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Lilchilichoco
09-02-2007, 02:48 AM
Hi everyone,

I have 2 questions and would be grateful for any replies.



1. How does zooming in on a DSLR affect DOF? Does walking up to a subject and zooming in from far have the same effect on DOF or will there be a difference, and of what nature will it be?


2. How is 'Unsharp mask' different from sharpening? What specific advantage does it have over the 'sharpening' filter in Photoshop? Could anyone help me out with how this technique works?





Many thanks and Best Regards

coldrain
09-02-2007, 03:52 AM
The depth of field at wide angle is noticably deeper than with longer focal lengths.

So... with a wider focal length you will have much less smooth bokeh, with longer focal lengths the bokeh will become more blurry and what is in focus will be less deep.

So "zooming" has a big impact. And not only on the depth of field and bokeh, but alos in the composition. From afar + zoomed in will have a less wide field of view, showing less in the background. Getting closer with a wider field of view will show more in the background.

D Thompson
09-02-2007, 07:17 AM
Hi everyone,

2. How is 'Unsharp mask' different from sharpening? What specific advantage does it have over the 'sharpening' filter in Photoshop? Could anyone help me out with how this technique works?

Many thanks and Best Regards

Bella -

It's kind of misleading - Unsharp mask/USM is actually sharpening. It gets its name from a darkroom technique used in film. The Sharpen, Sharpen more, and Sharpen edges offer no control whatsoever. They will accentuate blemishes, grain, artifacts with equal enthusiasm. While with the Unsharp Mask you have control with the amount, radius, and threshold settings. The Unsharp mask looks at the difference primarily at edges and applies it there, which is where you want it. Here's a quote from CS2 User Guide - "The Unsharp Mask sharpens an image by increasing contrast along the edges in an image. It does not detect edges in an image. Instead, it locates pixels that differ in value from surrounding pixels by the threshold you specify. It increases the contrast of neighboring pixels by the amount you specify."

With CS2 they added a Smart Sharpen filter which seems to have gained quite a bit of use replacing the Unsharp Mask. It does better with color halos, so you can apply a little more sharpening without damage. Also, it lets you apply just to shadows or highlights and its preview window is a little larger.

Hope this helps a little.

Lilchilichoco
09-04-2007, 12:01 AM
Thank you coldrain.


Dennis, that helped a LOT:)!! Thank you. One more question. Does the USM have to applied using layers or can I apply it directly to the image?

Does working on a duplicate layer leave the original image untouched?




Many thanks and best regards

sla
09-04-2007, 03:47 AM
2. How is 'Unsharp mask' different from sharpening? What specific advantage does it have over the 'sharpening' filter in Photoshop? Could anyone help me out with how this technique works?
Hi
I don't use photoshop. But in general unsharp mask (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsharp_mask) is a specific method of sharpening, an algorithm copied from analogue photography, when they could manipulate only by copying, reverting and blurring image. It is surprising when you SHARPEN by BLURRING ;)
You can find some step by step guides how to to unsharp mask only by copying layers, blurring, inverting and adding layers to each other. This is an interesting and surprising experience.

Regards

D Thompson
09-04-2007, 05:05 AM
Dennis, that helped a LOT:)!! Thank you. One more question. Does the USM have to applied using layers or can I apply it directly to the image?

Does working on a duplicate layer leave the original image untouched?

You're always welcome!

I use CS3-Bridge and ACR to convert my RAW files. I'll do some basic adjustments in the conversion. You have the option in ACR of applying sharpening to preview images only or to the image. Mine is set to preview images only. Sharpening should be applied at the last step.

The very first thing I do when I open an image is copy the background layer {ctl+j}. I never do anything on the background layer, that way if I screw up and want to start over I can. I also have the original RAW files backed up to a separate drive. Yes, as long as you are working on a duplicate layer your original is untouched. I use a lot of layers as it gives a lot more control. After I have done all my adjustments, cloning, etc then I merge all layers into a new layer {shf+ctl+alt+n} and then {shf+ctl+alt+e}. I apply sharpening to this merged layer.

