Editing Photos: Rotating to Correct a Crooked Camera; Black & White vs. Color

Today’s essential question: How can I make sure any edits I make in Photoshop improve my photograph?

Today we will review some techniques for editing photos. First and foremost, remember that not all photos need editing. If a photo looks great, leave it alone!

Straightening a crooked image

In general, try to hold your camera straight, and when possible, steady it by leaning it on a sturdy surface. If you have accidentally taken a crooked photo however, you can straighten it in Photoshop. Here are some examples:

Photo credit: Betty

Photo credit: Betty

Photo credit: Lizzy

Photo credit: Lizzy

How to Straighten a Crooked Image in Photoshop

  1. In your layers palette on the lower right side of the screen, double click the background layer. Rename it.
  2. View -> Rulers
  3. Rulers will show up on the top and left side of the screen.
    Click anywhere in the ruler area and drag toward the photo to create a guide.
  4. Adjust the guide so it is next to an object with a straight edge that is currently slanted. You will use this guide as your reference. (In the example below, I have added a vertical guide to compare to the street light, and a horizontal guide to compare to the horizon line.)
    Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.26.01 PM
  5. Edit -> Transform -> Rotate
  6. Rotate the image until the edge of your object is parallel to your guide.
    Then press the “enter” key.
    Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.26.48 PM
  7. Select the crop tool from the tools palette on the left side of the screen. crop_tool
  8. Drag your crop tool to select the area you want to keep.
    Press the “enter” key once you have successfully evened out the edges of your image.
    Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.27.11 PM

Black & White vs. Color

Sometimes, an image will look more powerful in black and white. Other times, especially if the color palette is limited or particularly vibrant, the image will look better in color. Compare the following photos below. Which ones look better in color? Which look better in black and white? Why?

Photo Credit: Lizzy

Photo Credit: Lizzy

Photo credit: Jacinto

Photo credit: Jacinto

Today we will:

  • Create one blog post with our favorite 10 images we have taken so far. We will have one more shooting day, so you may eventually replace some of these, but I want to see the best of what you have photographed so far. (Note: We have have three shooting days on this project. If you do not have 10 photos from three 90-minute classes, you should be concerned.)
  • Decide which photos are strong as is, and which could be improved with editing.
  • Come up with a game plan for each photo you want to edit. What will you do to improve it? Will you straighten it, crop it, adjust the levels? Each photo is unique and will probably require different tools.
  • Begin editing your photos.
  • Create a second blog post with before and after photos of anything you have edited. This is important so I can make sure the work you are doing in Photoshop is improving your photos instead of potentially degrading them.

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