Photoshop Help

To review what we talked about in class on Wednesday …


These are the pulldowns along the top. Most of what we’ll work with is under either File or Image. Under File, we’ll use Save As and File Info the most. Under Image, we’ll check Image Size from time to time.

Also under Image are the Adjustment options. We’ll start here, but later transition to using Layers. We won’t ever – EVER – use Brightness and Contrast. Start with Levels and take a look at the histogram. First look to see if it’s completely empty on the shadow (left) or highlight (right) side. If it is, use the triangle below to bring in the edges until you get to pixel information.

Looking at the histogram, does it match your image? If it’s moved to the left, does your image have a lot of shadow areas? If it’s moved to the right, does your image have a lot of highlights? It will take time to learn the histogram but it’ll come to you with practice.

Based on what you see in your image and the histogram, now go to Curves. If you need to lighten the image, click and drag up and to the left to lighten it, down and to the right to darken it. How’s the contrast look? If it needs more, put a second dot on the line and bend it to look like a very gentle “s.” If you need to take some out, make it a reverse “s.”

You can mouse over your image and look at the Info palette to see if you’ve lost any detail. If you see 255/255/255 you’ve got pure white with no details in it – you want to try and avoid that, especially on segments of your image that have valuable content.


For now, only worry about the cropping tool. Make sure the width, height and resolution are all blank before you drag the cropping tool around what you want to include. You can grab a corner to move it or click and drag inside the box to move the whole box. Clicking and dragging outside of a corner will let you rotate it.

When done, hit enter or double click inside the box to apply the crop.


When done with your toning and cropping, go to File Info (down at the bottom of the File menu) and write your final caption. Make sure it’s in the who, what, where and when format, with a second sentence that explains why we should care about this image. AP style counts. Get your credit and contact info on there, as well as the contact info for your subject(s). The first two sentences and your credit will be one paragraph. After that, hit return twice and put in the contact info to keep it separate.


So not just hit Save as you’ll overwrite your original file. You want to do a Save As so you can change the location you’re storing the file at. I’d recommend putting it on the desktop. Once that’s done, you’ll need to copy it to the server and I’d recommend putting a copy of it on your USB drive, as well, so you have a folder with all of your edits in it.

Make sure you’re saving it as a JPEG at a quality of 12.

Remember that Photoshop is a very powerful tool and we, as journalists, only scratch the surface of what it can do. Don’t over think this, keep it simple.

Questions? Ask, always ask.

Here’s a little video that may help, as well.


2 thoughts on “Photoshop Help”

  1. For the mug shot assignment, were the 6 photos supposed to be of 6 different people, or 3 people and each person gets 2 shots for their lighting category, with each shot at 28 mm or 75 mm?

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