In CS3 they have a new feature called smart filters. I learned a new trick this past Friday in a Photoshop seminar. You can convert a layer to smart object by right clicking on the layer and convert to smart object or layer/smart objects/convert to smart object. This not only gives you the ability to come back and adjust the filter options, but also adds a mask to that layer where you can hide/reveal the effect. Makes it very handy.

coldrain
09-04-2007, 05:27 AM
Another thing to take into account with sharpening... sharpening will also make noise more visible.

To get the best results, change to image to Lab color. Only select the Lightness channel, then apply the unsharp mask settings of your liking. You will notice that doing in that way will give better results than doing it in RGB mode.

Rooz
09-04-2007, 05:40 AM
To get the best results, change to image to Lab color.

what does that mean ?

coldrain
09-04-2007, 05:48 AM
You find Lab Color under:
Image/Mode

As you can see, it is there with a.o. RGB Color and CMYK Color.

It is a VERY useful color mode. For instance for USM in the lightness channel, where the color information remains untouched by the USM, and so the colour noise artifacts do not get sharpened.
And with Levels, Curves, and contrast in RGB mode the saturation and such change when you adjust them... in Lab color mode the colours remain unaffected, you do not see the shifts in colour you see with RGB mode.

Rooz
09-04-2007, 06:05 AM
so...

>lab colour
>flatten image
>channels ---> lightness
>USM
>back to RGB

is this right ?

coldrain
09-04-2007, 06:08 AM
Yes, that is right. Of course you do not have to flatten the image, but then do select the right layer before USM-ing. And of course you do not have to go back to RGB, if you want to adjust curves/levels/contrast or something that os best done in Lab color mode too.

And then change back to RGB, else you can not save it to JPEG for instance.

Rooz
09-04-2007, 06:15 AM
aha. ok...well thats good. i don;t even know what flatten image means to be honest so i always just say "yes" when it asks me. :p i dont really use CS2 much but thats a good tip to know. thanks.

toriaj
09-04-2007, 09:55 PM
The very first thing I do when I open an image is copy the background layer {ctl+j}. I never do anything on the background layer, that way if I screw up and want to start over I can. I also have the original RAW files backed up to a separate drive. Yes, as long as you are working on a duplicate layer your original is untouched.

I've heard a lot about this, and it's never made sense to me ... if I work on the background layer, but then don't like it and don't save it, the file is still untouched, right?

Lilchilichoco
09-05-2007, 02:12 AM
Wow!! I'm lost!!:o This throws up a whole lot of other questions, which I hope you'd be kind enough to answer.


Hi sla and thank you for the information. I haven’t yet looked up the links but I am hoping one of them will have the step by step guide to USM that you mentioned. Any particular one you could suggest?


Dennis,I have absolutely no familiarity with layers and masking, and how they work ,which I see you and coldrain are completely at ease with, as is Tori....wow! Any link you could tell me about that would explain in simple terms how to work with them?


Coldrain, I have seen grain increase after sharpening like you said. It almost seems to create noise which was non-existent in the original shot. Where can I find the lightness channel? Are we talking hue/saturation option here? I mostly shoot Jpeg.

I still am not clear as to what the term ‘conversion’ of RAW files mean. I had asked this before and good people had answered but it still didn’t make sense to me. I didn't want to push too much then. But here it pops up again!!:eek: I’m sorry for being a pest.

Is 'flatten image' and 'merge layers' the same thing? What’s Rasterize?


Also, I tried shooting in RAW but my images came out so dull and I was able to do so less with them that I gave up. My Jpegs are so much more easier to work with. But the sharpening often ruins them, particularly in dark or underexposed shots. Are dull raw colors normal? In post processing a Raw shot I am not able to get the colors that I get with Jpegs. What am I doing wrong?



