Philip Andrews

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Softening selection edges

Have you ever wondered what anti-aliasing is? And why do tools with an anti-aliasing option always have it turned on by default? Those same tools are likely to have a box where you can also set feathering. Now that’s a cryptic command unless you’ve seen it in action. Take a look below and learn how these odd options and more are invaluable when it comes to blending and making smooth transitions, especially when we’re selecting.

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Non-destructive sharpening

Want to apply some sharpening to your photo but you are worried about how the sharpen filters change the original pixels in your photo. Yes, you could apply the changes to a copy of the original or you could use a sharpening technique that uses a different way of working. Here we apply the High Pass filter to a duplicate of the image layer to isolate the edges of the photo and then use a Layer Blend mode to combine this new layer with the original.

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Masks are great for hiding and revealing parts of layers without actually removing the actual pixels to be hidden. Layer clipping paths are one way of creating a mask and you would be forgiven for thinking you had to know how to create paths to use them. Not so... Try this technique where we use an outline on one layer to clip the other layer in the composition.

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Guidelines

Guides are brilliant for positioning images into place symmetrically. When it is set up, guidelines appear when it looks like you are trying to line one image with another and it gives you every angle or every option available to you to bring the image perfectly in line with another. The guidelines actually snap into place and really help aligning images, as well as shapes and even slices.

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Image Size scaling options

The Image Size dialog provides several options for manipulating the number of pixels in your photograph and how big it prints.

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Three ways to white balance

Unlike other capture formats (TIFF, JPEG) the White Balance settings are not fixed in a RAW file. This means that you can alter or fine tune the white balance options that you had selected at time of shooting, later at the desktop. For those extreme occasions where the wrong white balance option was selected, you can also remove the setting all together, replacing it with one that is more appropriate. Adobe Camera Raw contains three different ways to balance the hues in your photo.

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