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- The ethics of cleanup
- Reviewing the image
- Nondestructive cleanup
- Cleanup tools and techniques
- Removing strong color casts
- Gradient adjustments
- Extending the frame
- Using multiple exposures to remove subjects from an image
Skill Level Beginner
Before you really dive into cleaning up an image, and in fact, while you're in the process of cleaning up an image. It can be very, very helpful to take a close look at your photo. And check for any blemishes or areas that you might want to clean up, or of course, to check your work in areas that you've already cleaned up. I wanted to share a few different methods that I use from time to time for navigating around my image. In order to check for areas that need to be cleaned up, or to check the quality of cleanup work I've already conducted. I'll go ahead and start by zooming in on the image just a little bit. I'll hold the Ctrl + Space Bar keys on Windows, or the Cmd + Space Bar keys on Macintosh.
And the,n drag to the right up at the top left corner so that I can zoom in on that area of the image. I can also hold the Space Bar key once I have zoomed in, in order to grab hold of the photo and move it around. So, now I am looking at the top left corner of the photo, and I'd like to pan across the image and down the image. Essentially going back and forth, checking for any areas that need cleaning up. For example, I already see something here. It might be a bird in the sky or a dust spot on my lens, but that's something that I'll probably want to take care of. But to navigate efficiently through the image, I want to make sure I'm covering all areas of the image.
So, a technique that I'll use is to use the Page Up and Page Down keys in conjunction with the Ctrl key on Windows or the Cmd key on Macintosh. To move up or down, I can press Page Down to go down, or Page Up to go up. I can also hold the Ctrl key on Windows, or the Cmd key on Macintosh, and use Page Down to move to the right and Page Up to move to the left. So, in this case, I'm starting at the top left corner. I'll hold the Ctrl or Cmd key, and then press Page Down and check for blemishes, and press Page Down again. I can see I'm at the far right of the image, so now I'll release the Ctrl or Cmd key and press Page Down in order to move down one notch. And now, I'll hold the Ctrl or Cmd key and press Page Up in order to move left in the image.
And once I reach the left edge, once again releasing the Ctrl or Cmd key, Page Down to go down once again adn adding Ctrl or Cmd and Page Down to go across. So again, you get the idea. We can pan around the image one segment at a time, making sure that we're covering the entire image. I'll then typically use Ctrl + 0 on Windows or Cmd+0 on Macintosh in order to zoom the image out so that it fills the available space. I can also use a variety of other techniques of course. If I want to look at a specific area I can hold the Ctrl + Space Bar keys on Windows or the Cmd + Space Bar keys on Macintosh.
Click on the area that I wanted to get a closer look at and then drag to the right to zoom in or drag to the left to zoom out. I can also use Ctrl + Minus on Windows or Cmd + Minus on Macintosh to zoom out, or Ctrl + Plus on Windows and Cmd + Plus on Macintosh to zoom in. Always returning to the full image with Ctrl + 0 or Cmd + 0. Another nice tool for navigating around an image is the Navigator. I'll go to the Window menu and choose Navigator to bring up the Navigator panel, and then I can use the slider to zoom in on the image.
And simply click and drag the red box to the area of the image that I want to take a look at. I'll move the Navigator over to the side so it's not covering up any of the image. And now, I can simply click and drag that red box around the image. When I get to the edge, of course, I can simply drag downward to go to the next row as it were. And then move my way across and continue in this fashion, moving around the entire image to check for blemishes. For example, I will go ahead and press Ctrl + Plus on Windows or Cmd + Plus on Macintosh. And I can use the scroll bars as well to pan up and down or left and right on the image.
So, I can start at the top left corner for example, and then scroll across with the horizontal scroll bar. And then, scroll down a little bit and then across again, navigating through the entire image in order to review. Again, checking for any of those blemishes that I'd like to clean up. So, there are a variety of ways you can navigate around it. And it mostly involves zooming in around and then panning as needed around the image, so that you can examine a variety of different areas. And in most cases, I suggest viewing the image at a100% zoom or greater so that you're seeing actual pixels, or perhaps even a closer view.
In order to really evaluate the image very, very closely, both checking for blemishes that you might need to clean up, and also checking your work. Making sure that the clean up work you've performed is optimal, that no one will notice that you've cleared up a blemish. And more importantly, that you've not created any additional blemishes in the process.