Learn some simple techniques for improving images in Photoshop.
- [Instructor] Let's just take a step back from our InDesign document in progress and think about what we can do to improve any bad quality images. Of course, the best thing we can do is find a decent quality replacement, but in reality that's not always possible. Let's imagine that we have no choice but to work with this image, and we'll see a few things that we can do to slightly improve it. So the first thing I want to do is adjust the exposure, and I'm going to do this using a levels adjustment.
We can do this in two places, either here as a static adjustment, or down here as an adjustment layer. I'm going to err on the side of caution and use an adjustment layer, because I can always change my mind about these. Now, just to keep things simple, I'm going to use auto adjustments. Of course, there are many, many courses on Photoshop in the library where you can look into this more deeply, but I'm just going to look at the auto options.
But there's more than one auto option. So I'm going to hold down my Option or Alt key as I click on the Auto button, and then I can just evaluate these different options. And I'm going to click through them and just choose the one that I like best, which is Enhance Brightness and Contrast. In addition, I'm going to come to my midpoint slider, the one in the middle, and I'm going to move that to the left to brighten the midtones.
Second thing I want to do is fix this distracting reflection that we have right here. And once again, I want to err on the side of caution and do this in a way that is non-destructive. So I'm going to come to my Layers panel and add a new layer. And the retouching will go onto this new layer. I'll now come and choose my clone stamp tool. I want to make sure that the behavior of my clone stamp tool is in this case All Layers, and I want the Aligned box checked.
I will now Option or Alt click. To sample a decent part of the image, I'm pressing my right bracket to increase my brush size. And I'm using a soft brush. And then I can just dab over that distracting reflection. And then thirdly, I might want to consider a crop. Now, of course we can do the cropping in InDesign.
And I like to leave myself as much wiggle room as possible in InDesign so that I have the flexibility of adjusting the crop there, but if there are parts of the image that we know with absolute certainty we're not going to use, then we may as well crop them out here in Photoshop and reduce our image size. So I'm going to come and choose the crop tool. And I'm just going to drag in to reframe the figure.
Like so. I have Delete Cropped Pixels checked so that when I press Return, everything outside of my cropping rectangle is now deleted. I'm just going to return to my retouching layer, and I see that our model has a slight blemish above his lip. I'm going to zoom in on that a little bit, and a little bit more. And then choose my clone stamp tool. Reduce the size of my brush.
Option or Alt click to reset my sample point. And just dab over that to fix that minor problem. So having done that, of course it's never going to be a great picture, but it's a slightly better picture than it was. To evaluate the changes, I can hold down my Option or Alt key and click on the eyeball to the left of the background layer. That's the before. Option or Alt and click again. And that's the after.
Having added layers, I would now need to save this as a PSD file or native Photoshop file, which I can place in InDesign. Or I can live dangerously and flatten the image and save it as a JPEG. A JPEG will mean a smaller file size, but I won't then have the option of coming back to my levels or my retouching layer and making any further tweaks. So I'm going to once again err on the side of caution and retain my layers or press Command or Control + S, and I'll now need to save this as a PSD file.
So those are some simple and non-invasive techniques you can use to fix up a bad quality image, adjusting the exposure, removing any distracting elements, and performing a crop.
- Planning a newsletter
- Choosing a color palette
- Using a template and library items
- Placing and cleaning up text
- Creating and applying styles
- Working with images
- Evaluating, choosing, and placing images
- Working with inline images
- Preflighting the document
- Creating a print-ready PDF
- Creating a screen version of the newsletter