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Shoot and Edit: Week 9 - Spring...EDIT - Ramblings and Photos

March 10, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 9 – Spring…EDIT
Welcome to the ninth week of Shoot and Edit: Part 1. Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes.  

This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “Spring” SOOC  shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). Hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week.

Each Thursday, I will take my SOOC shot and provide some basic editing tips (I will try to keep it basic and work my way up). You can then try these tips on your own photos and link up here. If you’d prefer,  can simply share your own edit and show us what you did to achieve the look. We want this challenge to be a learning experience, so feel free to teach us something new too! Also, it does not matter what editing program you use. Although I tend to work within Adobe CS5 (Photoshop), Photoshop Elements and Adobe Camera Raw…it does not mean that you have to use the exact same program. I hope you’ll be able to take the concepts and apply them in the program you feel most comfortable using.

Once again, here is my SOOC shot:
Allergy SOOC-RS
Building on what we’ve learned in the past eight weeks (Week 1: Edit, Week 2: Edit, Week 3A, Week 3B, Week 4: Edit, Week 5: Edit, Week 6: Edit, Week 7: Edit and Week 8: Edit), I started this edit in Adobe Camera Raw and then ran my photo through my typical clean processing steps in Adobe CS5.

My hope is that at this point in our lessons, you have gotten really comfortable with clean processing in whatever editing program you use (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Picnik, Picassa, etc). As your SOOC shots continue to improve, you’ll need to do less and less processing (unless you enjoy creative editing – I won’t remove that from you because I enjoy editing way too much). 

Today, I thought we’d discuss resizing and sharpening for the web. If you’ve ever thought that your photos looked a bit “off” once you’ve uploaded them to your website, then it’s likely a result of 1) lack or inadequate resizing/sharpening or 2) a result of using you blogger (as an example) to host your photos. 

The photo below would be considered my “final edit,” with the exception of being sharpened for the web. You may or may not notice the difference, but I can tell.
Allergy WO Sharpen
To be completely honest, I have actions that quickly resize and sharpen my photos…there are a number of free tools on the web including MCP’s High Definition Sharpening Action that works with both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements (and I’m sure there is a tool for Lightroom).

However, in the event you want to see what goes on “behind the scenes,” I thought I’d share my manual steps. Once you’ve finished editing your photo, SAVE your photo. Your default resolution will be 240 pixels per inch (I’m not an expert on resolution, but 240 is sufficient for most print jobs). 

To resize your photo, go to Image>Image Size – you’ll get this pop up screen.  {SIDE NOTE: if you watermark your photos, watermark BEFORE resizing.} I personally like to resize my photos to the exact width of my main blog space which is 890 px. Your space may be smaller or larger. Notice that I changed my resolution to 72 pixels which is perfect for the web. 
Image Resize
When you do this, your photo will shrink. You can use the zoom tool or select “FIT TO SCREEN” to enlarge your photo to a viewable size. Now create a duplicate of your background. For Photoshop users, you’ll want to go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask…for Photoshop Elements users, go to Enhance>Unsharp Mask. I’ve included my settings below. You can use the preview screen to get an idea of how the unsharp mask is effecting your image. Once you’re satisfied, click OK.
Unsharp Mask
You’re not done yet – now, change your blending mode to LUMINOSITY. I tend to leave my opacity set at 100% based on the above levels, but you may choose to lower the opacity OR even use a layer mask to remove the effect from part of the image. Here’s what my image looks like using the unsharp mask.
Allergy With Sharpen
Do you notice the difference?
Allergy Sharpen_Unsharpen
From there, I recommend using Flickr to host your photos. You’ll pay $25 a year and won’t have to worry about running out of space (if you still use blogger [as an example] to host your images, you will eventually run out of space). I tend to use the exaggerated approach to loading my images, but in case you’re interested…
  • Once you’ve uploaded your resized/sharpened photos, go to your photostream.
  • Click on an image and select SHARE THIS
  • Select GRAB the HTML code and choose the original size (this would be your resized image)
  • By clicking on the code, you’ll copy it (or click CTRL+C to copy)
  • Now go over to your blog account into the EDIT HTML portion – paste.

Does that make sense? 

Something else you may or may not be interested in: “stretching the canvas.” I think this technique comes in handy for those of you that either want to get rid of unwanted objects without cloning OR if you want to recompose your image by adding canvas and then stretching one side of your image. I’ve included one video courtesy of MCP actions (feel free to search YouTube for other video tutorials on this technique).
So, to recap our lesson, today we discussed resizing and sharpening for the web, and stretching your canvas.  For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past eight weeks as well as apply today’s lesson.

