Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pretty Pressings Photo Editing Tutorial

Hello and a wonderful Sunday. Today i have no card to show you but i have had in the past some questions about my photos. I have always replied to that in emails but i thought today would be a good day to fill up share this with you. So if you like to read :-) please go ahead. For tomorrow i have a card to show.
Please know.. I have never taken a photo class or am i good with the use of computer programms (so i pretty sure things more complicated than neccessary) nor do i have a great equipment! I have as editing programm photoshop elements 5.0, the newest version on the market is already 7.0. However i hope that i can help some of you out who also just need a little step by step help here and there to fix small things on the photos. Afterall this is a hobby .... and so far the way i did it worked quite good for my blog, to apply to DT or for magazines.
Taking picturesI have a Canon Rebel XT camera. To take pictures of my cards i set the camera ALWAYS to the tulip setting. I do not want the flash to go off. Than i turn the Zoom eighter to the very very left or to the very right. By moving my body to the card or out of the card i shoot my picture. I do not zoom in with my lense because i have found that i am getting sometimes very blurry pictures that way. (this tip was given to me by my husband)
Now you have noticed that i have started to use that tiny mirrow at the bottom of my cards. Iam taking my pictures in a sunporch and i have lots of bushes and plants growing in my backyard. That takes lots of light away in that level iam taking the pictures (i have the tent on a coffee table) in order to pick up some extra natural light and reflect to my card i have the mirrow on the bottom. Try it .. it really does help AND on top of all that :-) it does look quite cute.

I find it very important to have daylight! I do have a tiny photo tent that came with 2 daylight lamps and i am very disappointed with the results. I never use them - i would rather post no card that day than using them lol. In the room i take pictures off - i like the light best between 11 am and 2 pm. I will play with some CS colors at the bottom or the back of my card so the card is better to see. I love a sheet of Stampin UP " Very Vanilla" CS the best in the back. Because if my card base is white (most of my cards have a white card base) it will show best and does not overpower the picture.

1) click file and open your photo. crop your photo to a nice size with the crop tool. it is the 10th icon from the top to the bottom counted down. square with a line through. Do not cut too close just so you will have a nice frame. You do not want your photo to look crowded
2) click file and open your Signature file (if you have one)
3) click Enhance
3.1) pull the arrow to the left or right so you have a result you are pleased with
4) click Enhance
4.1) Auto Smart Fix
4.2) Adjust Lightning - Shadows/Highlights
move the levels so you get a result you like
4.3) Auto Smart Fix
4.3) Adjust Lighning - Brightness/Contrast
move the levels so you get a result you like (be careful with the Contrast!! it can easily make all your colors disapear!)

you can also click "Enhance," then "Adjust Lighting," then "Levels." You will see in the pop up window some mountains and valleys.. play with the levels to get your result. I personally do like that feature. So i use the more time consuming editing (above)

5. Enhance
5.1. click auto sharpen or adjust even more if you need to at (Enanche-adjust sharpness something between 5% and 20%)

adding your watermark!
i know you can resize your pictures already with Photoshop. i personally just don't really know how to do it. Here is what i do:
i click onto my watermark (in the bottom opened) and pull and drag it over my picture. It will ALWAYS be set right into the middle of your picture very very small. click on the watermark and you will have on each corner a dot pull the watermark big on one corner. Than click into the center and you can move it from there to the spot you like it to sit.
You have now created a layer with your watermark.
Now i click Layer - Flaten image

If you do now have a watermark - simply type your name in with the "T" text tool. on the left you click on the "T" (pick your color, style and size) and click with the cursor in your picture where you want the text to appear. Than start writing. Let's say 75 points are still still too small for your font, simply type in the numbers you think could work sometimes a font needs like 150 points to look nice (remember.. i do not downsize my pictures with photo shop!) You automatically create a layer. once you are done writing click to the right where the tiny pictures are and
click "Opacity" and choose the percentage you like the text to be.

This is how i have edited all my photos until this week.

