Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Cropping an image that can't be harmed, part of Enhancing Underwater Photos with Photoshop.
- In this movie, we'll sharpen the details in this image once again using High Pass, and we'll crop the image to get rid of this diver over here in the bottom left corner, and the great thing about the way this image is organized is that no matter how we crop it, we cannot harm the original pixels, they will always be there, and you'll see what that looks like shortly. Now, the first thing I'm gonna do is go over here to the Layers Panel and make a copy of this High Pass smart filter because after all, it's already set to the proper Blend Mode, Overlay.
So, by duplicating the filter, that'll save us a little bit of time, and you do that by pressing and holding the Alt key, of course, or the Option key on the Mac, and then you grab High Pass right there and drag it up the list, all the way to the top above Reduce Noise, and notice that I have a double arrow head cursor. That's telling me that I am going to duplicate that High Pass filter, which happens as soon as I go ahead and release my mouse button. And notice, we now have a second pass of High Pass. Now all we need to do is modify the setting.
Now, you might be one of those folks who thought, "Gosh, it's so great that we have smart filters, "and they're editable, and we can change our minds "any time we like." The only thing is, nobody does. Nobody goes back and modifies the filter settings. Well, this is an example of when you do. I'm gonna go ahead and double click on High Pass in order to bring up the High Pass filter dialog box. Notice we've got that big Radius value. I was telling you, if you want to increase the clarity, you want a huge Radius value, such as, anywhere from 50 Pixels up, but if you want to sharpen the details, you might go with a low Radius value such as 3 Pixels.
In our case, we've got some pretty murky details in the first place, so I'm gonna take that Radius value up to 6 Pixels, and you can see that the image now really ends up popping on screen. At which point, I'll go ahead and now, click OK. And by virtue of the fact that this filter is already set to the Overlay Blend Mode, which I can confirm by double clicking on this little slider icon, and there it is right there in the Blending Options dialog box the Mode is set to Overlay. By virtue of that, we're not getting that weird High Pass effect where we can't really tell what we're doing, we get the great High Pass effect that makes a lot more sense.
And incidentally, if you wanted more sharpness, you could set the Mode to Hard Light, and that will make things pop a little more, or you could even go with Linear Light. That's gonna give you the highest contrast effect, which is analogous to a higher amount value where a typical sharpening filter is concerned. But I'm just gonna Cancel out because I was happy with the effect we got from Overlay. All right, now we need to crop the image, so I'll go ahead and zoom out to, let's say, 25 percent right here, which is a good zoom level where this specific low resolution monitor is concerned, and then, presumably, you'd switch over to the Crop tool and draw whatever crop boundary you want.
I'm gonna draw my crop boundary using the Rectangular Marquee tool because that is typically the most destructive approach, and so what I'm gonna do is just draw a marquee like so, and then I'd use the space bar to make sure that the left edge of that marquee is right next to that diver's yellow hose, and then I'll go ahead and release the space bar so I can continue drawing the marquee, and I'm gonna make sure that it's about 3,000 Pixels wide is what I'm looking for, and I can see the width there in that Heads Up display right next to my cursor, and then I'll go ahead and release.
And now, if I wanted to crop down to the marqueed area inside the image, I'd just go up to the Image menu and choose the Crop command, and as I say, that normally deletes all of the pixels outside of the Rectangular Marquee. You might ask, "Well, why is that not gonna occur "in our case?" The reason is, we have a smart object. First of all, we've got three Adjustment layers, you can't harm them. And then, we've got a smart object that cannot be harmed either because all of the pixels inside of the image are gonna remain inside of that smart object completely unharmed no matter what.
Now, if this is making sense so far, I'm gonna tell you one more thing. You have a kind of keyboard shortcut for the Crop command these days, and that's the letter C. So watch this. I'm gonna press the Escape key to hide that menu, and then I'm just gonna press the C key, and what does that do? It switches me over to the Crop tool, and the Crop tool automatically lifts the information from that Rectangular Marquee. Now notice up here in the Options bar that Delete Cropped Pixels is turned on. These days that's a default setting, not sure why, but it doesn't matter because we can't delete the cropped pixels, so you don't have to turn that check box off.
You can completely ignore it because we're working with a smart object. And so what I'm gonna do is just press the Enter key a couple of times, that would be the Return key a couple of times on the Mac in order to apply that crop, and we end up with this effect here, and voila, our diver is gone, and we're just left with this moon jelly and these wonderful fish in the background. And now, I'm gonna press the F key a couple of times in order to fill the screen with the image, and I'm gonna zoom on in as well, and that, friends, is at least one way to develop a very basic photograph of a slow moving moon jelly here inside Photoshop.
- Selecting the best frame of a fish in motion
- Correcting contrast
- Enhancing clarity
- Bringing out color and beauty in Camera Raw
- Sharpening a moving target with Shake Reduction
- Correcting lens distortion
- Developing black-and-white versions of underwater photos
- Creating a looping movie or animated GIF
- Framing macro shots
- Simulating depth of field with Gaussian Blur