Plus I can’t see the thumbnail view of RAW photos,there are just numbers which makes it mandatory to open each file to view what it is before I can work with it. I use Windows. Could anyone tell me what I might be missing here?












Many thanks again



Best Regards

coldrain
09-05-2007, 03:10 AM
In PS you find the channels in the same little window that shows the layers, on a different tab.
So if that little window does not show, then make it show via the "Windows" menu.

sla
09-05-2007, 05:52 AM
Any particular one you could suggest?

Dennis,I have absolutely no familiarity with layers and masking, and how they work ,which I see you and coldrain are completely at ease with, as is Tori....wow! Any link you could tell me about that would explain in simple terms how to work with them?


Here (http://docs.gimp.org/en/plug-in-unsharp-mask.html) is a short explanation "how to do it step by step" (at the bottom of the page). Sorry that it is for gimp, not photoshop, but there's a lot of analogy. You can eventually try this (http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/canterbury/222/unsharp.htm).

And, you see, if you want to experiment, you'll have to get used to layers :D
regards

P.S. About photoshop layers: have you tried this (http://www.photoshopcafe.com/tutorials/layers/intro.htm) for a start?

D Thompson
09-05-2007, 02:54 PM
I've heard a lot about this, and it's never made sense to me ... if I work on the background layer, but then don't like it and don't save it, the file is still untouched, right?
Yes, you are correct that as long as you don't save it the original file is untouched.

Now, let me explain why I never work on the background layer. Let's say I'm doing a retouch of a portrait. I've already done any color correction as well as levels, curves, etc., cloned/healed blemishes, whitened teeth, lightened the eye whites, worked on the iris, and am almost done. All that is left is a little dodging/burning a few places. So, now I'm dodging/burning and I screw up and decide I've gone too far. I can only go back the number of history states (mine currently set to 12), but I need to go back further than that to get to where I was when I started dodging/burning. Guess what? I'm screwed, I have to start all over. Quite a bit of work down the drain. Now, if I have done each process on a separate layer all I have to do is delete the dodge/burn layer and all my other work is still there. All I have to do now is create a new layer, set to overlay or soft light, fill with 50% grey, and get back to dodging/burning.

Here is a shot of my layers on 2 jobs. Sometimes I'll have more layers, occasionally a few less. The one on the left I probably spent 25-30 hours on, so imagine if I'd screwed up toward the end of that one. It was for a friends daughter so I didn't charge for it. It was an extensive job where I had to put the couple in a different background.

toriaj
09-05-2007, 03:56 PM
Thanks, Dennis, that helped. (BTW, Paint Shop Pro gives a History palette that extends all the way back to when you opened the file, with undo for each step, or "undo-to-here." I'm surprised that PS doesn't ... but of course, there are still valid reasons to use Layers.)

D Thompson
09-05-2007, 04:01 PM
Wow!! I'm lost!!:o This throws up a whole lot of other questions, which I hope you'd be kind enough to answer

Dennis,I have absolutely no familiarity with layers and masking, and how they work ,which I see you and coldrain are completely at ease with, as is Tori....wow! Any link you could tell me about that would explain in simple terms how to work with them?

Layers and masks can seem intimidating at first, after you understand the principal the concept is simple. Offhand I don't know of a link to send you, but I'll try to explain it very simply. Think of layers as sheets of paper on top of each other. The background layer is on bottom. Now, lets say you do a curves adjustment on a duplicate layer or adjustment layer. You can turn the background layer off and it makes no difference to what you see. Now the curves adjustment has a built in mask. A mask hides or reveals what is below that layer depending on if it's black or white. Lets say there is an area where I don't want the adjustment. The layer mask is filled with white, so it's revealing the adjustment. I paint with black on the mask to hide that part of the layer and let the background layer show through. Here is a very simple exercise to help you understand. Create a new document, say 600 x 600 pixels with a white background. All you see is white, right? Now, create a new layer, fill with a dark blue or some other good color. Now all you see is blue, correct? Add a layer mask to this blue layer and it should be filled with white. You still see nothing but blue. Now, select a brush, foreground color to black, and click on the white mask. Now, paint something. Where you have just painted black on the mask is white. If you look at the mask - white is showing that layer, black is hiding that part of the layer letting the background show thru. Now, switch your brush color to white and paint back over part of the black on the mask. It's showing the blue again now. Now, what do you think happens if you change the foreground color to say a 50% grey? Try it and see. That's pretty basic and I hope I've explained it well. Sometimes, I know how to do something, just not how to explain it very well. Layer masks are very powerful with what you can do.