With that said, here’s a final look at my SOOC and Final shot. I hope you found today’s lesson useful. If you have any questions or need more explanation, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Allergy Compare
I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits!

By the way, I’m musing today…come see me. And, I’m also linking up with Simplicity since her theme is macro!


    another awesome tutorial! great job on your edit too!

    Love the subtle edit…great tutorial!

    So simple, but I can tell the difference. You always explain it to well, Ash!

    Love the edit! Simple and clean!

    BTW, my phone goofed and selected the wrong pic link, and I never got that email where I could delete the link and try again. Thoughts on fixing it or just tough luck this week? :)

    Love your subtle edit, Ashley!

    Thanks!! I have been looking into this a lot and asking questions, as I am trying to take as few steps as possible to save for web and for print.

    Do you save two copies of each photo (not counting the original)?

    thanks for the tutorial! and I love the new blog header!

    Great post Ashley! I know you know I was wondering… I do everything up to Unsharp Mask so thanks for that info!! Helpful post!

    love the subtle edit and sharpening! btw, I love your new header!!

    It’s interesting to read your tutorials even though I don’t use photoshop or shoot raw yet. I’ll have to refer back to them one day. REally cool shot!

    The sharpness adds a magazine Ad style to it!

    Love your new header!

    Yup! Whites actually look white and the final one is tack sharp! When I learned how to Save for Web and resize, it made a world of difference!

    Love it, you can definitely tell a difference! Nice job!

    That stretching tip is amazing! How do you know so much?! Wow!

    Your edit is so subtle, and no I couldn’t see any obvious sharpening, which is good, right? The edited photo is brighter and cooler than the sooc, and the tones work really nicely. :)

    I like both of your shots. the colors are what draws me in the most. Bright spring green and a pale white. Thank you for the tutorial!

    thanks for the tutorial. I have never used the luminous option.

    Man I still need help installing actions, maybe could you do a step by step tutorial on that. I just do not understand the pioner womens way or the other ways I have seen maybe a fresh new tutorial will help me I so want to use them and I have elements9 now.

    I always enjoy your tutorials;0. You are a very good teacher! I always sharpen now thanks to your tip on that months ago and boy what a difference it makes! Hey, I am assuming you pay for the yearly flickr upgrade for unlimited photo uploads right? I ran out of space a couple months ago and hadn’t wanted to spend the money but, in doing so I have lost a lot of quality in my images on my blog again. Boo…guess I will have to pay up. lol.

    Gosh you are just so good about sharing everything. I suck at trying to explain my process in writing! Ha ha.

    excellent tutorial, wow!

    So so so helpful! I always wondered how to get my images to fit the width of my posting area. I also use MCP’s HD sharpening tool, but I tend to oversharpen with it. Still trying to figure out a nice opacity to use with it.

    I’ll have to try the way you mentioned too.

    I’m so going to have to try that stretching the canvas trick!! Very cool. :)

    Really like how clean your edit looks now. :D

    I love love love that you’re teaching subtle editing techniques. You know I’m a real believer that “less is more”. But at the same time those subtle things really do make a big difference. Wonderful lesson with a simple photo Ashley, I know you’re putting a lot of time into these tutorials. Way to go!

    Ashley…I just added your site to my blogroll.
    I Also want to say Thank You for for the WAY you teach! I am finding the answers to SO many of my questions about my Canon RebelXT!! AND, I Understand HOW To Do IT! Thank You again!!!

    Ashley actually with that link to that action there is a video and I think I finnally understand And I think I just installed my first set of actions… Yippee, I will play more tonight or tomorrow.. but finally I did it.

    Thank you – I always learn something here.

    An excellent tutorial Ashley.

    Best Regards,

    I absolutely LOVE flickr for hosting photos. My pro account just expired on there & I recently made a new account due to my stalky mother-in-law and her family stealing pictures! But reguardless, I’ve got to UP my pro account again!

    I always love how they keep things crisp and clear.. and sharpening an image is DEFINITELY one of my favorite simple edits!

    Thanks for the great tutorial Ashley, I actually had no clue that I should be doing that! Learned something very helpful today!

    You’re right, I would have never thought to adjust for the web. Great use of items to show the difference. Thanks!

    I love your new header! I’ve been needing to learn how to adjust for web.

