Adobe Photoshop CS comes with an amazing asortment of tools to help you edit your images. The latest version includes a wide range of features to make things easier, but how can you get the most out of it? In this first part of Chapter 5 from Mordy Golding's Adobe Creative Suite, (Sams, ISBN: 0672325918), you'll learn how to use masks, layers, filters, feathers, and more.
Using Adobe Photoshop CS, Part 1 - Importing Images (Page 4 of 15 )
Another way to bring images into Photoshop is to import them from another hardware source. There are plenty of scanners, traditional cameras with digital film backs, fully digital cameras, video capture devices, and the like that can be used to capture images which can be directly imported into Photoshop. Each of these devices usually comes with a plug-in for Photoshop to allow this use. For example, my Epson Expression 1600 FireWire scanner has a plug-in that allows me to access my scanner from the File, Import menu (see Figure 5.14).
Figure 5.14 Importing an image from a scanner directly into Photoshop.
Tip -Check with your hardware manufacturer for the latest driver and plug-in updates. You can usually download them free from the Internet.
More popular than almost anything these days are digital cameras. It seems as though just about everyone has one. Some cameras let you import pictures directly into Photoshop as JPEG images; others simply copy the files to your hard drive. Additionally, some cameras support something called camera raw format.
Tip -For organizing and cataloging photos, you can use Adobe Photoshop Album if you're using a Windows computer. Macintosh users can use iPhoto (part of Apple's iLife '04 software package).
Camera Raw Image Import
Many of the newer digital cameras have the capability to shoot in "raw" format. This means that the camera preserves the image in a native format, rather than storing it as a JPEG file (as most cameras do). The benefit, of course, is that the image is unadulterated and contains every aspect of the data that the camera can capture. Think of it like this: Opening a JPEG photo in Photoshop is like drinking bottled water, but opening a camera raw file is like going to Evian in France and drinking the water right from the spring.
When you open a camera raw file (CRW), you're presented with the Camera Raw dialog box, where you can make adjustments to the image (see Figure 5.15). Any changes you make to the image here do not affect the original raw image-they only take effect as you open the file in Photoshop. Along the right side of the dialog, a color histogram gives you a visual of the tonal range of the image (see Figure 5.16). Below that are the Adjust and Detail palettes. If you choose the Advanced option instead of the Basic option at the top of the dialog, you have the Lens and Calibrate palettes as well.
Figure 5.15 The Photoshop CS Camera Raw dialog box.
For some people, it may seem as though all of this functionality (such as adjusting an image'schromatic aberration) is overkill. For others, such as professional photographers, having this kind of detailed control over their images is a dream come true. Admittedly, making adjustments to the White Balance setting (in the Adjust palette) is useful for nearly everyone, because this setting can correct photos that were taken on overly cloudy or sunny days, photos that have odd color casts, and more (see Figure 5.17).
Figure 5.16 A color histogram.
Figure 5.17 The White Balance setting in the Camera Raw dialog.
Note -If you ever catch me talking about chromatic aberration at a social party, remind me to change careers.
Overall, what makes Photoshop's camera raw support such a big deal is that you can save the changes you make to one file and then automatically apply those adjustments to an entire range of files. For example, if you find that your particular camera needs certain adjustments to all the photos it takes, you can have Photoshop automatically apply certain camera raw settings when it opens files taken with that camera. Or you can use the camera raw settings to fix a photo that you took on a really cloudy day. You can then apply those settings automatically to all other photos you shot on that day. These adjustments can be done via the Settings pop-up and flyout menu.
This chapter is from Adobe Creative Suite, by Mordy Golding (Sams, 2003, ISBN: 0672325918). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.