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!