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Basic Photo Corrections in Adobe Photoshop CS6

Article Description

Adobe Photoshop includes a variety of tools and commands for improving the quality of a photographic image. This lesson steps you through the process of acquiring, resizing, and retouching a photo intended for a print layout. The same basic workflow applies to web images.

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Adobe Photoshop CS6 Classroom in a Book

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Classroom in a Book

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Note: This excerpt does not include the lesson files. The lesson files are available with purchase of the book.

Lesson overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:

  • Understand image resolution and size.
  • Open and edit an image in Camera Raw.
  • Adjust the tonal range of an image.
  • Straighten and crop an image.
  • Paint over a color with the Color Replacement tool.
  • Adjust the saturation of isolated areas of an image using the Sponge tool.
  • Use the Clone Stamp tool to eliminate an unwanted part of an image.
  • Use the Spot Healing Brush tool to repair part of an image.
  • Use the content-aware Patch tool to remove blemishes.
  • Apply the Unsharp Mask filter to finish retouching photos.
  • Save an image file for use in a page layout application.

Image

This lesson will take about an hour to complete. Copy the Lesson02 folder onto your hard drive if you haven’t already done so. As you work on this lesson, you’ll preserve the start files. If you need to restore the start files, copy them from the Adobe Photoshop CS6 Classroom in a Book DVD.


Image

Adobe Photoshop includes a variety of tools and commands for improving the quality of a photographic image. This lesson steps you through the process of acquiring, resizing, and retouching a photo intended for a print layout. The same basic workflow applies to web images.

Strategy for retouching

How much retouching you do depends on the image you’re working on and your goals for it. For many images, you can achieve your desired outcome with just a few clicks in Adobe Camera Raw, which is installed with Adobe Photoshop. For others, you may start in Camera Raw to adjust the white point, for example, and then move on to Photoshop for more advanced retouching, such as applying filters to selected parts of an image.

Organizing an efficient sequence of tasks

Most retouching procedures follow these general steps:

  • Duplicating the original image or scan; working in a copy of the image file makes it easy to recover the original later if necessary
  • Ensuring that the resolution is appropriate for the way you’ll use the image
  • Cropping the image to final size and orientation
  • Repairing flaws in scans of damaged photographs (such as rips, dust, or stains)
  • Adjusting the overall contrast or tonal range of the image
  • Removing any color casts
  • Adjusting the color and tone in specific parts of the image to bring out highlights, midtones, shadows, and desaturated colors
  • Sharpening the overall focus of the image

Usually, you should complete these processes in the order listed. Otherwise, the results of one process may cause unintended changes to other aspects of the image, making it necessary for you to redo some of your work.

Adjusting your process for different intended uses

The retouching techniques you apply to an image depend in part on how you’ll use the image. Whether an image is intended for black-and-white publication on newsprint or for full-color online distribution affects everything from the resolution of the initial scan to the type of tonal range and color correction that the image requires. Photoshop supports the CMYK color mode for preparing an image to be printed using process colors, as well as RGB and other color modes for web and mobile authoring.

To illustrate one application of retouching techniques, this lesson takes you through the steps of correcting a photograph intended for four-color print publication.

For more information about CMYK and RGB color modes, see Lesson 14, “Producing and Printing Consistent Color.”

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