Photoshop notes

Removing Blemishes with Photoshop

The tools that we'll use in this Photoshop tutorial, when removing blemishes in portraits, will be the Clone Stamp Tool and the Spot Healing Brush. These two powerful tools can do wonders when it comes to removing wrinkles, hair, moles, or any other retouching of skin imperfections. We must remember that our goal is to remove such blemishes without damaging or changing the original color of the skin. The final product must look as if we never changed anything.

Using the Clone Stamp Tool
With Photoshop's Clone Stamp Tool, you essentially choose an area that is without blemish to copy over the place that has the imperfection. Below, the Clone Stamp Tool is selected, and the box to the right allow us to choose the diameter and hardness of the tool. The size of the tool will be determined by the size of the blemish.

This tool has a myriad of uses, but when we are trying to remove skin blemishes, we want to use the blend mode labelled Lighten. Below is a picture of the drop down menu.

By choosing Lighten, the Clone Stamp Tool will only change and edit the blemish, which is darker than the rest of the skin. In this way, the lighter pixels will remain the same.
The next step is to choose the area to copy from. Using the tool, hold down the Option/Alt key and the tool will turn into an icon that resembles the crosshairs of a sight. Click on the chosen area that is clean, and the clone tool will use that as its template to copy over.
After that, removing the blemish is simply a matter of positioning the Clone Stamp Tool over the blemish and clicking. Instantly, the imperfection will be obliterated and replaced by the clean sample you selected.

Using the Spot Healing Brush
The Spot Healing Brush is much simpler to use than the Clone Stamp Tool because Photoshop automatically chooses what the “clean” area is that will replace the blemish. After choosing the Spot Healing Brush from the toolbox, choose a brush diameter that is just slightly larger than the blemish you want to remove. With this tool, Photoshop analyzes the pixels around the blemish, and uses that to replace the imperfection. If it’s a tricky area with different colors or dark shadows, you may run into issues with the Spot Healing Brush. In that case, you can always use the regular Healing Brush in which you will choose the area it heals from. But, the Spot Healing Brush is simple, quick, and works great for removing small blemishes from otherwise clean skin.
After selecting this tool, simply click on the blemish, and it will disappear. As long as the skin around the image is of similar colors, the imperfection should be removed and no one will ever know the difference

How to Add a Watermark to Your Images Using Adobe Photoshop CS4

Creating a watermark in Adobe Photoshop CS4 is an easy process that allows you to personalize and protect your images. This process happens to be very similar to that of Photoshop CS3 (aside from the tabs). Whenever you provide full size/high quality images to a client or when you post them on the internet, they should always be accompanied by a watermark. The benefits and requirements of what to put in your watermarks are listed here.If you need to place a watermark on only one photo, you may skip the first few steps and insert the watermark as a layer on top of the photo you’re working on.
Creating a New document
First, you will need to launch Photoshop CS4 and create a new document by going to File and then to New... (or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + N). Then, name the watermark in
the box at the top of the screen. Next, you will want to enter the width and the height. This can vary depending on the size of the image being produced, but I usually stick with a 1600x200 pixels, with a 300 pixels/inch resolution. This size will work well for a copyright or name watermark. For a square or circular watermark, you’ll have to experiment with what size works best for you.
Under Background Contents, make sure that you choose Transparent from the drop down box. The background needs to be transparent so that when we copy the watermark into a layer on another photo, only the text will be visible.
New Watermark
Entering your Text
Your new document will appear to be a checkered box. If you don’t see a checkered box, then you forgot to choose a transparent background. The next step involves entering our watermark text. To do this, we will need to use the Horizontal Type Tool (Shortcut T) from the Toolbox.
Click anywhere in your new document and type in the text that you want your watermark to display. Make any changes to the text font or size that you want from the Options bar at the top of the screen. In this example, I’m changing my text to Apple Chancery._Images
Adding some Layers
After you get the font and size the way that you want it, the next thing to do is to add a style layer and change the opacity to give it that authentic watermark look. Accessing the style layers is easy. On the bottom of theLayers Panel, just click on the icon that says fx and choose Bevel and Emboss.
Of course, there are a lot of different looks and styles to a watermark. This is an area where you have a lot of freedom to mess around with the style layers until you get a look that works for you. In this example, I used the Bevel and Emboss style as well as a faint Drop Shadow.
Bevel and Emboss
After applying the style layers, you need to go back to the upper-right hand corner of the Layers Panel and change the opacity of the watermark. I would recommend an opacity between 50-66 percent.

How To Quickly Correct a Dark (Underexposed) Photo in Photoshop
Layer blend modes are a powerful feature of image editing software. Here's a quick and easy way to fix a dark picture using blend modes in any version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. In fact, this technique will work in any other software that offers a screen layer blend mode.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 2 minutes
Here's How:
  1. Open the photo.
  2. Try the Auto Levels command first.
  3. If you like the results, you're done! If it's an improvement but the photo could still use a boost, move on to the next step. If it made it worse, use the undo command and move on to the next step.
  4. If the layer palette is not visible, display it by going to Window > Show Layers.
  5. Drag the background to the new layer button on the layer palette to duplicate it.
  6. Change the blend mode for the duplicate layer to Screen.
  7. If the results are too light, lower the opacity of the layer.
  8. If the photo is still too dark, drag the copy to the new layer button to duplicate it again. Adjust opacity as needed.
  1. If portions of the image become too light, add a layer mask to the soft light layer and use the paint tools to hide or reveal the layer as needed. (see related information below for layer masks)

Simulate Photoshop's Layer Masks Feature in Photoshop Elements

Layer masks are one of the features in Photoshop that Adobe did not carry over to Photoshop Elements. However, it's easy to duplicate this effect by grouping your layer with an adjustment layer. Here's how:
  1. If the layer you want to mask is the background, first convert it to a regular layer, by double-clicking the background layer in the layers palette. Type a name for the layer and click OK.
  2. Add a solid color adjustment layer using any color as the fill.
  3. Drag the color fill layer below the layer you want to mask. in the layer's palette, select the layer above that you want to mask, and press Ctrl-G to group it with the color fill layer. Your layers palette should look like the image shown on this page.
  4. Now the mask of the color fill layer will act as a mask on the layer above.
  5. Paint or fill with black on the mask to erase, white to reveal.
For a one-click layer mask function in Photoshop Elements, download and install my free Layer Mask Tool for Photoshop Elements

Great tutorials on this program…includes video clips