Focus On Adobe Photoshop: Focus on the Fundamentals (Focus On Series)

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This no-nonsense, highly affordable, and inspiring guide walks photographers new to Photoshop through the end to end Photoshop workflow. Starting from the moment you download your images off your memory card, photographer Corey Hilz guides you through importing and organizing your photos in Bridge, demonstrating how to give each photo ratings and keywords to make searching through your photos a snap. He then details the basics of editing photos in both Camera Raw and Photoshop, including how to correct exposure, make color and tonal adjustments, retouch flaws and imperfections, and much more. He finishes the book with next steps: how to print that prized final image, upload it to social networking sites, and create a slideshow or web gallery. Packed with gorgeous images, helpful screenshots, and quality advice to teach the new user the fundamentals of the software, this guide is compatible with any version of Photoshop.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Focal Press, well known for great how to books has 3 new offerings that will make you not just a better photographer, but a great photo editor with PhotoShop. They are part of the "Focus on Fundamentals" line called: Focus on Adobe Photoshop; Focus on Apple Aperture; Focus on Photoshop Elements. All of the books are geared with Mac OS in mind. You can in theory learn a little about the PC versions of Photoshop or Photoshop elements, but Apple Aperture is strictly Mac OS. All of the books are clearly well written with several sidebars that explain points that may be more advanced. The books are written with all user levels in mind, from novice to experienced, but even the more experienced areas are easy to understand. All of the books have prime examples including walking you through all menu options. They show examples of before and after changes were made as well. I was very impressed with the hands on style of writing in the books. Between the pictures, the sidebars and step by step guidance's. They are all very well laid out and the Focal Press does well at explaining all aspects of each software package. The books don't just compliment the manuals that come with each package, they down-right put them to shame and can easily replace them."—

"Corey Hilz and David Asch have both written about the fundamentals for learning Photoshop. Forming part of Focal Press's Focus On series, these two titles make up the latest offerings Focus On Adobe Photoshop and Focus On Photoshop Elements. The first of the two books looks to guide photographers through the steps in Photoshop for getting the best out of shots. Advice and step-by-step tutorials show you how to correctly polish off photos with image corrections and adjustments, before organising them using Adobe Bridge, and is a comprehensive and useful resource."—Photoshop Creative

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240812205
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/15/2011
  • Series: Focus On Series
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Corey Hilz is a professional photographer specializing in nature and travel photography. His work is seen in magazines, books, calendars and catalogues, as well as in art galleries. Corey finds the diversity in nature offers boundless opportunities for new images. He approaches his subjects with an artistic eye, looking for a fresh perspective. Corey shares his approach to photography in workshops he teaches in the United States and abroad. Corey has a passion for helping others improve their photography by sharing his knowledge through group and private instruction.

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Read an Excerpt

Focus On Adobe Photoshop

By Corey Hilz

Focal Press

Copyright © 2011 Corey Hilz
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-08-095941-2

Chapter One

Bridge: Importing, Organizing, and Initial Editing

Adobe bridge is the place to begin your digital workflow. Bridge will be the hub for working with your photographs. You'll use Bridge to organize your photos, import new photos, review technical data, create slide shows, and more. When you're ready to adjust and enhance your photos, you can go directly from Bridge to Camera Raw or Photoshop. So no matter whether you want to rearrange your photos or edit them, Bridge is the place to start.

In this chapter we'll first become familiar with the layout of Bridge and where to find things; then we'll go through the process of importing images. Later in the chapter, we'll explore the organizing features and learn how to perform the initial editing of our photos.

Bridge layout

When you open Adobe Bridge, you'll see the default workspace (how all the information is laid out), which is made up of various panels, each with its own type of information. These panels are arranged in three sections: left, middle, and right. On the left are Favorites, Folders, Filter, Collections, and Export. The middle is just the Content panel. And on the right are the Preview, Metadata, and Keywords panels.

Bridge gives you a lot of control over how the panels are arranged. For example, you're able to move and resize the panels. Separating the various panel sections are thin vertical and horizontal bars. These bars are used to resize the panels.