    I love this shot!!!! YOu always rock!

    Thank you for sharing. :)

    Marla @ http://www.blueskiesphotoblog.com

    Thank you for sharing. :)

    Marla @ http://www.blueskiesphotoblog.com

    Hey, Ashely! Thanks for your sweet words on my blog. You know, I’ve always heard that He is the reason for the season at Christmas…but it makes even more sense to say it at Easter. Thanks!!!!

    Your before and after are amazing. Very subtle. I have SOoooo much to learn! Thanks for the great tutorials!!

    Your new blog is SO PRETTY! I was reading from my phone when I commented that I loved your new header, but I didn’t see the pretty pink sides! LOVE! So Spring-y, and I’m ready for Spring.

    Seriously? If you use blogger you’ll run out of space for your photos? Eek! I didn’t know that….hmmm, I need to google that and see how much space I have left. Thanks for the info. And great edit – looks wonderful!

    Oh…a question. I messed up my settings for my unsharp mask and they stayed that way. Are the settings you gave the “default” settings, or do you know where to find the default settings? (Does that make sense)? HUGS to you! XO

    I dont know if I tell you enough but you are incredibly awesome and talented!! :) LOVE your tutorials! Thanks for sharing them!!! :)

    I was just wondering about this! Awesome timing. Allergy medicine reminds me of spring too :)

    Perfect? hahaha, whatev! I am learning from you so……

    question…what size is your blog header? I made one, but my photos are SUPER fuzzy….BOOO HISSS!!! just wondering!

    Love that you edited pills…hahahaha, soo creative!

    great! just changed it….but i was wondering if there was a tutorial you followed to set up your blog layout…..I like how your photos are big and in the middle and text underneath….mine is lame with photos on the sides…hahahaha…i think it’s lame!!!! :)

    haha, that was helpful…I will play with HTML tonight! Thanks!!!!

    Oh Ashley! I needed this today. I have FINALLY entered the CS5 world and have it on my MAC.

    Anything I can learn grabs my attention. This is great stuff! When I get home from work, I’ll be browsing the archives. I have yet to find such detail in explaining and have some family photos that need editing for grandma’s birthday. I took photos of 9 grandkids and of course…one is looking off…or eyes closed in every one. Haha.


    This is a perfect example of how just a few little tweaks are all a photo needs to go from good to outstanding! (And thanks for the tips on resizing–I definitely need to start doing that rather than relying on blogger doing it for me).

    What a perfect shot for this challenge! Thanks for linking up :)

    I just realized I forgot to comment!

    Thank you for another great tutorial! I will be watching the video later this evening.

    Your edit turned out great! (as usual) :)

    I do have a question though … why do you use “unsharp mask” instead of “adjust sharpness”? What is the difference? I was taught to use “adjust sharpness”. Thanks for any info you can give!

    Thank you so much for sharing your tips.

    You certainly can see the difference; the edited is much crisper.

    Ashley your resize and sharpen tut this week is awesome! I was happy with how much photo sharing improved when we discussed using flickr to host. Now it’s even better.

    Oh and cool shot for spring. Love the green contrast.

    Awesome tutorial! I didn’t know that you could run out of space on blogger….so I’ll be loading up through flickr now! Thanks!

    I never resize my photos for the web since Flickr does that for me without degrading the quality of the image. I like to have original sized images available on Flickr. I do usually sharpen though. I LOVE MCP’s sharpening action and use it pretty much every time. :)

    I host my blog’s images on Flickr and have for years, but since the whole unfair account deletion debacle I’ve been seriously considering switching to SmugMug for image hosting.

    Excellent tutorial! I already resized my photos for the web, but I like the effect of the sharpening. I use Flickr some but find I prefer to stick with Picasa via Blogger for my blog photos. Just a personal preference. :)

    Ashley – got my edit up http://godansker.blogspot.com/2011/03/shoot-edit-spring-edit.html (by the way, if there’s a vote, I cast a ballot for keeping Linkz up until Sunday! Friday and Saturdays are always busy family time). ANYHOW, not the point… :)

    I can not get any actions to download into PSE 9. The file path that is recommended in the tutorials on how to download doesn’t exist for me. Any tips on where to go to get help?

    Yay! Thanks for sharing that! I am going to have to try that out later. I have to tell you, I was scrolling through your tutorial page and Yay! I am excited about all the things you shared and can’t wait to start trying that stuff out!!! THANKS!!! :0)