the proper way of editing pictures (for amateurs)

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Eiko Fried Eiko Fried Post 1 of 7
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I have practised with PS a bit the last days and simply wanted to ask what I am doing right / wrong. (I don't have much PS experience, but do understand computers and programs quite well and did a lot of experimenting the last days; feel free to post simple, but also difficult techniques or ideas, I think I'll understand them).

Source: ~3mb jpg from a 5megapixel Lumix FZ-20
Goal: ~250kb jpg, 1000*x px

1) I open the picture and take a look what auto levels/contrast/color does to the picture. If I like the outcome I apply it.
If I want to have the picture in B/W I check the three channels and apply monochrome in the channel which suits me most.
Moreoever, I'm having problems with noise in many pictures. Any recommendations as how to handle this problem?

2) Border: I either use stroke or canvas size to put a border around the image (but strike = losing space of the image is usully not a good idea). I repeat this several times if I want several borders/frames.

3) (now save img as uncompressed png. file in order to have backup later)

4) Resize image now. I read some guides saying to put down the "resolution" option to 72, but at least in my options the standard is 72 already. How comes? "Scale Styles" is activated automatically as well, the guides say deactivate it - why?
Resizing to 1000*x for example. Does resizing to a part which can be multiplied by a whole number to get the former build size really make a difference (e.g.: when you have a picture of 3600*3600, does it really make sense to downgrade it to 900*900 instead of 1000*1000) ?

5) Does it make sense to sharpen the picture now, after resizing?

6) Safe as jpg, don't compress too much in order to keep the quality up.

Thanks in advance for your answers.

Post Edited (0:17h)
Oliver Suhr Oliver Suhr Post 2 of 7
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Hi Eiko,

in general I think you are on the right way.

to 1)
Starting with auto-functions is very comfortable, often if gives a good point to start for a manual correction. I propose to use adjustment layers, you can modify the corrections later...
Noise, often a problem. The "natural" noise is given by your cam/sensor. Take care that you do not modify to strong, especially the brightness: Lightning dark pics can produce noise. If you get string noise by converting a pic in greyscale by using the channelmixer, try another war f.e. a black colour layer. To reduce noise there a different ways, at least de-noise programs as noise ninja or neat image are the best way.

to 3)

to 4)
For web publishing forget the resulution/dpi, it is interesting for printouts only. The final size of the resized pic depends on what you want to do with the pic and (f.e. for uploading at fc) the mix of size-quality-kb.

to 5)
The unsharp mask is a MUST after resizing a pic!

to 6)
no comment....

last not least
Keep the original photo and work with a copy.
For digital editing you should switch of most of the camera internal "optimalisations" for "better pics" which give "ready to print" photos - these are first editings, adding your own editings you are in risc to loose quality (f.e. noise).

cheers, Olli

Post Edited (16:29h)
Yan Manarsar Yan Manarsar Post 3 of 7
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Hi I am new to PS as well but I think I will share what I think :)

1. There are no certain way we edit a picture, but usually I will try to avoid auto either on contrast or level. To convert to b/w, your way is OK, but often produce some noise. There are some way to convert to b/w which are greyscale, desaturation, gradient map and channel mixer. Those are what I often use, depends on which one that result the best b/w for me.

4. Dpi set into 72 only for printing. if it just for web you can let it at 300. Just use image size and set the image into your liking. Save as will keep the exif data in the file, but with save for web, you will have more quality for the same file size than save as. because in save for web, the exif datas were exclude.

5. If you apply USM (unsharp mask) after resizing (depends on how much) the halos or glow that might resulted from USM will be more visible.

6. Since I usually shoot in RAW, mostly I save in TIFF after few adjustment but i kept the RAW file as a back up

netwolf56 netwolf56 Post 4 of 7
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You might try Lynda training videos...there are some for every stage of photoshop user. Also Kelby training has some excellent video courses at very reasonable prices.
Bob Proposki Bob Proposki Post 5 of 7
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Your skills really help indeed. And for beginner, maybe some tool can help, such as,
Oh, for PS, beginner can start with PS signature water mark: ... oshop.html
John Gaarg John Gaarg Post 6 of 7
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HI! I think GIMP , will be good for you
John Gaarg John Gaarg Post 7 of 7
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I would like to add to my previous post. GIMP - this is one of the alternatives, which is quite popular, but perhaps not all it will fit. I found an article that offers to get acquainted with 20 free programs like Photoshop ... oshop.html . Perhaps from this list you will find an alternative for yourself.
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