Coldrain, I have seen grain increase after sharpening like you said. It almost seems to create noise which was non-existent in the original shot. Where can I find the lightness channel? Are we talking hue/saturation option here? I mostly shoot Jpeg.

To find the lightness channel you have to convert to Lab by Image/Mode/Lab color. Then go into channels and you will see the lightness, a, and b channels.


I still am not clear as to what the term ‘conversion’ of RAW files mean. I had asked this before and good people had answered but it still didn’t make sense to me. I didn't want to push too much then. But here it pops up again!!

A RAW file is just that - raw data that the sensor has collected when you pushed the shutter button. Think of it a your digital negative - nothing has been done to it at all. When you shoot in jpeg the camera takes that RAW file and adjusts accordingly. It will use the parameters you have set to create the jpeg image. To be able to actually see the RAW file you have to convert it to a recognizable format (jpeg, tiff, psd, whatever).


:eek: I’m sorry for being a pest.

You're never a pest :D.


Is 'flatten image' and 'merge layers' the same thing?

pretty much.


What’s Rasterize?

Converting a vector graphic to pixels. Someone else may have to jump in on this one. ;)


Also, I tried shooting in RAW but my images came out so dull and I was able to do so less with them that I gave up. My Jpegs are so much more easier to work with. But the sharpening often ruins them, particularly in dark or underexposed shots. Are dull raw colors normal? In post processing a Raw shot I am not able to get the colors that I get with Jpegs. What am I doing wrong?

The downside of RAW is the amount of post. It takes a little effort to pull the shot out. Your jpeg's have already had "post processing" done in camera according to the parameters you've set. The RAW file has not. Getting the results is easy with a combination of curves and/or levels adjustments. Also, bump up the contrast in the conversion. I'm not sure what you're using, but if you have CS2 or CS3 then you should have Bridge and ACR. I'm 100% using ACR now.

You're jpegs probably already have sharpening added in camera. Underexposed shots are noisier - check your blue channel as that is usually where most of the noise is in. IMO - it is better to expose to the right. I know you like those low-light shots tho ;).


Plus I can’t see the thumbnail view of RAW photos,there are just numbers which makes it mandatory to open each file to view what it is before I can work with it. I use Windows. Could anyone tell me what I might be missing here?

If you have CS2 then you should have Adobe Bridge and be able to view them. Otherwise, I think this might help if you're running XP http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/prophoto/raw.mspx.

I hope this helps explain some things. If not, re-ask and I'll try or I'm sure someone else will jump in too.

Take care Bella.

D Thompson
09-05-2007, 04:05 PM
Thanks, Dennis, that helped. (BTW, Paint Shop Pro gives a History palette that extends all the way back to when you opened the file, with undo for each step, or "undo-to-here." I'm surprised that PS doesn't ... but of course, there are still valid reasons to use Layers.)
The History is just one little reason. PS will let you go back up to 1000 states, but becomes a hog with them set that many. Plus, using the brush alone sometimes will use a bunch.

Layers gives a lot more control.

Lilchilichoco
09-06-2007, 01:45 PM
Aww Dennis.......you are WONDERFUL!!:) Can I give you a hug!! Thank you SO much. Yes you have explained it very well. It has cleared the idea very well. But I have to admit I need to "see" each step to know where I need to go....yeah.....that dumb at this:rolleyes: :o.

First, how do I get the color blue for the first layer? I went to foreground color, and set it to blue, then selected paintbrush, and painted on the layer. Is that how I am supposed to do it? How do I know which layer I am working on?