To change the size of a panel, first move your mouse pointer to one of these bars. The mouse pointer changes to a vertical or horizontal line with a double-arrow. Next, click and drag the bar to make the panel bigger or smaller. For example, to change the panel's width, drag the vertical bar left or right. To adjust the panel's height, drag the horizontal bar up or down.

You can also move the panels to different locations with a click and drag. Click and drag a panel's name tab and then drop the panel in its new location. Let's take a look at how the panels can be rearranged to get a better idea of what you can do with them.

You can have up to three sections of panels: left, center, and right (like with the default layout). They can be grouped together or stacked. If panels are grouped, then Bridge places the panel tabs next to each other. With this arrangement you can see only one of the panels at a time. To switch between panels, click on the name of the panel you want to see.

Now let's find out how to stack panels. When panels are stacked, you're able to have multiple panels visible at once. Each panel has its own area in the left, right, or center sections. In the default view, there are two panels stacked on the left and right. Because you can move panels, you're able to change how they're stacked. If you want to stack a panel in a new location (different from grouping it with another panel), you have to be careful where you drag and drop it. Instead of dragging one panel on top of another, you drag it to the divider line that's just above the panel where you want it to go. When you do this, you'll see a blue line appear above the panel. This tells you the panel you're moving is going to be placed above the existing panel.

Cluttered panels

Although you can stack many panels, the Bridge layout will quickly become cluttered because all these individual panels will be small and you won't be able to see much of the information in them. I recommend not having more than two panels stacked per section (left, center, right). Instead, group additional panels so you have easy access to them, but avoid a jumbled display.


Bridge also comes with additional presets for the locations of the panels that are called workspace layouts. How you access the layouts depends on which version of Bridge you are using.

If you're using CS3, look at the bottom right of the Bridge window where you'll see three small boxes numbered 1, 2, and 3. Clicking on each of these boxes changes the workspace layout. To select the layout with which each number is associated, click and hold (or right-click) on the number to bring up a list of layouts.

If you're using CS4 or later, the workspace layouts have been moved to the top right of the window, where they're listed by name. The workspaces available vary by version (CS4 versus CS5). For example, here's what is included for CS5: Essentials, Filmstrip, Metadata, Output, Keywords, Preview, Light Table, and Folders. Click on a workspace name to switch layouts. You may not be able to see the names of all the workspaces initially. At the end of the list of workspaces is an arrow. Click on it to see a list of all the workspaces; then select the one you want. Alternatively, to the left of the first workspace name are two columns of dotted lines. Click and drag them to the left to reveal the rest of the workspaces.

Setting up a Favorites folder

In the default workspace, the panels in the top-left group are Favorites and Folders. You can choose which folders you want to have in the Favorites panel. This is the place to put the folders you will access most often when working with your photographs so you don't have to go digging through layers of folders on your computer every time.

Find and add folders to the Favorites panel

1. Click on the Folders tab. You'll see a list with your computer and/or hard drives.

2. Look through the hierarchy of the folders on your computer/hard drives to find the folder you want.

3. When you've found the folder, click on the name of the folder; then go to File>Add to Favorites. When you go back to the Favorites panel, the folder will be listed there. Repeat this process to add as many folders as you want to your Favorites.

Navigating the Folders panel

• Click on the arrow next to the computer/hard drive name to show a list of the folders within it.

• Click on the arrow next to a folder to see the folders inside it.

• If you want to check what's in a particular folder, click the folder name and its contents will appear in the center of the Bridge window (Content panel).

• To hide what's inside a folder, click the arrow again.

Creating the metadata template

To make the workflow smoother later, we're going to prepare some information in Bridge first. We'll begin by creating a metadata template that we'll use when downloading photos from a memory card.

In Bridge, find the Metadata panel. If it's not visible, go to Window>Metadata Panel. At the top-right corner of the Metadata panel, click on the small gray triangle to bring up the flyout menu. The icon for the flyout menu can be hard to see because it almost blends in with the Bridge background.

In the flyout menu, select Create Metadata Template. We're going to create a template that includes your name and contact information. When we start to download photos, we'll be able to use this template to have this information automatically added to each picture. I like to add this information because it identifies me as the photographer and gives people a way to contact me if they come across my photograph.

