, and release. It doesn't matter exactly where you release either. Then I'm going to go to the Image menu at the top of the screen and choose Image Rotation > Arbitrary. When I do that, Photoshop tells me exactly what angle it will have to rotate the image to in order to make the horizon straight. So I'll say OK. The horizon is now straight, but of course the photograph isn't.
So that's the tradeoff. At this point I would use my Crop tool here in the toolbox, come in and drag out a crop boundary, and I am going to fit the corners of the crop boundary as far as they will go inside of the image here without getting any of the white around it. That's probably as much as I can get, and so I am going to go up and click the check mark in the Options bar to accept that crop and now I do have a straight horizon in my photo. Sometimes when I'm scanning, I'm lazy and I don't want to scan one photograph at a time, so I'll scan several and I'll get a result like this one.
The second image I have open here is scan.psd, where the photos are just a little crooked on the scanner bed. I will show you my Layers panel here, so that you can see that all three of these photos are on one individual layer, so there's no easy way to cut them out one by one. Instead, what I can do is just go to the File menu at the top of the screen, go down to Automate, and go over to this command, Crop and Straighten Photos. It's one you might not find on your own. So try to remember it.
It really comes in handy for scanning. I release and then I wait while Photoshop does all the work. It's now made three separate images for me. Let me show you all three. This separate of the pool, a separate one of the sunflowers, and a separate one of this individual sunflower. Now sometimes it misses and doesn't get the edge exactly right. As here you can see, if I zoom in, that there's a little bit of white at the edge. So in that case, I'll just get my Crop tool and I'll crop that away and if you have trouble getting your Crop tool to behave when it gets near the edge of a photo, that's because under the View menu, this commands Snap is activated by default.
So I'm going to toggle Snap off, and now I'll be able to get these crop boundaries and drag them just where I want them without them trying to snap to the edge of the photo, and then I will press the check mark to commit that crop. So that's a look at two of the straightening features in Photoshop. Use the Ruler tool on a single photo to straighten things up and if you scanned multiple images together on one layer of the file, use the File > Automate > Crop and Straighten command to separate, straighten, and crop them all in one go.
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