Now when you say,


"Add a layer mask to this blue layer and it should be filled with white. You still see nothing but blue."


I lost my way here....when I click on layer mask, should it be 'reveal all' or 'hide all'? What does it mean when you say, 'it should be filled with white"? Does it mean I should fill it with white?


If this gets too tedious, just tell me.....I know this is:)



When you say, RAW needs to be converted to a recognizable format, then when does this conversion take place? Is it at the time of saving, as in saving an image as JPEG?



I am really, really grateful for the time and effort you've put in.


Big thanks again!!:)

Lilchilichoco
09-06-2007, 01:49 PM
Sla, thank you! Those are some great links! Must say the whole Photoshop business intimidates me , but I'd better get working on it.:)

Coldrain, thanks.





Best Regards

D Thompson
09-06-2007, 08:04 PM
Aww Dennis.......you are WONDERFUL!!:) Can I give you a hug!!

Aww, gee, blush, blush. Of course you can :o;)


Thank you SO much. Yes you have explained it very well. It has cleared the idea very well. But I have to admit I need to "see" each step to know where I need to go....yeah.....that dumb at this:rolleyes: :o.

You are very welcome and I'm glad to help anytime I can. We were all "that dumb at this" at one time or another. I cut my teeth years ago on Corel Photopaint. I'd keep hearing about Photoshop and would give it a try and give up on it and keep on using Corel. I finally decided that with most of the people I knew were using Photoshop that there must be something to it. I uninstalled Corel, installed Photoshop (I think either 4 or 5) and forced myself to learn it. I had plenty of time being freshly divorced :eek:. Anyway, Photoshop is all I've used for the past 5-6 years, been to a few seminars, read several books, and I'm still learning it! All I can tell you is to hang in there kiddo, keep trying things and asking questions. It is a wonderful program.


First, how do I get the color blue for the first layer? I went to foreground color, and set it to blue, then selected paintbrush, and painted on the layer. Is that how I am supposed to do it? How do I know which layer I am working on?

Now when you say,


"Add a layer mask to this blue layer and it should be filled with white. You still see nothing but blue."


I lost my way here....when I click on layer mask, should it be 'reveal all' or 'hide all'? What does it mean when you say, 'it should be filled with white"? Does it mean I should fill it with white?


If this gets too tedious, just tell me.....I know this is:)

Not too tedious for me at all. I was helped early on and it's my privilege to help someone else! Here is a step by step on the basic concept I was talking about.

Don’t’ press the {} keys, only what is inside them. You probably know that, but thought I’d throw it in just in case. Keyboard shortcuts are a real timesaver. Learn and use them.

1) create a new document by pressing {ctl+n}. Make it easy – 600 px by 600 px and make sure that Background Contents is set to white. You now should have a document with only a background layer and it is white.

2) create a new layer by either (a) click the create new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette (b) Layer/New/Layer or (c) {shf+ctl+n} and click ok. Now you should have 2 layers, a Background layer on the bottom and Layer1 on top. The Background layer should be white and Layer 1 should look transparent.

3) click on Layer1 to select it. Pick a nice medium blue for your foreground color and fill Layer1 with blue by (a) {alt+backspace} [note: {ctl+backspace} would fill with the background color in the 2 color squares] (b) {shf+F5} and use foreground color or (c) Edit/Fill and use foreground color. Now your Layer1 should be the nice blue color and the Background layer is still white.

4) Now we want to add a Layer Mask to Layer1. Make sure Layer1 is still selected and either (a) click the add layer mask icon at bottom of Layers palette or (b) Layer/Layer Mask/Reveal All. Now you should have 2 squares on Layer1 – a blue square on the left and a white square on the right. [if you had selected Layer/Layer Mask/Hide All the square on the right would be black and you would not see the blue color in your main image window.] Press on the mask (white square) to select the mask.