1. Give the template a descriptive name such as Basic Information or Contact Information.

2. We're going to add information only to the IPTC Core section. IPTC stands for International Press Telecommunications Council, but there's no need to memorize that; it's just the title for this group of metadata. This section includes fields such as Creator, Job Title, Address, and City. If you don't see such a list, click the disclosure triangle next to the words IPTC Core. Fill in the following fields, which are related to contacting you: Creator, Address, City, State/Province, Postal Code, Country, Phone(s), Email(s), Website(s), and Copyright Notice. We'll revisit metadata later in the workflow, but right now we just want a set of information that will apply to all your photos.

3. Click Save.

Downloading photos

Now it's time to download images from a memory card. We'll use Bridge to copy the photos from the memory card to the computer. Go to File>Get Photos from Camera. This will launch the Photo Downloader.

Once the Photo Downloader has launched, click the Advanced Dialog button in the bottom-left corner. Clicking this button expands the window to give us more options. Let's go through the options in the Photo Downloader dialog box.

Source section

Use the Source drop-down menu to choose the name of your camera. Even if you are using a card reader, the memory card will be listed as the name of the camera. If your camera's name is not listed, choose <Refresh List&glt; and see whether it appears.

The top of the Source section shows the camera selected as well as how many files are on the card, how many are selected, how much space the selected photos will take up, and the date range over which the photos on the memory card were taken.

In the left half of the dialog box are thumbnails of the photos on your memory card. By default, all the photos on your memory card will be downloaded. For any photos you don't want downloaded, click the checkbox below the photo. You can also use the buttons below the thumbnail area to check or uncheck all the photos.

Save Options section


Under Location, click Choose to select the folder on your computer where you want your photos downloaded. Downloading your photos to the same place every time works well. This way, you have a central location for all your pictures. A folder named Pictures or Photos works well for this purpose.

Create Subfolder(s)

The Create Subfolder(s) option allows you to automatically organize your photos right when you download them. Click on the drop-down menu to see your choices. If you want all your photos downloaded directly into the folder chosen for Location, then select None. The other choices will create subfolders within the main folder chosen for Location.

The subfolder options are choices for how you want to name the folders. Custom Name will allow you to enter the name of the subfolder where your photos will be downloaded. For instance, you may choose the custom name Italy if all your photos were taken on a trip to Italy. The choices that begin with Shot Date are variations on using the date the picture was taken for the folder name. If you have photos on your memory card that were taken on different days, the Photo Downloader will create a separate subfolder each day.

Rename Files

You can rename your photos instead of keeping the letters and numbers your camera uses to name them. There are many combinations to choose from in the Rename Files drop-down menu. I prefer to rename my files when I download them. I use a naming structure that ensures I won't end up with two photos with the same filename. I use the following option: Custom Name + Shot Date (yymmdd).

In the Custom Name field, I use my last name as a way to identify it as one of my photos. You could also use your initials if you have a long last name. Including the date lets me see at a glance when the photo was taken. I use the "yymmdd" format because that keeps the photos in chronological order when they're sorted by name in a folder. At the end of the filename is a four-digit number. This will count up from 1 by default. If you are downloading multiple memory cards, the start number will automatically change to continue counting where the last sequence left off. For example, if you download 100 photos, they'll be numbered 1 to 100. When you put in the next memory card, the count will automatically begin at 101. Of course, you can always change the number.

Advanced Options section

In the Advanced Options section, check Open Adobe Bridge. When you do, Bridge will show you the photos after the download is complete, allowing you to continue the editing process.

You don't need to convert your files to the Digital Negative (DNG) format. If you'd like to, click the Settings button to see the options for DNG conversion.

I recommend not checking Delete Original Files. I prefer to always erase my memory card using the format/erase function in my camera. This way, the camera will set up the necessary folders on the memory card so that it accurately stores the photos.


Excerpted from Focus On Adobe Photoshop by Corey Hilz Copyright © 2011 by Corey Hilz. Excerpted by permission of Focal Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Importing and the Basics of Bridge
Chapter 2: Camera Raw
Chapter 3: Metadata and Keywords
Chapter 4: Photoshop
Chapter 5: Printing

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