The best way to sharpen portraits in Photoshop Published May 2, Aaron Nace Share Tweet Sharpening plays an important role in influencing how the human eye interprets a photo and it is the only way to create the illusion of higher definition and detail. Also, much like we use light, color, and composition, it is an extremely effective way to guide the eyes of the viewer to wherever you want them to focus. Resizing an image that has already been sharpened can have adverse effects such as reducing or exaggerating the amount of sharpening. For example, if you want to upload one of your latest photos to Instagram, first resize your image to x pixels their recommended dimensions for square images.
This is compounded by the fact that there are several different Photoshop tools that use the layer technique. Today, we are going to give you a basic overview of the most common layer tools in Photoshop.
Rather than a tutorial, this will be a run through of what they do and why you would use them. The basic Layers tool has been around since Photoshop v3 way back in For pure photographic editing it has been largely superseded by Adjustment Layers but it still has much relevance to the photographer today.
The easiest way to understand layers is to think of your photograph as a slide. With your slide laid flat on the lightbox, a layer can be seen as a clear acetate film placed over the top. On to that acetate, you can write, draw shapes, blur or opaque out parts of the slide below. Photoshop layers work just like this.
They make it easy to add a shape or text, resize and move it independently of the image below. You can add multiple layers all doing separate things and for each object on a layer, you can add an effect such as a drop shadow or a bezel effect.
A basic text layer.
Adjustment Layers If a layer is a clear acetate film over your slide, an Adjustment Layer is an exact copy of your slide, except one that you can make multiple different edits to without affecting the quality of that slide. In Photoshop if we make an image adjustment such as curves and save it, the image will be degraded ever so slightly.
However, with add an Adjustment Layer we can make multiple and dramatic edits without affecting the integrity of the image. Whereas Image Adjustments is found under the Image section of the menu, Adjustment Layers is found in the Layers section.
However, many of the image adjustment tools we are familiar with have Adjustment Layer equivalents. Beyond that, there are adjustment layers for colour, saturation, photo filters and more.
For each specific edit, you wish to make you can add a new adjustment layer. You can then choose how to merge those layers using blending or opacity. This allows you to vary the effect of each adjustment relative to others. Selective Color adjustment layer Opacity and Blending These are the two tools that define how individual layers are merged together.
Opacity simply dials up or down the translucence of the effect. Blending is a way of merging two layers together. At a basic level, it works like a dissolve between two shots in a film. There are multiple different Blend Modes.
Some work out differences in luminosity between the layers, some colour. Some are very subtle some are dramatic. The easiest way to find the best blend mode for a layer is simply to experiment. You can also move layers up and down to get different effects.
The thing to remember is that adjustment layers are non-destructive so you can play around to get the right look without affecting image quality Layer Masks A Layer Mask is a copy of the original image where we can black out parts of that image.
This enables us to work on parts of it without affecting the areas that we have masked. In the case of a Photoshop Layer Mask, the area that we have blacked out reveals the layer below. If that lower layer is, for example, darker, the masked area of the upper layer will also appear darker.
We can also mask out Adjustment Layers. This would allow us to hold back a colour correction in a specific part of an image.
Layer Mask is a powerful way to edit selected parts of an image Layers are an amazing part of Photoshop. Getting a handle on how they work is the first stage in using them on your images. As we mentioned at the top, this article is only meant to be an overview rather than a tutorial.
However, if you would like us to go into more detail on how to use the three layer tools mentioned above let us know in the comments. His images have been licensed to companies such as Cunard, Ethiad and Virgin Atlantic as well as multiple newspapers and magazines.
As well as shooting stills he is now creating travel stock video in 4K.Ariacom was created in as a joint venture bringing together IT consultants with solid experience in software engineering.
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Learn the Photoshop features and techniques that are most applicable to photography, from tonal adjustments to retouching. Develop in-demand skills with access to thousands of expert-led courses on business, tech and creative topics.
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