An outline of the most important file formats for digital photographers and how best to use them.
No laptop LCD can present colours, tones and contrast levels accurately enough to base serious imaging decisions on so they are not really suitable for image editing and printing. They also offer a limited range of adjustments. However, you can improve their accuracy through calibration and profiling, although a colorimeter is normally required for these tasks.
The software CDs supplied with some cameras contain image editing applications ranging from very basic to reasonably powerful manipulation programs. Leading computer operating systems, such as Windows and Mac OS come with integrated image browsers that usually include editors and sharing tools. Apple’s iPhoto is a good example.
It’s deceptively easy to set your polarising filter slightly off-kilter when you’re taking a landscape shot and not realise you’ve done it. However, it can result in an image in which the sky is either too dark or uneven in tone. In some cases, the foreground may also be too dark as well. In this feature we’ll explain how to correct both problems using a rather extreme example.
The first thing users of Camera Raw in Photoshop CS3 will notice is the re-design of the user interface and the inclusion of some new functions in the Image Controls menu on the right side of the workspace. Some of these have come from Lightroom’s Develop module, which allows it to synchronise with Camera Raw. Photographers can now choose to open and edit Raw, TIFF and JPEG files in either Lightroom or Camera Raw without losing settings applied in either application. This also makes all the settings provided in Camera Raw available for JPEGs and TIFF files.
The basic Raw conversion tools supported by Camera Raw in Adobe’s popular Photoshop Elements image editor enable digital photographers to make a wide range of adjustments to image files. However, some functions are withheld and only made available to photographers who use the professional Photoshop CS/CS2 application. We’ll devote this article to covering these additional functions.
If your digital camera can record raw files, you can take advantage of higher bit depths when you edit your images. Bit depth refers to the number of colours that can be displayed by a digital device. The higher the bit depth, the more colours used in the image and, consequently, the larger the file size.
In this article we’ll be looking at the most basic of editing processes: resizing. Images need to be resized when:
Cropping and resizing, brightness and contrast adjustments and some basic colour adjustments can be found in even the simplest image editing software. You will probably also find automated tools for correcting red eyes in flash shots and sharpening images. In this chapter we’ll look at how to use these tools and then move on to more sophisticated functions that can help everyday photographers to produce richer-looking prints from their digital photos.
Most digital photographers have experimented with various panorama stitching techniques using either bundled software applications like Canon’s PhotoStitch or ArcSoft Panorama Maker, or the PhotoMerge tool in Adobe’s Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. These applications work well with images that can be overlapped seamlessly; shot sequences where nothing has moved between the shots.