Adding some special features to your photos.
Iam not good in with all the fancy things you can actually do with the programs but here is something i figured out this week and i would love to share it with you:
on the right click on Artwork and Effects
click "Apply special effects, Filters and Layer styles" (the icon is next to the text symbol)
choose "Layer styles" and "inner glows"
I usually pick the "simple" square which is the first choice
hit "apply" and in the pop-up window click "ok" click in the next window "ok"
nothing visible changed
click "layer"
"Layer Style"
"Style Settings"
and pull your "inner Style" arrow to the right until you like the result
I have the "opacity" set on 75% i like that the best
Now click "Layer" and "Flatten Image" and you can save your picture to your hard drive.
You can also try this:after you are pleased with the lighting of your picture
click Layer
duplicate layer (you will get a Background copy - you can see that on the right)
click Filter
Blur - Gaussian blur (choose a radius you like - not too much)
on the right side where you see the tiny pictures of your card - go to layers (right now your setting should say "normal" click "soft light" and pull the opacity light down to the left until you like the result
click "Layer"
"Flatten Layers"

and save your photo to your hard drive. I now resize my picture down to use for the blog at
I hope my english isnt too crazy :-) and hopefully you can work with the instructions when you have printed that out and have it in front of you while working on your pictures.
here is an additional tip from my friend Kristine regarding the down sizing of the picture right with Photoshop!

When you finish edit your photo, go to
Save for Web
(sometimes a box comes up saying your file exceeds the size limit, just click OK here)
Down to the right you see the image size boxes. I ususally go for 600 pixels on one of the sides. So if you type 600 on the width(for example) than the whole picture gets smaller.
Further up to the right you see a preset menu.
Here you go for JPEG high.
On the menu below this make sure it is set for JPEG and not GIF.
If you now see below your photo, you can see how large your image will be when it is saved. For example 85,6K. This is a little bit too small, so if you go up to the right again and see the Qualite menu. I usually want my photos to be around 120kb(then they are easy to upload to forums etc. So I push the quality arrow until I see the size of the image is around 120kb. Then it's finished and I press OK and save it.

Thank you xxxx
post signature


dolcreations said...

Thank-you so much Claudia for taking your morning to type all this information out. Wow! If was very informative. I really learned alot. I hope I can somehow master it now..I'm not to sure how I will make out..but we will try!

Penni said...

You have some great tips here Claudia, your tutorial is very informative.

Thanks for sharing your ideas.


Cassie said...

you wrote such a great tutorial! i have the full version of PS -- but to resize -- go to IMAGE and then IMAGE SIZE. Maybe that will work for you if you are interested!
I usually save mine at 500 pixels wide. But like you, I also use one of those online resizing things...keeping the width but it still shrinks the KB so it takes less "space" on the hard-drive.

Nancy said...

Wow Claudia...Thank you so much for all of that great information. I am going to print this and give it a try with my next card. I do not do any of this so maybe my cards will look a little better on my blog if I try some of this editing. I have just been taking a picture and posting it. Thank you Thank you.

craftypagan said...

Fantastic tutorial! Really helpful! Hugs Rowena

Elaine Stark said...

A great tutorial with lots of helpful information. Elaine

Norma said...

Dear Claudia, thank you soo... much for sharing your picture-taking methods. My pictures are so crappy looking that this will certainly help me a lot. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out.


Galaxy Girl - my Stamp Galaxy Blog... said...

Thank you Claudia, I love the frame you have been putting around yours, and will try this now thanks to your superb instructions.

I use Photoshop Elements (just upgraded from 3.0 to 7.0) and to re-size in Elements on the top bar click on IMAGE, then you will see "resize" which you click on. I usually change to percentage and take it to approximately 20 for the web.

Toodles and Binks

Annita said...

thanks for the tutorial, you've done good.
hugs Annita

Elaine said...

Great tips, Claudia!

I've left a little something for you on my latest blog post. :) x

Maria said...

Thanks very much for this tutorial Claudia. It is very helpful. Hugs, Maria

Debby said...

great tips thanks!!

scrappinpeg said...

Thanks Claudia.....

Jeni C Slack (^0^) said...

Thank you so much for this tip, Ms. Claudia! I will be trying it xox ~Jeni

laurie said...

Great tutorial Claudia. You are always so specific with your directions it is easy to follow. And your sweet use of the English language always makes me smile.