Alice Attempts Photoshop

Today I was back in the classroom getting a severe headache as I tried to understand the process of photoshop.  It was another day in our photography class.  I was amazed at what seemed to be miracles that photoshop could perform.  But remembering how to do these things was not an easy task.  As our teacher spoke my eyes glazed over and all time seemed to stop as I drifted into an empty vastness of nowhere.  Later, I blinked and my ears pricked up as I saw all eyes on me, and the teacher asking for an answer.  Now what was the answer?  Well, I didn’t even know what the question was!  Oh, it was an exhausting day, and although I am pleased with my new discoveries and what I have learnt, I am pleased nonetheless that it is over.

Now, what was my  husband doing while I was toiling away in class?  He was at home having the time of his life, and armed with my camera, he was conducting his own photography field trip.  Or as my husband said, he was following a naughty thing that was trespassing!   He came across this gorgeous little hedge hog.  Isn’t he cute?  I absolutely adore hedge hogs, and I just wish that I was here to see the cutey too.

I don’t know if I will be able to make much sense of these, but here are some of the notes that I took down during class today.  I took these notes hap hazardly and they may  not make sense in and of themselves, but should aid to jog my memory.  We were advised that the best way to remember and learn how to use Photoshop is to put it into practice.

  • In photoshop, convert to DNG
  • Window – work space – horizontal film strip
  • Adobe Bridge – photo uploader – click yes to automatically launch – advanced dialog box
  • file – get photo from camera
  • Camera raw, in specific to each camera model, convert to DNG, data from sensor completely unprocessed
  • archiving work
  • if back up DNG – another computer – any software will convert DNG
  • DNG = Adobe Digital Negative Converter
  • DNG is a universal file.
  • Save options: choose -> pictures; name (custom name – xxxx); rename files; choose custom name + shot date (ddmmyy), e.g. Training _280510_0001.CR2
  • eg. wedding, card #1 = wedding+1; card#2 =wedding+2; card #3 = wedding+3, etc etc
  • Advanced options:  [tick] open Adobe Bridge; [tick] convert to DNG; [tick] Save copies to (second location), for example hard drive.  This is particularly important when you are out on location and you process on your laptop and need to save onto external drive plus another source for a backup.  So you will download to computer and hard drive at the same time.

Apply Metadata

  • 2 Types:  [1] EXIF meta data, comes from the camera (camera general data).  For example, shutter speed, ISO, aperture, serial number, meter mode etc.  [2] IPTC – care data.  Information you input yourself.  For example, your name, contact details, website, copyright information, information about the subject. 
  • Apply basic meta data:  author – alice letts, copyright – alice letts
  • Convert to DNG, get files
  • Meta data template


  • create meta data template, template name: xxxxxxx
  • IPTC Core:  name xxxxxxxxx, location xxxxxxx, keywords xxxxxxxx  [save]

Click, EOS – Digital.dmg


DCIM [double click]

Select three images, press [space] key

 <— click & it plays as a slide show.

Click on Adobe Digital Negative Converter.  Select source folder -> EOS -> DCM -> /volumes/EOS_Digital1/DCIM/100EOS5D/

Save in a new location -> select destination folder

Next, select name, e.g. Training.  File extension .dng, click on convert.

So back into Photoshop, open Bridge -> icon on top right in photo shop.

Apple key plus Tab key – scrolls through applications.

Yes I forgot to say above that we were using apple computers today and so I was not too familar with the buttons as slightly different from the ordinary PC.

Pick image and apply meta data.  Shift clicking.  Hold down apple key (command key) and click on individual item.

Tools -> replace meta data -> see your name.

Window -> meta data panel.

Labelling:  approved; or second etc.  Filtering.  Bridge is good for managing files.

In content window.  Click on photo.  Options on right hand side.

Temperature:  RH – > warmer; and LH -> cooler.

White balance tool.  Click on grey (neutral colour).  Adjust colour cast.  R:255, G:255,B:255.  It equalises the colours (white balance).

Vibrance -> RH – if colour has a lot of saturation it has little effect.  Where colours not so saturated it boosts the colour in those areas.

Workflow Options

Colour space -> Adobe RGB (recommended especially if shoot in greens), -> RGB.  How many colours you can select on image.

Colour sync Utility:  Bit depth – if in Raw, most raw is 12 bits.  256 colours in a channel, that is 8 bit colours.  24 bit colours = 3 channels.  Photoshop is either 8 bits or 16 bits.  Recommended, 16 bits.  Why?  Because of the size, interpolate up or down = 9.9 mp set to (6.3mp for web but higher if printing).  A large print needs 25.2 MP.

CMYK  – mix of prints.  cyan, magenta, yellow, black. 

Short cut keys:  Hand tool, zoom tool, use the ruler – apple + [r]. 

Guides (useful).

Move tool = [v].  Place elliptical marquee tool, on the top LH corner of the intersecting lines.

Apple [H] its hidden the selection.  Inverse selection, [shift] apple [I].

Image:  adjustments -> curves -> apple [M]

Apples & Curves:  the 2 most common ways of tweaking the image.

Work flow:  [1] plan & take the photo, time of day, reflectors & lighting, composition; [2] raw conversion; [3] level curves (minor tweaking).

If you press the [alt] key it changes from cancel to reset.  The middle is a colour balance tool.  Use this for creating water marks and so on.  Deselect = apple [D].  Shift [apple] [S] = file “save as”.

Dont’ save file as jpeg.  It doesn’t retain layers – psd.  Why save as a tiff?  Tiff still retains layers and other alterations and much more uniform than jpeg.

Layers:  magic wand tool.

Tolerator; press shift key to add to selection [alt] minus space bar [hand tool].  Press shift, click again, added to salad, click on green area and click to fill in gaps.  Apple [Z] go back one step.

Duplicate layer = apple [J].

Lesson Tool:  Photoshop – preferences – general.  Use shift key for tool switch.  Click [ok]. If sets case, press [L].

Edit – > transform.  apple [T] = apple transform. 

Outside select problems.  Escape to cancel.  Hold down apple key to distort.

In our next lesson, we will be learning:  [1]  Quick select tool; [2] Colour selection tool.  Auto stitching facility – panorama.  Clone stamp tool.  Shift & Alt, (hold) click on area to clone from.  For merging, don’t forget to click on ‘flatten’ before then using the clone tool.

Published by Alice Letts

Online training for parents and children. Online piano and music tutoring. Online tutoring for English as a Second Language (ESOL) with an emphasis on pronunciation. Online meditation coaching for parents and how to incorporate meditation into daily family life.

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