5) Press {b} or select the brush tool from the tool palette. Press {d} to set the colors to default (black & white) and make black the foreground color. You can press {x} to switch the background and foreground colors in the Tool Palette. Start painting in the main image (make sure the mask is still active) and wherever you paint with black puts a hole in Layer1 which allows the Background Layer to show thru. Now, for giggles, press {x} which sets your Foreground color to white and paint back over parts of where you just painted. The blue is coming back and you’re “patching” the hole in Layer1 so that it shows. If you paint with 50% grey then it gives you 50/50 of the layers. Play with different shades of grey to see how it affects the Layer Mask.

6) Let’s say that you when you go to add the Layer Mask that instead you Layer/Layer Mask/Hide All or you can also fill the Mask with black. Now the square on the right on Layer1 is a black square and the blue color is hidden. Now with the mask selected and you paint with white it lets the blue color show thru. You are no longer hiding Layer1.

Hope that helps you and gee, I hope you have Photoshop:eek:. I'm guessing you can apply same to PSP but some of the keys may be different.



When you say, RAW needs to be converted to a recognizable format, then when does this conversion take place? Is it at the time of saving, as in saving an image as JPEG?

Someone else may be better at explaining this and it's probably something I need to read up on a bit more. I bring my images onto pc with Bridge CS3 which lets me view them (among other things). I select the images I want and open them in ACR4 (Adobe Camera Raw). Here is where a lot of the magic happens. I can adjust anything and everything. I can then just save as (which I assume is when the actual conversion happens) as a tiff, jpeg, psd, dng, or several other options. I can also bring it into Photoshop CS3 without saving it. At this point the conversion has taken place and the filetype is psd. I can do my work in Photoshop and save it as whatever, except a RAW file.




I am really, really grateful for the time and effort you've put in.


Big thanks again!!:)

You're very, very welcome and feel free to ask. I will try my best to answer.

Take care...............

Lilchilichoco
09-08-2007, 10:47 PM
Wow Dennis:)!! Big big hug!! Thank you! I actually could do it....WOW!!! Big thumbs up to how well you explain things! Thanks for understanding how it feels to be standing at the shores.



You are darling for saying this, "don't press {} keys"..:).......I feel like the baby in Ice Age!! I got quite confused about what you were talking about for a minute or two.....then I got it.......if you were around you'd have got a peck on the cheek as well. :).

I got a little stuck at this,


"If you paint with 50% grey then it gives you 50/50 of the layers. Play with different shades of grey to see how it affects the Layer Mask."



What does this mean?

Could you tell me a practical example of how I could use layers? And this may sound really dumb, but I'm going to ask anyway. What is the job of the layer, and what is the job of the layer mask, for what specific purpose is each employed?




A problem I had was that my foreground and background colors got stuck at black and white after I pressed "x" to change them, and wouldn't change to any other color, though they were switching back and forth. What did I do wrong?


Looks like I'd better take a divorce if I am to learn anything in PS ;)....hubby hates me sitting at it:D








Big Thanks!


Best Regards

D Thompson
09-09-2007, 09:21 AM
Wow Dennis:)!! Big big hug!! Thank you! I actually could do it....WOW!!! Big thumbs up to how well you explain things! Thanks for understanding how it feels to be standing at the shores.


You are darling for saying this, "don't press {} keys"..:).......I feel like the baby in Ice Age!! I got quite confused about what you were talking about for a minute or two.....then I got it.......if you were around you'd have got a peck on the cheek as well. :).

blush, blush, thank you darlin'


I got a little stuck at this,

"If you paint with 50% grey then it gives you 50/50 of the layers. Play with different shades of grey to see how it affects the Layer Mask."

What does this mean?

