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You, Too, Can Be Like Ansel Adams!
It’s been said that a truly great photo doesn’t need to be doctored with Photoshop. But, I’m no Ansel Adams and I don’t get to carry around Ashton Kutcher’s Nikon D5100 D-SLR, so I don’t always get back to the computer with National Geographic-ready photos. So, with the rise of visual storytelling on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and websites, below are five little tips that make a big difference when telling your story. Don’t have Photoshop? Try your hand at photo editing with the online version of Photoshop Express – each of the functions below are included in this FREE version that we highly recommend over other online knock-off’s!
[step-by-step navigation instructions are in italics]
Crop tool or Marquee > make selection > Image > Crop
Whether your prankster office mate photo bombed the perfect moment or your photo just contains unnecessary content, use the crop tool to zone in on the main idea.
Layer > New
Always edit in layers to safeguard the original photo and provide editing flexibility. While the History tool allows you to undo a few mistakes, it’s too easy to Save and be stuck with something for good. The function of layers allows you to make a series of edits and then add and take away to see how different combinations of edits look together.
Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast
If your photo is dark, drag the Brightness slider to the right to lighten dark areas. After brightening, drag the Contrast slider to the right to maintain color definition and prevent a “bleached out” look. The Hue/Saturation function will allow you to tint the colors (hue) or enrich and dull colors (saturation) based on your preference. These features are a great way to make your photos pop!
Clone Stamp – Stamp icon > Hover unblemished area > alt + click > click over blemished area
Patch Tool – Patch icon in left navigation > Select damaged area > Options > Source Mode > Drag damaged area away until it no longer appears
For unsightly areas in a photo (maybe too many wrinkles, a facial blemish, or unwanted object), use the Clone Stamp tool or the Patch tool to clean up an image.
Resolution and Color Mode
Image > Image Size > Resolution > Type in 72 or 300 and make sure the Resample box is checked.
Image > Mode > RGB or CMYK
The correct color mode and resolution depend on whether a photo will be printed or displayed on a computer screen.
For print images – Save the photo in 300 dpi (dots per inch) so that it doesn’t look pixelated on a printed document. Printers use a combination of cayenne, magenta, yellow, and black, so always work in CMYK color mode.
For web images – Save the image in 72 dpi. Computer screens display images in a combination of red, green, and blue, so we recommend working in RGB mode.
Thanks to one of our designers, Molly McGrath for technical clarifications! However, you don’t have to be a trained designer for your photos to look like you are (especially with this freebie!). Do you take your own photos or outsource a photographer? What’s your biggest photography challenge? Tell us!
Posted by: The Visualizer (Kelly Pritchett)
Tags: adobe creative suite, adobe design suite, adobe photoshop, Ashton Kutcher, cmyk, color adjustments, Creativity, design, design suite, dots per inch, dpi, Facebook, image resolution, layers, marketing tools, Nikon, Nikon D5100 D-SLR, photo adjustments, photo retouching, photoshop, Photoshop Express, pinterest, rgb, Twitter, visual storytelling