The digital portion
of my photography is from scanned slides. I do not work
with a digital SLR camera. I do, however, own and use a
small digicam, the Sony Cybershot DSC-W50. It is a great
point and shoot camera to keep for those moments when I don't
want to bother with the SLR.
I have a review
for our old Nikon
Coolpix 3200 that has since been retired.
Editing of the
digital files I get from the scanner occurs in Photoshop
CS2. I manage my digital files with Adobe Bride, mainly because
it came free with Photoshop. I would prefer to move up to
Apple Aperture when I upgrade to the full digital SLR.
I have found many
easy tips for using Photoshop at the following web site:
This is a wonderful
site for digital and film photography.
I have gained a
few tricks and tools in my bag as far as photoshop operation.
Learning Photoshop is a continual process. It is a beast of
a program and I have learned some of these techniques over
a wide variety of sources from other photography websites
Generally, I take
around the same approach for the post processing of most of
my pictures. Listed below are some of the basic steps I take
to prepare my digital photographs.
I begin with 16
bit digital files that are scanned from my Minolta Scan Elite
5400 as described on my scanning page.
The files that are
output from the scanner have a black border around the edge
from the slide holder or the edge of the film. I crop as close
to this as I can to remove all the black at the edge. Select
the crop icon from the tools menu. At the command line at
the top of your screen is displayed width and height; if these
are blank you can crop to any aspect ratio - this is what
I start with. If you want to crop to a selected ratio, fill
in the height and width to, say, 8" by 10" and the
crop window will stick to this aspect ratio. I usually only
crop the minimum at first and then move to color correction.
The final cropping is done last and usually on a copied file
to archive the original image.
NOTE - Before cropping,
if the image needs to be rotated I will take care of this
before I make any crop adjustments.
This step is counter
productive and the only reason I do it is because I still
work in Photoshop version 7. With version 7, you can't create
adjustment layers (described in the next step) in 16 bit mode.
To convert to 8 bit mode:
Image > Mode
> 8 Bits / Channel.
Working in 16 bit
mode is much preferred if your software allows it. I use adjustment
layers so much I just can't justify using other methods just
to hang onto 16 bit files. Remember that if you are using
software that allows you to keep 16 bit and make all the adjustments
necessary, then do that!
Using the Curves
adjustment layer scared me to death when I first started using
it. However, with some practice, I have found it to be very
powerful. What Curves offers that the Color Balance command
does not is the ability to carefully control your adjustments
anywhere across the luminance values (from low to high) and
not have to make an across the board change. This is very
hard to explain and the best way to get the hang of what curves
do is to open an image and start playing around.
I hope to be adding
a detailed section on this technique in the future - for now,
visit the following site for details on how to Edge