I just wanted you to see that if you use a shade of gray instead of black/white how it would affect it. The grayscale goes from 0 (solid black) to 255 (pure white) with everything in between a shade of gray. So, if I paint with a mid gray (rgb=128,128,128) then I get a mixture of both layers. Don't get too hung up on this part, it's just something to remember for later on. You can also apply a gradient (foreground to background with default colors) on the mask and you'll get a nice transition. Let's say I have an image where the sky is too light, but the rest is just right. I do an curves adjustment layer to get the sky just right, but now the rest is too dark. I can make the mask active, apply the gradient and it will blend the transition smoothly. Of course I can also use the brush to apply exactly where I want and probably would just to clean a few places up.



Could you tell me a practical example of how I could use layers? And this may sound really dumb, but I'm going to ask anyway. What is the job of the layer, and what is the job of the layer mask, for what specific purpose is each employed?

Your first step after opening an image should be to duplicate the background layer {ctl+j}. That way you can always go back to square one and even if if gets saved by mistake, you can still go back to original state.

Practical examples - curves adjustment, levels adjustment, color balance, hue/sat adjustment, black & white adjustment, cloning, dodging/burning, bringing elements from one shot into another to create collages are just a few.

The layer is just a place to do the above so you're not affecting the original background layer. You could do everything on the background layer if you wanted, but you lose all control. If I have something on its own layer - the possibilities are almost endless. I guess the job of the layer is to hold this info.

1) I can change the blending mode of the layer which opens up a multitude of possibilities.

2) I can change the opacity of the layer. I've softened the skin on a portrait. I now want to bring a bit of the skin texture back in. I start lowering that layers opacity until I get just enough softening and texture that I want.

3) Layer styles - endless things to do here.

The layer masks job is to control how much of that layer hides/reveals the underlying layers. Lets say I want to do just a very basic skin smoothing. I apply a gaussian blur to a duplicate layer, but now everything is blurry and I want to maintain detail in the rest of the shot. I apply a layer mask and in this case I want to hide all. (whether you want to reveal all or hide all depends on how much you need to do) I use a soft edge, 100% opacity, low flow brush and start painting white on the black mask where I want the effect. Working gradually to build up. [Brush setting - I prefer to use the 100% opacity and flow set to usually 2-15% and gradually build up. Some people prefer a low opacity and 100% flow.] and btw - this is not how I smooth skin - just used this was as an example. Another thing is sharpening - I could sharpen and then apply a mask and paint over the skin to remove the sharpening on the skin. It can be used to color balance a specific spot, also putting a curves adjustment in a specific place. Just a couple of uses


A problem I had was that my foreground and background colors got stuck at black and white after I pressed "x" to change them, and wouldn't change to any other color, though they were switching back and forth. What did I do wrong?

You did nothing wrong. If you have the mask active your only choices are black, white, and shades of gray. Click on the square on the left to make the image active and your color choices will return.


Looks like I'd better take a divorce if I am to learn anything in PS ;)....hubby hates me sitting at it:D

:eek: hope not. Still, you gotta make time for hubby or whoever. It is addicting and especially when you are first trying to learn. I'm still learning as well and I can spend several hours and not realize it. I think the most I've spent on one photo was 25-30 hours and it could've been more than that. It was for a friends daughter.


Big Thanks!


Best Regards

as always - you're welcome.

Lilchilichoco
09-11-2007, 06:35 AM
Wow!! That was a LOT of info. Thank you Dennis!!! I'm sorry for the late reply. You've been wonderful:). I'll work at this and let's see how do I do.

A few more,

1. What does the 'edge' of a brush signify and how is 'hard' brush different from 'soft' brush? What's a low flow brush? What does opacity refer to?

2. What does 'blending mode' refer to? How does changing it change effects? Just a broad idea there.

3. In the USM, what do amount, radius and threshold refer to and how does their settings affect a photo? Can they be set at a particular setting for all shots? Do you use a mask or a layer for USM as well?


I remember you talked about your work on your friend's daughter's photo. That's some time spent on one shot.....amazing!! Do they have any idea how hard you worked? I hope they do:). I think it was an awfully wonderful thing to do.

And don't worry grampa, Photoshop will be just one reason for the divorce;):)

Thanks so much again.




