Week One: Image Adjustment

Adjusting the Original Image

This is the original image which I used on my ‘Portrait Assignment’ for my Photo Story, I will be using this image for my Week One Assignment.

This image is the wrong way around and therefore needs to be rotated 90 degrees clockwise, to do this in Photoshop I used ‘Image > Rotate Canvas > 90 Degrees Clockwise. Here is how I did it:

I then wanted to crop the photo, to get rid of some of the blank space behind the photograph and to try and make the photo more focused on the model. I chose the crop tool and used the anchors to highlight the area which I wanted to crop, this darkened the area around the image which was not wanted to show how my image would look, I then clicked on ‘Image > Crop’ to get the final image which I wanted, this appeared much smaller and included less blank space than before.

After cropping the image and getting it the to right size, I should then make sure that I have the Image Size correct, especially for printing, as if this is printed like this the pixels could come out to large and therefore look distorted when printed onto paper. To change the size of the Image, I use ‘Image > Image Size > Uncheck Resample Image > Change Resolution to 300’ This therefore doesn’t change the pixels on screen as they stay the same and cannot be noticeably changed, but when printed it will give a whole new outlook on the image and make it look more professional. Here is print screen of how I changed the Image Size:

Understanding the Histogram

I am now going to take the image through to understand how to use a histogram, any colour range can be used but then best one to use is definitely Greyscale at this point. Firstly I change the Image to Greyscale:

I did this by choosing ‘Image > Mode > Greyscale’. I then saved the Image as ‘Robyn_Gray.psd’ so that this shows the Image is saved in Photoshop and it will be able to be opened and edited like this and also saved with ‘Gray’ in the title so that it can be easily found.

I am now going to look at the Histogram, there are over 255 levels in the Histogram and it ranges from the lightest to darkest, a lot of the range happens in the middle of the histogram and if it doesn’t end at one end of the graph, this therefore means that there isn’t an end to the spectrum. It is measured on an axis, this including x and y.

This image shows the Histogram from the Channels and Info Menu. It shows that a lot of the greyscale is centered but then there are also spikes nearer to the lighter bit of the image. This could be the result of tweaking, but because the image has only been adjusted to Greyscale it could be due to brighter areas, such as some being lighter and others being darker and this giving bigger spikes throughout.

Adjusting the Image with Levels

After looking at the histogram and converting the image to Greyscale, I wanted to create the image to look better with levels. This brings out the darkest parts of the image and makes them black and then uses the lightest parts of the image to create white. This gives a better overall look of the image, on screen and off.

This shows how I have moved the left triangle underneath image to the start of the histogram where the image starts to appear with darkness. I then moved the far right triangle underneath to the end of where the histogram starts to fade to try and make the greyscale look more realistic.

I then adjusted the contrast from left to right to show the whiter parts and the darker parts of the image and how they would stand out…

Both of these images are wrong and are letting in too much of each of the shade, this is a better example of the image, and the final one which I would use…

…and the original greyscale…. you can see the difference in the shades very well.

Adjusting the Histogram with Curves

Another way to adjust the image in a similar way is with curves, you are able to see all channel views and this counts with the RGB mode. You can see this below on my image:

As you can see in this image, the Red levels range higher above the others. I am now going to adjust each colour curve separately, this is to get the highlights from each colour and set a tonal scale instead of just doing it as a whole.

Here I readjusted the Red Curves, as you can see it has given a red tint but this is because I have only adjusted the red, I did the same for the other colours and ended up with this:

As you can see now after adjusting the curves, the histogram shows the actual shows the shadows and highlights from left to right…


Targeting Saturation Levels

If I was wanting to apply saturation levels to my image to make it appear more vibrant then I would use the Hue/Saturation tool to do so. You normally can’t see a real difference on screen but when printed you definitely can. Firstly I click ‘Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation’ and I then start to work specifically on the green parts of the image.

This print screen shows that I am focusing on the green parts of the image in the Hue/Saturation tool and underneath that at the left shows that the image is shown at 100%, this is the only way that you will be able to see any changes if there is any. After doing this myself I noticed no changes whatsoever and I guess you will only be able to see this in print.


Sharpening the Image

When a picture is taken and then transformed into a grid of pixels, it looses sharpness. However the sharpening tool finds edges and enhances the contrast of the pixels so it looks sharper.

Firstly I choose ‘Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask’ and then a box came up which I could Preview and then not preview to see both the before and after states. After flicking through these you can see that the sharpen mask defines the features of the photograph and this would be very good for portraits.

This photograph shows the difference between the sharpened and unsharpened mask without me checking the Preview button. The box shows the new Sharpened photograph where as the original photograph has no effects.

Here is a bad example of the sharpen tool being overused:

Here is a good example of the sharpen tool being used:


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