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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
Another need that will arise as you start to work on your photographs is the need to crop and recompose your pictures. Well, let's take a look at how we can do this using the Adobe Camera Raw Crop tools. We'll go ahead and select these three files and then navigate to the File pulldown menu and choose Open in Camera Raw, and let's start off with this file here. You'll notice that at the top of Camera Raw we have these different tools. One of the tools is the Crop tool, and right next door to it is this Straighten tool.
If you click on this tool, what you can do is you can then click and drag across an area of your photograph that you think should be straight. In this case, I'll click across the railroad tie here. You notice that what will happen is it will create a new crop for my image, and it'll also rotate that so that that line is straight. To see the results, press Enter or Return, and you can now see that this is much more level. Except here, I went a little bit too far. It's almost like it's leaning a little bit to the right.
To change that, well, I can just reactivate my crop. To do so, you can press the C key or you can click on your Crop tool. Next, what I want to do is hover over one of these corner points, or near one of these corner points I should say, and I'll see a cursor that's changed. It's a bend cursor. In this case, I'm going to click and drag this to the right a little bit and then I'm also going to click and extend this. So that this goes out a little bit further. I can reposition the crop by moving this from one spot to another.
I'll reposition that, and this time rather than pressing Enter or Return, I'll double-click in the crop area in order to apply that. Now that looks much better. Let's take a look at this in another scenario. Here, we'll click on this image here, russell_brown. This time we'll start off with the Crop tool because we want to crop this image. Yet as we start to crop, we realize, well, this one isn't level or straight. Well, we can access the Straighten tool from the Crop tool by pressing Command or Ctrl.
Notice, all of a sudden, my cursor changes. Here, I can go ahead and click and drag across something that I think should be straight. In this case these letters, and then let go, and it will activate that crop and rotate it so that those elements are straight. Let's press Enter or Return in order to apply that so that you can now see that. And the great thing about this is that this is really, really flexible. We can always modify this or change this or tweak this, as we've seen previously. Well, let's look at one more photograph, this one here.
With this last picture, what I want to do is I want to activate the Crop tool. So I'll go ahead and click on the Crop tool, and then we want to click and hold down. Here, you'll notice that you have different aspect ratios. What we can do is we can go ahead and select a different ratio. For example, I'll choose 2 to 3. Here, when I click and drag across this, it's now locked into that 2 to 3 ratio. If I change this by choosing something different--let's say 1 to 1--it will now show me this square crop which I could then use.
So we can choose to either use a completely custom ratio, or we can use one which is a little bit more locked down. In my case, I'll go back to that normal ratio. This allows me to flexibly change this, and here you can see I'm just changing it simply by clicking and dragging these handles. Well, let's say that we want to get out of this crop. We don't really like this particular crop. We want to undo the crop. Well, to do that, what you can do is simply have your crop activated and then press the Escape key.
And what I mean by that is if we go back to one of our previous images, if you click on the Crop tool, it will activate that crop. Then you can press the Escape key in order to remove that. The last thing I want to highlight here is that if you want to straighten your images we did before by dragging. You can also do this with vertical lines. Here, I think that this letter should be straight. So it will then create a crop so that that then stands up straight top to bottom. So this works whether it's horizontal or vertical. Well, actually, I want to do one more thing here with this image.
Let's crop this file in order to improve it. We'll click on the Crop tool, and we'll click and hold down and just choose Normal. Next, I'm going to go ahead and click outside of the image and click and drag over the entirety of the frame. Many times you want to maintain the same aspect ratio, and one way to lock this down is to hold the Shift key. When you do that, you'll notice that it constrains that aspect ratio for me. Here, I can then click and drag to reposition this or move over those corner points if I want to rotate the crop, and you can see how we can change this.
To apply the crop again, we'll just press Enter or Return, and now this is a much stronger image. Sometimes you're going to use the Crop tool in order to make corrections, to level things out, or to correct issues or problems that happened when you captured the image. In other situations, like with this picture, you may just use that Crop tool in order to recompose the picture, in order to make a stronger frame. Well, once you've finished working with this tool, in order to apply these settings, we simply go down to the bottom of Camera Raw and click Done.
That will then update all of our images here inside of Bridge so that we can now see these new crops for these photographs.
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