Take care Dennis
God Bless you!







Best Regards

D Thompson
09-12-2007, 09:43 AM
Wow!! That was a LOT of info. Thank you Dennis!!! I'm sorry for the late reply. You've been wonderful:). I'll work at this and let's see how do I do.

No problem and thanks again.


1. What does the 'edge' of a brush signify and how is 'hard' brush different from 'soft' brush? What's a low flow brush? What does opacity refer to?

There are many settings in the brush palette and edge is just one. A hard edged brush will completely fill with "paint" an area the size of the brush, where a soft edged brush of the same size will feather the color. [see image at bottom of post]

Brush opacity & flow - if you set both to 100% you click once and it fills completely. If I'm doing a large section and I want to completely paint in an area then I'll set to 100/100. Most of the time I want to build up an area gradually. Normally, I'll set opacity to 100% and flow to 2-15% or so. Some people prefer to set opacity to 2-15% and flow to 100%. The only difference I see is how it is applied. With 100/5 I can click and hold the left mouse button and gradually paint over and as long as I keep the button down and move it will add "paint". With 5/100, I click and hold and I can paint over any unpainted area but it will not build up unless I release the button and reclick. I think the end result is pretty much the same, I just find it easier for me to use 100/5.


2. What does 'blending mode' refer to? How does changing it change effects? Just a broad idea there.

Wow, this one is hard to explain. Each mode will affect in different ways. Do this - take any image, duplicate the background {ctl+j} and then change the layer blending mode to really see. Some of the more common for layers are
1) Multiply - this will darken, good if you have a very light image.
2) Screen - this will lighten, good for dark images.
3) Overlay - kinda of a combination of Multiply & Screen.
4) Soft light - like Overlay but not as contrasty
Some of the others will get some use, I'll have to dig out one of my books if you'd like and get into the explanation a little deeper.

I'll use Overlay & Soft Light to burn/dodge. Create a new layer {shf+ctl+n} and in the dialog change the blend mode to either Overlay or Soft Light and then check the Fill with Neutral Color (50% gray) and click ok. Now take a brush and paint with either black or white where you would like to darken or lighten.


3. In the USM, what do amount, radius and threshold refer to and how does their settings affect a photo? Can they be set at a particular setting for all shots? Do you use a mask or a layer for USM as well?

Zoom in to 100% to really see the level of detail of how it is affecting the image.

Amount - self explanatory - how much. I rarely go over 150%.
Radius - controls the width of pixels along the edge that are modified.
Threshold - the higher the threshold the wider the edge of contrast must be for the sharpening to be applied.

My usual USM settings are
Amount - 100-150%, Radius - .6-1.2, Threshold - 0. It depends on what I'm sharpening and the resolution of the image. A landscape may get 150, 1.2, 0 where a portrait may be 115, .6, 0. I'll also use the mask to get rid of the sharpening in some areas.

Another setting to make an image "pop" a bit is to use lower amounts and up the radius. Try this 25, 50.0, 0. You can play around with this, but generally works better with the amount less than 50 and radius at least equal or up. Play around with the settings until you like it. I rarely have my threshold set to anything other than 0 tho.


[QUOTE]And don't worry grampa, Photoshop will be just one reason for the divorce;):)

OK, kiddo, as long as there's more than 1 reason! :D


Thanks so much again.

Take care Dennis
God Bless you!

Best Regards

As always - my pleasure.

Lilchilichoco
09-13-2007, 10:27 AM
Dennis, can't even begin to thank you. I'll work on all of this info and when I get stuck...I'll call out to you:). You have much more than helped. Thank you ever so much. You are amazing!

Big hug and God bless you grampa!!

D Thompson
09-13-2007, 07:16 PM
Dennis, can't even begin to thank you. I'll work on all of this info and when I get stuck...I'll call out to you:). You have much more than helped. Thank you ever so much. You are amazing!

Big hug and God bless you grampa!!

Thanks for the hug, Kiddo ;). Anytime I can help just let me know!